After five years at the helm of the Western Development Museum network across Saskatchewan, and a previous 10 years in exhibit development at the Museum, Joan Champ has announced that she will be leaving the Museum to pursue new adventures.
A historian with a Master’s degree in western Canadian history from the University of Saskatchewan, Champ brought to the WDM both her insight into the past and her vision for the future. Under her stewardship, the Museum gained a new brand, a new acquisitions plan, a business plan, a new strategic plan, and many renovations (including a new roof for WDM Yorkton), and energy-efficiency upgrades at all WDM locations.
During Champ’s tenure, the WDM’s accomplishments included the introduction of programs designed to welcome newcomers to the province; new exhibits and programs showcasing Saskatchewan innovation; an expanded travelling exhibits program; entry into the world of social media; and online access to the WDM’s library resources. The WDM performed well financially under Champ’s watch, increasing its earned revenue from 20 percent of operating budget in 2012 to 30 percent in 2015.
“It has been my great privilege to work with an exceptionally dedicated and talented group of museum professionals, service providers and volunteers,” said Champ. “The two things that I think I will look back on with the most pride are helping to build the four Winning the Prairie Gamble exhibits and helping to develop the new ‘Saskatchewan Inspired’ brand and logo for the WDM.”
“Joan has been a dedicated, effective leader and key agent of change, marshalling the WDM through many essential transformations and important issues,” said Board Chair Ken Azzopardi. “On behalf of the WDM Board of Directors, staff and volunteers I would like to wish Joan the very best in her future endeavors.”
Champ’s last day with the WDM will be June 30, 2016. The WDM Board of Directors will be making an announcement of a new CEO for the organization within the next few weeks.