Michelle Bartlett is currently the Lead of Content and Experience at McDougall Cottage Historic Site in Cambridge.  After working as a professional falconer for 25 years, Michelle switched gears and joined the Region of Waterloo as a Teacher/Interpreter at McDougall Cottage in 2007; eventually becoming the Historic Site Supervisor.
She is passionate about this charming stone home, located on the banks of the Grand, and excited about the ways that today’s museums are evolving to expand the stories they tell, develop engaging and innovative ways to tell those stories and to create and offer relevant content and programming that connects with their communities.
Located on the banks of the Grand River in Galt’s Historic Factory District, McDougall Cottage Historic Site is a c. 1858 granite and limestone house that was once the home of two families of Scottish settlers, the McDougall’s and the Bairds.
Nearly 165 years after being built, this charming cottage is now an active hub for community events, with tours, special events, workshops, student education programs and more. Locals and visitors alike are welcomed to learn about the history of the Cottage, marvel at the stunning hand-painted 110 year old trompe l’oeil friezes and murals, interact with engaging exhibits and peer out the window at the ever-evolving neighbourhood of the downtown Cambridge Historic Factory District. 
McDougall Cottage is a place where people can connect with the diverse past, present, and future as history and daily life come together in this engaging community space.
Michelle began her presentation by outlining the occupancy of the Cottage. She described how the Cottage was restored by Tim Drennan between 1988 and 1992.
When the Cottage was put up for sale in 2001 Heritage Cambridge, the City of Cambridge, and the Region of Waterloo came together in the purchase of the Cottage and in 2002 it became one of the Region's three (3) museums.
Michelle then spoke to how the Cottage is today. It is used for Events and Programs such as:
  • Music and Art Events 
  • Exhibits
  • Lectures
  • Education Programs
  • Workshops
  • Walking Tours
  • Teas by the Grand
  • Event Rentals    
Michelle then took us on a tour of the Cottage and discussed in detail the stunning hand-painted 110 year old trompe l’oeil friezes and murals.
Michelle then discussed "What's Next" for the Cottage. They will taking a community approach, including taking some of the museum outside. They are also working on a resiliancy project about mental health where they will be utilizing different methods of presentation, including projections, etc.  
They are also working with indigenous groups to do a mural.
Keith Clarke thanked Michelle for presentation.