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Leeds County Heritage Network (LCHN) Meeting
Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 2pm at the Portland Library

Present: Patrick McMaster, Erika Heesen, Patti Mordasewicz, Myrtle Johnston, Henry Smid, Bill Boulton, Pierre Mercier
Regrets: Molly Sorenson, Barb Morrison, Diane Haskins, Sue Warren, Jackalyn Brady, Pat Ladd, Pauline Rugge, Doug Bond

Networking event & recruitment of volunteers/committee (Pierre)
With Pierre’s agreement, discussion of a networking event was folded into the more general discussion about format of future meetings and possible future speakers.

LCHN Site - new features (Patrick)
The brochure is now available on the website http://www.leedsheritage.ca, and we are working on member profiles. This information will mostly come from the brochure information.  We are also waiting on an upgrade of the site software to implement some changes, including login information.
If you want to post something on the LCHN twitter, send it to info@leedsheritage.ca

LCHN Brochure update (Erika)
Unfortunately, the St. Lawrence Bicentennial Alliance has run into a snafu with their bags to go to schools, and they will not be ready to go out until the fall. Erika suggested that we give 500 to Patti for the OGS conference, and 500 to the Ontario Heritage Trust Conference, and we will give Jan whatever is left over after that. Everyone present agreed with this plan.

Patrick said to please distribute the brochures widely, and that if you are somewhere that needs brochures, please let us know! This includes other institutions across the border.

Erika added that a press release for the LCHN brochure will be sent out next week.

Discussion: future meeting formats. How often do we meet? What kind of meetings do you want to have? (i.e. more social, more formal). We currently meet every 6 weeks or so.

Erika started off the discussion by saying that we could streamline the meetings down to two per year, in March and October.  The March meeting can discuss summer plans, while the October meeting can debrief the summer and organize the brochure for the following year.
Pierre added that we could always set sub-committees for any additional work or events we would like to take on.

Patrick and Erika added that their concern is that they are currently both on contracts that end at the end of May, and will likely not be able to continue leading the Network.
Myrtle added that we really need someone to provide leadership for the group.
Patrick asked about approaching the County in this regard.
Pierre commented that there is currently no heritage infrastructure at the County level, but if we lay the groundwork, we could perhaps request some assistance in a year or so.
Myrtle added that she has heard from people in Grenville who were interested in the Network and wanted to know why they didn’t have one. The group discussed considering expanding to include Grenville, particularly if we want to look for assistance at the County level. An option would be to have two groups that work in concert.

Pierre mentioned that we should consider partnerships among organizations when applying for grants and to recruit volunteers.  He also mentioned that they had considered pushing for a County Archivist with satellite sites, as opposed to a County Archives (which does not currently exist).
It was added that the Grenville County Historical Society does not co-ordinate partnerships among or with other groups in the County.
Patti added that when the Stormont/Glengarry/Dundas branch of the OGS folded, the Leeds and Grenville OGS has picked up some of the slack. Their collection has also been scattered.

Patrick added that the brochure could be handed off, as the logo and designwork were done and can just be updated in future. Patrick and Erika will be ready to hand over documents and passwords, etc. before they leave.
Patrick also said that the duties (contacting people, minutes, updating website, etc) can be compartmentalized, so it wouldn’t rest on one person’s shoulders.

Everyone agreed that we do want to keep talking to each other and keep producing the brochure.
Bill said that the most important part of our meetings is sharing of information. Everyone agreed that they did not want to see the Network disappear, like other previous regional history groups.
Patti added that copying can be good, and she was able to find speakers by looking at who had spoken in the area recently.
Patrick asked if we wanted to have speakers at all at our meetings, when we want the focus to be on our sharing information. Patti said she thought it should be a split of both, and Pierre added that we want speakers for the Network that talk about things like cultural heritage/tourism

Common themes that came out of the discussion regarding meeting format:
• Daytime meetings work best
• No meetings on weekends
• Wednesday or Thursday seem to be more convenient
• Should pick a consistent time of the month (eg. The third Wednesday in March) in order for members to be able to plan for meetings and avoid conflicts
• Should rotate between the north and the south of the County
• Keep roundtable discussion, and focus on our conversations over having a speaker

Possible topics for a speaker:
• Cultural/heritage tourism
• Tour app/technology (such as Rideau Lakes tour apps). It was also suggested that we could set ourselves up as a consortium and should investigate group rates for these types of things.
• Volunteer recruitment and retention

It was agreed that we would continue this discussion at our next meeting in May.

General Member updates:
Diane Haskins (Elgin)
Elgin left invitations to their upcoming events to be distributed at the meeting. Upcoming events are:
Historical Fashion Show & Tea, Elgin Red Brick Schoolhouse, June 2, 2-4pm. $15
Red Brick Schoolhouse Birthday Party with music “King of the Swingers”, Elgin Red Brick Schoolhouse, June 15, 7:30-10pm. Cash bar.
Third Annual Spelling Bee, Elgin Red Brick Schoolhouse, June 16, 1-3pm.
Theatre & Dessert ‘A Lasting Impression’, Elgin Lions Hall, June 16, 7pm & June 17, 2pm. $20

Bill Boulton (LTI Historical Society)
The LTI Historical Society will be celebrating its 20th anniversary on September 17, 2012.
Bill is also looking for War of 1812 speakers. Myrtle mentioned that Bob Garcia was a good speaker.

Patti Mordasewicz (Leeds & Grenville OGS)
Has cultural tourism articles that she will post to Heritage Talk.
The Leeds/Grenville OGS have two upcoming speakers on the First World War
They have applied for a Young Canada Works grant for a summer student to do some work in their Archives.
The OGS has also sent a list to the School Board of schools in Leeds and Grenville in order to transfer records. Erika added that the school records that have been found for the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands are now at the LTI Archives (these are the daily attendance registers for schools in Gananoque, Lyndhurst, Soperton, Long Point, Rockport & Grenadier Island).
Fort de la Presentation's 1812 'War College' is April 27-28 in Ogdensburg: http://www.fort1749.org/

Pierre (LTI Municipal Heritage Committee)
New Lyndhurst walking tour brochures have been printed.
Rockport tour has now been translated into French.

Henry Smid (Athens & Area Heritage Society)
The Society has lost many of their regular volunteers.
The Museum will open this summer, thanks to a Young Canada Works grant that employs a student for the Chamber of Commerce and the Museum.

Erika Heesen (LTI Archives)
The Archives will have a display and the 1812 travelling trunk as part of the Escott Spring Thing during Doors Open, May 26
The Archives is also hosting a series of Genealogy Lunch ‘n’ Learns throughout May leading up to the OGS and Ontario Heritage Trust Conferences in Kingston. Lansdowne Library, Thursdays, 12pm. Free, no registration required. Topics are:
May 3: birth, marriage, & death records
May 10: immigration & census records
May 17: land records
May 24: military service records

Next Meeting: Wednesday, May 23 at 2pm at Springfield House