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Heritage Passport program launched by Amherstburg’s museums and galleries

Updated: Jul 12

Mary-Katherine Whelan and Meg Reiner pose with Heritage Passports
Mary-Katherine Whelan (left) from the Amherstburg Freedom Museum and Meg Reiner from the Marsh Historical Collection show the new Heritage Passports that local museum and galleries are promoting. There are six sites in all that are part of the initiative.

Museums and galleries in Amherstburg have come together to attempt to boost participation and foot traffic.

A new “Heritage Passport” program has been created by the six local historical sites and galleries with participants eligible to win a prize. Sites participating include Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada, the Commissariat (home to the Provincial Marine), the Amherstburg Freedom Museum, the Gibson Gallery, the Marsh Historical Collection, and the Park House Museum.

Meg Reiner, collections co-ordinator with the Marsh Historical Collection, said it is their first attempt at a passport program. She noted everyone is welcome to participate and that admission fees to each site are not required to play.

Mary-Katherine Whelan, curator/administrator with the Amherstburg Freedom Museum, added the program is a way to increase visitation to each site. They all have a different story to tell, Whelan stated, and the “Heritage Passport” is aimed at bringing more people into each site.

“We were inspired by other municipalities doing something similar,” said Whelan.

The program runs through July and August. Reiner said that in order to play participants must visit each site listed on the “Heritage Passport” and answer the question provided. Once the passport is completed, it must be dropped off at one of the participating sites by Aug. 31 for a chance to win a prize. 

The question is posted near the main entrance to each of the sites.

“They are not hard questions,” said Reiner. “You can ask for help. It actually proves you came to the site and learned something about it.”

Each of the participating sites contributed an item that was put into the grand prize gift basket.

Whelan stated the sites have been promoting the program through their social media sites as well.

Passports can be picked up at the six participating sites as well as the Gordon House, the tourist information centre on Front Road North and the Essex County Library – Amherstburg Branch.

Both Whelan and Reiner said there is interest at expanding the program in future years. They could include businesses and other places of historic interest in future years.

“It’s a pilot to see how it goes this year,” said Whelan. “We hope to expand it.”

The museums and galleries hope to present more initiatives in the weeks and months ahead.

“I think we will come up with more programs in the future,” said Reiner.

“We have lots of ideas,” added Whelan.

Heritage Passport program launched by Amherstburg’s museums and galleries

By Ron Giofu


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