Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Friday, June 7, 2013

"Edutainment" ~ St. Lawrence Parks Commission ~ Fort Henry ~ Will Baird


Will Baird, Manager, Fort Henry, St. Lawrence Parks Commission

“EDUTAINMENT”… Looking towards the futureEXCITING NEWS from the “FORT
Ontario Visited is extremely pleased to be working, this year, with the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, including Upper Canada Village and Fort Henry. For me, this past week was truly enlightening, as I had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Will Baird, Manager of Fort Henry - St. Lawrence Parks Commission. Will shared some “Edutainment” enthusiasm and excitement with us. For those of you who are not familiar with the word “Edutainment”, I believe it is the process of combing “EDUCATION with ENTERTAINMENT”. We will be posting Blog articles over the next few weeks talking with Mr. Will Baird about: “Edutainment”; “Why is history important!”, “Who said History was boring?”; “ The Famous NEW, EXCITING Sunset Ceremony”; “Controversy … Historians, artifacts, accuracy”; “Alive in Five” strategy: “The Trade Square”, “The most exciting Job ever!”, “TOTAL GAME CHANGER” …and more! 
We being our Journey … In keeping up with what is relevant in consumer consumption; innovative plans are in place at Fort Henry. The revitalization of the Fort is all part of an “Alive in Five” strategy the St. Lawrence Parks Commission’s mantra to become financially self-sufficient within five years. What that means to you, the visitor, and consumer … “The upper fort now will be free for the public to enter”… “Waiting for new visitors is a wooden deck that spans the inside walls and offers an unparalleled view of Lake Ontario and the Royal Military College. Tables and chairs for more than 100 people will be added where they can sample light dishes and beverages. Some of the rooms that line the upper fort, formerly offices, will be turned over to vendors who will turn each one into a craft room. Tables will also be set up on the upper parade square, now to be called The Trade Square, to hold more items. The market will run from Sunday May 12, through September 14. “At any given time as long as the fort is open, you will be able to walk in there, free of admission charges, and go and browse the shops”. This area will be a permanent little artisan market that includes jewelry, sculpture, paintings, glassware and other crafts made from natural materials.

Don’t worry!Mr. Baird tells me in part of our interview… It is important to continue to “get the historical message out there” … that it is not necessarily how the message is passed on, but, that it is passed on! Will states … "people can get caught up a lot in their efforts to be 100% accurate". Mr. Baird says that there can be cohesiveness between the reality of interpretation and true history enthusiasts. Fort Henry’s core business is to preserve millions of dollars of artifacts. Will Baird says that it is Fort Henry’s goal to preserve the core, but, they can spread the word, pass on the historical messages by engaging people. Stay tuned for my upcoming Blogs, Articles and Newsletters. In the meantime, please check out Fort Henry website at (LINK) for the Sunset Ceremony details; Upper Canada Village at (LINK) and the St. Lawrence Parks Commission at (LINK). 

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