Burlington Builder: Dan Lawrie

Dan Lawrie Joseph Brant Brant Museum donors
Dan Lawrie Joseph Brant Brant Museum donors

Dan Lawrie says both in our Vision newsletter and video interview that the overwhelming benefits of expanding Burlington’s Joseph Brant Museum convinced him to get behind the project almost 10 years ago.

The founder of Dan Lawrie Insurance Brokers, which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2017, was first approached about the project by John Doyle, President of the Burlington Museums Foundation. The Foundation has committed to raising more than $2.5 million as the community’s contribution toward the $11.4-million project.

“There are several things I like about this project. One is the attraction to youth. The museum has been active in getting school kids involved in learning about the history of Burlington. I also think that it’s important to know our history; it’s a really important factor in people staying in their community. Joseph Brant Museum has been instrumental in letting people know where we came from and where we are going. That sense of history is really important to me.”

The economic benefits are far reaching, he adds “The expanded museum will be a cornerstone, an entrance to the downtown. It’s going to be a very important addition to what’s already there – the exciting waterfront developments, the art gallery, the performing arts centre. This expansion will allow the museum to attract exciting new exhibitions – it’s going to be a great tourist attraction.”

Dan says he continues to support the Foundation’s fundraising drive which now must raise the final $1 million of its commitment. “I invite my friends, and challenge them to get on board to make this a very successful project. I think we all who make our living in a community understand it’s not just about the history, events and festivals that bring everyone together in a facility like this but it’s the economic factor.”

“Richard Florida (American urban studies analysis) stated that culture, and facilities like this, are the foundation that attracts the creative class, which in turn is the foundation for our economic prosperity. Business owners want a community that is vibrant, engages our citizens and that’s good for business.”