Every large project in Maple Ridge has had a champion pushing the project along.
And that's what is needed in order to get a new museum built in Maple Ridge, said the director of the Maple Ridge Museum Val Patenaude.
Last Tuesday evening, the Maple Ridge Historical Society hosted a "workshop for the future" with the intention to draw on the expertise of two men experienced in developing historical facilities.
About 28 people attended, Patenaude said, including staff from the District of Maple Ridge and the heritage commission.
Ian McLellan, who has about 50 years of museum work experience, and Brent Cooke, who spent 30 years with the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, were leading the workshop.
The main message was that in order to get a new museum built, they would need someone to lead the charge, Patenaude said, pointing out that in 1984, Sheila Nickols and Dick Sutcliffe were the ones who pushed hard to get the museum into its current building, and The ACT was built with the leadership of Bonnie Telep.
"There's always a person who is out front - that's what we need," Patenaude said, someone who is "energetic, committed, passionate, and willing to march at the head of the column."
While the museum is in constant use and its services are in demand from schools, the District, the media, and others in the community, there's a need for more active members of the historical society to support their activities.
Muse Patenaude pointed out that at the meeting, there were only two people who didn't have grey hair - she said she's hoping younger people get involved in with the society, but especially, that they find someone to push for the new museum.
"Doing everything by committee seems to go in circles," Patenaude said. "You need that person - there's [currently] no decider."
The next step in getting a new museum is of a different order of magnitude, Patenaude said. The money and commitment have to come from the District of Maple Ridge, sponsors, and donors.
Before a new museum can be built, it has to be in Maple Ridge's five-year capital plan.
"At the end of the day, it's a municipal building - they have to decide to build it," Patenaude said.
The property next to Haney House was bought in 2001 for the future museum, and preliminary drawings were made in 2004 and released in 2005, but that's where it ended.
"Really nothing has happened since 2005," she said.
Patenaude also took away from the meeting a message of "don't despair," that it's never quick to build something like a museum.
"Sometimes you have to wait for all the stars to be aligned," Patenaude said.