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The Britannia Mine Museum would like to announce the retirement of our Executive Director, Kirstin Clausen, who has been at the Museum's helm for some 20 years. Kirstin has become known for her compassionate leadership, dedication, commitment and deep passion to the continued success and growth of the Museum. With more than 35 years of experience in museums as a curator, educator and administrator, she has combined her love of history with culture, arts, education and heritage to promote the Museum, and provide operational leadership and insight.
Kirstin has overseen a series of monumental changes at the Museum, and been part of broader transformations in the Britannia Beach area. Of profound importance has been the remediation of Britannia Beach and Howe Sound, with which the Museum has positioned itself as the key communicator of Britannia's environmental remediation and stewardship.
The reinvigoration and renewal of the Britannia Mine Museum under Kirstin's leadership has been enormous. First came the rehabilitation of the Mill building, which saw the iconic Mill #3 restored from its derelict state, into the magnificent industrial cathedral now on site; a building which attracts visitors, and film crews, from all over the world. Kirstin also led the Britannia Project and rebranding in 2010, which saw a new visitor centre built, the rehabilitation of heritage buildings, as well as improved amenities and infrastructure. Last year saw the launch of the Museum's award-winning live-action spectacular, BOOM!
Over the course of Kirstin's time as Executive Director, there has been in excess of $25 million invested in the Museum by industry, government and individuals. “It has truly been an honour and privilege to work side-by-side amazing staff and Board members in our collective effort to build a great museum throughout the years,” says Kirstin.
Kirstin's decision to retire came before Covid-19 wrought havoc on global populations and economies, yet her calm and steadfast leadership through 2020 means that, despite the many, many challenges the past year have placed on institutions like Britannia, she will leave the Museum in a position of considerable strength, looking optimistically towards a bright future.
Leonie Tomlinson, Board Chair of the Britannia Mine Museum, says: “We are incredibly grateful to Kirstin for leading the Museum through an extraordinary 20 years of growth and evolution, including our landmark restoration and rehabilitation of the Museum in 2010 and most recently, the successful 2019 launch of the BOOM! show.”
Kirstin has written a short summary reflecting on her twenty year milestone, which you can read here.
Cheryl will be taking over as the Museum's new Executive Director, effective December 7, 2020. Cheryl has been the Retail and Visitor Services Manager at the Britannia Mine Museum since 2016.
Cheryl has more than 25 years of experience developing, managing and implementing sales and marketing strategies and programs for tourist attractions, service programs and destination retail. Prior to working at the Museum, she worked at Vancouver International Airport as the Director of Airport Butler, a first-of-its-kind VIP concierge program in Canada.
“I am excited for the opportunity to lead the Museum towards this new chapter and deliver fresh ideas to our public programming, operations and revenue opportunities especially in this challenging COVID world,” says Cheryl.
Cheryl has extensive management experience working with non-profit organizations including the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival, Abreast In A Boat Regatta and was Board Chair of YVR for Kids, helping fundraise close to $2 million through sponsorships and donations.
Kirstin will assist Cheryl and the Board in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition. “I am incredibly optimistic for the future of the Museum and excited for Cheryl to take on a leadership role and wish her much success. I look forward to remaining a friend of the Museum and watching the new days and new strengths that are yet to come,” she says.