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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Orillia is seeking input on Stephen Leacock Museum master plan

(News Release)

(Sept. 9, 2019) – The City of Orillia is developing a master plan for the Stephen Leacock Museum National Historic Site and is looking for input to help create a bold new vision for the museum beyond 2020.
Orillia residents and out-of-town visitors are invited to complete the community survey available at the museum during regular operating hours and online at leacockmuseum.com. Even if you have never visited the museum or it has been a while, you are encouraged to respond.
Leacock Museum (Jim Fox photo)
 “Orillians helped shape the legacy Stephen Leacock left in his whimsical Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town in 1912 and can do so once again through the museum’s master plan community survey. This is your opportunity to help shape the future direction of the Leacock Museum,” said Mayor Steve Clarke.

  The survey is available until Oct. 14, 2019 and will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Paper copies can be picked up and dropped off at the museum during office hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Respondents who wish to leave their contact information will be entered into a draw to win a catered dinner for two at the museum on the picturesque shores of Old Brewery Bay. A specialized menu will be developed for the winner by our onsite chef, Gourmade Thyme. 
“It has been nearly 20 years since the museum underwent a comprehensive review of its practices,” said Jacqueline Soczka, Manager of Culture. “Facility assessments and conservation reports have been done in recent years to preserve existing buildings. However, the master planning process goes well beyond that, looking at all aspects of Museum operations including staffing, budgeting, programming, rentals, food service, promotion, curation, parkland usage, community outreach, and visitor services.”
Within a highly globalized and competitive market, cultural institutions such as museums are challenged to develop new and innovative strategies to achieve sustainability, maximize use, improve the visitor experience, and care for their collection. For a national historic site designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, this is compounded by the importance of preserving the integrity of its heritage attributes.
The Stephen Leacock Museum master plan will provide a revised context for operations based on current trends, the unique features of the site, community needs, and municipal requirements.
The City of Orillia has secured TCI Management Consultants (TCI) to lead the master planning process. The community survey is one method the consultants are using to inform their recommendations. For instance, a public open house is being planned for this fall; details will be available online at leacockmuseum.com
The City of Orillia is a city of 31,000 people in the heart of Ontario’s Lake Country on the shores of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe. Visit our website at orillia.ca.

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