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Public Consultation

Members of the public are invited to information sharing sessions on Wednesday, October 10 between 6:30-7:30pm. Your presence, engagement and feedback is most appreciated! Please RSVP.

Have you heard the exciting news? We’re set to expand and will be doubling in size!

On Monday, May 28, David Marskell, CEO of THEMUSEUM, welcomed community members, arts and culture supporters, politicians and members of the media to our expansive atrium for an important announcement. 

BMO Bank of Montreal announced a sole purchaser agreement with THEMUSEUM, allowing us to purchase 2 King Street West, Kitchener. This acquisition enables us to expand in size and scope, while BMO sets the stage for a critical mass of arts and culture in downtown Kitchener. To further assist, BMO has pledged a $1M donation to help transform the core’s cultural connection to the community and to be a catalyst for renewal of arts and culture in the heart of the city. The acquisition comes at a crucial time, helping secure long-sought sustainability for THEMUSEUM, an issue long identified by the Board of Directors.

THEMUSEUM has come to play a vital role in the rejuvenation of downtown Kitchener, with its 100,000+ annual visitors. With the LRT expected to connect our communities like never before, an expanded museum will create a virtually endless stream of future collaborations. It will add to the quality of life for our residents while also assisting in attracting and retaining talented individuals and their families.

THEMUSEUM will now enter a period of consultation which includes connecting with funders and interested groups. Seeking input from local stakeholders will ensure that what is created will effectively support the needs of the community in an accessible and impactful way. We are, as always, open to collaborating with other groups to create something truly unique that celebrates the DNA of this community.

The purchase of 2 King Street West is expected to close later this year. We will continue to keep the community updated on our website and via social media. The full media release, including quotes, can be found here.

A Message from our CEO, David Marskell

This September marks the 15th anniversary of the opening of The Waterloo Region Children’s Museum. Our motto was “Art, Science & Technology at Play.”

It was an amazing vision when this community came together and raised $17M to reclaim Goudies department store. The funding model and our sustainability has always been an issue and something our Board of Directors has focused on for the past eight years. This current group of visionaries see the bigger, better, BOLDER picture – and look to an exciting future.

This announcement – the property acquisition and subsequent donation – is the first step on the path to sustainability. With this additional space and support, we will be able to flourish and thrive like never before.

We’ve created one-of-a-kind experiences in the past, including Treasures of China Featuring the Dazu Rock Carvings, ADD COLOUR| A Yoko Ono Exhibition, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Andy Warhol’s Factory, and QUANTUM: The Exhibition. Today’s announcement will allow us to work with the community as those visionaries did more than 15 years ago to allow us to awe, inspire and enlighten this community like never before.

Exciting times are ahead – and I urge the community to stay tuned! Those interested in supporting or speaking about the expansion are urged to contact me via email: David.Marskell@THEMUSEUM.ca. THEMUSEUM appreciates and needs support every day to help plan and prepare for the future. General donations are most welcome and can be made here.

Expansion Fast Facts

What is the cost of 2 King Street, West?
The cost of the building is $3M. We have been in discussion with many community leaders, funders and foundations and we are more than optimistic that we will reach that goal. BMO’s donation of $1M puts us in an excellent place.

When does the real estate transaction close?
We are expecting this to close later this year.

Why has THEMUSEUM made the decision to expand?
Capacity was recognized as a roadblock to sustainability eight years ago. Since then, our attendance has grown to 100,000 annually. The downtown is growing quickly and we must expand to survive and to be able to best service the community.

How large is BMO and THEMUSEUM?
THEMUSEUM is roughly 38,000sq ft. BMO’s footprint is roughly 8,500sq ft.

How is this expansion going to ensure sustainability?
Our board identified capacity and sustainability issues eight years ago and this decision not only aligns with our plans, but allows us to flourish and evolve. It also means that we can double in space without doubling our expenses. We will be able to hold multiple events on the same day, such as conferences, weddings and ticketed events without having to close. We will have more space to carry out additional programming and family activities and have the freedom to explore other avenues and opportunities.

What are you going to build?
We will build on what we are known for and excel at: Pop Culture, large branded exhibitions, family experiences and STEAM programming. We will also enter into a period of consultation with funders, artists, the universities and others in the arts and culture sector to form collaborations. We’re open to any and all ideas and are taking feedback from the community. The possibilities truly are endless – we’re looking forward to seeing what emerges from the consultation process.

What will it cost to build the new space?
As we don’t know exactly what will be built, we don’t know what the cost will be at this point. We are entering a period of consultation with stakeholders, funders and arts and cultural groups to ensure what we build is in response to the needs of this community.

How long will the consultation period be?
It depends on how long it takes to connect with everyone and gather feedback. We will continue to keep the public informed via the media, social media and on our website.

Are you collecting donations?
If our community members would like to donate towards the expansion and believe in our vision our CEO, David Marskell, is available to discuss ways in which they can support.