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District of Port Hardy announces a groundbreaking joint venture

Starting in February, the Port Hardy Heritage Society will take over Visitor Centre Services
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Port Hardy’s Visitor Information Centre. (Google Images photo)

If you’re wondering what’s going on with the Port Hardy Visitor Information Centre since the Chamber of Commerce vacated the building, here’s the answer.

The District of Port Hardy issued a news release on Thursday, Feb. 1, stating it is thrilled to announce a groundbreaking joint venture with the Port Hardy Heritage Society that will provide enhanced Visitor Centre Services.

According to the district, this collaboration aims to not only elevate heritage tourism, improve public access, increase capacity to showcase local heritage treasures in Carrot Park, but the new service delivery model will also represent a “significant step forward in preserving and showcasing the rich history of Port Hardy and its surrounding areas.”

Through this partnership, the museum will be playing a pivotal role in fostering a deeper connection between visitors and the community’s vibrant heritage.

“Starting in February of this year, the Port Hardy Heritage Society will take over Visitor Centre Services, operating at two locations during the summer of 2024,” stated the district. “During the off-season, the museum will serve as both the Visitor Centre and museum, while plans are being made to fully transition to the Carrot Park location later this year.”

Expanding services aims to improve accessibility to heritage treasures and promote a greater understanding of the region’s cultural significance. The joint venture is set to create a dynamic visitor experience that transcends traditional tourism by leveraging the museum’s historical preservation and storytelling expertise.

“This partnership and a new model for service delivery will enhance the overall visitor and community experience,” stated Port Hardy Mayor Pat Corbett-Labatt via the news release. “Council is looking forward to this exciting new opportunity and looking to the future on how we can better expand services at the museum, promote cultural tourism and enhance visitor services.”

“The Port Hardy Heritage Society is very pleased and excited to be given this opportunity to advance the scope of our museum’s offerings to include tourism services,” confirmed Martin Whitehead, president of the Museum’s Board of Directors. “With guidance from Robin Folvik, the current museum curator/director, we are exploring many options, including a building expansion, to better serve the needs of our community and visitors to the North Island.”

The district confirmed that 2025 will begin a new era where the museum will fully operate Visitor Centre Services and museum services in Carrot Park, providing a comprehensive and cohesive experience for all visitors and residents.