Romano wants answers on “significant disparity” in Museum funding

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One city councillor is wondering why the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre fails to receive the same amount of funding as other Northern Ontario attractions.

Ross Romano has penned a letter to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport asking for the rationale behind the funding allotments and why the Bushplane Museum only receives a fraction compared to Science North in Sudbury for example.

The Bushplane museum, as does Science North , receives monies through the Community Museum Operating Grant. Romano questions the “significant disparity” when it comes to the grants awarded. Currently the CBHC receives just $46,700 annually compared to over $9 million each year to Science North. The Fort William Museum in Thunder Bay is awarded over over $7 million.  The North Bay Museum gets $63,500.

Romano notes that the Ministry funds approximately 30 percent of Science North’s $30 million annual budget while the CBHC equates to less than 1 percent of the $800,000 yearly budget. The City throws in an extra $110,000 a year but can’t increase that amount.

Romano also has questions regarding the actual application process. “We believe there to be a lack of transparency with respect  to the method  in which the Ministry determines what level of funding, if any, an applicant will receive” Romano added, “there does not appear to be a mechanism for an applicant to demonstrate increased growth”

That’s a big problem according Romano , who also sits on the Bushplane board. “The CBHC has seen tremendous success and growth in the last several years despite significant funding shortages” Romano said.

The CBHC  is desperately seeking to add two full time positions to the museum and to grow as a tourist attraction, but Romano feels that won’t happen without additional dollars.

Romano wants to see funding increase annually by $200,000 on top of the $46,700 allotted currently. “Without additional funding, the CBHC can no longer grow  and can not realize its potential to become a sustainable destination tourist attraction in the province of Ontario, Romano said.

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