Spring 2022 update

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Greetings:

We hope you and your families are continuing to stay well. Now heading into the much-anticipated Spring season, the Board of Prime Ministers’ Row wanted to ensure that we provided you with the latest update on our operations and go-forward plans.

As always, should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at info@pmr-apm.ca (mailto:info@pmr-apm.ca) – we look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

The PMR Board of Directors

Consultation Results: Community Conversation & National Survey

In early 2021, thanks to the financial support of the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Tourism and TD Bank, the PMR project took a major step forward into a second phase of work — the planning and design phase. As part of this work, the high-level goals for the project were fine-tuned; with particular focus given to community engagement, establishment of partnerships, and clarification of institutional identity. This work was undertaken and finalized by our project partners, GSM Project, with support from Tiree Management Consultants.

Following this work, in the fall of 2021, we reached out to the Ottawa community to share the work done to date and to gain feedback on the direction being taken. This was done in two ways: a virtual “community conversation” co-hosted by Action Sandy Hill, in which questions were robustly discussed in small groups, as well as an online survey that reached a wider audience.

GSM Project produced a robust and comprehensive report that summarizes the results of these consultations. A more digestible version can be found here (https://pmr-apm.ca/community-conversations-fall-2021/) , which includes the Executive Summary and Next Steps from both forums. Should you be interested in seeing the full report, please feel free to reach out to us and we would be more than happy to send it your way (available in English only).

Overall, and as you will read, the feedback received established that the project is on the right track. We confirmed we have the correct vision and mission in place to ground its next steps, and there is undoubtedly strong support for the project in the historically significant neighbourhood of Sandy Hill. With that said, where the street museum should be concentrated, and the set of stories the museum should eventually tell will require further dialogue and feedback.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in one or both of these forums. Your input and time were invaluable. Stay tuned for other updates in the near future for further consultation opportunities.

Prime Ministers’ Row welcomed the opportunity to partner with Carleton University’s Curatorial Studies program (Institute for Comparative Studies in Art and Culture) and the Ottawa Museum Network to help bring together the virtual exhibition: Haunted by Sir John A. Macdonald in Sandy Hill. (https://www.hauntedbymacdonald.ca/)

This virtual exhibition was produced by a team of emerging curators from the Curatorial Studies program over a period of three months in 2021 and responds to an exhibition challenge to critically re-interpret Sir John A. Macdonald and his legacy during his residency in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood of Ottawa.

The exhibition considers how Macdonald haunts Sandy Hill, his residence for nearly two decades in the late 19th century, by disentangling strands of memory through which we come to know this controversial larger-than-life figure – as a man, as a politician, and as an icon.

We want to thank the students for their tireless efforts and hard work to bring this exhibition together. As we believe at PMR, if now is not the moment to reckon with Macdonald’s complex legacy, when is?

Moving Forward

Looking back at 2021, PMR is excited about the direction that we are heading. As next steps for the project, we intend to continue working with our multidisciplinary design and production firm GSM Project on further phases of our project. This includes the creation of advisory committees to help encourage further feedback and consultation, as well as thematic framework and detailed historical research of Sandy Hill.

At this point, however, while we look forward to these next phases of work, like so many charities that have suffered during the pandemic, we are still in the process of raising and finding additional private and public funds to help us move forward. We are continuing our push on both fronts, and always welcome any financial contributions (https://pmr-apm.ca/makeadonation/) to help accelerate these efforts.

In the meantime, on behalf of the Board, thank you for your continued interest and support of Prime Ministers’ Row.