New Brunswick Museum calls on visitors for feedback to make it more relevant

·2 min read
Big changes are underway at the New Brunswick Museum this year, including a new strategic plan and CEO. (CBC - image credit)
Big changes are underway at the New Brunswick Museum this year, including a new strategic plan and CEO. (CBC - image credit)

The New Brunswick Museum is looking for reviews from visitors and their ideas new for how it should grow.

The engagement survey, found on the museum's website, is designed to help organizers learn about expectations of the Saint John museum and how visitors engage with it.

"We just want to hear what people have to say about the museum," said Bill Hicks, outgoing CEO of the New Brunswick Museum.

"Does it mean anything to them? What should it mean to them? What to do to make the museum relevant in this day and age?"

COVID-19 causes impact on revenue

The museum has been undergoing a lot of changes this year.

It's trying to move forward with a new three-year strategic plan — all while the COVID-19 pandemic has slashed its revenues.

"We realize that it's had a huge impact in terms of visitation and how we do things," Hicks said. "But it's also going to be around for a while."

Talks of a new strategic plan came about last year. The previous plan had become outdated and COVID-19 was not yet present in New Brunswick.

The strategic plan will look at every facet of the museum, its facilities, how it's organized and how histories of groups of people are interpreted.

It will look at the different exhibits and collections and why they're there. It will also look at how to boost revenue and explore partnerships with other cultural institutions around the world.

"We really want to stop talking about things and start doing things related to diversity and inclusion."

Searching for a new CEO

The 178-year-old museum is also in the process of hiring a new CEO, as Hicks plans to retire at the end of the month.

That process is a partnership with the province's Department of Tourism. Hicks said they're looking for someone with museum or cultural facility experience, who also understands how collections, research and conservation works.

The museum has been on the lookout for someone since the middle of December.

"At the end of the day there will be a great new person at the New Brunswick Museum who really wants to take on these challenges."