KAWARTHA LAKES: The Olde Gaol Museum has had quite the busy year in 2017. The Standard had a chance to chat with museum manager David Wesley, operations supervisor Lisa Hart and research co-ordinator Ian McKechnie last week and found out what is in the works for 2018.
“Right now we’re operating under our winter hours [so tours are by appointment-only] and tying up any loose ends for this season,” said Ms. Hart. “It’s much easier to work like this in the winter, because we don’t get much foot traffic and we’ve received great feedback from those who do go on tours during this time. They’ve all said it feels like quite the personal tour.”
Mr. McKechnie echoed Ms. Hart and mentioned that this time of year is when the elbow grease, so to speak, gets going on the exhibits to come in the new year. If all goes as planned, one of the larger projects will focus on Lindsay’s historical contributions to community members in need.
“Lindsay was one of three communities selected to participate in the livable wage pilot program,” said Mr. McKechnie. “We thought it would be interesting to showcase how Lindsay has always lent a helping hand to those in need.”
The exhibit will focus on three different time eras (1930s, 80s and current).
“We wanted the exhibit to run parallel to the livable wage program, which goes until 2019,” said Mr. McKechnie. “In a perfect world, I’d like to say the exhibit will be ready to launch in spring/summer, but it all depends on funding.”
According to Mr. Wesley, cattle farming and rice harvesting are two other hot topics that the museum plans to focus on in 2018.
“We will be doing a number of things, but we’re hoping to put something together on cattle farming in Victoria County,” he said. “There’s a rich history of cattle raising and it’s still very alive today. It’s a strong [merger] of past and present!”
Mr. Wesley added, “There’s also been a lot of renewal regarding rice harvesting, with the local First Nation communities, so we hope we can educate the public about the long time tradition.”
Other big news to watch out for in the upcoming year, is the partnership between the museum and the Kawartha Lakes Art Gallery.
“We’re working on the details,” said Mr. Wesley. “We’re joining forces with them to form Kawartha Museum and Art Gallery (KMAG). We are going to be able to engage more people this way, so we are currently setting up a committee to look at how to properly integrate.”