New Heritage Centre Coming To John R. Park Homestead

Friday February 14th, 2020

Posted at 7:05pm


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The Government of Canada announced $600,000 for a  new heritage centre at the John R. Park Homestead.

Built in 1842, the Homestead is the only living agricultural museum west of London. It has twice received the distinction of being voted the best museum or heritage space in Windsor-Essex and was awarded the Russel K. Cooper Award as the best living history museum in Ontario.

The new Heritage Centre will enhance the educational and cultural experiences for all who visit. It will feature an adequate, climate-controlled creative commons for students of all ages, a significantly enhanced exhibit space, an outdoor classroom space and accessible and expanded washroom facilities. It will also serve as a tourism hub for the region.

Wanting to maximize this once-in-a-generation opportunity, the Essex Region Conservation Foundation has committed to match the funds granted by the Canadian Experiences Fund. The Stephanie and Barry Zekelman Foundation have kicked off the campaign with a donation of $100,000 to create a ‘first stop’, with a beautiful local artisan gift shop, innovative programming space and significantly enhanced tourism promotional area. This will be named the Stephanie and Barry Zekelman Foundation Welcome Centre.

In addition, a $100,000 from the bequeathed estate of historian, and long-time Homestead supporter, Mrs. Alvira Wigle has been allocated to the project, and donations from dozens of individuals and the Friends of the John R. Park Homestead total an additional $40,000 to date.

Of the $1.2 million budget, $840,000 has been raised.

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