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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

OTF Grant helps with Maidstone Bicentennial Museum’s renovations for better quality programming

submitted to EFP

In 2020, the Maidstone and Area Historical Society received a $120,000 Capital grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the renovation of the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum to make improvements, add spaces as well as update the heating and cooling system, for better quality programming.

Renovations to the rear building, included new insulation, drywall, and flooring as well as a new HVAC and electrical service installed throughout the entire facility. These renovations and improvements were completed in April, 2021. As well, a addition of new exhibit space, a storage room, an accessible entrance, and an outdoor pavilion were included.

“This investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation for a new HVAC system, new electrical service, seasonal waterline, complete renovation of the rear building as well the addition of an expanded display area, storage area and pavilion. Also, a BBQ set up for fundraising events to help keep the museum sustainable is great news for many in our community. This investment will ensure that programs and activities that contribute to the preservation of our shared history will continue to be provided and enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.  Congratulation and thanks to Victoria Beaulieu and the board of directors at the Maidstone and Area Historical Society on your dedication to protecting and promoting our deep history in Essex,” said Taras Natyshak, MPP for Essex.

“If history has taught us anything, it’s that history tends to repeat itself. This is why understanding and learning about the past influences us to make smart and better choices for the future, “ said Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent-Leamington.  “Funding museums such as Maidstone Bicentennial Museum in Lakeshore allows children and people of all ages to experience this knowledge.  With their new renovations, and the slow and safe reopening of the space, I am excited to see the positive impacts this museum will have on the community.” he added. 

Also included in the improvement project was the purchase of a new BBQ set up. This will be used for fundraising events which aid the Society in maintaining a sustainable operation for our community to enjoy and take part in learning and celebrating local history.  And, thanks to the $120,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, a clay oven was also granted to help as a teaching tool in 18th Century Cooking events the Society hosts for local schools, home schools, and during the annual 1812 Encampment.  

“We cannot thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Government of Ontario enough for their support in our community.  With their generous funding for renovations and upgrades to the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum, it has equipped the Society and community with better tools to educate and provide hands-on learning experiences  of local history for all ages,” said Victoria Beaulieu, President/Curator Maidstone and Area Historical Society.

Maidstone Bicentennial Museum is looking forward to welcoming the public back onsite, starting July 30, 2021 as it reopens under Stage 3 guidelines laid out by the Ontario government to assure a safe environment for all.  For hours of operation, please visit the website at: 

The Maidstone & Area Historical Society was founded on October 16th 1984, and Maidstone Bicentennial Museum was created.  MAHS is an incorporated Not-for-Profit organization proudly serving the local communities. 

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $115 million to 644 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario. 

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