Executive Director's Year End Report ~ 2003
Stephen Hayter

The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum has had a banner year and it is only the beginning of many great improvements for the museum.  Our Capital Campaign is now in full swing and doing very well.  The campaign, which many of you are familiar with, is a massive undertaking and would not be possible without dozens of dedicated volunteers.  The Capital Campaign team has done an outstanding job raising awareness of the BCATP and our museum, and notably we now have new entrance signs and four new billboards on the highway.

The museumís Planning Committee has also done phenomenal work in ensuring that the money raised will be spent properly.  Due to the scale of our redevelopment there are many component parts which have to be decided on before we can proceed with the next step.  For instance, since presently we have five buildings we have to determine use-age of each, power requirements, type of heating and whether it is electrical, gas or geothermal (which we are leaning toward), and how the security and communication between buildings is accomplished.  All of these issues and many more have to be resolved before we can go forward with construction.  The challenge is then enhanced when businesses are willing to contribute gift-in-kind through our Capital Campaign and we are not ready to tell them what we need.  Slowly these issues are being resolved and a big hearty thanks needs to go to the museumís Planning Committee for their effort in making it work!

The start of this year saw the museum working toward building our Motor Transport Building.  We had received a Heritage Grant through the Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism the previous year and were looking forward to its construction.  It is now a magnificent building, closed in just before freeze-up this fall.  We still have windows, painting and door hardware to complete the structure but already it is lending to the historic nature of our site!  Next summer we will see the building finished and likely will see vehicles on display in the M. T. Building soon after.

Our tourist season was busy and we were grateful to have two excellent summer students. Through their efforts we gave many school tours, provided a wonderful visitor experience to people from all over the world and even helped create new and exciting displays.  The museum could not function during the summer without this type of help, thank your Katie and Stacey and thank your Human Resources Development Canada for the grant money to fund the positions!

Speaking of funding we are also receiving a grant from the Federal Museums Assistance Program that will go toward a museological study.  This study will give us a modern museum perspective of how we could interpret the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in a manner which is engaging, interactive and comprehensive.  This study will take into account what has been done before, what we are planning to build, the artifacts the museum holds in its collection, the history of the BCATP, society now and then and where the museum wants to be in the future.  It is a very exciting project and we will see the results by spring of next year.

The museum has had many pivotal moments over the last year, and two that for me signify a new beginning or era for our museum is the Capital Campaign kick-off in October and on November 1 the museum taking over the entire hangar.  These two events will mean great things for the museum and we will see amazing results over the next few years!
On behalf of myself and the many visitors to our museum  I would like to thank the generosity of the museumís membership, the wonderful volunteers that put in countless hours (please count them the government wants to know) and our excellent board and committees, it is your commitment that continues to see this museum thrive and ultimately will see the story of the BCATP preserved for future generations.  I wish you all the best the festive season has to bring and look forward to working with you in 2004!

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