Global fintech and funding innovation ecosystem

Canadian Air and Space Museum Crowdfunding a soft landing at Pearson

share save 171 16 - Canadian Air and Space Museum Crowdfunding a soft landing at Pearson

Published on Tuesday November 13, 2012  |  Staff Reporter:  Niamh Scallan

Canadian air space museum - Canadian Air and Space Museum Crowdfunding a soft landing at Pearson

Fancy a lesson in Canada’s aviation history before boarding your next flight out of town?

It may soon be possible after the Greater Toronto Airports Authority agreed to help the struggling, and currently homeless, Canadian Air and Space Museum find a new site for its aircraft and artifact collection — including a replica of the legendary Canadian-built Avro Arrow fighter jet — at Pearson International Airport.

“We are talking and hoping we can come to a good arrangement,” said airport authority spokesman Scott Armstrong.

More:Air and Space Museum heads for demolition amid heritage status confusion

Air and Space Museum to become ice rink

Last day at the Canadian Air and Space Museum

More than a year ago the aviation museum, a non-profit organization run by volunteers, was evicted from its Downsview Park location after running into financial problems and the park corporation’s desire to repurpose the building.

By September 2011, the museum owed the park’s property owner some $100,000 in unpaid rent.

“It was a very unpleasant experience,” Ian McDougall, museum chair, said of the eviction notice that forced volunteers to dismantle and pack the collection into storage containers.

The museum struck a deal with the GTAA earlier this year to temporarily store its collection on airport property.

With most of its collection already shipped there, McDougall said, the museum pursued negotiations to secure a permanent home at Pearson.

According to McDougall, the museum has already found a location at the airport where a new building could be constructed to house the collection. A press release notes the museum is looking at land near the south end of the airport, near Highway 401.

The organization’s website also implies the negotiations are nearly finalized, stating that “the new Museum at Toronto Pearson Airport will be at a location rich in aviation history.”

But Armstrong said negotiations are still continuing and both sides are trying to determine whether the museum could be housed in an existing building or whether new construction would be required.

McDougall added that “we’re still working out large details,” particularly how the struggling museum can afford to lease airport land, given its financial difficulties. After a year with its doors closed to the public, the volunteer-run organization has all but burned through its small cash reserve, he said.

Earlier this month, in a move to turn dreams of an airport home into a reality, the museum launched a campaign on crowdfunding site IndieGoGo, seeking $500,000 in donations to help fund a new home for its collection, which includes a full-scale replica of the Avro Arrow fighter jet.

“There was urgency for us to launch something,” said the museum’s CEO, Rob Cohen. “We’ve been running out of money.”

So far, the crowdfunding page has generated just over $8,000, with just over 100 days of the campaign left to go.

With the museum’s future on the line, McDougall said he hoped the public would see the value in restoring the collection, which has both educational value and historical significance. A Pearson location, he added, could attract a wide range of tourists, students and other public visitors.

“The effort to save (the museum) isn‘t some wistful quest for some guys who like to hang around museums,” he said. “The collection itself represents a period of Canadian aviation history which is hugely important.”

Source:  here

share save 171 16 - Canadian Air and Space Museum Crowdfunding a soft landing at Pearson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 × 4 =