In spring of 2005, I was engaged by the people of Pelee Island to
help them with a variety of issues confronting the island. Part of
that renewal was an exploration of how could we increase environmentally
friendly tourism by attracting free publicity in the spring to get
people thinking about making a trip to the island part of their family
As a life long kite collector who owned a kite shop in the
1970's and organized kite festivals in south Kent, it was a logical
extension to think about introducing kites to an island with such great
wind and flat land surface.
The museum informally opened on June 28th, 2008.
I claim no special gift as a kite flyer, kite maker, or kite
historian or expert - Kites are fun and they make people happy.
For me, that is enough
The Kite Museum is a family owned museum - for families. I
say family which really means it is my passion, my 11 year old daughter
really likes the idea and is looking forward to running it her way in
the future; and
my wife, well, lets just say that after 26 years of marriage, she has
learned to resign herself to certain things in life. But every
once in a while when she thinks we are not looking, we do catch her
smiling as Ashley and I go about our silliness. At least until
we return home and she still can't get into the garage or basement.
The mission of the museum is:
* Preserve kites and related knowledge
* Provide opportunities for people to be exposed to kites, their
history and future
* Help teach the making of kite and related items
* To help preserve North American paper kites
* To use kites to bridge cultural understanding, environmental
awareness and family togetherness
* To develop and introduce opportunities and means for physically
challenged to participate in kiting
... and simply stated - to share joy.
First of all, please understand, our vision is not the traditional
image and definition of an "institutional museum".
Like a museum, we will have the traditional housing for displays and
preservation, but we shall put most of our focus on traveling
exhibits, inter-active programming and going to where the people are,
rather than trying to get people to come to the museum. Factoid:
Less than 4% of North Americans have ever been to a museum
We are committed to developing a working model for a "sustainable"
kiting experience/institution which shall survive my passing and
continue into the future. If we can do that, then we will have a
model for others to do the same in their country such as perhaps in
France and Germany someday.
Our vision is to create the opportunity to create "wow". "Wow"
in terms of "I had one of those"; "that is so cool"; "I didn't know
that"; "I did it"; "you won't believe what we saw"; and more.
What started as a means to create some environmentally friendly
activities for families to generate free publicity for a small island
community has taken on a life of its own - in a good way. Five
years from now, we hope that we have made a contribution to preserving
this important historical human activity, as well to increase the
awareness and participation into the future.
Enjoy - with the emphasis on "joy".
George, Sara, & Ashley Paisiovich