In September 2014, Blue Rhino Design in partnership the economic development research firm WCM Consulting were engaged by The Township of North Huron’s Alice Munro Partnership Group to undertake a feasibility study to explore what opportunities exist in Huron County to establish an Alice Munro Museum, as well as to identify the curatorial voice as it relates to Alice Munro, her early years, her short stories, and writing in general. The study suggested buildings and locations that may be suitable for a museum and options and recommendations for educational goals and exceptional visitor experiences. Through the use of multiple entry points into gaining stakeholder input, Blue Rhino Design suggested ways to animate the inanimate in order to draw visitors from the region, the province, nationally and internationally, including appropriate branding and technology solutions.
Along with our partner WCM Consulting, we conducted extensive research, initiated an online survey promoted through social media, and held several stakeholder engagement meetings, one with community members within Huron County and one with a southern Ontario writers’ group. Through the use of inclusive and interactive facilitation methods as well as a robust research strategy, we successfully drove the project and the community towards a consensus on what such a museum could and should be.