The Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) held its annual general meeting last Thursday in-person at the museum. Those in attendance had the opportunity to hear Mayor Don McIsaac speak about the value of the arts to our community and how OMAH is a cultural leader. Museum members appreciated learning more about our mayor’s views on how arts and culture welcomes and embraces all citizens.
Both the president, Stephen Davids and past-president, Ted Duncan thanked outgoing board members, Janet Houston and Don Philip for their leadership, dedication, and contributions to the board of directors.
OMAH welcomed two new members to the board of directors.
Jessica Allen is already known to the Museum as she is one of our volunteers and is co-chairing a committee. She has a diploma in Recreation and Leisure Services and a post-graduate diploma in Museum Studies, both from Georgian College. She has extensive volunteer experience, including with the Georgian Grows program and Georgian College, as a Special Event Volunteer at the Ontario Winter Games and as a Transcriber for the Library and Archives of Canada, in addition to her current work with OMAH.
She is currently employed with the Township of Oro-Medonte as an Operations and Community Services Assistant. Previous to that, among other things, she had an internship with the City of Orillia, which involved artefact cataloguing for the Orillia Opera House, developing a social media strategy for the Orillia 125th anniversary and other museum-like duties.
Jessica recently said, “I am particularly drawn to the OMAH Board’s role in providing strategic direction and oversight to the museum’s operations, including fundraising, programming, and community outreach. I believe that my skills and experience in administrative support, event planning, and record management would be valuable assets in helping to achieve the museum’s goals and objectives.”
Abby has recently moved to Orillia and is already in love with the community and the city. Her desire to join OMAH stems from a long history with the arts. In addition to formal training in Carnatic vocal music and Classical Indian dance style bharatanatyam, Abby holds an HBSc in Biology and Psychology, BSc in Radiation Medicine, and is currently working on a MSc in Organizational Leadership through John Hopkins University.
Professionally, she is currently working at Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) as a radiology technician. She has a number of publications, has done a number of oral presentations at conferences, etc., has done a number of conference posters and has been a Board Member of the Research Ethics Board of RVH.
When asked why she wanted to join the Board, she replied, “I would like to be a part of our local arts community to affect positive change and be a part of something creative. As a healthcare worker in cancer for over a decade, I have developed a great sense of empathy and understanding around the power of art in healing the human spirit.”
Executive Director, Ninette Gyorody provided an overview of the museum’s 2022 programs and exhibitions and gave highlights of what to expect throughout the rest of 2023. She acknowledged the importance of the ongoing support of the City of Orillia as well as the value of community partnerships, such as with Parklane Landscapes.
Ninette has been at the helm of OMAH for ten years and President Stephen Davids thanked her for her commitment to the museum.
President Davids also told the AGM attendees that, “OMAH has begun a search for a new Board Treasurer to take over before current Treasurer Doug Frost’s term ends, to allow for handover.” OMAH invites any such local volunteer candidates to please contact the Museum for more information.
The museum, as a not-for-profit charitable organization, is required to hold an annual general meeting.