LANCASTER, Ontario – The Glengarry, Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum asked for a strong commitment from the Township of South Glengarry at their meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
For the year of 2018, the museum received $15,000 from the township during their budget process, $20,000 less than the year before, a situation that presenter Joyce Lewis termed as a “misunderstanding”.
Lewis asked on behalf of the museum for an annual funding commitment from the Township of South Glengarry in the amount of $35,000.
Lewis explained the benefits that the Glengarry, Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum provides to the township. She explained that the museum is opened to the public for more than 1,000 hours a year, they hold an annual speaker series on Thursday afternoons that sees 40 to 50 visitors per session, a rib fest coming up on Sept. 7, and more.
Lewis claimed that the museum is also expecting to have 25 per cent more visitors for 2019 than they had in 2018.
She explained that despite this success, the museum was still facing a roughly $3,000 shortfall, additionally, Jim Lewis explained that their tight budget precluded the possibility of funding training for the museum’s curator and the acquisition of new artifacts.
“This is our municipal museum. Without secure and dependable yearly funding it faces risk,” said Joyce Lewis.
Township Council expressed their concern about the museums future and expressed a willingness to see what sort of support they could provide during the next budget cycle.
“I see a lot of good things happening at the museum and hopefully we can figure something out for you guys,” said Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden.
Mayor Frank Prevost concurred and expressed his concern about possibly losing the museum someday.
“I personally believe in the museum. If we don’t continue being partners there is a possibility of losing it someday,” he said.
The Glengarry, Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum, located in the old Williamstown grammar school has a mandate to preserve the history of Loyalists and Glengarry County going back to the late 18th century and according to Joyce Lewis, the museum is home to some of the oldest artifacts in the history of Ontario.