In late 2020, Muskoka Lakes Museum learned that it had received a six-month, $50,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to study and create a strategic plan that would contribute to the development of a memorable and unique visitor experience. The project was completed in June and will ensure the museum’s long-term viability as a key asset in the District of Muskoka heritage and tourism attractions.
“Many organizations have had to take a step back and reassess how they provide services and interact with our communities over the past couple of years,” said MPP Norman Miller. “I am happy to see the Ontario Trillium Foundation support the Muskoka Lakes Museum as they investigate virtual programming to further preserve and share our local history. This approach will expand the reach of the Muskoka Lakes Museum and allow for people well beyond our residents and visitors to learn about the rich history of the Muskoka Lakes region.”
The Resilient Communities Fund was developed to help non-profit organizations recover and rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19 to continue meeting the needs of Ontario communities. The museum engaged TCI Management Consultants, museum strategy planning experts, and Reich+Petch, museum architects and exhibit designers. They were tasked with exploring all facets of the museum including, but not limited to, what is collected and why; the exhibits and how to present Muskoka’s important stories to the public; the programs and activities offered; how to be more diverse and welcoming; and the configuration and layout of the space.
“The impact of this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant on the future of the museum cannot be underestimated,” said Tom Diamond, chair of the Muskoka Lakes Museum Board of Directors. “This grant has allowed for a much-needed strategic look at the museum and how to better serve our visitors while maintaining and growing our collections.”
As a result of the findings of the strategic study, the museum will see a renewed focus on telling the stories about the lives and development that made the area what it is today. Improved Visitor Flow, expanding galleries and displays, and operating at the highest standards expected of museums, this study will see the museum renewed and resilient post-COVID. And thanks to the $50,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, visitors to the museum will have an opportunity to learn more about the region and the history of boat building in the region.
The Muskoka Lakes Museum is committed to collecting, documenting, and preserving the collection and ensuring that it remains accessible for as many visitors as possible. To enquire about visiting the museum, or to learn more, visit the museum’s website.