The Board of Directors was joined by the staff at the Museum, members and donors for its Annual General Meeting last month on April the 27th. The formal part of the program focused on the organization’s accomplishments in 2015, as well as how the Board is working to ready the organization for the next steps in its redevelopment project.

 Bill Morris, Chair, Canadian Canoe Museum Board of Directors

Bill Morris, Chair, Canadian Canoe Museum Board of Directors

“On behalf of the citizens of our country, The Canadian Canoe Museum stewards the world’s largest and most significant collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft. These craft — more than 600 in number — and their stories of national and international significance have an important role to play in our collective future. That’s why, in 2015, we furthered our reinvention and relocation agendas — the two pillars of our organization’s 10-year strategic plan,” said Bill Morris, Chair, Board of Directors. “Now, we are at a pivotal point in the evolution of our organization, poised to realize fully our role as a national Museum. With an organization-wide focus on our redevelopment project, we are ramping up and retooling for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities before us.”

The Museum is pleased to share key highlights from the AGM:

• Two new Board members were welcomed — Deborah Jacobs and John Ronson.

o Deborah is currently a Councillor with Curve Lake First Nation and an active member of her community. She has lived in Curve Lake all her life. Deborah has been married for 46 years and has three sons and 10 grandchildren, which she calls her “pride and joy.” Deborah worked for many years at the Curve Lake Day Care Centre and also taught early childhood education classes for the Anishinabek Education Institute in North Bay. She has always enjoyed the water; and fishing, boating and canoeing at her family cabin on Dead Horse Island, have played a significant part in her life.

o John is an executive with TELUS, as well as an avid canoeist and camper. A Peterborough resident, he is a former member of the national and Ontario boards of the Canadian Cancer Society and a number of other not-for-profit boards including the board of Waterfront Toronto. A lawyer by training, he previously served as Chief of Staff to Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

• Michael Davies, a longtime Board member, donor, and friend of the Museum, who passed away in 2015, was remembered at the AGM. Michael’s association with the Museum began in 2007, when he spearheaded the initiative to acquire and repatriate to Canada an exquisite canoe made of sterling silver that belonged to the Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Sir George Simpson. Michael will be missed, but his legacy will continue to effervesce into the lives of anyone who beholds the silver canoe at The Canadian Canoe Museum.

• Departing Board members Tom Reburn and Donald Ross and were acknowledged and thanked for their service to the organization.

• Some additions and some changes at the staff level of the organization were introduced.

o J-C D’Amours, the organization’s new Director of Philanthropy, was introduced to the membership. He will oversee the creation and management of the organization’s annual development plan and associated initiatives.

o The role of Project Director has been created to oversee the planning of the new Museum. Richard Tucker, the organization’s executive director since 2014, has assumed this role. This is a key area of expertise for Richard. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has been instrumental in a number of building projects including SkyDome in Toronto and Canary Wharf in London, England.

o The new role of General Manager has been filled by Carolyn Hyslop, the organization’s Director of Operations since 2014. This role has been created to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Museum, including its national outreach strategies. Carolyn has a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree from McMaster University along with a Bachelor of Education degree from Queen’s University Outdoor and Experiential Education program. She has been with the Museum for more than 15 years, having held positions including Education Co-ordinator and Public Programs Manager.

o The Board has hired The Dennis Group Inc., headquartered in Peterborough, to ensure the organization’s readiness for an ambitious capital campaign. Chonee Dennis, President & CEO, and her team are working behind-the-scenes and in close co-operation with the Museum Board and staff members to lay the groundwork for the campaign.

• The Board thanked and acknowledged the Museum’s members, and its donors, highlighting the Founders’ Circle — a group of visionaries and philanthropists helping to create the next chapter in the Museum’s story.

• The Board also acknowledged the City of Peterborough and Parks Canada — the Museum’s key partners in the redevelopment of the Lift Lock Site.

• The Museum announced that it is planning for further information sessions with the architects heneghan peng and Kearns Mancini that were chosen for the new Museum facility.

• It was celebrated that the Museum is the first in the country to offer the Microsoft Skype Educators Network for schools and groups to take part in award winning education programs from anywhere in Canada and the World. By the end of May the Museum will have delivered programs to schools in Alberta, Ontario, Iowa, Kansas, BC, Texas, Michigan and Alaska!

• Curatorial highlights were discussed including an update on the MacGregor collection, which will become the “heart” of an upcoming exhibit this fall all about canoe manufacturing in the industrial age. Also mentioned was the acquisition of over 14,000 books from the Luste family that are mission related to the Museum and include rare titles dating from the early 1700’s to contemporary. Another exciting acquisition to the collection was announced, a canoe owned by Robert Bateman.

• A new milestone in the Museum’s membership was announced, welcoming the 1000th member to the Museum family!

View the museum’s 2015 Annual Report here