Covid-19 Safety Plan


The safety of our guests and staff is our top priority. We ask you to work together with us to keep the museum a safe space for yourself and everyone else. Things are going to be different when you visit to shop or to learn, but we are happy to welcome you back to the museum. 

Travel Update – effective till May 25: Due to the most recent BC health order guidelines, please do not book a visit unless you are a resident of Vancouver Island. We look forward to welcoming you back when the travel restrictions have lifted.

What’s open 

  • Museum Gallery – entry by Timed Admission slot (see below for our two new admission programs!)
  • Gift Shop – please use Commercial St. entrance and read all signage
  • Regular Hours of Operation for Spring 2021
    • Gift Shop: Tuesday – Saturday (10:00am – 4:00pm)
    • Museum Gallery:
      • Bubble Buddies Program (10:00am – 12:00pm)
      • Self-Guided Timed Entry (1:00pm – 4:00pm)
      • Please book your time slot ahead of time to ensure entry
  • Hours subject to change, please check Google for current information

What’s different

  • Masks are mandatory in the museum gift shop and gallery. Guests are encouraged to bring their own masks, however, we will have some disposable masks available as backup for guests who have forgotten theirs during the first month. Please let staff know if you have a medical concern that would prevent you from wearing a mask.
  • All events, rentals, meetings, educational programs and external tours have been cancelled until further notice.
  • Entry to the museum and gift shop will be through the Commercial St. entrance only.  There will be no access to the elevator from the parking garage until further notice.
  • Bathrooms are closed to the public.
  • The Bastion & Cannons – Due to concerns around social distancing, the Bastion will remain closed this season, and cannon firings have been cancelled until further notice.

Visiting the Museum Gallery 

We are providing TWO types of opportunities to visit the museum this summer: Self-Guided and Bubble Buddies visits. All entry to the gallery will be by timed admission tickets booked online, and tickets are open for booking up to two weeks before the visit date.

Self-guided visit:  

We are offering self-guided, self-paced exploration of the museum using timed entry to help ensure guests have a safe experience. Access to certain areas will be limited, but there will be Gallery Guides on-hand to access interactives, ask any questions you may have, and lead guests through areas such as Refuge Canada and the Coal Mine on an as available basis.

Detailed information on the event page. Groups of more than six please contact us directly to book at 250-753-1821

Bubble Buddies Program: 

The Nanaimo Museum is excited to offer a new in-depth museum visitor experience – the Bubble Buddies program. You will be met by one of our staff members and accompanied throughout your visit for a special one-on-one museum experience. This is a unique experience to explore the museum with an exclusive guide who can answer your history questions one on one, can show you items not normally on display, or can share behind-the-scenes stories!

  • Bubble Buddies is for 1-6 people in the same household or “bubble”
  • The museum will be closed to general admission during your 45 minute visit and you will only share the gallery with other Bubble Buddy program participants. 
  • Admission is FREE until September 18th thanks to a generous donation by the Stanley de Vos Fund at the Nanaimo Foundation.
  • Visit our Events Page to pick your date and time slot!

Detailed information on event page. Groups of more than six please contact us directly to book at 250-753-1821


What we’re doing to keep you safe 

  • Limiting numbers in the gift shop and museum gallery 
  • All staff will be wearing masks
  • Timed entry – see above for details on our new self-guided or bubble buddies programs
  • Encouraging physical distancing with signage, spacing ‘dots,’ and route markers. 
  • Providing physical barriers such as Plexiglas shields in customer service areas. 
  • Closing all hands-on, interactive elements to limit visitor contact in our galleries. One of our staff will be happy to help you with these elements upon request. 
  • Providing substantial access to hand sanitizer. 
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfecting throughout our facility. 
  • Strongly encouraging visitors to use their own wheelchairs onsite. 
  • No cash transactions – can process credit and debit cards with and without TAP 

What we’re asking of our visitors 

  • If you are feeling sick, or have any flu or cold like symptoms, please stay home. 
  • Stay home if you have:
    • Travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days
    • Been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19  
  • We ask that all visitors wear a mask during their visit to the museum either to shop or visit our gallery. 
  • We are practicing contact tracing as per WorkSafeBC and public health guidelines
  • Practice good hygiene
    • We have hand sanitizer available throughout the museum and gift shop.   
    • Avoid touching your face. 
    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow, even when wearing a mask. 
  • Keep your family unit together throughout your visit with children within reach at all times. 
  • Maintain physical distance with 6 feet/2 metres away from others. 
  • Please bring your own wheelchairs
  • Please be patient! 


The public washrooms at the museum will remain closed for the time being. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the museum. 


As with all museums and businesses the COVID-19 crisis has impacted our resources. Admission to the museum gallery is by donation for the season. However, if you would like to support our exhibit and programming development fund you can do so in person at the museum, online here on our website, or contact General Manager Sophia Maher at to discuss opportunities to support. We appreciate your support.

COVID Project – Get Involved! 

The Nanaimo Museum and Nanaimo Community Archives are partnering on a large-scale project to collect Nanaimo’s COVID-19 history. The project will unfold in phases to collect stories, photos, artifacts and interviews from our community. 

We are extending an open invitation for citizens of Nanaimo and the surrounding area to contribute their thoughts and reflections while history is being made. The stories and artifacts collected may be used in future exhibitions and as primary research material for future generations. 

COVID-19: Nanaimo Stories is expected to continue even after the immediate crisis is over as people process the impact of this global event in their own lives. 

Please share your story here: 


Booking Details