AHNB Annual Report 2023
The Association Heritage New Brunswick’s mission is to Promote the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and appreciation of New Brunswick’s heritage resources.
- In the past year, the Executive Director participated in meetings with the Dept. of Canadian Heritage, the Canadian Museums Association (CMA), and the Provincial and Territorial Associations (PTMAs) to discuss issues facing museums across the country and share results from surveys that clearly demonstrate the value of community museums held by Canadians.
As a group we:
- Have had several meetings with the Dept. of Canadian Heritage on the National Museum Policy. The PTMAs recommend the following key points.
A) The Government of Canada works to increase Museum Assistance Program (MAP) funding to $50,000,000 by 2028.
a) MAP funding has not been adjusted for inflation since the 1970s. If MAP funding had kept pace with inflation, annual funding would be around $100 million. Increase MAP annual funding to $50,000,000 by 2028.
b) Create a stream of MAP funding to support operating costs.
c) Create a stream of MAP funding to support PTMA’s work.
d) Create a stream of MAP that supports sustainability initiatives, green infrastructure, and climate change mitigation.
B) Create new components of MAP that offers dedicated funding to support specific concerns of Indigenous arts, culture, and heritage, and increase the funding available across all Indigenous MAP streams.
a) Create a stream of MAP that offers dedicated, ongoing financial support for repatriation/rematriation research and work.
b) Create a stream of MAP that MAP supports capacity-building (both in terms of training and in terms of infrastructure) for First Nations, Indigenous cultural centres, and Indigenous-led heritage organizations.
c) Consult Indigenous communities and heritage professionals to remove barriers from current and future funding programs and ensure that all programs are responsive to community needs.
C) Revise Young Canada Works (YCW) funding to better reflect the realities of the modern and future workforce.
a)Remove age restrictions on YCW funding.
b)Require all YCW-funded positions to pay, at minimum, a living wage.
c)Reduce administrative barriers and payment delays that make this program more accessible to smaller museums and heritage institutions.
D) Modernize all aspects of how the policy defines, views, and supports museums and museum workers/volunteers.
a) Redefine “heritage institutions” to include a broader array of institutions and remove the requirement that heritage institutions hold collections.
b) Modernize services like CHIN and CCI to include more timely and relevant support and learning opportunities.
c) Develop a framework to assess applicants’ equity and reconciliation work when adjudicating MAP grants to ensure that heritage institutions are supporting equity and actioning UNDRIP in their work and governance. And offer funding for museums to access equity and reconciliation training.
- Have been working with CCI (Canadian Conservation Institute) and CHIN (Canadian Heritage Information Network) on how they can improve their programming to meet the needs of Canadian museums;
- And continue to recommend the Dept. of Canadian Heritage to expand the Museums Assistance Program to reach beyond collections-based activities.
- National Trust for Canada
The National Trust’s Heritage Reset in Action group meets regularly to gather insight into how the Heritage Reset should move forward with diversity and inclusivity at the forefront. Most recently, attendees were polled on the paradigms and tangible actions they see as viable for the future. More discussion is planned for the near future as well as a survey of the National Trust’s 2023 conference delegates.
- The AHNB had a face-to-face meeting with the Minister, Tammy Scott-Wallace (THC), Deputy Minister, Yennah Hurley (THC), and Shannon Ferris (Executive Director, Heritage and Museums Division).
- Two employees at AHNB are required. One full-time person to focus on Museum initiatives and one full-time person to focus on Built Heritage initiatives. The allocation of our grant was designated for one full-time staff member and one part-time staff member, thereby precluding the possibility of accommodating two full-time positions. Unfortunately, the grant does not allocate enough resources to develop successful programs.
- Necessary support is needed for local built heritage initiatives and programs e.g. Tax abatement, granting programs for affordable housing, & policy and laws to enable action on vacant premises.
- Museum Evaluation Program – Museums require support for operations, staff training, retention, fundraising, collections management, governance, and succession planning.
- Capitalizing on sustainable trends driving consumer behavior such as Inclusion, Truth and Reconciliation, and the environment.
2. The President attended a Pre-Budget Consultation with the Hon. Ernie Steeves. These consultations cover specific topics, and this year’s topics included Healthcare, Education, Private Sector, Vibrant and Sustainable Communities and Tourism.
a) Museum interests go beyond their collections and the walls of their buildings. They serve as a hub for the community and instill a sense of pride. Recent stats have proven that Museums improve mental health, increase one’s lifespan and even make you smarter.
b) Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
c) Visiting Museums can reduce stress and studies have found it is effective at preventing the recurrence of depressive episodes.
a) Museums and heritage sites–are currently an untapped resource within our communities.
b) Lifelong Learning -70% or more of work-related learning occurs outside formal training. A single visit to a museum can expose students to in-depth information on a subject, where they are free to form their own unique experience and take away information that interests them.
a) Community College courses – encourage NBCC to establish courses that will address the unique/valuable aspects of heritage buildings. Skilled tradesmen who understand the special needs of heritage buildings.
Vibrant and sustainable community
a) Support for the conservation of our unique heritage buildings both through grants and legislative tools will build on the rich resources we have in these assets and ensure they assist the province in realizing their value.
b) Community museums receive only small operating grants from the Province, but play a crucial role in job creation, volunteerism, and promoting health and wellness.
c) The most sustainable building is a building left standing. Renovating or repurposing heritage buildings saves landfill space by reusing durable materials that can last for centuries with proper maintenance. In contrast, most modern building materials only last 30-50 years.
a) Heritage tourism is booming, with museums and historic sites playing a crucial role. New Brunswick has 1628 registered historic places and 125 museums and historic sites that instill community pride. The “Explorer’s Quotient” confirms that museums and historic sites are essential to attract tourists.
3. A Survey was written and sent to all Party Leaders asking them to share with us their views on the following:
1) Because New Brunswick’s rich cultural heritage is a major attraction for tourists, can you provide information on how your party plans to safeguard and preserve New Brunswick’s significant and irreplaceable heritage sites and museums as well as pursue a firm schedule for opening a revitalized New Brunswick Museum.
2) Can you please share with us any initiatives your party has to enhance the number of skilled workers for heritage buildings? We would also like to inquire about your party’s stance on retrofitting buildings as a potential solution to address New Brunswick’s housing shortage and reduce carbon emissions.
3) How your party might support the heritage sector in its continued efforts toward awareness and reconciliation with First Nations, and with other long-standing cultural communities in our society.
Their responses will be posted on our website when they are received. It is important to note that they have been given the time necessary to respond before New Brunswick’s next Provincial election.
4. TIANB – Tourism Industry Association New Brunswick
As a TIANB Board member, our Executive Director attended the TIANB Summit in Edmundston. Kellie made several contacts on behalf of AHNB including:
a) A group from Destination Saint John to discuss next year’s conference;
b) A group from the Indigenous Tourism Association New Brunswick including Karen Narvey, Executive Director, ITANB to discuss initiatives within the museum community, and invite them to attend a webinar hosted by AHNB titled Moved to Action: Activating UNDRIP in Canadian Museumswith Stephanie Danyluk (CMA Senior Manager, Community Engagement and Indigenous Initiatives;
c) Connor McKiggan, from Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce to discuss inclusion initiatives and the possibility of attending their upcoming virtual conference.
HERITAGE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
- Our 2022 Annual Conference in Dieppe saw 70 member institutions attend our annual AGM and Conference over three days. We extend our appreciation to Jeanne-Mance Cormier, Lawren Campbell, and Dominique Gélinas for their excellent work on the Conference Program. Revenue = $15,720.15 (includes the Silent Auction $612.93 & Sponsorship $500) minus Expenses (Hotel Rental & Food $9,138.97 + Translation Services $5,853.79 + Bus Rental $431.25 + Equipment Rental $552 + Awards $224.46 + MISC $104.70) equals -$585.02.
2. CCI Workshop: CCI Workshop Introduction to the Care of Textiles (postponed due to Federal Strike)
- Three webinars in both official languages:
These webinars are possible due to the financial support from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s MAP program. These webinars have been added to our previous list of 22 educational webinars found on our website.
- Webinar Title: The Fantastic, Unbelievable, definitely Not-ordinary Tour (The F.U.N. Tour): a participatory programming case study presented by Will Kernohan from the Roosevelt Campobello International Park.
- Webinar Title – Basic Preservation Best Practices for Small and Community Heritage Institutions presented by Evelyn Fidler, Assistant Director of Heritage Resources at Kings Landing. March 2023.
- Webinar titled Moved to Action: Activating UNDRIP in Canadian Museumswith Stephanie Danyluk (CMA Senior Manager, Community Engagement and Indigenous Initiatives.
- Our heritage education efforts continued this year during our 6th annual Love Your Covered Bridges Days campaign. The annual event attracts communities who want to participate in our campaign and showcase their communities’ covered bridge. The covered bridges that participated this year were Sawmill Creek and the Hartland Covered Bridge. Our Facebook campaign successfully engaged over 5,000 people for the New Brunswick Family Day long weekend. Following meetings with the tourism group, Friends of Fundy, multiple Covered Bridges are eager to participate in 2024.
Other initiatives of the AHNB:
1 – TOP TEN ENDANGERED PLACES LIST
This nomination-based program allows private citizens and organizations to bring attention to heritage places in their area that are under threat of demolition, neglect, or inappropriate redevelopment. The goal of the list is to increase the chances of conserving these sites for future generations.
The properties that make up the 2023 Endangered Places List are:
80 Main Street in Saint John, NB – Built in 1899 by the prominent architect George Ernest Fairweather, this beautiful custom duplex was constructed for Robert B. Travis, a local pharmacist. This home is located between other eye-catching homes on Main Street that speak to the wealth and grandeur that once existed in the area. It has been vacant for at least 3 years, and it has been on Saint John’s Vacant and Dangerous Buildings list for quite some time. Losing this home would negatively impact the community as it is a huge contributor to the beauty of the surrounding streetscape and the property has great potential.
St. Bernard’s Rectory, 43 Botsford Street, Moncton, NB – This designated Local Historic Place is significant for its association with the Roman Catholic Church in Moncton and its impressive Norman-Gothic architectural style. Though it has been for sale a few times in the past few years, a successful plan for adaptive reuse has not been successfully carried out. The stonework is in desperate need of repair and work is required on the roof before this building can live out its full potential.
The Church of St. John the Evangelist, 75 Main Street, Fredericton, NB – Otherwise known as “Stone Church”, St. John the Evangelist is an Anglican church that was consecrated by Bishop John Medley in 1856. It was built to fulfill the needs of the community in Douglas Parish who did not have close access to a church at the time. It was built in the Gothic Revival style that Bishop Medley used in hopes of spreading Anglicanism throughout New Brunswick. Though it was originally intended to be built of wood, it was constructed using local stones donated by the Robinson family, who also donated the land it was built on. Unfortunately, the building needs repairs to such an extent that the community can no longer worship there, and instead they use a more modern structure. It will require a new roof and other repairs, but the building still has great potential for a business, non-profit, arts venue, or other venture.
Vogue Theatre, 9 Bridge Street, Sackville, NB – Sackville’s commercial district is home to the Vogue Theatre, an Art Deco style single-screen theatre that was built in 1946. It features a terrazzo floor in the lobby that is unique in the area and remains in very good condition. It has been continuously used as a theatre since it opened, but unfortunately the building has recently been put up for sale. Despite having a new roof installed a few years back, the property has sustained considerable damage during the fundraising period, and some areas have signs of dry rot. The future of the Vogue Theatre is unclear, but the building holds immense potential and is situated in a perfect location to become a cultural center for the community. With the right buyers, the venue can continue to provide entertainment for the community for many years.
William Mitton Bridge, Mitton Road, Albert County, NB – The heritage value of this bridge is significant not only because it is a covered bridge, but because of its unique truss system and status in the community. The bridge’s truss design most closely resembles a variation of the Queen Truss system, and most of the other bridges in the province use the Howe or Burr Truss designs. It is commonly used by locals for wedding and graduation photos, and it is often chosen as a necessary tourist stop for those nearby to experience one of our province’s most exceptional heritage features. Unfortunately, it is currently not structurally sound enough to support pedestrians, let alone vehicles. There is great concern that the sagging of the bridge, wood rot, erosion of the riverbank, and leaking roof will eventually lead to the collapse of the bridge, which may cause injuries or other damage.
We hope that by calling attention to these heritage properties we may stimulate interest in them that leads to them being maintained for the benefit of future generations.
The Built Heritage Committee is actively engaged in researching the development of a novel NB Demolition Tracking System. The key objective of the committee is to keep abreast of the latest developments in the field of heritage resource management and conservation and to ensure that the NB Demolition Tracking System is designed to align with the best practices. In this regard, the committee wants to collaborate with experts in the field to develop an innovative and reliable system. The success of this initiative will not only provide valuable insights into the heritage resources that are at risk of being lost, but also demonstrate our commitment to preserving the cultural legacy of NB for future generations.
2 – DIRECTORY OF EXPERTISE AND MATERIALS – We continue to add to our directory of professionals and tradespeople.
3 – INVENTORY – Erin Jeffries, our Built Heritage Officer has done excellent work over the past two years adding NB heritage sites each week to our Facebook Page. This has served as an educational resource for New Brunswickers, emphasizing the importance of our Built Heritage. These heritage sites are subsequently integrated into our database.
1) Province of New Brunswick, Department Tourism, Culture and Heritage – Annual Operations Grant for 2023 – $90,000
2) Two Student Interns through the Office of Experiential Education at UNB – A Communications Assistant for 14 weeks ($5,107.00) and a Heritage Project Coordinator for 16 weeks ($6,810.00) were hired.
3) The 48th annual National Trust Conference was held from October 20th to the 22nd 2022 in Toronto. Its theme centered around the Heritage Reset and making critical choices. Erin, our Built Heritage Officer received the Herb Stovel Scholarship to attend. The conference provided education on the direction of the industry in terms of diversity and inclusion.
4) Professional and Organizational Development in Museology Program ($576) – The 2023 Museums Canada Summit was held from March 25th to the 28th and the focus of the conference was “Change, then Change Again”. The sessions highlighted how museums need to be constantly evolving to maintain relevancy.
5) Professional and Organizational Development in Museology Program of the Archaeology and Heritage Branch for $558 to support Staff’s attendance at the National Trust Conference, “Transforming Heritage” in Ottawa, ON from October 25-28, 2023.
COLLECTIVE ACCESS DATABASE
37 NB Museums are currently using CollectiveAccess. THC and the AHNB upgraded the CollectiveAccess database by moving to a new server, OVHcloud. The new server has better security and more storage space. We now have 6 terabytes as opposed to 1 terabyte.
During our 2022 AGM, Members of the Association approved our new 3-year Strategic Plan. Following their approval, every committee proceeded to develop new Terms of Reference to guide their future actions soon to be posted on our website. A list of AHNB’s committees is as follows:
1) Strategic Planning Committee – Lawren Campbell, Chair
Mandate: a) Create a current list of strategic priorities for the Association to implement in order to achieve its mission and enhance the services it provides to its members; b) Develop a current Yearly Strategic Plan to be approved by the Board of Directors for implementation; c) Review, monitor, update, and report the progress of the current AHNB Strategic Plan.
2) Communications and Advocacy Committee – Gerry Gillcash, Chair
Mandate: a) Communicate, promote, and support the activities, news events, and public image of AHNB; b) Advocate on behalf of New Brunswick’s Museums and Built Heritage to emphasize their fundamental importance to our province and its people; C) Identifying issues provincially and nationally that touch on the built heritage and museum field that requires action from the AHNB.
3) Museums Steering Committee – Lauren Coté, Chair
Mandate: a) Provide leadership, assistance, and support to museums in NB in areas such as governance, collections management, and public programming to meet basic professional standards; b) Facilitate training, coaching, and guidance to NB museums to achieve key/essential museum standards; c) Recommend templates, toolkits and resources for NB museums to be made available on the AHNB website; d) Work with museum professionals to develop a Museum Evaluation Program.
4) Built Heritage Committee – Marian Beyea & Alice Fudge, Co-chairs
Mandate: a) Promote and provide leadership in conserving New Brunswick’s historic, architectural, and cultural sites as a dynamic legacy contributing to our identity; b) Support an understanding of our past; c) Promote reuse to meet social and environmental needs, while invigorating local sustainable economies.
5) 2023 Conference Committee – Melanie Wade and Katherine Biggs-Craft, Co-Chairs
Mandate: a) Ensure that a well-balanced, high-quality agenda of topics is organized and presented at the conference following AHNB Board approval; b) Ensure that all expenditures remain within a proposed budget; c) Ensure all programming and presenters are professional, relevant, and meet the current needs of NB Museums and Built Heritage professionals and volunteers.
The ongoing work of our Association continues through grant applications, reports, communications, and assistance to our members. The AHNB is sustained by the work and contributions of many people. We want to thank everyone who volunteers to serve on the Board as well as our volunteers who help to keep us moving forward. I’d like to give a special thank you to the amazing folks who made the 2023 Conference possible: the Saint John Fundy Heritage Zone Members, and the incredible Committee Chairs, Melanie Wade and Katherine Biggs-Craft. Amazing work folks!
As we reflect on the past and look towards the future, we are grateful for the contributions of Past President Gaëtane Saucier-Nadeau, who joined the Board in 2013, and board members Lee Sochasky and Pierre Cormier, both of whom have completed their 6-year term. We want to thank Ken Walker, Lauren Coté, Phillippe Basque, and Aline Landry for their contributions to AHNB. Although they had to step down due to other commitments, we are grateful for their hard work and wish them the best in their future endeavors. We are grateful to all the folks mentioned above for their commitment and service as volunteers. Their dedication is admirable, and we will continue building on their legacy.
Gerry Gillcash, President AHNB-APNB
Kellie Blue, Executive Director AHNB-APNB