The Board of the Directors of the Kalyna Country Ecomuseum Trust Society has embarked on a process of refocusing the organization and reconnecting with the ecomuseum’s roots. While over the years Kalyna Country has done an impressive job of promoting tourism to east central Alberta, the current board believes that in many ways the society neglected its core mission and was devoting most of its resources and attention to tourism marketing. “In some ways we’ve dropped the ball as an ecomuseum,” admitted Ray Sauer, chair of the Kalyna Country Trust, “and we need to address other priorities and take a fresh look at the tourism marketing opportunities available to us.”
Although advertising the region’s historical, natural and cultural attractions was intended to support the conservation and educational activities of the ecomuseum by generating income and recruiting local industry partners to assist in the work of the Kalyna Country Trust, most of the group’s energy was being directed toward raising funds that instead were subsidizing the promotion of tourism.
Meanwhile, the tourism industry as whole, not only in Alberta, but around the world, has undergone major changes in the past decade, spurred in part by the evolution of digital technologies and partly in response to new economic and environmental realities influencing how, why and where people travel. It therefore seemed like a good time for the board to step back and re-evaluate what it wanted to do in the realm of tourism, and how it wanted to proceed in the next phase of Kalyna Country’s development.
Reflecting its shift in emphasis, Kalyna Country will be joining with the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village and other groups in sponsoring an exhibition of art by the world-famous Whitford-born artist, William Kurelek, in the summer of 2012. The society is also planning to substantially expand its website with information highlighting the unique heritage, flora, fauna, and dynamic multicultural character of ecomuseum communities. And last summer Kalyna Country moved its office to the old train station in Vegreville, so as to increase the visibility and public accessibility of its administration.
For more details or to get involved with Kalyna Country, phone 1-888-452-5962, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write, Kalyna Country Ecomuseum, Box 496, Vegreville, AB, T9C 1R6.