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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Maidstone Bicentennial Museum receives $120 OTF grant

Curator, Victoria Beaulieu, stands before where a new addition will be added on at the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum, thanks to a 2019 Ontario Trillium Foundation capital expenditure grant in the amount of $120,100.

by Sylene Argent

Curator of the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum, Victoria Beaulieu, was brimming with excitement as she learned the Maidstone & Area Historical Society would be the recipient of a 2019 Ontario Trillium Foundation capital expenditure grant in the amount of $120,100.

  The provincial government grant will be used to upgrade the HVAC system and electrical service for the entire facility. In addition, needed renovations will be made to the rear building, a small hall will be added, and a new pavilion will be built.

  Beaulieu said the small hall addition will allow the Museum to display its War of 1812 and Voyager displays on a full time basis, and will also provide more space for programming.

  “This is an early Christmas present. We can get back to doing what we were doing,” Beaulieu said, referring to when the local museum still had access to the resource centre next door, which a majority vote from the previous term of Lakeshore Council demolished to build a salt shed.

  “We are very thankful we got it,” she said of the grant, noting volunteers at the local museum have worked very hard to offer quality historical programming. “We will have the ability to do more with the community. We will be back to holding programs and events like we did.”

  To accommodate the renovation, the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum will be closed, starting December 18, for the winter season. Construction is planned to start in January. “We will be open again in the spring and back to doing what we do,” she said, adding arrangements can be made if anyone is in need of something from the Museum. Those with a request can call (519) 727-8811.

  High school students have volunteered to help pack up items to accommodate the renovation, in exchange for community service hours.

  Volunteers with the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum, Beaulieu said, will host a few fundraisers to cover the cost to purchase new display cases and tables that will be needed after the addition is added, which the grant funding will not cover.

  Beaulieu is looking forward to hosting an official ribbon cutting ceremony to recognize the grant once work has been completed.

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