By Grace Oborne
Although the provincial Stage 3 reopening plan was official as of July 16, the Minden Hills Cultural Centre is still awaiting council approval to reopen. The staff at the cultural centre are very eager to open and resume back to their pre-COVID regular scheduled programming.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, the staff at the cultural centre can’t celebrate the reopening as they would like to.
“We can’t really have something special to celebrate because of the limitations. However, I am hoping that we can have a closing reception, because by then, we may be completely out of the stages, and we might actually be back to normal in more ways than we are now,” said Laurie Carmount, curator of the Agnes Jamieson Gallery, located at the centre.
Carmount said the centre has procedures in place to ensure it can reopen in the safest and most COVID-friendly way.
“The requirements are that we need to have a hand sanitizing station and indications of distance. We want to make sure that people will keep that in mind,” noted Carmount.
“Hand sanitizing stations are placed throughout the cultural centre, the social distancing signage are also placed throughout the centre, and each area is restricted to limitations of how many people are allowed. These regulations will all be monitored by staff.”
When the centre receives approval, the gallery will open with a juried exhibition of 37 local and regional artists’ work, the museum and heritage village will have a new exhibition with more artifacts on display throughout the heritage buildings, and the heritage village will offe r tours through downtown Minden while using their new guide books as a way to learn the history of the area. Nature’s Place will also offer guided tours.
Cottagers, locals, and the staff at the centre are all thrilled to know that the centre will reopen, and that previously planned exhibits will still occur. One of the exhibitions is called Zone 4. It is a regional juried art exhibit for central eastern Ontario and there has been a great deal of anticipation from everyone to see it.
“There has been a lot of anticipation because everyone has been waiting since April to see and enjoy the large regional exhibit we had planned,” said Carmount. “We’re very grateful for the understanding that everybody’s had and the patience the artists have had as well.”
For more information on the Minden Hills Cultural Centre reopening, visit mindenhillsculturalcentre.blog/ or www.instagram.com/mindenhillsculturalcentre/?hl=en.