Monday, February 21, 2005

Figures - noone except the media cares

Yet another shameless example of misleading journalism courtesy of The London Free Press. It reminds me of a headline I saw a few years back, informing us that "Murderer Found not Guilty." Although a front page story in the paper copy, the article is curiously omitted from the online version.

I have ranted enough about Fanshawe Pioneer Village and its handful of advocates, but I just knew they were going to try this tactic, rather than getting off their asses to find alternate sources of funding. BUT I GUESS IT IS BECAUSE NOONE REALLY CARES. This pathetic cry for public funds in light of the news that the city has a 'surplus' just about sums it up:

"The least they can do is restore the $75,000 to Fanshawe Pioneer Village to keep it open. After spending so much on establishing it, why on Earth would be abandon it for $75, 000."
Put your own money where your mouth flaps - why on earth would we spend an additional $75,000 in addition to the $215,000 for operations the city has agreed to fork over for a decrepit relic NOONE CARES about. The line must be drawn somewhere people.

© 2005 The London Free Press

Of particular note in regards to the presentation of the Free Press story, of the mere 30 Londoners who bothered to write or email about the village, only about half of them were in support of coughing up more funds, although these letters were given disproportionate weight in that they were printed above the dissenters. In other words, the Free Press strongly suggests the desires of fifteen or so writers justify stealing $75,000 from already overtaxed Londoners. But I forget myself - did people really think such 'assets' come for free?

Update: A whopping 269!! people, and not all of them from London, have expended the effort to sign an online petition to Save Fanshawe Pioneer Village.
This is an investment in our city and in a growing attraction and educational and cultural resource that makes our city and our sense of self unique. Ten years of urgent requests for City operating support have brought us to this crucial stage in the survival of the 'living history museum'. The demise of Fanshawe Pioneer Village and subsequent disbursement of its fine collections would be the equivalent of cutting off an arm because of the loss of the direct connection of the heritage objects with their history.

This is the essence of a 'living history museum� but Fanshawe Pioneer Village engages the community in the ongoing lessons and values that make London what it is today and help shape our collective vision and understanding of what London might be in the future.

Aside from the incalculable value of preserving, making accessible and interpreting our own cultural heritage, the economic spin-off from all cultural attractions,(as surveyed and calculated in consultants' studies by the Canadian Museums Association and the Ontario Association of Art Galleries), is conservatively estimated at $4 to $5 for every dollar invested. Fanshawe Pioneer Village is ours to have and to hold. Once it is gone, we can't go out and buy our past again.

1 Comment:

MapMaster said...

At the current rate, the London Fog will have as many visitors in the next five years as Fanshawe Pioneer Village has each year. That means we're entitled to a $40 000 annual operating grant from the city! Yay!