April 21, 2021 A special advisory committee (SAC) struck by Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) has submitted its report to the MVCA Board of Directors with three options for the future of the Mill of Kintail Museum. Co-chaired by Board members Christa Lowry, Mayor of Mississippi Mills and Jeff Atkinson, Councillor from Carleton Place, the Committee has met several times since Bill 108, the More Homes, More Choice Act, directed Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities (CAs) to focus activities and municipal levies on their core mandate, sending the Mill of Kintail Museum into a funding and governance crisis.
“There’s no question that museums are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of demographic and technological changes. Amendment of the Conservation Authorities Act coupled with COVID-19 have added another layer of challenges, and collections across the province are vulnerable,” said Paul Roberston, SAC member and President of the Ontario Museum Association. “Museums need to be creative and collaborate in order to remain viable. I think that the future of the Mill of Kintail will be secure if it is able to evolve its governance and funding structure, and adapt to the needs of modern audiences.”
The collections of the R. Tait McKenzie and James Naismith Museum at the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area do not meet the core mandate of CAs and will likely no longer qualify for Municipal Levy funding when new regulations take effect, expected in 2021. The SAC, consisting of representatives from the museum, municipal, nonprofit and community organization sectors, was tasked by the Board in fall 2019 to review, comment and advise on options with respect to the future of the Museum.
MVCA will host a virtual public information session on Thursday, April 29 at 7:00 PM at which a presentation by staff will be followed by a Q&A session. The community is invited to provide input until May 7, 2021. MVCA staff will review comments, complete a feasibility analysis, and present their findings and recommendations to the Board of Directors at a meeting later this spring.
For more information and to register for the public information session, visit www.mvc.on.ca/museum.
MVCA was established in 1968 by area municipalities to protect and manage shared watershed resources for mutual benefit. Today, MVCA is governed by a Board consisting of 17 members appointed by area municipalities, and delivers services in accordance with the Conservation Authorities Act. For more information, visit www.mvc.on.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Shannon Gutoskie, Community Relations Coordinator