The Royal Saskatchewan Museum is excited to open its doors even further than last year, as summer really gets into swing in July and August.
The popular Regina museum is now open seven days a week, from 9:45 a.m. until 5 p.m., according to shared visitor experience supervisor Sarah Schafer.
The move to daily operations is a new approach this year, aimed towards increasing accessibility for patrons after the museum was so limited during last summer.
“We’re just looking forward to seeing everybody again, back at the museum,” said Schafer.
Almost all of the exhibits are available for viewing — including Scotty the T.rex, the largest Tyrannosaurus rex ever uncovered — with the exception of the Human Factor exhibit.
“[That area] is now under construction for a new exhibit that we are opening in the Spring of 2022, and it is called ‘Home,’” said Schafer.
Currently, visitors are asked to head online and book a time slot to explore the museum’s exhibits, to help staff maintain safety measures for the entire building.
Although operating hours are changing and expanding, summer programming is staying the virtual course for a little while longer, admitted Schafer — at least until more details come down the line regarding in-person events.
The RSM has been hosting various information video series on its website and YouTube channel, in place of in-person programming recently, and will continue to do so for a while yet.
Schafer encouraged patrons to visit those videos, especially the recent series filmed for Indigenous History Month in June.
“We’ve got some great knowledge keepers and cultural leaders who’ve done video workshops and culture talks that people can check out,” said Schafer.
Confirmed on the calendar for mid-August is also Scotty the T.rex’s Unearthing Day, which the RSM celebrates every year.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Scotty’s discovery near Eastend, Sask. in 1991, and Schafer said that while details aren’t hammered down yet, the RSM is hoping to plan some kind of in-person component to the event.
“We don’t necessarily call it a birthday. We call it an ‘unearthing’ day, because that’s when the fossil was discovered, so we do hope to have something in and around that,” said Schafer.
Preparations for new school programming in the fall are also underway, said Schafer, with details still in the works.
All in all, Schafer said that for now, the RSM is just enthusiastic about taking small steps forward to re-opening more fully — but she also hinted that changes may be on the horizon, especially after July.
“We’re still kind of working our way back to ‘normal,’ and it won’t be an immediate change,” said Schafer. “We want everyone to remember to just keep an eye on our social media and our website as we work through these stages of reopening Saskatchewan, because it will change how people are going to visit.”