Association Heritage New Brunswick Annual Report 2019-2020
The Association Heritage New Brunswick’s activities continue to be guided by the Strategic Plan approved by our organization’s membership at the AGM in November 2018 which established its mission to Promote the conservation, preservation, interpretation and appreciation of New Brunswick’s heritage resources.
In this respect, the first goal stated in the strategic plan is to be the voice of heritage. In the past year the Executive Director participated in monthly meetings with the CMA and all of the Provincial and Territorial Associations across Canada to work on a National Strategy in relation to advocacy, museum funding and the National Museum Policy.
As a group:
- We recommended the Dept. of Canadian Heritage simplify the funding application process for museums.
- We recommended the Dept. of Canadian Heritage review funding streams for museums with the goal of establishing a more sustainable funding system.
- We recommended the Dept. of Canadian Heritage review and update the National Museum Policy to bring it into the 21st century.
- We recommended the Dept. of Canadian Heritage expand the Museums Assistance Program to reach beyond collections-based activities.
- We have begun to work on establishing a national best practices policy in relation to Truth and Reconciliation.
- It was discussed that Community Museums are not recognized by Government. Treatment for our Associations and Museums are inconsistent when compared to the Arts and Tourism Associations.
- We recommended that Community Museums need funding for Digital work.
As a group, (CMA & PTMAs), also sent letters to the leaders of all the federal political parties, highlighting the importance of museums and seeking each parties’ positions on critical questions for the sector. Party Leaders were asked to share their election commitments for the museum and heritage sector; their views on the importance and role of museums; and, if elected, how they intend to respond to recommendations made by the museum community.
The Executive Director is also working with the PTMAs across the country on The Reimagining Museums project spearheaded by the Association Museums Alberta.
This is a three-year project as funded by the Strategic Initiatives Component within the Department of Canadian Heritage to transform our sector and reinforce our importance in the minds and agendas of governments, stakeholders, and the general public. This project will compile important statistical data from across the country that the CMA and the Provincial and Territorial Associations can use to our advantage Provincially and Nationally as we move forward.
Several meetings were held with the Minister of the Canadian Heritage, Steven Guilbeault and his team. Initially the Minister was interested in the development of the museum policy framework, as well as the reconciliation/repatriation efforts and cultural diplomacy. Then Covid-19 happened. A ZOOM meeting was set up to coincide with the CMAs Annual Meeting where the AHNB was given the opportunity to ask a question of the Minister. The AHNB’s question focused on emergency funding for museums during this time of crisis. Following weeks of ZOOM meetings with the CMA and all of PTMAs, the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Heritage Organizations – Museums Assistance Program was established.
The Executive Director wrote A letter of support was written and submitted on behalf of the National Trust for Canada project.
The National Trust and their partners (AHNB included) sent a letter to federal ministers recommending $200 million in federal stimulus funds be earmarked for projects at heritage places. This project will create “green” jobs, spur private investment and contribute to community resilience over the long term.
Our Executive Director has attended several Zone meetings in an effort to better understand the needs of the NB Museum sector and to update members on specific topics. She has conducted a few on-line surveys to understand the needs of community museums throughout the province to advocate on their behalf. We thank you for your participation as this is important for us to better understand your needs.
Two letters were sent to the Deputy Minister, (THC), Yennah Hurley requesting a meeting; one just prior to the provincial shut down and then one in April to set up a ZOOM Meeting. We have not had a response as of yet.
Letters were also sent to all the political parties during the NB election, urging their party to commit to prioritizing continued support for museums and the built heritage sector in our province.
In the letter, the AHNB highlighted the urgent need for sustainable funding to help foster strong, vibrant, community-based museums that are valued and supported by society. We encouraged each party to recognize the important role that museums and New Brunswick’s built heritage play in their platform during the election, based on the fact that museums and our built heritage have the capacity to unite us in meaningful ways; contribute significantly to the provincial coffers as beacons for NB Tourism; increase societal well-being, and even help combat climate change through the rehabilitating and greening of our older buildings.
Following the election, Premier Blain Higgs was sent a congratulatory letter on his successful campaign and a request to meet with the Premier and the Deputy Minister was made to speak on how we can help him move forward on two of his campaign commitments; 1) saving our built heritage is better for the environment and will help him to reach his goal as an emissions reduction leader and 2) how museums play an important role in welcoming immigrants into our communities.
The second goal set out in the strategic plan is to facilitate heritage education opportunities. Our 2019 Annual Conference in the Miramichi proved to be very successful. 97 people attended the Conference, where we had 14 concurrent sessions on relevant topics important to museums and built heritage; a bus tour; a walking tour and an opening reception and an awards banquet.
We also held a two day CCI Workshop on building different styled mannequins for displaying heritage costumes. 11 participants from NB and NS attended.
Four webinars in both official languages were held with the help of a grant from the Dept. of Canadian Heritage MAP program. These webinars have been added to our website for future use.
- Museums, Heritage, and Reconciliation in New Brunswick
- Creating a Museum Visitor Experience
- Building an Exhibition Scenario
- Introduction to Google My Business
Louisiana Cultural Initiative with Guy Tremblay, Marion Beyea and Benjamin Broucke
This cultural initiative is open to francophone, anglophone and aboriginal communities interested in fostering projects between New Brunswick and Louisiana. The objective is to promote the reciprocal benefits of good cultural relations. The task force aims to take on a series of activities: easing the process of crossing the border, collaboration on cross-border projects, promotion of cultural offerings and tourism projects, information exchange on best practices, the development of new cultural and tourism possibilities.
Our heritage education efforts have moved to participating communities where volunteers Lawren Campbell and Lars Schwarz have contributed several YouTube videos on heritage buildings etc. that are found in Moncton and Fredericton. These videos support our third goal of facilitating and supporting heritage awareness, appreciation and conservation and are found on our website under the tab “Our Stories”. We hope to continue to add these heritage stories on an ongoing basis.
The 3rd annual Love Your Covered Bridges campaign proved to be very successful, as it attracted many participants from around the Province. Our theme this year was Kissing Bridges and we were very fortunate to have Lawren Campbell create a YouTube video showing two youngsters entering the bridge, as he spoke on the history of covered bridges, the importance of preserving them, and how they came to be known as Kissing Bridges. At the end of the video an older couple exiting the bridge share a kiss and as Lawren stated, if we take care of our covered bridges as we do our important relationships, they will stand the test of time.
Our social media campaign also included posters and 3 very informative blogs by Joan Pearce. She created “stay vacation” ideas for folks wanting to spend a day visiting covered bridges in different areas, was very well received. In total our campaign to promote covered bridges reached over 7 thousand people.
Other initiatives of the AHNB:
TOP TEN ENDANGERED LIST – Create criteria which will identify heritage properties which have an immediate threat or are time sensitive. Work towards maximum exposure to grab attention and involvement.
DIRECTORY OF EXPERTISE AND MATERIALS – Continue to build a directory of Heritage contractor specialists for our WEB site.
INVENTORY – Development of on the plan/criteria for a Built Heritage inventory for the Province is now underway.
BUILDING CODE ALTERNATIVES – Develop an educational program which would assist in convincing Inspectors to be more open with alternative solutions to historical needs when dealing with Building codes and/or Municipal By-Laws. Possible videos, webinars or power point presentations. It was suggested that Jim Bezanson and Tom Morrison would be key assistants in this endeavor.
GUIDELINES FOR PROPERTY OWNERS – The Standards And Guidelines For The Conservation Of Historic Places link has been added to our web site.
1) Province of New Brunswick, Department Tourism, Culture and Heritage – Annual Operations Grant for 2020 – $90,000
2) Dept. of Canadian Heritage (MAP) – Funding for our 2020/2021 webinars in the amount of 5,220.00 was approved and four webinars will be conducted in French and English starting next month.
- Hazards in Your Collection with Evelyn Fidler (November 2020).
- Using Your Museum Collection to Build Specific Programing to Coincide with NB Social Studies with Cynthia Wallace-Casey (January 2021).
- Emergency Preparedness with Melynda Jarrett (February 2021).
- RE-ORG-Reorganisation of collection 101 (ICCROM, UNESCO, CCI) Fundamentals with Jeanne-Mance Cormier (March).
For more information, visit the AHNB website.
TIANB Board Meetings
Kellie’s observation – After several meetings, although the word “Culture” is used often, the true value of Community Museums is not fully recognized. Museums are not part of the dialogue. For the most part, TIANB does not truly understand we are part of and/or add to the equation. Steps to change this perception are underway through dialogue, product development, on-line content and professional ads.
- An additional 3 museums have been added to the program and now NB has 37 museums that have taken the training.
AHNB’s final goal is sustaining our organization. As well as the projects and initiatives identified in this report, the ongoing work of our Association continues through grant applications, reports, communication, and assistance to our members.
In February, our Executive Director was asked to speak at the Charlotte County Heritage Fair on available grants for Non-Profits. Then in March when the pandemic struck, the Association sent out weekly updates to keep members informed on how to proceed and what resources were available for the museum community.
Partnerships with other heritage organizations across the county continued to develop, as our Executive Director began attending regular ZOOM meetings with the National Trust for Canada on several topics as the “Heritage Industry” and COVID-19, Shovel Ready Heritage Projects and Historic Places Day. Kellie also attended their 2020 Conference in Edmunton, Alberta virtually.
Past President Marion Beyea and Kellie Blue-McQuade also met on two occasions with Natalie Bull from National Trust for Canada. Some of the items discussed involved the following:
- A new membership deal will be drafted through National Trust for Canada
- Working on creating a better Provincial Heritage Act.
- The voice of Built Heritage needs to be heard/addressed on a local level. For instance: 1) why do heritage groups have to prove the “value” of a building, as opposed to the contractor proving why it must be torn down; 3) how we can introduce the importance of Built Heritage to the younger generation through education.
Membership is critical to sustaining AHNB. We currently have 100 paid memberships but expect that number to increase as it is in October that many folks pay their membership fees.
The AHNB is sustained by the work and contributions of many people. We would like to thank everyone who serves tirelessly on the Board of AHNB and our volunteers who help to keep us moving forward. A special thank you to the 2020 Conference Committee, Jeanne-Mance Cormier, Sophie Auffrey, Lawren Campbell and Dominique Gélinas, who so graciously agreed to continue working on our 2021 Conference in Dieppe. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture and in particular our friend and colleague, Guy Tremblay, who will be retiring next year. Guy will be missed by us all, but we look forward to working more closely with his colleague, Anja Hamilton and we wish Guy nothing but good health and happiness during his retirement.
Gaëtane Saucier-Nadaeu, President
Kellie Blue-McQuade, Executive Director