2 senior staff members at Glenbow Museum resign
Despite Glenbow's $1.6M deficit, boss vows change
Posted: Sep 13, 2012 10:23 AM ET
Last Updated: Sep 13, 2012 11:38 PM ET
CBC News has learned that two senior staff members at the Glenbow Museum have stepped down.
It was announced Thursday to staff that the head of human resources and the vice president of development tendered their resignations, which won't come into effect until October.
The news follows a vow from the museum's leadership to turn things around for the struggling organization at their annual general meeting Wednesday night.
For the fourth year in a row, Calgary's premier museum has run a deficit of more than $1 million. On Wednesday night, the Glenbow announced they had a deficit of $1.67 million last year.
Those numbers are despite increases in both attendance and fundraising.
As a result, the museum had to borrow from its endowment fund, 14 employees lost work, opening hours were reduced and there will be fewer rotating exhibits.
At Wednesday’s packed annual general meeting, museum lovers, employees and past employees stood up and said they were worried about the organization’s future.
Donna Swicker, a local heritage enthusiast, said it feels like the museum is closing.
“We need to stop that. We need to turn it around.”
Glenbow management said that, like many arts organizations, it has been the victim of a bad economy and a lack of government funding.
But, president and CEO Kirstin Evenden vowed things are turning around.
“I am so committed to this organization. I know what its potential is,” she said, noting that this summer was one of the museum's most successful fundraising seasons ever.
Collections technician and union representative Kim Hallis said it’s been hard on employees still working there.
“The morale in our building is horrible. We don't have a very good sense of where we're going and what we are going to be doing,” said Hallis.
Because archives are now closed more days than they are open it's hard to get anything done, said historian John Gilpin
“It's death by a million cuts that I really see,” said Gilpin.
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