Ed Yewchin Sponsors Museum

Ed YewchinThe Nanaimo Museum has a new sponsor and friend. Local businessman Ed Yewchin has become the museum’s first individual Major Sponsor with his recent donation of $50,000. Ed says he was looking for a way to thank the community for its support when he opened his daily newspaper to find one of the museum’s Adopt an Artifact brochures had dropped into his lap. A history buff, Ed was immediately attracted to the idea of helping Nanaimo preserve its history, and so began his friendship with the museum.

Ed was originally from Burnaby and moved to Vancouver Island in the mid-seventies. He became owner of the Dairy Queen franchises at Terminal Park, now closed, the DQ at Country Club, from which he is semi-retired, and the DQ at Dickinson Crossing, which he sold. “In my own quiet way I wanted to say thanks to the community for supporting my businesses over the years,” he says.

Ed’s major sponsorship donation will be used to help create a new coal mining tunnel exhibit at the museum’s new premises in the Port of Nanaimo Centre. The coal mining tunnel, which was a very popular display at the museum’s old premises, will be new and much improved, says the museum’s general manager Deb Trueman. It will comprise Phase Three of the museum’s permanent exhibits and is expected to be unveiled next spring.

The museum’s Adopt an Artifact program also motivated Ed to adopt three of the museum’s $5,000 artifacts and he is shown here with an apothecary chest he sponsored. On behalf of his long-time family friend Drew Benda, Ed has ensured that Drew was able to adopt two of Nanaimo’s infamous cannons. One of the cannons is used in the daily cannon firing at the Bastion, the other is a cannonade that was formerly inside the Bastion but which will now be installed in the museum’s new gallery in a future exhibit phase.

“Drew is the best person in my life,” Ed says, “and I want her to show the cannons she adopted to her own children someday. “I love this city,” he says, “It’s the beauty of Nanaimo that I love, and I wanted Drew to be part of its history.” Ed has also adopted an apothecary chest from Nanaimo’s old Chinatown district. Ed now joins the Nanaimo Port Authority, Coastal Community Credit Union, and a joint sponsorship of four of Nanaimo’s Rotary Clubs as a major sponsor. His individual donation is surpassed only by that of Hilda Johns, who left the museum a bequeath in her will last year.

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