With the Saskatchewan government implementing a reopening plan for the province, board members with the Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village and Museum have decided to reopen the venue with an adjusted schedule.
The museum plans to have a soft opening on Thursday, June 3 and, for that month, be open from Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The board will monitor how this schedule works and the traffic before potentially returning to the regular schedule in July, seven days a week.
The provincial government’s reopen plan includes allowing 150 people to gather at public outdoor gatherings and 30 people at public indoor gatherings.
“We’re very happy to be reopening,” said board president Gord Ross, and with “40 acres of fresh air and 50 buildings” to visit, there should not be a problem with physical distancing.
The museum has received plenty of interest from people, with numerous visitors calling about when the venue will open, he continued. What’s surprising is that many people from the area have never visited the museum and are surprised to learn about the number of exhibits, with many displays related to Moose Jaw.
With so much to see, Ross says it will take visitors at least two hours to walk through everything.
The Sukanen Museum will adhere to all pandemic regulations with its reopening, such as physical distancing, the use of hand sanitizers and cleaning high-contact areas. Ross pointed out that with 50 buildings and acres of space, it’s easy for visitors to move to a different exhibit if one is near capacity.
Although the provincial government has relaxed how many people can attend a public outdoor gathering, the Sukanen board has decided to cancel three events this summer since they attract nearly 1,000 people. Those events include June’s Spring Fling Show and July’s Family Day and International Harvester Club Meet events.
“I think people are at that stage where they’re tired of being locked up and want somewhere to go … ,” said Ross. “The Sukanen is so close to Moose Jaw and Regina, to me, it’s just (an option).”
Meanwhile, the board has tentatively scheduled the Threshing Bee and Closing Day for September and the Haunted Museum event for October. However, this will depend upon the vaccination rate and how fast the provincial government moves with its reopening plan.
Ross says he is looking forward to visitors returning and seeing all the exhibits and displays the museum has to offer — including some new ones that volunteers built during the past year.
For more information, visit www.sukanenshipmuseum.ca.