Special committee explores options for future of Mill of Kintail Museum

ALMONTE — A special advisory committee will exploring viable and sustainable options for the future of the R. Tait McKenzie and Dr. James Naismith collections at the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area Museum is making progress.

A call for members was made in September and the committee was struck in October following the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority’s (MVCA) review of its programs and services in order to manage new funding constraints imposed by Provincial Bill 108 (More Homes, More Choice Act), passed last June. Since the museum is not expected to be considered core to the MVCA’s mandate under the new regulation, MVCA initiated discussions on how to keep the heritage building open for community use.

“It’s important to view this as an opportunity and to imagine what the museum could be,” said Jeff Atkinson, an MVCA board member and co-chair of the committee. “To be clear, any recommendation this Committee makes involves the collection remaining at its current location at the Mill of Kintail.”

The committee, which includes members from the Ontario Museum Association, fundraising, municipal and not-for-profit sectors, has met twice since November. Combining their expertise and desire to see the museum grow and succeed, the group is working to bring their recommendations to the MVCA Policy and Priorities committee meeting in March, which will then be presented to the mvca board of directors.

“Knowing how precious both collections are to the community, the Committee is very much looking forward to engaging with stakeholders and the public,” board member and committee co-chair Christa Lowry said. “Public consultation is expected to take place in late January or early February, giving opportunity for the community to provide feedback on proposed recommendations.”

It’s anticipated the new provincial regulations will be released by spring 2020 and it will be business as usual for the R. Tait McKenzie and Dr. James Naismith Museums when they open for the season next May. For more information, visit www.mvc.on.ca/museumcommittee.