Interpretive Centre expands hours

Museum at Campbell River staff teams with BC Hydro to operate centre as Elk Falls Suspension Bridge boosts visitor traffic

BC Hydro and the Museum at Campbell River are encouraging people to come out to visit the John Hart Project Interpretive Centre with its extended open days, to walk the trails through the forest and take in the spectacular Elk Falls Suspension Bridge.

“The interpretive centre is off to a great start for the first four months of 2015,” BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson says. “Through April we’ve had 1,225 visitors and that’s twice as much as 2014. But with the opening of the Elk Falls Suspension Bridge on May 8, the number of visitors has skyrocketed.”

Since May 9, Watson said, the interpretive centre had about 1,100 visitors the first five days it was open.

The centre, previously open three days a week, is now open five days a week, Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The area is unique and picturesque with the combination of an operating hydroelectric facility with an interpretive centre, a Class A Provincial Park, and a world-class suspension bridge – and there’s no charge or fee to see any of it,” says Watson. “We’ve heard from a few people this week, mostly from Vancouver, who are pleasantly surprised there’s no charge. It’s great for the pocketbook.”

SD72 teachers and students continue to take advantage of a BC Hydro partnership with SD72, where BC Hydro covers the cost of the bus trip, so students can go through the centre and walk the public trail system.

The centre continues to be a place to keep apprised of the project through construction reports, wall panels and videos. The Museum at Campbell River staffs the centre and has a kiosk on the local social history, amongst other sources of reference. Public feedback continues to be very good and is documented by the Museum at Campbell River guest sign-in book.

“This is the first anniversary of a pilot project, worked out by BC Hydro and the museum about two years prior, of our staff bringing a valued added experience to visitors on the social history,” says Sandra Parrish, executive director of the Museum at Campbell River. “This partnership is a benefit to BC Hydro, the museum, and ultimately the community. This has become a wonderful opportunity to expand the museum within the community.”

“BC Hydro is proud of the ongoing and strong relationship with the museum, and I can’t say enough about their friendly staff,” said Watson. “I’m so pleased the museum is directly involved with the John Hart project.”