Lena Beliveau: RMC Museum Curator working on many exciting projects
Lena Beliveau has worked in museums for ten years. She started out working through the summers at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston while completing her undergraduate degree in history and classics at Queen’s University. She then went on to complete a Master’s degree in Information specializing in archives and a Master’s degree in Museum Studies, both at the University of Toronto (U of T). Upon graduating from U of T, Lena returned to the Marine Museum as a Curatorial Assistant, then Collections Manager, then Curator.
While at the Marine Museum, Lena managed the museum’s extensive collections of artifacts, archives and books; assisted its volunteers; developed its interpretive plan and planned and installed several exhibits.
Lena was an adult when she discovered her love of museums. Her interest in RMC was sparked much earlier.
In 1998, Lena was a very enthusiastic member of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps St. Lawrence and a very untalented member of the corps band. That year the band was invited to play in the RMC Sunset Ceremony. That experience stayed with Lena: the magic of a night parade, the scarlet uniforms, the drill, the guns, the music, the feeling of being a part of something important, and of course, the piper playing My Heart Will Go On from the clock tower during the rehearsal. Three months later, Lena was at RMC again, this time as first year boatswain with HMCS Ontario. Like the Sunset Ceremony, those three weeks Lena spent running around the inner sports field before breakfast, trying not to pass out on the parade square and developing a lifelong love of being out on the water, made a lasting impression on her.
With Lena’s positive RMC memories in mind, it is unsurprising that in 2014, when the Curatorial Assistant position at the RMC Museum was advertised, she jumped at the opportunity. The museum’s former Curator (now Curator Emeritus), Ross McKenzie, has a wonderful reputation in the Kingston museum community and the combination of working at RMC and having Ross as a mentor was irresistible. Lena won the competition and came to RMC in the fall of 2014. Ross retired from his fulltime position in January and, much to her delight, Lena was appointed Curator of the RMC Museum in June, 2015.
Now, more than a year after coming to RMC, and almost a year after becoming Curator, Lena is working with her new Curatorial Assistant on many exciting projects including planning for a new museum building; developing a new exhibit which will be installed at Fort Henry and putting together catalogue that highlights some of the treasures in the museum’s collections.