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On Jan 27, 2014, Rick Miller, the chair of the Marie Dressler Foundation, asked Council for more space for the Marie Dressler Museum in Marie Dressler House.  The building currently accommodates Tourism and Economic Development staff as well as the small museum but was originally restored after a fire by the Marie Dressler Foundation (more below).  On February 4, 2014, Council agreed to provide more space but also asked that a formal agreement be prepared to legalize the arrangement between the town and the Foundation on the Museum room.  At the Council meeting of February 23, 2015 Rick returned to remind Council that this had still not been finalized/approved and that meanwhile there was considerable progress on creating a design and plan for the refurbished space.

Museum studentsBlair Newby, Alexandra Jeffrey, Jaime Clifton-Ross, Mackenzie Warner, Brittney SprouleFive University of Toronto Museum Management Masters Program students are in a partnership with the Foundation and have almost finished the design of a professional museum to replace the current exhibits. The intent is that the Museum should be rejuvenated with a new focus and an objective to:

  • Present a compelling exhibit about the life and achievements of Marie Dressler that both educates and entertains visitors.
  • Enhance the collection of artifacts that are directly related to Marie Dressler through donations or purchases, ensuring all artifacts are properly preserved, archived and protected.
  • Improve the visitor traffic pattern with a better room layout with a better display of posters, documents and artifacts and provide a new and improved audio-visual presentation.

The students (photo right) gave an impressive presentation on how 400 square feet could become an interactive experience instead of being just a memorabilia room.

In his presentation, Rick repeated what has been said several times lately at Council meetings:

  • Culture and Heritage are strong contributors to the economic vitality of a community

This supports Strategic action 2.5 of the new Strategic Plan “Develop a policy on the Town's financial support for arts, culture and heritage”.

Rick said that “the Mission of the Foundation is to attract visitors to Cobourg to discover Marie Dressler”.

The Council also originally stated that they wanted to take the opportunity to “re-design the space at Dressler House with a goal of creating a more efficient and professional lay-out conducive to conducting business and meeting with clients.”  This would need additional funds for the Economic Development Department.

Council then voted to support the expansion of the museum space and to refer the request for funding to the upcoming budget deliberations.

Below are the existing museum and the proposed museum space expansion.

Dressler Museummuseum room

Report on original presentation on January 27, 2014

About Marie Dressler and Marie Dressler House

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