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Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation

The Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation is never far from my heart or beliefs. These days the board is busy talking about whether they should come under the wing of Dept. of Tourism rather that the Dept of Education. We had that fight before and I don't think any different about the issue than I did in October 1972. Tourism is a marketing department. It moves people here and there. It deals with our commodities. Its trying to encourage cruise ships or bus tours or golfers. Its moving people and writing easily read promotional material and information. Its good graphics and it is certainly good web pages designed by special people. I think if the truth was known I 'd rather go to a cruise ship convention than to the Canadian Museums Associations meetings, but once I got there I might feel too guilty about having a good time on Government Budget to really, really enjoy it. And the question would be would I learn anything that would move My Island Causes along? Cultural and heritage are subjects that are enriched by a deep intellectual base. It is not a world of Discovery Centres, Interpretative Centres or even Founders Halls. It is not pretty, catchy words, but messages that are not lightly shaped. They are messages that have to be presented for a contemporary audiences of course and therein lies the challenge. And that is not going to be met by getting into bed with Tourism. Maybe it will not be met by remaining in Education either. Maybe we have to establish a new department that leads Islanders to understand how their history, their land, their customs, their stories, their roots are the most important matters to lead us forward on any issue that we must face. It is our distinctiveness that is our most important attribute and it gives us our spirit. I hope this matter can be discussed cheerfully and if I had my druthers I would so quickly organize that GRAND PROVINCIAL CULTURAL EXHIBITION so Islanders can truly contemplate what these institutions mean to us and how we have to protect them and think creatively to preserve then.

Written Saturday, March 18, 2000 at 03:26 PM

(c) 2000 by Catherine Hennessey. Questions or comments? Email me@catherinehennessey.com

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