The Fernie & District Historical Society is a vibrant, community-based organization dedicated to recording and presenting our history so we can understand, communicate and preserve the uniqueness of our community. Between 2009 and 2014, the Society, with the support of 55 volunteers and 22 local businesses generated over $565,000 to rehabilitate and restore the Home Bank building located at 491 Victoria (2nd) Avenue in the heart of historic downtown Fernie, as well as develop and install its ongoing core exhibit, This Is Our Fernie, on the main floor.
The Museum now has shifted its focus from capital development to community engagement, enhancing the visitor experience to Fernie and making our collections as broadly accessible to the public as possible. We are excited that the Museum has seen its visitation grow from 8,519 in 2008 at the temporary location to 20,012 in 2016.
The Fernie Museum operates on four strategic principles:
Build Community | Foster a sense of community by engaging residents and visitors
Build Place | Foster a positive sense of place and pride for residents and visitors alike
Build Memory | Develop and provide access to the museum’s collections and share community stories
Build Sustainability | Adopt long-term financial, operational and enviornmental sustainability practices
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES FOR 2016 to 2017
The 2016 to 2020 Strategic Plan builds on the Fernie Museum’s first strategic plan (2009 to 2015) which outlined the strategies which moved the Museum from the purchase of the historic Home Bank building to the first year of Museum operations. The 2016 to 2020 plan provides a solid foundation from which we can engage our community and audiences with Fernie’s rich heritage, continue to develop long-term organizational sustainability and set the stage for future growth. The board established twelve strategic priorities which can be described under four strategic pillars:
- Building Community. The Museum plays a vital role in addressing community needs and issues and offers every visitor and resident a legitimate way to contribute to the institution and community.
- Develop and deliver diversified programs in partnership with other organizations to target audiences based on age, interest and demographics.
- Bring together heritage and cultural organizations to formulate a cohesive master plan to actively engage residents and visitors with the community’s arts, culture and heritage and which promotes the community as a cultural and community hub.
- Create social platforms from which residents and visitors can engage with the Museum and one another.
- Building Place. Strategically shaping the physical and social character of Fernie and the Elk Valley region around heritage, arts and culture.
- Create programming experiences based on culturally significant themes/places that build connections, understanding, knowledge, and respect for place.
- Create memorable experiences and build audience by integrating relevant technologies.
- Grow our physical capacity by nurturing shared space opportunities.
- Building Memory. Preservation/conservation of the museum’s artifact and archival collections supported by the implementation of new collections management database, policies, and procedures.
- Integrating accepted museum standards for collection and storage of artifacts into baseline museum operations;
- Cataloguing the archival collection and assess the state of our current object collection;
- Developing and implementing strategies to inventory and document intangible community heritage and for documenting community, commercial, industrial and family histories.
- Building Sustainability. The Museum successfully leverages additional funding and community support through grants, sponsorships and volunteers. Develop and implement sustainability policies and operational practices.
- Grow earned revenue to be 30% of the annual budget.
- Build community support through membership and fund development. (Objective to include volunteer strategy).
- Create a marketing and communications strategy with an aim to build audiences and engagement.