I joined the Board for a couple of reasons. One, my family has donated articles to the museum, and I felt it was time to do my part. My grandparents broke the sod and settled here, so the museum’s history is my history.
Secondly, I feel it’s incumbent upon everyone in communities to volunteer whatever time they can. It’s essential to a community’s existence. Maybe people don’t feel that connection to a museum, maybe it’s not personal enough to them, or there just isn’t enough people to go around. I don’t know. Is volunteering becoming obsolete? Service clubs would say yes.Chris Schoular, Volunteer, Clayton McLain Memorial Museum, Cut Knife Elks
Chris is referring to the trend of decreasing volunteer participation identified by the Saskatchewan Nonprofit Partnership in their 2022 report Volunteerism in Saskatchewan and the Impacts of Covid-19. As mentioned in This Report is Talking About Us, in the 5 years prior to Covid-19, volunteer participation had dropped across Canada by approximately 35%. There are many reasons for this, including an aging population, time constraints, shifting priorities, financial and health reasons, etc., but the challenges impacting organizations like the CMMM are serious.
The Museum is fortunate to have a solid, hardworking group of volunteers who participate in the seasonal work bees, and have helped ready the new building for moving day. However, in all honesty, we are just treading water, right now. When new opportunities arise, or unforeseen events occur, we have to let things go, and it kills us to do that. Summer 2022 was especially difficult because we didn’t have any applicants for the summer employment position, and most of the Trustees we do have, are employed full-time. Without enough Board members, here is some of what we had to let happen:
- The Museum remained closed for the 2022 Canada Day weekend.
- Angie, the Assistant Curator, worked alone the entire summer cataloguing as many artifacts as possible in between leading hour-long tours for visitors.
- The Museum closed a few weeks early when Angie had to leave before the summer was finished.
- We had to pass over the Federal Government’s Student Work Placement Program, Propel, because no one was available to research and write the proposal or, if successful, to supervise and mentor a post-secondary student.
- We had to pass over the Community Services Recovery Fund, which targeted nonprofit organizations that wanted to modernize or adapt their systems and services, because that application needed a team to put it together.
We don’t have to imagine what we could do with a Board of 10 or 12 Trustees and a half dozen committee members. We only have to look through past editions of the Cut Knife Courier or scroll through the blog to see what’s possible. With a strong Board and a committed group of volunteers, we would be able to:
- Host workshops and speakers; run an afternoon summer camp for children;
- Research and publish projects like Atton’s Lake – a Summer Meeting Place, Cut Knife and Districts School Sites & Points of Interest, and Cut Knife Town Centre;
- Participate in tourism partnerships;
- Fundraise – remember Ladies Night Out?
- Celebrate Canada Day and Heritage Day with fireworks, a dance, a play, or a meal, and
- Deal with unforeseen circumstances OR opportunities as they presented themselves.
The current Board has about 3 weeks to find a few more people interested in joining us as a Trustee. If you have any questions, or would like more information, see below.
CLICK THROUGH FOR INFO ABOUT THE CMMM BOARD
1. This Report is Talking about Us
2. With or Without Makes a Difference
3. Why We Do It
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Sunday, March 26 at 3pm at the Cut Knife Community Centre, 205 Orton Street. In addition to reviewing the Annual Report and Financial Report, the CMMM will be electing Board Trustees.
- Trustee terms are 2 years
- Meetings once a month on the 4th Monday evening
It is essential we have a full slate of Board Members so we can maintain seasonal museum operations, initiate and complete new projects, and so much more. Each person brings something different to the table including their personal skill set, their interests and experience. Without a full Board, the museum is merely existing. If you’d like to find out a bit more, visit the Volunteer page here and/or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CMMM celebrated its 50th Anniversary a few years ago. Let’s all work to insure its success for another 50 years.
~ Debbie M.