Partnership ‘ensures the history of Rotary in Burlington is honoured’

We are thrilled to welcome the four Burlington Rotary Clubs.

From left: John Doyle, past Chair of Burlington Museums Foundation (BMF) and Elaine Scrivener, BMF Chair join Ralph Sprague (The Rotary Club of Burlington North), Nancy Gilbert (The Rotary Club of Burlington), Owen McElhinney (The Rotary Club of Burlington Central) and Jay Thomblison (The Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore) in front of the Joseph Brant Museum.

The Rotary Clubs of Burlington have collectively committed $76,000 to the Joseph Brant Museum Transformation Project over the next five years.

“The Burlington Museums Foundation is thrilled to have Rotary as such a big part of this project,” said BMF Chair Elaine Scrivener. “This commitment is a major step forward as we work toward raising the final $300,000 plus in our $2.5-million goal.

“We look forward to this collaboration with Rotarians, building on our partnerships within the community.”

Jay Thomblison, President, The Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore, said his club was excited to support the project. “The history of Burlington, and documenting the importance of Rotary within the city, is something that we felt was important to document. The Museum expansion enables us to accomplish this.

“We also know that mental health in our community has been affected during Covid, and we felt that supporting cultural programs like the Museum would go a long way in easing these issues by giving people a chance to get out and explore.”
Jay noted funding from his club will come largely from its annual RibFest – drive-through events planned for the Canada Day and Labour Day weekends.

Nancy Gilbert, President of the Rotary Club of Burlington, said the Museum project offered the perfect opportunity to celebrate the club’s 70th anniversary this year.

“The Club has supported the community of Burlington since 1951, and has contributed enormously to the history of the city,” said Nancy. 

“It was fitting that our partnership with the Joseph Brant Museum expansion ensures that the history of Rotary in Burlington is honored and remembered,” Nancy said.

Owen McElhinney, President Rotary Central, said the expansion will make the Museum more relevant to the community. “I visited the Museum when it was a lonely house that looked like it had been stranded at an intersection. I love the elevated view and the sleek lines of the new museum façade. It is a satisfying blend of old and new.”

Owen added it is important for others in the community to add their support. “With the backdrop of the lake, pier and new hospital it should be promoted as a foundation for understanding of where we were, where we are now and where we plan to be.”

The four Burlington Rotary Clubs – including Burlington Central and Burlington North – will be featured in the Burlington Builders section at the expanded Joseph Brant Museum.

Rotary has been important to the Burlington community since 1951 when the first group came together to found a local chapter. Now, with four active clubs Rotarians continue to support the community and beyond in many ways.

Rotary holds a number of annual fundraising events including Ribfest, Lobster Fest and Lakeside a la carte.

“As we look forward to celebrating and thanking our donors, volunteers, and community partners, we do so with the knowledge that the support of the Rotary Clubs in Burlington is a major milestone in getting the community behind this project,” said Elaine.

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