It is now mid-November and just two weeks since the separation of the Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge Parks and Leisure Services departments. This museum is now working directly under a fee-for-service agreement with the City of Pitt Meadows. To date, the transition has been smooth with our hours, programs, and research services unchanged, with the biggest challenge learning the names of the new department’s staff.
Parks and leisure services is an integral part of any municipality. It is, in this writer’s opinion, the department that connects the city most frequently and positively with the community.
Over the past 20 years, we heard many opinions of how well the joint department worked for this community. At the museum, our experience was always positive and we will miss the people we worked with.
However, our early experience with the new Pitt Meadows Parks, Recreation and Culture department has also been very positive and we are looking forward to working with and getting to know better all the new faces who are now part of it.
Given all the change, I thought this would be a good time to revisit who and what the Pitt Meadows Museum and Archives is and where we get our funds to operate.
The museum is a non-profit and registered charity that has existed since 1980.
Our governing authority is the Pitt Meadows Heritage and Museum Society with a dedicated board of trustees who work with museum staff to ensure our doors are open to the public and our programs, exhibits and research services function on a year-round basis.
The museum is made up of two sites. The first is the Old General Store building (1908c) that was purchased by the municipality in 1997 and then restored and leased to the museum society to be used as a museum and archives. The city continues to own the structure and property and assumes the financial responsibility for maintenance, utilities, etc.
The Hoffmann and Son site and the acre of land it sits on is our other site and it is owned by the museum society and was donated by the Hoffmann family in 1999 with a gift agreement that includes the City of Pitt Meadows as a financial partner to ensure the building and property are maintained.
The collections of objects and archival material at both the sites are the property of the museum society.
The museum receives funding from all levels of government including summer grants from the Government of Canada and gaming revenue from the Government of B.C., both of which go towards museum programs and exhibits.
However, it is the municipal revenue that keeps the doors open, the lights on and the buildings warm and maintained. It is also the funding that ensures two part-time equivalent positions are funded allowing for programs, exhibits and research services to be provided on a year-round basis.
Going forward, this arrangement is expected to continue so we can still operate as your community museum.