Amateur spies try their hand at history in Alberni Valley’s museum

A chance dinner at the Batstar Café and Picnic has turned into a new, fun activity at the Alberni Valley Museum

A chance dinner at the Batstar Café and Picnic has turned into a new, fun activity at the Alberni Valley Museum.

Museum education curator Shelley Harding and collections curator Cindy Van Volsem were having dinner at the café one night and, for fun, they decided to play a National Geographic version of the popular “I Spy” series.

“We looked at each other and said, ‘we can do this at the museum,'” Van Volsem said. “She’s the education person. I’m the objects person. It was a neat way to put both our skills together.”

The duo developed the I Spy poster on their own time, and launched it last weekend.

The poster features more than 70 objects from the museum’s collection, with an alphabetical list of the items pictured. Kids can check off the items as they find them or just enjoy spotting all the different objects hidden on the page.

“It’s a different way of looking at the artifacts,” Harding said.

“From children to seniors, we’ve tested it and…it’s addictive and fun,” Van Volsem said.

“I was excited to see kids looking in the display cases in a different way.”

Some of the items included in the poster are things that children in today’s day and age may only recognize from a photo or a museum display – things such as a Kazoo, antique buttons, milk caps from glass milk bottles, metal upright vacuums and more.

“This is a way of taking a little of the museum away with you,” Harding said.

The posters are available for $3.95 each. The Alberni Valley Museum is open five days a week from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (and until 8 p.m. on Thursdays). For more information, please call 723-2181.

(Click here for Port Alberni Tourism)