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Managing Cultural and Heritage Facilities

Course Code CHTM-202
Lecture hours per week
Lab hours per week
Course Availability: Open
Description: The new Program in Cultural and Heritage Tourism is premised on an appreciation of the strategic and economic value of Cultural and Heritage Tourism Education. The two following quotes speak to its integral importance for us, as a society:

"Heritage is a broad concept and includes the natural as well as the cultural environment. It encompasses landscapes, historic places, sites and built environments, as well as biodiversity, collections, past and continuing cultural practices, knowledge and living experiences. It records and expresses the long processes of historic development, forming the essence of diverse national, regional, indigenous and local identities and is an integral part of modern life. It is a dynamic reference point and positive instrument for growth and change" (International Council on Monuments and Sites - ICOMOS)

"At the broadest level, the natural and cultural heritage belongs to all people. We each have a right and responsibility to understand, appreciate and conserve its universal values" (International tourism charter: ICOMOS international committee)

Cultural and heritage resources are globally recognized to have social, cultural, spiritual, personal and economic value. Cultural tourism is about learning and experiencing the lifestyles, the heritage, the arts, and the people of a destination. It impacts the resources and the people where the cultural and heritage resources are located.

Arts Cultural and Heritage organizations have captured the imagination, resources and attention of the public and private sectors. Local, regional, provincial, national and international audiences find immense personal value and spend precious leisure time and hard earned financial resources on these facilities, festivals and performances which range from those relating to a given community's history (Black Creek Pioneer Village) to a country's very identity (Canadian Museum of Civilization). Visitors relish the chance to explore the history, lifestyles, artistic practices, natural landscape and architecture of these sites. Facilities that program culturally specific festivals such as Harbourfront Centre or those that capture a particular artistic genre, such as the Shaw Festival, attract huge media attention and international audiences who are there to explore the creative talents across the performing arts. National and Provincial parks attract families who are drawn the natural beauty of the land, a resource that must be carefully maintained and protected to sustain that pristine environment.

In order to protect, maintain and program all of the above arts, cultural and heritage organizations, it takes dedicated staff and volunteers, as well as massive support from the private and public sectors. Students will grapple with the diverse nature of the organizations; their value to the local, national and international community; the contribution such organizations make to a person's or a country's identity; the resources necessary to sustain such organizations; the best management practices that allow for growth, increased attendance, resources and support; and the challenges that face certain organizations and the ways and means to address or correct them.

Through research, class discussions and projects, lectures from faculty and visiting professionals, and site visits to local organizations, students will use their knowledge to identify best practices in managing arts, cultural and heritage facilities. They will also deconstruct a local heritage organization using its real life practices and challenges. In this living case study, information will be compiled from classroom activities and research, then analyzed in order to assist the site in addressing future programs and capital growth leading to increased attendance from new and diverse audiences. This will in return, generate new revenue in order to promote financial stability.

Some current and relevant statistics on the arts, cultural and heritage sectors can be found on the following web site which also contains significant research on other topics that will inform students in this course.