Some of the Price family check out the interpretive centre.

Museum and BC Hydro collaborate on John Hart interpretive centre

Museum staff will be on-site at the interpretive centre welcoming visitors and adding historical perspective

The John Hart Project Interpretive Centre is kicking it up a notch by being open more days per week along with new enhancements through a developed partnership with the Museum at Campbell River.

“The whole purpose of the centre is to provide a means for people to find out more about the facility history and the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project,” says BC Hydro’s John Hart Project Communications Lead, Stephen Watson. “The feedback so far has been really good. I am particularly pleased that the school district, through a partnership, has been sending teachers and students to the centre to learn about the site, and then walking down the Millennium Trail to the generating station with their bus waiting for them. It’s a nice overview experience.

“We will now be having an enhanced visitor experience through museum staff, with BC Hydro covering the cost, bringing their time and Museum perspectives to the interpretive centre,” adds Watson. “It’s value-added by showcasing the people side of the story. There’s important history on this hydroelectric system over the past 67 years, from Mike King and the initial race to stake the falls, Roderick Haig-Brown, to the Price Family, and many other stories that can be told. People will now see not just the physical elements of the hydroelectric system, but the people that made things happen. BC Hydro is really looking forward to this relationship with the museum.”

Starting May 14, the centre will be open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., ending in early September. The days the centre will be open beyond that will re-evaluated.

“This partnership has taken a few years to develop,” says museum associate director, Sandra Parrish. “It’s important that the museum represents all sides of the hydroelectric development of the Campbell River system. Some people were supportive of the hydroelectric system when it was first built and some not so much. For us it’s all about balance and we think we have found the right balance. Museum staff will be on-site at the interpretive centre welcoming visitors and adding a historical perspective throughout the upcoming season.

“In addition, here at the museum, we are currently working on a small exhibit which will complement the displays at the centre,” adds Parrish. “Our intent is to encourage visitation between the two sites – John Hart Project Interpretive Centre and the museum. We are appreciative of BC Hydro for their openness. It should be a good experience and I encourage people to check it out.”

BC Hydro has offered the 14’x40’ interpretive centre building to the Museum once the John Hart project is complete.

The centre is located off Brewster Lake Road by Highway 28. There were 206 visitors in the month of April.