London, Ont., to vote on closing Guy Lombardo museum
It could be the swan song for a London, Ont., museum dedicated to native son and musical legend Guy Lombardo.
London's city councillors will vote Monday on a staff recommendation to close the 1,000-square-foot museum.
Called the Guy Lombardo Music Centre, it has been dogged by poor attendance, with only 400 visitors in 2007.
Lombardo, a violinist and bandleader of The Royal Canadians famous throughout the world, was born in the city. The Royal Canadians were noted for playing the traditional Auld Lang Syne as part of New Year's celebrations in New York.
Local heritage advocates said they're ready to fight the recommendation to close the museum.
The closure would be a "slap in the face to Lombardo's legacy," said Barry Wells, an advocate for heritage preservation.
The recommendation to close has not received public input or scrutiny, he told CBC News.
The current facility needs to be expanded, run professionally and better marketed, rather than shut down, he said.
The museum opened in 1983 and displays photographs, posters, video recordings, song sheets and the Tempo VII, an award-winning racing boat owned by Lombardo, who was a racing enthusiast.
The museum was run by a volunteer board until 2001, when the city took over after infighting and resignations at the board.
However, it costs taxpayers $27,500 annually to run the museum, according to Ross Fair, general manager of community services in London.
A city report recommends closing the museum permanently and turning artifacts over to Museum London.
It says Lombardo's birthplace should be marked by naming a pavilion and walking trail in a London park after him.