The Friends of Point Frederick: ‘Taking on a big task’

 

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The Friends of Point Frederick: ‘Taking on a big task’

How to fund a Museum: Chapter 3 Friends and Family

Article by: 5992 Jim Barrett (photo left) & Ron Haycock

In e-Veritas 43 we (“we” being the RMCC Heritage and Museum Committee) wrote that we are going to build a new RMC museum, and we expect it to cost about $13M. It’s a lot of money to raise by private subscription, and we have decided that The Friends of Point Frederick (the Friends), a registered charity affiliated neither with DND nor the College, will undertake the task of fundraising. In Chapter 3 of this series: How do you fund a Museum? we will tell you about the Friends.

 

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A great place to start is with the website of Friends of the Canadian War Museum (FCWM): https://www.friends-amis.org.

There you will find that: The FCWM came into being in 1985 in response to what many Canadians felt was an embarrassing neglect by government to depict Canada’s military experience and to commemorate the wartime sacrifices of Canadians. A Canadian War Museum had been created in 1942 but was under-funded and housed in unsatisfactory premises in Ottawa, with the collections split between a main exhibition building on Sussex Street and a former street car repair depot in a west end industrial area.

The Friends was organized by concerned citizens to raise funds to assist the Museum and to focus the government’s attention on correcting the unsatisfactory situation.

The situation with the present RMC Museum may not be “embarrassing” but the parallel is clear (see previous chapters, Issue 43). It was clear we had to have a legal body that would allow us to act efficiently and quickly with a degree of independent decision making.

In 2013, the RMC Foundation saw a Museum project as outside its mission, and so the Friends of Point Frederick was born. The founding members are all well-known to the RMC family: 4459 Cmdre (Retd) Ed Murray, 3572 MGen (Retd) Frank Norman, and S124 Ron Haycock, two former Commandants and a former Dean of Arts (photos).

From its website: http://rmcmuseum.ca/about-us/friends-of-point-frederick/ we learn that:

The Friends of Point Frederick (the Friends) was incorporated federally in 2013 as a Not-for-Profit Charitable organization designed to support the preservation and exhibition of historical collections and archival material depicting the history of Point Frederick, the Royal Military College and other important sites in the City of Kingston; to research, educate and communicate that history; and to provide and maintain a Museum at Point Frederick.

The Friends provides support independently from the Department of National Defence, and “the Friends as an organization is not governed by the National Defence Act but rather by the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act.

As a charitable organization it can issue Charitable Receipts for donations made to support its work. This would include  any  donations to  the  Museum building  fund  or for  any  supporting task for  the  Museum .

Note that “to provide and maintain a Museum at Point Frederick” is a key element of the Friends’ mandate. Since its formation, the Friends have established an active presence on the peninsula. It is responsible for the story boards along the path of the College walking tour, it provides funding for the curatorial assistant in the College Museum, it funds the Museum website as well as purchase key items for the collections. It has produced RMC Treasures, a superb catalogue of the Museum’s collections. RMC Treasures is available at the RMC Club gift shop.

The mandate of the Friends gives the Heritage and Museum Committee scope better to address its mandate for “heritage” and to widen its activity beyond the narrow college/ cadet/ex-cadet scenario. Finally, the Friends is better positioned to provide professional resources to supplement dedicated volunteers.

As usual, please send comments, questions and other feedback to jim.barrett@rmc.ca or leave a comment in the box below. As a result of the (very sparse) feedback from the last issue, we have decided to produce a few more “chapters” for the coming issues of e-Veritas. We’ll see you next Issue.