Barkerville Heritage Trust is calling on locals to support them in asking the provincial government to sustain their level of funding.
The trust, which manages Barkerville Historic Town and Park, said they have a “critical budget shortfall” of over $650,000 in a proposed letter to Premier John Horgan.
The park is owned by the province, and operated by the trust.
The park had requested a $2.65 million operating budget for 2021, and says they will need to cut programs if the funding is not moved up.
“Barkerville will be unable to open with full interpretation and the range of experiences we have come to value and expect. That concerns us deeply,” the letter reads. “In our view, its opening this spring is essential to the region’s economic, physical, and mental wellbeing. Should the required funding not be made available, the Park will be unable to open and operate at the publicly expected level which will result in a devastating loss of employment, essential services, and public programming.”
According to the letter, the park was booked to its pandemic capacity between July and September, welcoming 22,500 visitors.
“The Park is the largest living history museum in Western North America, and it belongs to all of us as British Columbians,” the letter reads. “During the pandemic, Barkerville offered the residents of our regions and the province the comfort of familiarity while also presenting increased and tactile education from the perspective of our First Nations and Chinese peoples. Barkerville’s interpretive historians are irreplaceable, having honed their educations and their skills to authentically immerse visitors in the 1860s.”
Similar letters to the one sent to Quesnel city council have been sent to other governments and organizations across the region. Quesnel Council took in the letter as information.
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