Government, not corporations, contribute to beacons of Cumberland South’s cultural heritage
© Contributed Photo (Caption by Jamie Heap-Cumberlandnewsnow.com)
The Springhill Mining Heritage Society receives provincial funding from the Community Museum Assistance Program (CMAP), a division of Communities, Culture and Heritage. Museums such as the Springhill Miners' Museum and the Age of Sail Heritage Centre are much more likely to receive funding from government that corporations. This has led some to question what effect, if any, cuts to corporate handouts would have on such non-profit organizations in the rural riding of Cumberland South.
SPRINGHILL-Non-profit organizations such as museums appear to have little to worry about when it comes to cutting corporate handouts as PC leader/ Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie says he would do if elected premier.
It would seem that governments, not corporations, are more likely to contribute to these beacons of heritage, especially in rural ridings such as Cumberland South.
“I can see how many will worry that cutting corporate handouts will hurt a lot of non-profits,” stated Age of Sail Heritage Centre curator Oralee O’Byrne. “People may be assuming that that the trickle down will be that corporations will cut back on their donations to non-profits. This may be a problem, especially in larger centres. However, if that cutback means more funding will be in place through other channels for non-profits, the hope is that it would balance out,” she added.
The potential effects of corporate cutbacks do not seem applicable to Cumberland County.
“Unfortunately, for most of the local non-profits that I have worked with, we are not helped by corporate donations,” claimed O’Byrne. “For example, during our building project fundraiser, we sent out 52 letters to various corporations doing business within Cumberland County and received one response, which, (read) ‘Sorry, we are supporting other ventures at this time,’” added O’Byrne.
O’Byrne is not happy with corporations. “All I see with corporations is CEOs with enormous bonuses; expense accounts and tax breaks, while I pay taxes upon taxes; pay for my own expenses, whether personal or work related, and struggle to pay my bills and support my family or organizations that matter to me,” said O’Byrne.
“Our organization, as most rural non-profits are, is supported by neighbors and individual contributors who scrap and save to support themselves and the things which matter to them,” stated O’Byrne. “Putting money back into peoples’ pockets is most important to me,” she added. “When I have more money, I have more money to put back into the community, whether it is through shopping; visiting a site I could not afford to travel to otherwise; or to support a local organization.”
Regarding the aforesaid building project, such federal/provincial government departments as Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, not corporations, have contributed financially to it.
A similar situation exists in Springhill in relation to its Mining Heritage Society.
“Every year, the Springhill Mining Heritage Society receives provincial funding from the Community Museum Assistance Program, a division of Communities, Culture and Heritage,” stated Springhill Mining Heritage Association president Jamie Henwood. “Without this funding, our museum would cease to operate.”
“We appreciate the strong interest Jamie Baillie has shown in our work,” he added.
“Supporting community groups is very important to me,” stated Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie. “As MLA, I have worked to get help for important local causes such as the Springhill Miners’ Museum, Anne Murray Centre, Age of Sail Museum, Diligent River Community Centre and many others,” he added. “I want to lead a government that protects this support and enhances it in the future.”