200 Watts : History retreats itself

This week Ron agreed to up the wattage of my column to 200 words so I could tackle a monumental issue facing our town: the usurping of our museum.

You can read it here:

V11N46P04.pdf
Download this file

If you weren’t paying attention, you would probably just assume that we have a Museum.

Heritage Promoter David Heard pointed out to council recently how there are still road signs that point traffic to our museum.

This travel site still lists the museum as an attraction:

The Aurora Heritage Centre is a local history museum in Aurora with artifacts from the 19th C and early 20th C. The Centre is located in Library Square and is also used for cultural events.
Hobbies & Activities category: Fabrics, textiles, costumes exhibits;  Historical museum;  Medical, pharmacy attraction;  Toy, doll collection or museum

Even the Town’s pathetic business site ( http://businessaurora.ca/heritagep10.php ) that hasn’t contributed to any real economic development, reads:

“the Aurora Museum that archives the town’s development;”

Well the Aurora Museum doesn’t exist.

Considering the Prince of Wales prize itself lists the rationalle for the award was given in part for “the “long-term financial support since 1973, and annual grants for the Aurora Museum” one has to wonder why the town is keeping up appearances instead of tackling the serious issue of delivering a museum that has been paid for.

The organization that occupies the building where the Aurora Museum was, and was financed to return to is nothing more than an elitist club.   The town pays them over $500,000 a year to run a service that no one in town asked for.

The services they offer are redundant.  The events they host include VIP nights, galas, $300 a ticket gatherings and now snobby wine tasting.

The organization itself seems to be indifferent to the fact that all of the heritage artefacts are now stored in the basement, or even worse with rental storage being retracted I now understand pieces are scattered into old buildings like the old Aurora library.  There is concern that some have been lost or have gone to other collections.

WTF?

Talk about kicking our town’s heritage when it is down.

Clr. Buck has been the only vocal advocate on council for restoring the Aurora Musem to its original home.  She has a fantastic chronology of the tragedy surrounding it’s replacement with the “Cultural Center” in a blog post she made over a year ago here:

Museums don’t make money.  

Museums make history come to life.

Museums connect people to places, events and other people.

For our town that prides itself on its heritage a well run museum could be a showpiece where a huge void currently exists.

A museum could be everything that our “Culture Club” has proven itself incapable of being : 

a museum could be our town’s center.
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