Newsletter February 2023
As I look out my window at what I hope are the last snowflakes of the season, I am thinking of the number of changes we’ve experienced over the last 12 – 18 months. Summer 2022 was busy, and with three staff, some recalled from layoff and others new hires, we improved our operational capabilities, allowing us to greet a greater number of visitors. In the fall we said goodbye to our operation and development manager, Giovanni Malcolm, who moved on to another company, and welcomed Nifemi Taiyese. Nifemi came on board as a museum floor supervisor and has settled into the role very nicely.
We also received a grant to develop a series of digital tours (more on that elsewhere in the newsletter) and the visitor service team has been working diligently to gather the content for them. newsletter)
With February ending, I have started searching for an operations and development manager and an assistant curator. The assistant curator is a new position that will help curator Bruce Davies with all things curatorial. I also expect to hire a seasonal employee, or two, to help with the increased visitor volumes we expect this summer. If the early part of the year is any indication, we could be quite busy!
I know we’ve been talking about the kitchen project regularly for a couple of years now, but the work is almost finished! The final finishes are being applied and we’re starting to look at exhibit design ideas in March. I expect to have a grand opening event for members as soon as we have the new exhibit installed and anticipate that will happen well before we get into high season in June.
There will be no change to our operating days and times in 2023 so the Castle will run Thursday through Sunday, opening at 10am with last admission at 4pm in the shoulder seasons. We will add Wednesday as we move into high season so visitors will have access five days a week. Please check the website or email email@example.com to confirm admission days.
As always, we couldn’t do what we do without the support from you, our members, our staff, volunteers,, and our hardworking Board of Directors.
With gratitude for all your support.
2023 marks the beginning of a new social media segment: the #ArchitectureAlphabet. Every 2 weeks, a unique architectural feature will be discussed alphabetically. There have been 4 posts made so far in this segment.
This series was inspired by the Saanich Heritage Foundation, who created an Architecture Alphabet colouring book in 2021. Their architecture alphabet focused more on exterior features of heritage homes around the Greater Victoria and Saanich area. In contrast, the Castle’s Architecture Alphabet will focus on both interior and exterior architectural features. As someone who frequently interacts with guests in the Castle, I have noticed that there is an increasing group of visitors that are interested in the architectural story of the Castle This segment aims to address and connect with those that have this interest.
Stay tuned for next week’s post for the letter E!
Have you followed us on social media?
Like us on Facebook at Craigdarroch Castle
Follow us on Instagram at @craigdarrochCastle
Building A Tour
Julia, Echo, And Nifemi have been busy creating a series of virtual tours designed for both use in the Castle and online via our website. These new digital offerings for museum guests also form a part of our accessibility initiative, allowing us to deliver a more accessible museum experience for visitors with disabilities.
When choosing topics for these tours we focused on areas of the Castle story that guests often ask for more information on. There are 10 tours total with topics ranging from the layout of the original 28-acre estate to the artwork within the Castle, the Architecture of the building and the stories of the women that have made the Castle their home. We have also created several tours aimed at children, including an interactive I-Spy tour and a seasonal Christmas tour.
We are working with Forager Media and Forager Education to develop and deliver this tour content. The Castle Society digital tour project is supported by a $72,330 grant from Pacific Economic Development.
Please follow this link for more information on the Pacific Economic Development program: https://www.canada.ca/en/pacific-economic-development.html
Coming to a Castle near you.
Jason Stevens is back to tell his version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island! Full of intrigue, adventure, and pirates, Stevens’ storytelling skills will transport you to the Hispaniola alongside Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver as they search for Captain Flint’s Treasure. Shows will take place at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm on March 23rd, 24th, 25th, 30th, 31st, and April 1st.
Members book your discount tickets today. Phone 250.592.5323, email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in to the Castle's Visitor Centre.
The busy festive season in the gift shop continued into January, with buoyant sales resulting in a significant increase on the same period last year. The annual stock take at the beginning of the year went smoothly and now we are re-ordering Castle-branded items in anticipation of the tourist season in a few months’ time. There will also be some new products appearing shortly – Emma Pyle has designed a tea towel for the Castle with the motif of a blue and white china teacup from the service in the Breakfast Room. This image will also be featured on tote bags, aprons and greeting cards and is sure to be popular. We will also be receiving copies of a new book, ‘Jac Be Nimble’ by James Peters, that centers on an art heist at the Castle and the ensuing game of ‘cat and mouse’ to catch the culprit and retrieve the stolen goods. It’s an entertaining read and stock will be available in a few weeks. It promises to be a busy Spring!
MEET THE DUNSMUIRS
Robert and Joan Dunsmuir had two sons, eight daughters and plenty of exploits. The Castle weaves a fascinating tale of this intriguing family – their achievements, their relationships and even their quirks.Learn More
ABOUT THE CASTLE
Built by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir during the reign of Queen Victoria and now a National Historic Site, Craigdarroch Castle has been meticulously restored, giving visitors a glimpse of privileged life in the 1890s.Learn More
PLAN YOUR VISIT
We are open for tours Thursday through Sunday from 10:00am – 4:00pm (closed Monday & Tuesday), (Please note that we are closed December 25th, 26th, and January 1st.)Learn More