A Note from our General Manager

Hello friends!

I’m writing to you today with a specific and critical request for our friends and supporters.

For the last decade, our dedicated team has worked tirelessly to protect, preserve and share the rich history of our beloved heritage site. We’ve invested heavily in our heritage gardens, facilities and educational content of the place. We’ve curated arts, culture and community events, playing host to special family events like reunions, weddings and celebrations of life. We’ve presented artisan markets, informative lectures and school tours. Throughout this journey, we’ve strived to be good neighbors, and honour the essence and efforts of those who have contributed to this exceptional place over the years.

We’ve accomplished this in spite of a unique set of challenges associated with our unusual situation: we get no operating funding from any level of government and shoulder the responsibility of maintaining the site—we even have to pay property tax on a piece of land we don’t own. We continue to do this because we care deeply about this place and our community—in many ways, this is the best and most impactful work we’ve ever done.

We’re blessed to have the guidance and support of so many wonderful people, yourselves included. Volunteers have played a crucial role in providing engaging experiences for tourists, supporting community events, and fundraising for special projects on site. Our patrons, friends and neighbours have been generous in their words of encouragement and enthusiasm for what we do. This community’s steadfast support has empowered us to carry out so much of this meaningful work.

Recent times have presented us with a seemingly unending series of challenges, however, from forest fires and the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to shifts in tourism and economic changes. This year, which we anticipated as an urgently-needed rebound, took an unexpected turn when another fire in August disrupted our busiest weeks, leaving our cherished site far quieter than it should have been. Our usual reserves have already been stretched thin by the last few years of difficulties, and this most recent set-back has tipped us into a tough situation.

What we need, most urgently, is immediate revenue to get us through the winter and into the start of next season. We have lots of activities and products available for you to purchase—we’re always willing to hustle for your support. Specifically, though, there a few things that would make the biggest impact on our cashflow right away and help ensure we can weather these challenges and build into an amazing 2024:

  • Pre-purchase Season Passes: By pre-purchasing a season pass for next year, you not only support us financially but also ensure your access to a year full of heritage, events, and cherished memories.
  • Book a Stay in Our Campground: Enjoy the tranquility and beauty of our campground by booking a stay. Your visit directly contributes to the maintenance and preservation of our beloved site.
  • Spread the Word: Your advocacy and word-of-mouth support are invaluable. Share your positive experiences and memories of the Grist Mill and Gardens with friends, family, and colleagues. Encourage them to explore and engage with our historical site and any of the things we do!

(If you want to make an even bigger impact, you can always make a donation to the Grist Mill Foundation, the volunteer-run charity associated with the site, or even talk to us about sponsoring one of our events or activities in 2024.)

Your contributions, whether through pre-purchasing passes, booking a stay, or spreading the word, will strengthen our efforts to overcome these current financial hurdles and continue our mission of preserving this significant heritage site.

We remain committed to providing a place where history breathes and nature thrives, but we cannot do it without your support. Let’s stand together to ensure that the legacy of the Grist Mill and Gardens perseveres for generations to come.

For those willing to offer their support or have any questions, please reach out to us at info@oldgristmill.ca.

Thank you for your unwavering support and belief in our shared heritage.

With heartfelt gratitude,

Chris Mathieson,
Operator / General Manger

3 thoughts on “A Note from our General Manager

  1. Sorry to hear this is going on Chris, you and your crew and volunteers have made the Grist Mill a great place to visit and join in your Sunday meals. It’s always a great time and meet lots of new friends and people. Keep up your great work.
    Paul and Merry and our boys

  2. How about reming the public that the Grist Mill is a very special site for special occasions – such as weddings& reunions ! Don’t you hav available boxes of products produced on site?

  3. Dear Grist Mill,
    The past couple of years have been intolerably difficult for so many of us dedicated entrepreneurs in tourism, hospitality & food. All these hard decisions and scrambling… you are not alone.
    Adrienne & Mike
    Granny’s Cafe & Bakery

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