Letter to the editor: Cutting program is short-sighted

Open letter to the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Editor:

Open letter to the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Re:  Elimination of the National Archival Development Program.

I am writing on behalf of the Quesnel Museum and Heritage Commission. We are an advisory committee for the City of Quesnel responsible for oversight of the Quesnel and District Museum and Archives and heritage matters.

We were alarmed to hear of the sudden elimination of the National Archival Development Program on  April 30.

As concerned citizens who volunteer our time to support the operation of a community archives, we believe that the discontinuation of the program is short sighted and will have a negative impact that far outweighs the savings of $1.7 million in Federal spending.

The funding provided to the provincial archives associations is crucial to the professional operation of community museums and archives across the country.

In B.C., the preservation service provides cost effective conservation advice to many institutions, which otherwise could not access a professional conservator.

This provides preservation treatment to individual items, but more importantly, assists these institutions to create an environment which helps preserve entire collections.

The provincial associations provide training to staff and volunteers at these smaller institutions.  Often people working in these community repositories have not had prior archives or library training but they are intelligent and motivated.

For minimal expense they gain valuable knowledge which ensures that collections are arranged and described following a standard format.

As a result, the holdings from institutions of different sizes and organizational structures can be uploaded to a networked database and are accessible to the public online.

Our institution has not, to date, directly accessed funds from the NADP.  We have undertaken a number of video history projects to record the memories and knowledge of elders from diverse cultural groups in our community.

We have digitized the local paper, making more than 100 years of community history accessible online.

We have collected, arranged and described approximately 60 fonds and over 13,000 photographs.

These are made accessible to the public through the British Columbia Archival Union List.

We could not have established our archival program or have been in a position to undertake such projects without the training and support provided by the Archives Association of British Columbia.

Canada’s heritage is preserved in institutions large and small in communities across the country.

We currently display the photographs of C.D. Hoy, a photographer who took remarkable portraits of the First Nations, Chinese and European residents of Quesnel in the early years of the 20th century.

This award–winning exhibition has traveled the country providing visitors with an opportunity to understand the deep roots of multiculturalism in Canada.

Hoy’s photographs are now being used to build cultural and economic bridges with China through an exhibit being developed by the Barkerville Heritage Trust.

At the Quesnel Museum we have created a travelling exhibit of the work of his contemporary, C.S. Wing, whose glass negatives are preserved in our archives.

This show, which delivers a similar message, is now travelling in western Canada.

In anniversary years, museums and archives are called upon to organize special events and create exhibits to educate and to bring the country together in celebration.  The National Archival Development Program through the network of Archival Associations is vital to preserving and making accessible the primary materials of Canadian History, 365 days a year.

We urge you to reverse the decision to eliminate this fundamental program.

Sincerely,

Honey Affleck

Chair, Quesnel Museum and Heritage Commission

 

 

Just Posted

Quesnel and Williams Lake under air quality advisory

Dust and overall air quality prompts Environment Canada to issue statement

Quesnel Forestry Hockey League highlights: Week 24

Serenity and BCS play to tie while Fraser River overwhelms Bear

Quesnel Outback Quadders get $6,000 grant for trail improvements

The three-year-old ATV club now has 240 paid members

PG RCMP seeks information following third suspicious incident involving child

Most recent incident occurred near North Tabor Boulevard and Ospika Boulevard

Quesnel River Archers score top prizes in 100 Mile House

Six of eight shooters landed top five finishes

Quesnel’s Barkerville Brewing Co. collaborating on another Pink Boots brew

Twenty-one people had a hand in brewing the hibiscus dry-hopped lager

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Cheetahs will not prosper in Creston: Permit rejected for two big cats

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Most Read