Loyal readers of the London Fog will likely remember my outraged posts concerning Fanshawe Pioneer Village and the free handouts they eventually received due to council's continual generosity with other people's money. Although the crumbling relic, as I so fondly refer to the nearly abandoned structure, sees only 28,000 visitors annually, including 10,000 students, the city recently dished out an extra $300,000, with the verbal promise of additional increased funding for the next five years, so long as the village embarks on a successful fundraising campaign and doubles their attendance over the next ten years. It should also be recalled that this funding was largely justified and granted in relation to threats by both city administrators and village staff claiming that demolishing the relic would cost more than keeping it afloat. From the plea press:
It will cost $1.7 million to close Fanshawe Pioneer Village, more than what the city has contributed to its operation over the last 10 years. And the city would be on the hook for the bulk of that cost, city administrators say in report to board of control today.
Well, yesterday I was visiting the city's homepage, and I came across this:
London’s heritage and museum sector received a $75,000 boost from the City of London as Landmarks London announced its 2005 grant recipients. This year’s grants were awarded to help local heritage sites promote and develop heritage tourism in London.And just guess who is on the list of recipients? Fanshawe Pioneer Village gets $15,000 for their "Sesquicentennial Costuming Project." They are still receiving more of our money from the city, even if it is indirectly. Other looters include the London Regional Children’s Museum, for True North Strong and Free: Arts, Heritage and Science in Arctic Canada, Secrets of Radar Museum for Phase II of the Lost Voices project, Heritage London Foundation to expand the use of Elsie Perrin Williams Estate and Grosvenor Lodge, London Museum of Archaeology for the Lawson Revitalization Project and Heritage London Foundation to support All That Has Value and Transmission: Still Life. Total sum = $75,000.
The Elsie Perrin Williams Estate was also in the news today. The shameful appropriation of other people's property and the shady business deals just never stop in this city:
The $1 million the city pockets from the sale of the old central library on Queens Avenue will be used to pay down the debt of the new library, if London's board of control has its way.Wow! Bryant should reconsider her use of the word philanthropy in this context. In the first place, the money used to fund these 'city-owned heritage buildings' year after year is not rightfully theirs to give away but can only be awarded by forcing residents to produce the cash, whether they agree to such uses of their earnings or not. In addition, it is a shameful piece of London history that they city fought the wishes of a benefactor in court so they could use the money as they please, not as it was willed. We have encountered such behaviour before in connection with the library when money willed for Landon and Central branch libraries was 'borrowed' to finish the concrete Rotary Reading Garden.