As an avid lover of local history, I eagerly waited for the SD&G Historical Society’s presentation to City Council on February 26. What I witnessed astounded me. The hour long question period between council and the society did nothing but cement my own opinion that the Society lacks transparency. I was appalled to learn that the newly created assistant-curator/Manager position, funded by municipal funds, was never advertised through any media outlets. According to the Society’s vice-president/Chairperson, Sue Holland-Lalonde, the assistant-curator position was given to “the perfect candidate, that showed up on their (the Society’s) front door.” She later mentioned that the candidate’s qualifications were suitable for a “small town museum.”
The Ontario Museum Association’s (OMA) Recruiting and Hiring Museum Curators and Directors report, clearly states that “a university degree, together with a Certificate in Museum Studies, or other post-degree/certificate programs is sufficient for entry level positions in the museum sector, experience in planning, policy development, human resource management, facility management and experience with non-profit Boards/Advisory Committees is necessary for senior staff positions in a community museum.”
Although possessing experience working within the Cornwall Community Museum, the Assistant-Curator/Manager’s qualifications (which are readily available for viewing on his LinkedIn page) seem to fall short of what the OMA describes as adequate for a senior staff position within a museum, let alone an entry level position.
Cornwall has several residents possessing post-secondary education in history and other related fields. Why were they never made aware of the position? Why was it never advertised? Could advertising the position have allowed the Cornwall Community Museum to be managed by the most qualified candidate? Perhaps…