Fort Anne National Historic Site

Fort Anne National Historic Site

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An enduring legacy 

Our strategic plan outlines an interpretive vision that will supplement and augment the grounds of the Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada. The plan is a high level interpretive overview, indicating which themes and stories should be told at the site. It proposes a number of interventions and programs designed to engage visitors and help them understand the significance of the Fort’s stories and events, and in doing so, encourage further visitation to the site.

In short, our recommendations look at changes to the site, delivery of interpretation, and programs in order to establish Fort Anne NHS as a “must see” attraction, capable of attracting new visitors to the province as well as return visitation by local audiences. Given the nature of how people approach and enter the site, the age of the existing interpretive assets, and self-guided nature of the site, the plan must consider a wide range of improvements—from interpretation to programming, from renovation to new construction.

Adoption of our plan led to two significant projects: a focuses on visitor arrival, orientation, and a revitalization of their interpretation at the Officers’ Quarters exhibit hall.

STATUS

2014–15 (strategy)

TYPE

strategic planning

CLIENT

Parks Canada, National Historic Sites, Southwest Nova Scotia

LOCATION

Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

SUB-CONSULTANTS

Andrea Arbic, A. L. Arbic Consulting—financial planning.

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THEMATIC STRUCTURE Interpretive planning uses themes to unify content, an overarching context through which all interpretation is organized and delivered. The central message and themes are neither an official declaration of a site’s values nor are they the topics or content. Topics or content are the “atoms” of interpretation, whereas themes are the unifying matter holding the visitor experience together. Themes carry the “big idea” being communicated to visitors throughout a site. The central message must answer the question, “what aspect of the visit to Fort Anne NHS do you want to resonate with visitors?” The concept of the central message and themes is akin to brand marketing—both develop and propagate strategic messages.

THEMATIC STRUCTURE
Interpretive planning uses themes to unify content, an overarching context through which all interpretation is organized and delivered. The central message and themes are neither an official declaration of a site’s values nor are they the topics or content. Topics or content are the “atoms” of interpretation, whereas themes are the unifying matter holding the visitor experience together. Themes carry the “big idea” being communicated to visitors throughout a site. The central message must answer the question, “what aspect of the visit to Fort Anne NHS do you want to resonate with visitors?” The concept of the central message and themes is akin to brand marketing—both develop and propagate strategic messages.

REVITALIZED OFFICERS’ QUARTERS EXHIBITON SPACE Due to operational constraints, all our recommendations assume self-guided operations. The primary means to increase visitation is by updating the existing visitor experience, which is primarily within the Officers’ Quarters at present. Our plan presented three plan, and associated financial implications, visitation expectations, and revenue generation opportunities.

REVITALIZED OFFICERS’ QUARTERS EXHIBITON SPACE
Due to operational constraints, all our recommendations assume self-guided operations. The primary means to increase visitation is by updating the existing visitor experience, which is primarily within the Officers’ Quarters at present. Our plan presented three plan, and associated financial implications, visitation expectations, and revenue generation opportunities.

MEETING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES An alternate proposal recommended wholesale changes to exsiting spaces and infrastructure, including suggestions from minor to major changes to their exisitng administrative facilities.

MEETING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
An alternate proposal recommended wholesale changes to exsiting spaces and infrastructure, including suggestions from minor to major changes to their exisitng administrative facilities.

FORT ANNE’S VALUE PROPOSITION Fort Anne’s Commemorative integrity Statement details why the site is important according to the Historic Sites and Monuments Act. However, this statement was not written with a consumer market in mind. Therefore, for promotional purposes, Fort Anne needs a clearly articulated value proposition. A value proposition describes the defining characteristic that distinguishes one attraction from another. Our plan recommended a new, central interpretive message for Fort Anne—one that emphasizes the uniqueness of the site as being one of the most fought-over tracts of land during the colonization of North America. This message also serves as Fort Anne’s value proposition. We recommend that this message be consistently used in all advertising and promotions.

FORT ANNE’S VALUE PROPOSITION
Fort Anne’s Commemorative integrity Statement details why the site is important according to the Historic Sites and Monuments Act. However, this statement was not written with a consumer market in mind. Therefore, for promotional purposes, Fort Anne needs a clearly articulated value proposition. A value proposition describes the defining characteristic that distinguishes one attraction from another. Our plan recommended a new, central interpretive message for Fort Anne—one that emphasizes the uniqueness of the site as being one of the most fought-over tracts of land during the colonization of North America. This message also serves as Fort Anne’s value proposition. We recommend that this message be consistently used in all advertising and promotions.


CREDIT

Photo credits (from top): banner, © Shonda Hogan 2015. Interpetive Plan cover images: [upper and lower images] © Shonda Hogan 2015; cricket players, courtesy of Annapolis County Spectator © Lawrence Powell.