I was surprised to see that the Guelph Civic Museum has an annual budget of a whopping $1 K for acquisitions, which it shares with the McCrae House.
While I know part of the pitch to move the Guelph Civic Museum was to improve the facilities for the collections, including having better storage of what we already have and of course, I get that the collections are mostly donated — it’s hard to not see a mis-match of sorts between the energy for a “new” ($12.7 M) building and what cash is available for acquisitions.
Add to this a question about what the City accepted for 6 Dublin, the former location for the Guelph Civic Museum — was it sold for less than what was offered by the second bidder? We will learn the purchase price when the sale closes this fall, but I’m guessing we will not know the offer that was passed over.
To be fair, it may well be argued that the building is now better matched to the value of the existing collection — but really, a thousand bucks a year for acquisitions? You have to admit, as far as budgeting goes, that seems kinda goofy — for the amount of money we put into the building.
Does that kind of budgeting make sense to you?
So of course we need a bigger acquisitions budget now that we have a bigger building.
And around we go.
Then again, the broader public reaction could be something along the lines of, “Maybe there was another way that this relocation could have happened, perhaps it would have allowed for better outcomes.” Such as it goes when attachment to an idea takes over and the folks who are bringing forward… equally legitimate concerns… are “shouted down”. As it turns out, getting into it can involve Crossing the line and flipping your car.
Time will tell if this was the best direction for the City, for Guelph Museums, notwithstanding dismissive missives written about so-called grumpy people — at the very end of a significant outlaw in cash, at the very beginning of the lifecycle of all of that work. The cost of this direction, in terms of other public goods and the choices we will need to make will be, with more transparency, more fully understood by the public soon enough.
In the meantime, if it’s a matter of money for the building, that doesn’t seem to matter — just throw more at it, we have made the investment after all.
Just don’t ask what the museum can afford by way of acquisitions.