Both the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society and the Ross Bay Villa Society are taking on major fundraising campaigns to save more of the city’s heritage, albeit for different reasons.
The Ross Bay Villa Society aims to purchase the Ross Bay Villa from the financially-strapped TLC. The society must raise $130,000 to pay off the existing mortgage.
Across town, the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society wants to free up space in the four-storey, 30-room castle by removing the gift shop and staff offices to make room for more story-telling opportunities and museum-based activities.
The gift shop is currently located where the original kitchen was and planners want to restore the kitchen to a Romanesque-era style to match the rest of the castle. The gift shop will be relocated in another building on the property.
Both projects are worthy of our support for the heritage value alone, never mind adding in the tourism driver they will create.
It’s encouraging that these projects are being pushed by societies who have an invested interest. They should be an inspiration to other groups to push forward their projects, instead of waiting for government to make the first move.
B.C.’s history is still relatively young, but we can’t pass up on opportunities to enhance it and help it grow.
The one thing we must always keep in mind when looking at our history is that we only have so many opportunities to get it right.
As Simone Vogel-Horridge, president of the Ross Bay Villa, said: “Once it’s gone, it’s gone.”
And none of us want to see that future.