Black Heritage Network Meeting 

January 15 2001 

Meeting Minutes 

Meeting Participants: Donna Ford (Interim Chair), Lyn Roberts, Wilma Morrison, June Harper, Harry Harper, Rochelle Bush, Margot Leslie, Gary Hardy, April Petrie, Anita Toliver, Karen Springer, Susan Godefroy, Victoria Gaitskill, Norm Howe, Pat Balasiuk, Brent Dysart. 

Resource People: Eva Salter (MCZCR), Arlene White (Mtour), Lorraine Hogan (MCZCR), Paul Samson (Mtour). 


1. Niagara Foundation is in the process of restoring the Stewart- Anderson house (circa 1835). It was owned by one of the first Black families to settle in NOTL. 

2. 2001 Waterloo County and Area Quilt Festival is entitled “Freedom Quilts: Celebrating a Healing Art.” Using a multi-media approach, the show will focus on using quilts, as an artform, to help extend the story of the Underground Railroad. 

Digital Collections Project Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership (OTMP) 

  • No update. 
  • OTMP is an agency of Ministry of Tourism responsible for marketing projects. The “Touring Product Committee” is looking at developing an Ontario wide strategy to market Black heritage. The Committee is working on a proposal to submit to OTMP for a marketing initiative. The launch of the initiative is planned for October 2001 to coincide with the unveilings of the monuments in Detroit and Windsor to recognize the Underground Railroad. 
  • The committee needs to raise in excess of $60,000 through sponsorships for the development of the strategy and to produce a guidebook that will feature all the Black heritage sites in southwest and central Ontario including marker sites. The committee will begin to actively start marketing the guidebook for sponsors by the end of March. 
  • The guidebook will target the fully independent traveller and be used to develop tour packages. Marketing research has also identified 3 potential long-haul markets (extended stay visitors): Alabama, Virginia and California. 
  • In addition to the guidebook, the strategy will include the development of a lure brochure, web-site (include links to Windsor and Niagara sites as well as Mtour), media campaign/launch and training sessions for all sites on media relations by a media specialist. 

⇒ Sites should start to think about how you want your site described in the guidebook. 


  • Opportunity for the Niagara Network to generate revenue by partnering with Windsor in the sale of tee-shirts. Purchase cost is approximately $6-8 with a selling cost of approximately $17. In Windsor, the sites pay a stacking charge to the Network so that both the Network and sites earn money on the sale of the tee- shirts. 

Promotion Opportunities 

1. Waterloo County and Area Quilt Festival is willing to promote the guidebook at its display at the Royal Winter Fair in November 2001 and sell tee-shirts in the organization’s gift shop. 

2. Several events planned for Niagara this summer that could be used as “support launches” for the Black Heritage strategy i.e. Fort Erie Friendship Festival. 

Cultural Strategic Development Fund (CSDF) Proposal 

  • Funding proposal has been developed that will focus on enhancing the capacity of the Black heritage sites to respond to the increased number of visitors that will result from the OTMP initiative. A questionnaire was circulated to all sites to look at needs and the CSDF proposal was developed based on the responses back. 
  • Signage was identified as the greatest need, however, it is not an issue that the CSDF program can assist with. 
  • It is a $128,000 project for which 75% support is being requested of the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation. There is a need to find the support for the remaining 25% of costs that can include donations in-kind. 
  • The project will consist of several initiatives: 

1. Program enhancements – to enhance existing programs and/or 

develop new programs and products. 

2. Volunteer development – develop a volunteer recruitment strategy 

and supporting material that can be used by all sites. 

3. Customer service training – development of a customer service manual and training for tour guides to ensure that there is a standard level of quality service across all sites. 

4. Purchase of exhibit/display systems – 2 professionally designed display systems one for each network that can be used to market Black heritage sites. 

  • The largest project cost is for the hiring of a consultant who will assess each site and the 2 networks to develop the materials and make recommendations on program enhancements. Using the same consultant for all sites will ensure that the uniqueness of each site is brought out. The consultant will also conduct research on existing Underground Railroad exhibits and look at how each site relates to the other Black heritage sites. 

⇒ Core sites need to provide Eva with a letter of support for the CSDF application. 

Human Resources of Coop  Development Canada (HRDC) 

  • Donna has received a copy of the HRDC proposal submitted by the Windsor Network. 
  • Jennifer Dunkerson and Donna will be meeting to prepare the proposal. 

Letter of Agreement 

  • 5 of the 6 sites have signed the agreement. 

Areas of Co- operation 

  • Prioritization of the areas of cooperation needs to be done by the core sites. 
  • Paul Samson to facilitate the session. 
  • Meeting to be held March 8, 2001 at 10:00am at the St. Catharines Museum.