Located downtown, Toronto’s First Post Office has made great strides in creating a community hub within their museum through a re-designed gift shop, maker fairs and workshops.
In addition to renewing the gift shop, the vendors began bringing their own audiences to the museum and those audiences started to bring their friends. Awareness was growing and so was the post office’s overall audience diversity. The vendor fairs later led to workshops where makers would come and host classes for the public.
Today, the post office still hosts vendor fairs every year and the workshops have since become one of their biggest priorities. “It really has changed our audience. The people that come through the doors now… I mean, there are people that just come in to shop! And this new audience is a younger demographic,” explains Akerfeldt.
They were even able to gain a new board member through this new audience – the youngest they’ve ever had. This new member brings fresh ideas and new approaches to the table.
Paper Fair Vendors at Toronto’s First Post Office
When you are small, you can be flexible and nimble. You can try new things and learn from your experiences.
You never know what’s going to work. Never say no to an idea just because it’s never been done.
Create programming that complements the history and mission of the place. New, authentic programs and events enhance the visitor experience.
Since its opening in 1978, the Fort Frances Museum and Cultural Centre has had a mission to “collect, preserve, research, exhibit, and interpret the artifacts that depict the story of people and nature as it relates to the history of Fort Frances and the surrounding Rainy River District.”
Tourism is about expectations – what visitors hope to see and experience, and how the many parts of the community can benefit from the influx of travellers. Historic places can be key to attracting visitors to get a better sense of a locale’s people, places and events.