The big move is well underway at the Revelstoke Nickelodeon museum, and the Cowichan Valley will see the benefits.
Leslie and David Evans have packed up their impressive collection of old time music machines and other devices, and are bringing it to their new home in Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island, ending 10 years of operating Revelstoke’s most unique attraction, if not one of the most original in Canada.
"We’re semi-retiring, is the idea," said David on the phone from their new home. "Running a gift shop in a high street location isn’t what we want to be doing in our 80s and 90s."
The Evans came to Revelstoke about 10 years ago, when they purchased the historic McKinnon building on First Street and moved their huge collection of mechanical musical instruments here from England.
It took five shipping crates to bring over the collection, including an 18th century barrel organ, a small Dutch street organ, musical pocket watches, magic lanterns, player pianos, music boxes, gramophones, juke boxes, radios, various rare instruments, and a 650-piece pipe organ.
"The smallest is the musical pocket watch and the largest is the pipe organ," said David.
All told, the collection consists of some 600 items, and it’s all going with them to Cowichan Bay, where they’ll set it up in their home and give tours by appointment.
The Nickelodeon Museum attracted about 2,000 visitors every year and didn’t cover its costs. David also did watch repair.
"We met some wonderful people and we had a great time there and that’s what it’s all about," he said.