Another record setting year for CFDC

Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre Executive Director Peter Cantelon, pictured in front of the Allosaurus exhibit, spoke about a record year.

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The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre reported another record year to members at their annual general meeting April 25.
Executive Director Peter Cantelon said 2018 saw visits from more than 15,000 people from 42 countries and 38 U.S. States.
Visitation from outside of Morden represented more than $1 million of tourism revenue to the city of Morden’s economy, and dependence on local funding has dropped. In 2018, of CFDC’s total revenue, 42 per cent came from the City of Morden. That’s down from 60 per cent only five years ago.
CFDC is also planning carefully. They have grown their Morden Area Foundation/Manitoba Heritage Trust Fund to more than $65,000, and will add $20,000 to the fund in 2019 thanks to the gala. That will be matched with $10,000 from the province, bringing the fund to nearly $100,000.
CFDC has also boasted a turnaround from an asset position of -$19,000 in 2014 to $90,000 today.
“We have grown a contingency fund to $20,000 for emergency purposes and add to it every year,” he said.
Cantelon said solid leadership, management practices, strategic marketing, business partnerships, and decision making have led to their success.
And things are still improving. Cantelon said the first quarter of 2019 has already shown growth, leading to another expected record year.
“The city’s investment with the CFDC is one that pays back,” he said. “We continue to meet the challenge of growing well past the industry average and ensuring that every dollar given to the CFDC becomes $10 back into the city economy.”
CFDC President Chris Leach shared the positive numbers. He said their increase in attendance was 18.5 per cent, and an increase in grantless revenue was 62 per cent, to $152,154. Leach credited staff and volunteers for the success.
He told meeting attendees that they are focusing on the future as well.
“Over the next few months the Board will be working on finalizing the 2019-2021 strategic plan for the CFDC,” he said. “The new Strategic Plan will be the document that charts the path for the exiting future for our one-of-a-kind marine fossil museum.
Planning is still underway for a brand new facility. Leach said in 2017 the Standing Building Committee was formed to develop opportunities to expand or develop a new home for CFDC.
“At our March meeting, the Board approved a motion to pursue the construction of a destination-worthy facility,” he said. “This will of course be dependent on securing funding for the construction and operation of the proposed new facility.”
Victoria Markstrom presented the Curator Report, and she shared the success they’ve had in partnering with other festivals and events.
Information booths and interactive activities were set up at 10 events in Morden, Winnipeg, Miami, and Manitou.
Their programming is also continuing to grow. Markstrom reported 40 per cent more income generated from Spring Break Dino Day Camp as compared to 2017 with participation of 58 kids.
Last year also saw them collect 81 new specimens while also accessioning previously collected specimens.
She said they hope to keep up that work in 2019.
“Out in the field, I hope to explore potential dig sites and inspect those that aren’t visited as much anymore,” she said. “I am looking forward to achieving these goals as well as tackling new challenges in 2019-2020.