Sue Deschene photo
A newly revamped website, museum passes and signage are among the eye-catching marketing tools developed this year by the Shelburne Museum Complex.
By Sue Deschene
Seeking to appeal to a wider demographic of visitors, the Shelburne Museum Complex has been dusting off its image and finding ways to promote not only its museums, but also Shelburne and the surrounding area.
“Our new visual identifier is ‘Shelburne’s Historic Waterfront: Museums by the Sea’,” explains Hélène Branch, acting site manager for the Shelburne Museum Complex.
As part of this initiative, the museum complex recently launched its newly revamped website, with layout and writing by prolific travel writer Darcy Rhyno.
“Darcy has a keen eye for what it is that tourists look for when they want to visit a community,” Branch says. “We want a website that’s going to give them the flavour of the town. The thinking behind (the new website) really was to showcase the museums. But you can’t showcase the museums without featuring the historic district, the town and the area.”
Besides promoting local accommodations, shopping and dining, the new website – found at www.shelburnemuseums.com – features sections on Shelburne’s founding peoples, its shipbuilding heritage, dory building, past and current uses for various historic buildings, work the Shelburne Historical Society has done to preserve buildings in the historic district, Hollywood’s forays into Shelburne and much more.
Designed by Leona Ringer, the website features a wealth of photos by local photographers including Lisa Buchanan, Dan Peacock, Kim Walker, Darcy Rhyno, Leona Ringer and Sue Deschene.
In another move to boost tourism, the museum complex has posted three new signs: two on the outskirts of town along Highway 103, as drivers are approaching from the east and west, plus one at the Exit 26 entrance into town. These signs, designed by Shelburne marketing consultant Doug White, showcase the fresh, vibrant image the museum complex is cultivating.
White also designed the new museum passes which feature photos by Lisa Buchanan. Rather than photographing the three museums in the complex – the Shelburne County Museum, the Dory Shop Museum and the Ross-Thomson House and Store Museum – Buchanan used the museum’s town model and photographed its miniatures, creating a whimsical storybook effect.
“And timeless,” Branch adds. “That’s something that you’ll use for years and years. When we received them, I thought it looked like a mini-bookmark. In my travels I’ve kept nice tickets and other mementoes, so we’re hoping that will be true (for our museum pass). One of the comments we got on feedback was ‘perfect keepsake’.”
The new museum passes feature a simple map on the back showing where the three buildings are located: two on Dock Street, one on Charlotte Lane. “We did that because people sometimes have a hard time finding the Ross-Thomson House, even though things are in close proximity. So that just helps to redirect people.”
The website, signage and two new rack cards – one featuring Ross-Thomson’s “Afternoon of 18th Century Living” demonstrations on Wednesday afternoons, the other the Dory Shop’s whirligig-making workshops on Thursday afternoons – were all made possible by funding from the Southwest Nova Tourism Task Team.