Saturday, April 16, 2011

Southwest Curator's Group Meeting

It feels like we've had a very long winter, and while the crocuses and robins are starting to appear, a sure sign of Spring in the heritage world are the regional meetings.  Yup, road trips are starting up again.  On Friday we traveled to Lunenburg for the Southwest meeting.  We were missing a few people from the Annapolis Valley side, but there was still a good turnout at over 15 attendees.  The meeting was hosted by the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, which is pretty much impossible to miss as a building.  It's very big, and very red, and located right on the water.

Since our conference is only two weeks away we weren't able to stay for the entire day...too many things to do in the office.  But these meetings play a key role in reporting to our members and figuring out how we can better meet their needs.  We strongly encourage our members to connect with their regional group - the meetings are great networking and learning opportunities, and sometimes it's just nice to get together with people who understand the struggles of operating a museum, to complain and compare notes.  These are the kinds of meetings that board members, volunteers, and staff can all benefit from since you gain a much broader perspective on the museum landscape in Nova Scotia.

During our morning with the Southwest group we heard an update from Paul Collins of the Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage.  Anita gave an update on ANSM activities - the conference and advocacy issues, and I got to ramble a bit about our QR code and database renewal projects.  The group also talked a lot about statistics and the importance of submitting this information to the government.  We had to leave right after a tasty lunch at a local restaurant, but in the afternoon a couple people from the Department of Education met with the group to talk about how museums can work with schools to enhance curriculum content.  At each meeting, the group invites some sort of expert in to talk about some key issues, whether they be fundraising, artifact research, insurance, or whatever else people are interested in.  Not all of the regions do this at their meetings, but the Southwest group is finding this to be a very effective use of their time together.

One of the fun things about the South Shore of Nova Scotia is its colourful houses.  It's especially pronounced along the shore, but even as we drove across country we would see a random bright blue or yellow house amid the white farm houses.  Lunenburg definitely has it's fair share of colourful buildings, which somehow adds to the fun of wandering around the town.

The next road trip will be to Tatamagouche for our conference...hope to see you there.

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