Don and Wendy Smith with John Doyle, Chair of the Burlington Museums Foundation the Joseph Brant Museum Donor recognition event.
Giving Thanks for Community
April 16, 2020

How do you put a price on a miracle*?

Joseph Brant Museum reopened July 16, 2020

How do you put a price on a miracle*?

* (A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences)

By Elaine Scrivener, Chair, Burlington Museums Foundation


That’s how DeBeers Consolidated Mines described a rare find of a large uncut diamond; cut to become a masterpiece. Someone was fortunate to call it their own; a special treasure.

We have our own miracle and masterpiece. Joseph Brant Museum, Burlington’s community heritage museum is just that!  It has been created by imagination, perseverance, and funds from all levels of government along with the generosity of community givers like yourself who have stepped up and shared in the celebration of making Burlington great.

At this strange time our Museums’ Staff and leadership volunteers have put their imaginations to work with virtual camps and programs, exploring the ways to share history, fun, and new experiences. Burlington is all about the stories that have brought the change to this spot once known as “Head of the Lake”. This is a place we’re all proud of. We thank you and want your stories and your continued commitment. Community generosity is what this caring place is all about!

We invite you to visit Joseph Brant Museum and keep returning, and to work with us to complete our community goal of $2.5 million. We’re almost there and with your help you’ll take us to the finish line – a miracle for sure!



By Kimberly Watson, Director of Museums

Together, we continue to face a truly unprecedented situation. The global coronavirus pandemic has impacted our families, our businesses and our community.

During this time the Museum has remained connected to our community, and we continue to play our part in providing alternative museum-based activities for people to enjoy while they have been home.

After closing our doors to the public in March, the Museum retained staff created digital content for our social media channels. They have also created virtual tours of Ireland House Museum and Joseph Brant Museum exhibits, the ‘Then and Now’ virtual exhibition, quarantine crafts for kids, cooking recipes and demonstrations from the hearth, fun fact contests and notes from the collection. We have also created opportunities for the public to share their stories and experiences through our “every object tells a story” and our coping with COVID-19 projects.

An exciting initiative that the Museum created to replace traditional summer camps was our ‘Virtual Visits’ program. Throughout the summer children were led through a series of creative, fun, hands-on activities that related to a different theme each week such as Journey Across Canada, Through the Decades, Futurama and Age of Exploration. These programs were very successful with every week being sold out. They have also been used as programming examples for other Museums.

As Burlington moved into Phase 3, we were excited to re-open The Joseph Brant Museum on July 16.

Ireland House Museum remains closed due to physical distancing concerns. We are working on plans and touring options that will enable the historic house to be re-opened in the near future.

We have implemented additional measures to ensure the safety of staff and visitors while they are at the Joseph Brant Museum.

For more information on what to expect when visiting the Museum or to pre-book your visit go to

“The camp was amazing! My boys loved it – they looked forward to it everyday, and are still talking about how much fun it was.” 

“This was such a great idea! It allowed my step-daughter to connect with other kids. Good work!”

Hydro plugs Museum into successful e-billing campaign


An innovative e-billing campaign helped Burlington Hydro convert more than 1,200 customers to paperless billing while generating more than $6,000 of its $10,000 commitment to the Joseph Brant Museum transformation project.

“We’re thrilled to have run a campaign that registered 1,230 new customers for our paperless e-billing service while supporting the transformation of such an important cultural landmark in our City,” said Gerry Smallegange, President and CEO, Burlington Hydro Inc.

“Not only do we believe strongly in supporting the cultural enrichment of our community, but we applaud the sustainable and energy-efficient aspirations to attain a LEED designation for the new museum.”

Hydro’s e-billing campaign promised a donation to the new museum for each customer signing up. Elaine Scrivener, Chair, Burlington Museums Foundation, applauded Hydro’s approach. “It’s commendable when businesses create opportunities to achieve corporate goals while also strengthening the community they serve. We are grateful for the support of Burlington Hydro and its customers.”


The life you’ve built says a lot about your values and what you care about the most. Your charitable gift will live on through generations of changemakers in the Burlington community. Consider leaving a legacy gift with the Burlington Museums Foundation. Talk to your advisor or contact Cheryl at the Burlington Museums Foundation or 289-983-8141 to learn how you can leave your mark in Burlington’s history.


Joseph Brant Museum Regular Museum Hours
Mon – Closed
Tues – 10 am – 3:30 pm
Wed – 10 am – 3:30 pm
Thurs – 10 am – 3:30 pm
Fri – 10 am – 3:30 pm
Sat – 10 am – 3:30 pm
Sun – Closed