sparking ideas about cultures & worlds beyond our own sparking ideas about cultures & worlds beyond
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W H E R E T H E W O R L D M E E T S T H E W E S T
2004/05 ANNUAL REPORT
Sparking Ideas About Cultures & Worlds
Beyond Our Own
Glenbow Museum ANNUAL REPORT 2004/05 1
The past twelve months have seen Glenbow Museum grow and refine its thematic exhibitions, reach out to young families, western history aficionados, and the arts community, and significantly revamp its governance structure. Looking back we have worked hard to share in Calgary's growing prosperity, and to reflect the way Calgarians view their world and their place in it. Simply put - Glenbow is in synch with Calgary, and expanding our capacity to tell the stories our visitors want to hear.
Glenbow Museum finished the fiscal year 2004-05 with some strong achievements linked to the six goals of our 2000-2005 Strategic Road Map. Chief of these was the substantive completion of the Goal 1 fundraising campaign for Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta. This new gallery will dominate Glenbow’s third floor and open in the spring of 2007. At year’s end we had received $4 million from the Provincial Government. We are very optimistic that we will receive a further $5 million from the Federal Government. Our community campaign is going well and we are confident that we will receive a further $2million from the private sector. This effort represents Glenbow’s largest ever capital campaign, and will enable us to double our school program capacity when the new gallery opens.
In the quest for increased attendance to our second floor thematic exhibitions, Goal 2 of our Road Map, we drew a total museum attendance of over 160,000 in 2004-05, an increase of over five thousand the prior year. Four significant shows contributed to this growth: The Mysterious Bog People, (presented by AIM Trimark) closed its seven month run on May 24, 2004; Capturing Western Legends: Russell and Remington’s Canadian Frontier, (presented by Norrep Funds Hesperian Capital Management Ltd.) ran from June 19 to October 11; Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession, Sculpture from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, (presented by The American Express Foundation) ran from October 30 to January 30, 2005; and Our River: Journey of the Bow (presented by Enbridge Inc.) flowed from February 19 to June 5, 2005. Each of these exhibitions continued building on our vision: to be where the world meets the west. In this way the Bog People and Rodin came from the outside world to Calgary; conversely, Russell and Remington and the Bow gave the best of southern Alberta to our visitors. The Glenbow illustrated its cultural bridging function in all four shows, challenging our visitors to see the history of Alberta in global terms, and the history of the globe through our Alberta lens. Eric Harvie, our entrepreneurial and eclectic collecting founder, expected exactly this from Glenbow when he conceptualized the museum’s mission forty years ago. He wanted us to be Calgary’s lay university.
Our Goal 3 is designed to give our staff the incentive to research and publish, and often finds expression in Glenbow publications. This past year saw the production of The Bow: Living with a River, with essays by Gerald T. Conaty, Daryl Betenia and Catharine Mastin. The book continues our successful string of collaborations with Key Porter Books of Toronto, and has performed well in bookstores across the west.
Glenbow’s Collection Goal (no. 4) was well served by the ongoing superb curatorial and conservation care provided by our Collections staff. A $748,000 Infrastructure Canada-Alberta Program grant allowed us to undertake a major collections storage upgrade for Cultural History. We also undertook significant deaccessioning of Grade 4 (not of museum quality or outside of our core mandate) material was successfully undertaken in Calgary and New York with the Province of Alberta’s authorization.
We exceeded our $2 million operations revenue fundraising goal (no.5), continuing our reputation as one of Canada’s most entrepreneurial museums. Long-time Glenbow supporters will already know that we receive just over 30 percent of operating revenues from governments, in a country where the national norm for institutions of our size is in the range of 50 to 90 percent.
Chair’s and President’s Message
Glenbow Museum is one of Canada’s
most entrepreneurial museums. Through
a variety of dynamic and changing
exhibitions and programs along with
a broad collection of art, artifacts, and
historical documents, Glenbow Museum
builds on a commitment to preserve
western heritage while simultaneously
providing visitors with a glimpse
of the world beyond.
1 Chair’s and President’s Message
8 Highlights from 2004/05
17 Financial Review
32 Board of Governors
iv Current and Upcoming Exhibitions
This annual report reflects Glenbow Museum’s fiscal year April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005. Background image: Boys fishing the Bow River near Centre Street Bridge, Calgary, 1971 Photographer: The Calgary Herald; Glenbow Archives NA-2864-19152
Glenbow Museum began when petroleum entrepreneur and lawyer Eric Lafferty Harvie discovered oil in 1947 in Leduc on land to which he held the mineral rights. With his newfound prosperity, he decided to pursue his favourite passion — collecting — and simultaneously return some of his good fortune back to the region that had been so generous
to him. Mr. Harvie's goal was to collect objects representing the history and culture of Western Canada as well as from around the world. After many years of travel and collecting, Mr. Harvie amassed a huge museum collection which included an extensive collection of artifacts from North America including Aboriginal peoples, frontier exploration, and the development of western life. He complemented this collection with extraordinary artifacts and art from Asia, West Africa, South America, and islands in the Pacific.
In 1966, Eric Harvie and his family donated his impressive collection of art, artifacts, and historical documents to the people of Alberta. Today, Eric Harvie’s vision of Where the World Meets the West continues, as Glenbow Museum invites visitors to explore three major special exhibitions annually, and an eclectic range of permanent galleries featuring significant Western Canadian and international collections.
Portrait image: John Gilroy, Untitled [Portrait of Eric Harvie]. Collection of Tim Harvie.
2 Glenbow Museum ANNUAL REPORT 2004/05 Glenbow Museum ANNUAL REPORT 2004 3
Our local, national and international profile has continued to grow (Goal 6) during the year as a result of all of the above initiatives, augmented by travelling exhibits, op-ed contributions by the C.E.O., and a steady flow of positive responses for loan requests and the provision of high quality research support services by Glenbow’s Library and Archives.
Overall we have made a significant contribution to life-long learning during the last 12 months, reaching nearly 40,000 school children, and inspiring repeat visitation by family members and friends alike. We understand that a positive first visit to a museum can literally chart a career. Stephen Jay Gould, the Harvard professor who wrote so brilliantly about the geologic record of species evolution and British Columbia’s Burgess Shale fossil beds kindled his interest at the age of 5 when his father took him to the American Museum of Natural History. As soon as the little boy saw a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the lobby he was hooked for life. Whether the first visit to a museum sparks a career path, or simply develops a life-long interest in the arts and culture, we at Glenbow consciously work to ensure that our exhibitions and programs evoke these kinds of responses.
Today as we consider Glenbow Museum’s role in Canada’s cultural community, and the founder’s dream for the museum, we are convinced that our programs and business model are well linked. This past year has seen a Board initiated revamp of our standing committee structure, adding both a Collections and a Governance committee to the existing Development and Audit/Investment committees. Executive Committee has been disbanded, and all Glenbow Governors now have at least one standing committee assignment. From time to time ad hoc committees are formed to deal with issues such as endowment fund policy, renegotiation of the Provincial contract for services, or the review and approval of labour collective agreements. A clear distinction has been maintained between the strategic oversight function of the board and the duties of management. The final product of the new governance model and the synergies it creates is both sustainability for Glenbow and life- long learning opportunities for our public. We aim to be the kind of museum that you just cannot stop visiting.
Ian Bourne BOARD CHAIR
Michael P. Robinson PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Let the magic of your mind enlighten you.
4 Glenbow Museum ANNUAL REPORT 2004/05 Glenbow Museum ANNUAL REPORT 2004/05 5
Embracing ideas and cultural understanding
Inspiring life-long learning
“I think a museum is a wonderful Christmas morning with family and friends… And if you quickly rip open the present, find out what’s in it, throw it to the ground and go for the next one, you’re a nodder. But if you open it slowly, piece by piece, loving