Legacy Cen­tre in fine shape

Fa­cil­ity look­ing to rent space, but not for fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

The fu­ture of the Cupids Legacy Cen­tre was a hot topic ear­lier this year when res­i­dents of the com­mu­nity voted on a pro­posal for the town to pur­chase the mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar prop­erty. The pro­posal was ul­ti­mately re­jected. Ac­cord­ing to the chair­man of its vol­un­teer board of di­rec­tors, the cen­tre it­self is in fine shape fi­nan­cially.

Just over a month ago res­i­dents of Cupids voted against the town’s plan to pur­chase and op­er­ate the Cupids Legacy Cen­tre build­ing.

But some mis­con­cep­tions about the failed trans­ac­tion had peo­ple ques­tion­ing how the cen­tre could con­tinue to op­er­ate based on con­cerns that Cupids Legacy Inc., the vol­un­teer en­tity that op­er­ates the fa­cil­ity, could not fi­nan­cially sup­port it. Could the cen­tre con­tinue on now with­out the town pur­chas­ing the prop­erty?

The chair of the board of Cupids Legacy Inc., Roy Dawe, says the fa­cil­ity had no prob­lem con­tin­u­ing with its busi­ness. He also de­nied the board de­cided oper­a­tions and own­er­ship would trans­fer hands to the town.

“(Cupids Legacy Inc.) never did vote to give the build­ing to the town,” he told The Com­pass in a phone in­ter­view Wed­nes­day, July 15. “There’s cur­rently va­cant space for rent in the build­ing.”

There are no specifics on who may de­cide to rent the space, but Dawe ex­pects to ad­ver­tise for a com­mer­cial es­tab­lish­ment to set up shop.

Fi­nan­cial con­cerns

One of the other ru­mours that has been ac­knowl­edged by Dawe is whether or not the or­ga­ni­za­tion could con­tinue to af­ford to op­er­ate.

Dawe was in­sis­tent that the cost of the build­ing’s oper­a­tions were never a con­cern. Rather, when space be­came avail­able at the fa­cil­ity, the or­ga­ni­za­tion be­gan dis­cussing ways to fill it.

“We’re car­ry­ing on as nor­mal now,” Dawe ex­plained. “We’re full speed ahead with a busy sum­mer sea­son.”

The Cupids Legacy Cen­tre has been a pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tion, lo­cated in the old­est English set­tle­ment in Canada since it opened in 2010. Con­trary to the ru­mours, the suc­cess has not hin­dered oper­a­tions, and Dawe con­firmed this year is no dif­fer­ent than any other.

“We’re hop­ing with good mar­ket­ing now this sum­mer and good vis­i­ta­tion, we should be able to have a nor­mal sea­son,” he said.

Along with that ru­mour came the idea that the in­ter­pre­ta­tion cen­tre was go­ing to close its doors. Dawe also re­futed that claim.

“The Legacy Cen­tre was never in ( fi­nan­cial) dif­fi­culty or in the process of shut­ting down its oper­a­tions,” he stated.

What’s next

To cater to the thou­sands of visi­tors each year, the Legacy Cen­tre tries to keep its dis­plays fresh and up-to-date. That is some­thing that Dawe hopes will con­tinue to hap­pen in the com­ing years.

“We’re hop­ing to do some tourist at­trac­tion en­hance­ments, chang­ing the look of the ex­hibits,” he said.

Those en­hance­ments are on- go­ing and de­pen­dant on sup­port from gov­ern­ment agen­cies for ad­di­tional fund­ing out­side their reg­u­lar bud­get.

There are many ac­tiv­i­ties on the hori­zon, but one that is just start­ing to take hold is plan­ning for Canada’s 150th birth­day in 2017.

“We’re hop­ing to take part in the big Cana­dian cel­e­bra­tions for (the an­niver­sary of ) con­fed­er­a­tion,” Dawe said. “We’re plan­ning some good par­tic­i­pa­tion in that. That’s strictly on the draw­ing board. But the cen­tre will cer­tainly par­take in that.”

Other ac­tiv­i­ties at the cen­tre in­clude the mu­seum, plan­ta­tion site and faerie gar­den. For more, visit http://www.cu­pid­sle­ga­cy­cen­tre.ca/ or call 528-1610.

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