Old time fun is on the agenda at the Heritage Fair and Family Picnic on Aug. 13 in Shawnigan Lake. (Citizen file)

Old time fun is on the agenda at the Heritage Fair and Family Picnic on Aug. 13 in Shawnigan Lake. (Citizen file)

Shawnigan Museum hosts celebration of 40 years

Whole families come together for free, old-fashioned, unplugged fun

Whole families come together for free, old-fashioned, unplugged fun to celebrate Shawnigan’s past at the annual Heritage Fair and Family Picnic on Sunday, Aug. 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

At Elsie Miles Community Park behind the Shawnigan Lake Museum in Shawnigan Village, marvel at artisans demonstrating bygone-era skills such as weaving, quilting and carving. Participate in old-timey races, play carnival games and get dressed up for a vintage photo in the on-site photo studio. Witness the exciting eye candy that is a line-up of vintage vehicles from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Visitors are encouraged to share stories from the good ole days and appreciate others’, at the Memory Tent or anytime online at the Shawnigan Lake Museum Facebook page.

Pack a picnic for the family or try something new this year — the Picnic Basket Auction. Baskets packed with lunch goodies from local restaurants, shops and eateries will be up for auction as a fundraiser for the museum expansion.

To celebrate this 40th year in the community, the crowd will sing “Happy Birthday” and share in some celebratory cake. Any way you slice it, this event is the bee’s knees, say organizers.

Parking is limited and available at SLCC, Government Wharf, and around the village. This event is outdoors so wear weather-appropriate clothing and skin protection. Water will be available.

In the past 40 years, the Shawnigan Museum’s collection has grown, the building has been modified, and many dedicated volunteers have come and gone. But the mission continues to be, “to preserve, protect and promote Shawnigan’s unique history, engage the local community and attract visitors”.

On behalf of the community, the museum continues to receive a steady stream of donations of artifacts, written material and photos. With these generous donations, the story of Shawnigan Lake continues to develop.

The museum offers an intimate look at its interesting and surprising past. Visitors will see an elaborate light fixture that once hung in the lobby of the Strathcona Hotel (c 1900); hear the unique sound of a gramophone; tap out a message on the telegraph keys; learn about the early settlers, and enjoy the ambience of an old-time theatre while watching slideshows. The displays, which strive to highlight the social, industrial and recreational aspects of the area, continue to evolve and change.

A common observation from visitors is, “it is much bigger inside than it looks from the outside!”

However, a dedicated group is embarking on a building and services expansion, “Project Impact”, as they strive to continue to impress and inform visitors with displays, stories and community involvement.

The museum and Shawnigan Lake Historical Society have come a long way.

The first meeting of the newly registered Shawnigan Lake Historical Society was held Feb. 16, 1977. One initiative for the Society was to provide a home for the collection of memorabilia that had been preserved by the local trustees of the village-owned library which resulted in the establishment of a museum. For six years, the Society was without a permanent base with volunteers doing the collecting, archiving, documenting and cataloguing while arranging open houses, school visits and interviewing old timers. In 1983 the old firehall (c 1950) became the new home of the Shawnigan Lake Museum.

To learn more, visit www.shawniganlakemuseum.com, or call 250-743-8675.