The Friends of the Dionne Home Museum, the group working to keep the Dionne Quints home in North Bay, raised about $8,000 at their benefit fundraiser on Friday night. According to a post on the groups Facebook page, they are now slightly over $16,000 in their fundraising quest. All of the money raised will go towards helping to keep the home in North Bay. The Friends group is working with the special committee established by city council to try and find a recommendation that will keep the home in North Bay. That committee is meeting again tonight, the third public meeting in as many weeks. The meeting tonight is at 6:00pm in the fifth floor boardroom at city hall, and it will see the group continue working on their proposal that will be presented to council in April.
Group Chair Jeff Fournier says the group has been pretty united on believing the best place for the home is next to the Discovery North Bay Museum. But one of the issues the committee has encountered in the museum being apprehensive about the home being so close. Fournier says in the past they didn’t want to take the museum, which he understands because they don’t get funding from the city for museum related activities. Fournier says he’s still hopeful the museum will come round, adding they would like to see an endorsement from the museum board on the preferred location.
Fournier says one of the reasons he believes the museum will come around is because they won’t be the only ones in charge of the home. He would like to form a board that will consist of members of the friends group, city councillors and community members in the future which would operate separately. Fournier says they’ve been working with local schools and school boards on potential partnerships as well. Fournier finished by saying he believes there is an excellent chance that the home will stay in North Bay, especially considering the community support his group has received over the last few months.