Letter: Museum defends ATV trade show decision after social media post

To the editor

The Princeton and District Museum and Archives Society would like to clarify its position regarding participation in the upcoming off road vehicle trade show in Princeton. We respectfully declined the invitation to attend the event with a display of KVR related artifacts.

The society finds it unfortunate that Mr. Vermette, the organizer of the event, chose to take our decline letter to social media and present our reasons in a negative and damaging light.

The society considered the offer to attend very carefully, and came to the decision to decline for a number of reasons. One of those reasons was indeed to remain neutral on the divisive issue of off road vehicle use of the KVR through town, and we felt we were being asked to attend and present KVR history in order to lend some weight in this discussion. We would rather remain neutral.

However, more significant reasons included; the logistics involved in setting up a mini-museum, which is notoriously difficult to do, staffing issues and a lack of available volunteers and resources to attend the event, which, as an off road vehicle show, has very little connection to our mission statement or goals as a museum.

We did, however, offer to extend our opening hours at the museum during the weekend of the event so that out-of-town guests could be directed to visit us and experience the full facility and all of our displays. This fact was not relayed by Mr. Vermette in his critisicm of our decision.

In general, we find it extremely disappointing that Mr Vermette chose to attack a volunteer led, not-for-profit society on social media, rather than discuss his concerns with us directly.

We feel this is the type of action that has poor consequences for his reputation, our reputation, and the community’s reputation as presented to the visiting public. We continue to wish Mr. Vermette and his colleagues every success with their event and look forward to hosting many visitors at the museum.

Princeton and District Museum and Archive Society Executive Committee.

 

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