The Bonnechere Arts and Historical Society is
a community-based, volunteer organization. It is an incorporated, non-profit,
registered charity, which has three functions:
- to operate Bonnechere Museum,
- to search for, collect, and encourage the writing of
historical materials; and
- to showcase artistic and cultural events.
Bonnechere Museum presents life as it developed along the
Bonnechere River: its environs, its landscape, exploration, settlement and
To fulfill its mandate, the Museum pursues the following
- to collect, preserve, research and interpret artifacts
for the enjoyment and education of residents and visitors now and in the
- to present or display interpretive, artistic,
educational, scientific, and historical projects that express the identity of
- to interpret natural heritage and diverse cultures,
- to form strategic partnerships with various groups that
help it fulfill its goals
- to foster cultural tourism by offering enrichment or
educational experiences that attract visitors whose stay in the community would
The Bonnechere Arts and Historical Society is licensed to
use the names Bonnechere Museum and Ordovician Fossil Capital of Canada.
A Live Museum
Learn by doing. Fossil hunters of all ages assemble
at the museum but extend their hunt to village walkabouts and quarry searches
for real Ordovician fossils. The Bonnechere natural landscape is a fossil
hunters paradise: the Ordovician Fossil Capital of Canada.
Quilting exhibits attract artisans from across
Canada, and the workshops showcase skills and inspire creativity.
Dancers and painters, writers and musicians
all weave the fabric of life along the Bonnechere.
As part of a larger economic community, Bonnechere Museum
promotes tourism. Tourism has three dimensions that seem easy to understand but
are difficult to turn into reality: heritage tourism, cultural tourism and
Heritage tourism means a whole community agrees to
capitalize on the traditional aspects of its area under the broad umbrella of
businesses, professional groups and residents, all of whom support one another
in actions and marketing strategies to attract visitors whose spending will
boost the local economy.
Within the idea of a whole community being involved in, and
supportive of, heritage tourism, there is a particular approach called cultural
tourism. Cultural tourism attracts visitors or travellers by ensuring that they
have an opportunity to learn and understand the history, use, influence and
context of objects and landscapes, or presentations and displays.
A Lou Harris Poll for Travel & Leisure Magazine, 1993,
identified this important trend in why people travel. The poll found that 88%
indicated a desire for enrichment; they wanted to understand a culture: they
wanted to learn something, not just look at objects or landscapes, but to
understand how both objects and landscapes made the people and their community
what they are.
John Weiler defines cultural landscape this way:
"The use and physical appearance of the land as we see it
now as a result of man's activities over time in modifying pristine landscapes
for his own purposes."
Weiler puts his focus on how people have changed the
landscape. However, Bonnechere Museum's plan will focus on the two way
interaction between people and the landscape. The human activities, the
languages, the arts and crafts of an area reveal its culture. Adding the
natural environment to culture creates cultural landscape. This double approach
culture and landscape is the basis for Bonnechere Museum's plan
that will be called "Cultural Landscapes". This plan will offer education and
enrichment to residents and visitors, a goal which is supportive of cultural
tourism, as well.
Support for the website was made possible through the
Eastern Ontario Development Program which is administered by the Renfrew County
Community Futures Development Corporation and FedNor.