A Special Advisory Committee formed to explore and recommend viable and sustainable options for the future of the R. Tait McKenzie and Dr. James Naismith collections at the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area Museum is making progress.
A call for members was made in September and the Committee was struck in October following the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority’s (MVCA) review of its programs and services in order to manage new funding constraints imposed by Provincial Bill 108 (More Homes, More Choice Act), passed in June 2019. Since the museum is not expected to be considered core to the Conservation Authority’s mandate under the new regulation, MVCA initiated discussions on how to keep the heritage building open for community use.
“It’s important to view this as an opportunity and to imagine what the museum could be,” said Jeff Atkinson, an MVCA Board Member and Co-Chair of the Committee. “To be clear, any recommendation this Committee makes involves the collection remaining at its current location at the Mill of Kintail.”
The Committee, which includes members from the Ontario Museum Association, fundraising, municipal and not-for-profit sectors, has met twice since November. Combining their expertise and desire to see the museum grow and succeed, the group is working to bring their recommendations to the MVCA Policy and Priorities Committee meeting in March, which will then be presented to the MVCA Board of Directors.
“Knowing how precious both collections are to the community, the Committee is very much looking forward to engaging with stakeholders and the public,” said Christa Lowry, an MVCA Board Member and Co-Chair of the Committee. “Public consultation is expected to take place in late January or early February, giving opportunity for the community to provide feedback on proposed recommendations.”
It’s anticipated the new provincial regulations will be released by spring 2020 and it will be business as usual for the R. Tait McKenzie and Dr. James Naismith Museums when they open for the season next May.
For more information, visit www.mvc.on.ca/museumcommittee.
MVCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario. Formed in 1968, MVCA’s mandate is to manage the watershed’s resources in partnership with our eleven member municipalities and the Province of Ontario. For more information, visit www.mvc.on.ca, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.