About the Voyageur Heritage Network...
The Voyageur Heritage Network is a non-profit corporation made of museums, historical societies, cultural groups and institutions in the Rainbow Country, the Near North, the Algoma Country and the James Bay Frontier tourism travel area. The areas where our 39 members are located may roughly be defined as being bound by the following communities, Mattawa, Parry Sound, Blind River and Haileybury. The VHN has been in existence since 1983 and was incorporated in September 1990. The Network is a "grass roots", self-help organization. Our purpose is to help member heritage and cultural groups develop and offer better services to their communities.
The Network forms a unique group within Ontario's cultural community, it is comprised of a diverse membership ranging from a small log church to a provincial tourist attraction, from an art gallery to a "museum without walls". The VHN depicts unique stories of Northern Ontario's history and culture. The sites and the stories they tell reflect a strong sense of charm and adventure that stands these apart from the many historic sites in Southern Ontario. The quality of the visit, not the size of the site, is the key to creating a marketable product. There is potential for our organization to capitalize upon current interest in cultural/heritage tourism.
What We Do...
It is the purpose of the VHN to support and offer services to museums as repositories for artifacts, as well as to organizations of an arts, heritage and cultural base. We want to promote interest in and the study of arts, heritage and culture. We want to encourage research into the history within our geographic area.
Guest speakers and presenters have addressed the membership and the public at our semi-annual meetings, on topics as varied as museum insurance, exhibit design and development, traveling exhibits, care of artifacts and educational programming. Meetings are held at sites throughout the Network. This regular rotation of our meeting locations ensures that the participants get to know each other's sites, and that the host site has an opportunity to receive "hands on" assistance from other museum workers. Workshops are an important part of the meeting agenda, and are often tailored to meet the needs of the host site. Each of the meetings includes a round table discussion promoting interaction between the members, and discussion about common concerns.
The VHN offers accessible, affordable advice and assistance to heritage and cultural organizations. This service, in turn is reflected in the individual institutions improved ability to fulfill their goals in their own communities. Because of our accessibility, the Network is able to assist heritage organizations in northeastern Ontario.
The VHN has recently developed a marketing initiative to promote our members within our geographic area. We developed a website and produced a new brochure which promotes all of our museums. We also promote our members' individual brochures in the local tourist information centers.
The cost to become a member of the VHN is $ 50.00 per institution/year.