--February 20, 2012.
The annual general meeting of the Gaspesian British Heritage Village was held on February 7 at the United Church Hall in New Richmond, followed by a community consultation. Village President, Mike Geraghty went over the highlights of the last twelve months and explained that it has been a successful year for the Village. he transformation of the Willett House into a rental chalet, the reopening of the boutique and the busy Tea Room brought in new revenues. A focus on hosting family-friendly activities such as the Cross Country Race, Halloween at the village and Old-Time Christmas allowed people of all ages a chance to enjoy the site. The ongoing partnership with the New Richmond Cross Country Ski Club and the addition of new trails to the site has made the Village a year-round destination. Financially, the Village completed its fiscal year with a surplus and a long-term fund in place.
A program for the summer 2012 season was presented and if all goes according to plan, visitors can look forward to a wide array of activities to choose from. The horse-drawn wagon will be back on site, costumes will be reintroduced, the Village Day Camp will start on June 25, Afternoon Teas will be held monthly and a special new event will be introduced on June 29 and 30 – the Traditional Skills Exhibition.
Current projects include Skills Across Generations (SAGe). To date, 175 people from the English-speaking, French and Mi’gmaq communities have participated in the evening and weekend courses offered at the New Richmond High School Community Learning Centre. Students at the school have also taken part in singing workshops and are currently learning how to use a traditional loom. Additionally, people aged 50 and over have been learning the basics of computer use with help from BPS volunteers.
A new initiative in partnership with the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network InHerit project has just started. NRHS students from grades 7 and 8 are working to develop a Treasure Hunt and other interactive activities so that young people will have a memorable visit to the Village.
Upcoming events include an evening under the full moon on Wednesday, March 7. Starting at 7 p.m., visitors are invited to ski, snowshoe or walk through the Village trails, roast marshmallows on the outdoor fire or relax in the Brown House with hot beverages and snacks. On Sunday, March 11 from 1 to 4 pm, all ages can enjoy taffy-on-the-snow ($5 all you can eat) and horse and sleigh rides. Finally, on Sunday, April 8, children are invited to an Easter Egg Hunt from 12:30 to 2:30 ($ 5 per child).