Positive Partnerships: A Win/Win Situation

Nora Reid, Executive Director, Welland Historical Museum; Anna Chandler, President, Niagara Guild of Spinners and Handweavers and Stephen Quesnelle, President, Niagara Region Métis Council

player_Ignite Session Seven: Diary of a Mad Director...

The presentation will outline the many benefits of long term communication partnerships in the Museum setting: logistics of developing these partnerships, i.e. determine "fit" with organizational aims and values, space considerations - how pivotal is this?; expectations of both partners, importance of written partnership agreements, problems and drawbacks (almost non-existent if you have taken the two steps above), benefits for both partners - expected and unexpected! (i.e outreach to wider audiences; increased media interest and publicity, enhanced educational programming).


Nora Reid

Nora Reid is the Executive Director of the Welland Historical Museum. She has a Master of Arts degree in History of Art from the University of Toronto. Prior to being hired in 2005 by the Welland Museum as Archivist/Registrar she spent twenty years as a freelance researcher of architectural history, completing assessments of heritage properties for Municipal Heritage Committees throughout the Niagara Peninsula. She has been Executive Director of the Welland Museum since 2008.


Anna Chandler has the privilege to serve as the current President of the Niagara Handweavers and Spinners Guild, a dynamic group of more than 70 fibre artists. 

In 1995, employed in downtown Toronto as a financial analyst, Anna was looking for an escape from the pressures and the sterile environment of Bay Street. She began her fibre journey by learning to weave. The path led to her own 45” floor loom, a stint as a shepherd, and six years of spinning classes through the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners certificate program. 

Anna became active in the Niagara Guild after relocating to Niagara Falls in 2008. She is inspired by the way the fibre arts bring people together and the large variety of fibre-related activities the Guild is able to provide.

Now employed as the Business Manager at Gillian’s Place, a shelter and resource centre for abused women, Anna continues to rely on Guild activities as the perfect counterbalance to our modern “hands-off” world of screens and deadlines.


Stephen Quesnelle
Stephen Quesnelle"I was born and raised in Toronto, we were your typical ordinary family of that time. I went to school and then went into the construction business with my father, working on high steel. It seemed it was in my blood. I knew there was something different, but just didn’t know what. Family history just wasn’t talked about. 

I continued on in the construction and sign business until I was hurt on the job. I was then retrained, by attending college and studied Hotel and Restaurant Management and some years later I went into the freight brokerage business.

Time went by and the injury took its toll on my health, I had more time to investigate my ancestry and that is when I found out the truth, our family are Metis. I studied the subject and in 1999 I became involved with the then, Welland Metis Council, of which I became Senator. In 2007, there was a reorganization of the council and it was renamed the Niagara Region Metis Council.

In 2008 I was asked by my Granddaughter to do a Metis presentation at her school and after that I contacted the DSBN and NCDSB to give presentations to educate students in Niagara about Metis History. It has since grown considerably and we have done many presentations at the schools and many more are planned.

I was advised to contact the Welland Historical Museum about having a Metis display with them and we then formed a partnership with the Museum to create the first ever in Ontario, Metis specific exhibit, to educate the community about Metis culture and history in Ontario.

In 2010, I was elected to President of the Council and it has been my privilege to be involved with the Welland Historical Museum along with School Boards; organizing Floats for the Welland Rose Parade; Metis encampments at the Days in the Park; Joining with the Welland and St Catharines Legion’s on November 11th and 16th in memory of the Metis who fought and dies in the service of Canada; Raising the Metis Flag in five cities in the Niagara Region on November 16th, in honour of Louis Riel, for the past 4 years.

I also sit on several boards and committees to represent the Metis in Niagara, these include: The Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services, Proposal Review Committee; The Aboriginal Advisory Committee with FACS Niagara, bringing understanding of the cultural needs of Aboriginal children; The Aboriginal Education Council, representing Metis students at Niagara College and Brock University; The Aboriginal Education Management Circle (member for Niagara College); The Welland Accessibility Advisory Committee."

Return to IGNITE.