Greater Sudbury museums will receive a drastic decrease in funding under a proposed 2021 ‘Draft’ CGS Covid-19 budget and is reaching out to its community partners for support.
Under the proposal, the City of Greater Sudbury would slash museum budgets by $169,038, affecting Anderson Farms, the Copper Cliff Museum, the Flour Mill Museum, and the Rayside-Balfour Museum.
The budget proposal also includes calls for the elimination of full-time and part-time staffing hours at these locations for 2021. Should the proposed budget go through, the curator for all four museums will lose their job and the City of Greater Sudbury’s four museums will remain closed for 2021.
The Anderson Farm Museum Heritage Society is seeking letters of support for the Curator from its Community Partners and Sponsors outlining the negative impacts that the elimination of the Curators’ position would cause.
The letter Anderson Farm Museum Heritage Society sent out to its community partners and sponsors on January 24, 2021 can be read below.
January 24, 2021
To: Anderson Farm Museum Heritage Society Community Partners & Sponsors:
The AFMHS is looking for your help! Last week, in a Zoom Meeting, with the CGS Staff, the Anderson Farm Museum Heritage Society was made aware of a drastic cut in the 2021 Museums’ budget. In the 2021 ‘Draft’ CGS COVID-19 Budget, it is proposed, that the City eliminate $169,038, from the Museums’ (Anderson Farm, Copper Cliff, Flour Mill & Rayside-Balfour) budget. Here is the link to the document.
You will find the Museums section on pages (113 to 115). In the breakdown, on page 114, you will note that the full-time staff (Curator) and part time staffing hours (Curatorial Assistantand students) are proposed to be reduced to zero, for 2021.
In short, this means that the Curator, for all four of our museums, WILL lose her job and theMuseums will remain closed for 2021. And there is no guarantee, that this decision will be reversed in 2022.
The CGS has briefly stated “…that the maintenance, utilities and other budget items, are remaining in place, in order to sustain the facility’s requirements”, however this has been a struggle in recent years, even with a Curator on site.
The AFM Heritage Society realizes that museums around the world, have been closed because of COVID-19; many staff have been laid-off and virtual tours & on-line viewing have replaced inperson events & visits. i.e. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Heritage Society will not be able to host Rock the Farm, Fall Fair and possibly the Christmas Tree-Lighting Celebration this year.
BUT in the CGS, we have only one Curator, who is responsible for the Anderson Farm Museum and the Copper Cliff, Flour Mill & Rayside-Balfour Museums! And the Curator was hired to be responsible for preserving & protecting; expanding & developing our local History: agricultural, cultural, (Indigenous, Irish, Finnish, Francophone, Polish, Scottish, Ukrainian, Welsh etc.) environmental, lumbering, mining & technical etc.
If you see fit, we ask that you, as a Community Partner and/or Sponsor, of our 3 events, send us a Letter of Support for the Curator, (by Feb. 5th) describing how eliminating the Curators’ position in 2021, will severely and negatively impact, the ability to preserve, protect the Collection & Artifacts and expand & develop the 4 Museums Exhibits/Displays & Programs.
We will forward your Letter to the Mayor and Councilors and include it, in our official Presentation to the Mayor and Councill, before their next Budget meeting, on February 24th.
Vice President, AFMHS
CC- Eric Benoit, President AFMHS
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