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Destination Owl's Head Donates $10,000 to the Township of Potton for the Mansonville Round Barn Restoration Project

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--July 17, 2018.

Destination Owl’s Head today officially presented a cheque for $10,000 to the Township of Potton at the Mansonville Round Barn, built in 1912, to help complete the building’s restoration project.

"I want to underscore Destination Owl's Head's concern for the Potton community. In addition to its efforts to become well integrated into the community, this company has chosen to contribute to a cause dear to many, the restoration of the Round Barn, a building of great heritage value, as well as a site of interest for Potton's community activities. On behalf of Township of Potton Municipal Council, I sincerely thank Destination Owl's Head, a corporate citizen attentive to the environment in which it has decided to invest," said Jacques Marcoux, Mayor of the Township of Potton.

"The Round Barn is a historical treasure that we want to make accessible to the general public for more cultural and tourist activities. We believe that a major tourism development business such as Destination Owl's Head can contribute to the revitalization of the region and to the creation of partnerships for synergy in tourism development that will also benefit the local population," noted Yannick Beaupertuis, Real Estate and hospitality services development at Destination Owl’s Head.

"Destination Owl's Head wants to be an involved economic citizen and to foster business and commercial ties with local merchants and attractions. We believe that the Destination Owl's Head project will drive economic development, which will contribute not only to the enhancement of commercial and tourist activities benefitting the Municipality of the Township of Potton but also to the consolidation and structuring of the overall tourism supply throughout the Memphremagog region," added Francis Roy, Finance Director of Destination Owl's Head.

Background preparation:
2009-2010: The Mansonville Round Barn underwent several inspections that revealed the advanced deterioration of the building’s foundation and also demonstrated the need to address the state of other elements of the building.

2010: To prevent the collapse of the building, temporary stabilization work, as per the recommendations of CPF Groupe Conseil, was carried out at a cost of $31,000.

2011: An ambitious project to restore the Round Barn, based on the recommendations of the Blitz Report and with a total budget of $1,000,000, was the subject of an application for financial assistance of $300,000 from the Ministry of Culture and Communications. A response to this request has not been received to date.

Since then, the barn’s foundation has continued to deteriorate and other temporary stabilization work is needed to prevent the collapse of the building.

This is why it is urgent to act now to permanently stabilize the barn and enable it to become a true interpretation centre focused on the Township’s history and heritage. The project also includes plans to illustrate the operation of a round barn.

The permanent stabilization of the building will enable the public to have access to the three levels of the barn – the stable, the hayloft, and the plateau. The site will host permanent exhibitions and temporary exhibits with annual themes.

Details of the restoration project:

At an estimated cost of $427,000, the restoration project will involve reinforcing the building's foundation, straightening the structure, installing a new roof, repairing and restoring the openings, and repairing the floors and exterior siding.

Funding: With the donation from Destination Owl's Head, the amount raised to date is approximately $130,000. Commitments from the MRC and the Municipality will total another $52,000. An anticipated contribution of $10,000 from the Caisse Desjardins du lac Memphremagog must be confirmed. A response from Canadian Heritage to a request for financial assistance in the amount of $210,000 is expected to round out the project’s funds.

"Just like the management of Destination Owl's Head, I believe that the Round Barn, once restored and turned into a true historical interpretation and cultural animation centre, will help revitalize the village and the region by pursuing the potential for significant tourism development for the benefit of the population. The PMVG will be pleased to collaborate," said Hans Walser, President of the Potton Municipal Volunteer Group (PMVG).

"The Potton Heritage Association was founded in 1990 to promote the heritage of the Township of Potton. The Round Barn is one of the most important elements of our heritage, so we have been committed to protecting this unique building for almost 30 years. The Association has formally pledged to present new exhibitions as soon as the barn is restored and accessible to the public. To us, this donation by Destination Owl's Head represents a significant step in achieving this goal. Long life to the Round Barn!" stated Chantal Éthier, Secretary of the Potton Heritage Association.