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PoCo Heritage welcomes new museum manager

Alex Code was appointed to the top job to replace Kanchan Lal.
Alex Code is the new museum manager at PoCo Heritage.

PoCo Heritage has a new manager for its museum and archives.

This month, Alex Code was appointed to the top job to replace Kanchan Lal, who is now the programs co-ordinator at the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

Previously, Code worked at PoCo Heritage as its educational programs assistant under the Canada Summer Jobs program while laid off from the Burnaby Village Museum as a museum interpreter. Code was also a military interpreter at the Fort Henry National Historic Site in Kingston, Ont., where he obtained his master’s degree in history from Queen’s University last year.

While the PoCo Heritage building remains closed due to the pandemic, Code said he’s been busy developing digital projects including some tool kits for teachers.

Recently, he posted the PoCo Heritage Art Walk map, a 2.3-km route that highlights public art in the downtown core.

And, as of Dec. 1, Code and his team of volunteers will reveal more than 30 tiny Christmas trees in the McAllister Avenue space; the public can vote on their favourite 20-inch trees until Dec. 13, using a QR code on the museum window or via The winners, who will be announced Dec. 14, will receive trophies and cash prizes donated by Coun. Dean Washington, Sandra Craig, Wilson Pharmacy, Western Sky Books and Coronation Recognition.

Still, the miniature trees can only be viewed from the outside of The Outlet because of physical distancing restrictions. “We intentionally didn’t want people to come inside,” Code said. “We want everyone to be safe from COVID.”

Among the businesses and groups that entered the 8th annual Christmas Tree Festival are Kelly Girl Vintage, Job’s Daughters, PoCo Garden Club, Art Focus Artists Association and PoCo Foundation.

Sponsored by the Downtown PoCo Business Improvement Association, Forrest Marine and PoCo MLA Mike Farnworth, the festival also extends to the Gathering Place in Leigh Square: Three memorial trees are donated by councillors Washington and Nancy McCurrach as well as Mayfair/Astoria plus two large trees are on show from Kutak Development and RBC Fremont Village branch.

Meanwhile, the scavenger hunt will also proceed this year. Successful participants can score prizes from Me-n-Ed’s and the RBC Fremont Village branch.

Beside the festival, Code recently wrapped up filming the museum’s current exhibit for online audiences. The video for “F” Words: Flu, Fire, Flood and Financial Fears, which launched in February at PoCo Heritage, is set to be released early next year.