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We realize it can be intimidating to meet with politicians, but remember: as a member of the politician's constituency, it's his or her responsibility to represent you. This is a great opportunity for all concerned. Keep in mind your potential value to the politician. Present yourself as a resource. You have the unique ability to inform the politician about the Canadian archival community, as seen through a local lens.

We've prepared the following guidelines to help you with the tour. Should you have any further questions, please contact us. We're happy to provide further guidance and support.

When addressing federal or provincial/territorial dignitaries such as the Prime Minister or Premier, a member of cabinet, or a member of parliament, various styles of address are expected. These are outlined in detail on the department of Canadian Heritage's website. In brief:

  • A federal cabinet minister should be addressed as "Minister" first, then "Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (name)"
  • A member of the House of Commons should be addressed as "Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (name)"
  • A provincial/territorial cabinet minister should be addressed as "Minister" first, then "Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (name)"
  • A member of a provincial/territorial legislative assembly should be addressed as "Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (name)"

Here are a few points to cover during the tour of your archives.

  • Thank you. The tour should begin by thanking the politician for taking time out of their schedule to meet with you.
  • Introductions. Introduce yourself and others in attendance at the tour, stating names and positions. If part of your delegation is a member of the politician's political party, it doesn't hurt to mention this fact.
  • Purpose. Explain that the purpose of the tour is to:
    • Familiarize the politician with the wealth of historical documents available to your community in your archives;
    • Encourage a strong relationship between the politician, your archives, and CCA; and
    • Promote a better understanding and appreciation of the archival community.
  • Tour and dialogue. Show the politician around. Identify in advance some of the records you feel might be of interest, explain the process of conservation, discuss the challenges you face. Are you a volunteer? Has funding been of assistance to your community? How can your archives be of assistance to the politician? How does your community benefit from archives? Additional important points to cover can be found on this site under Awareness: Key Messages.
  • Photography. Pictures are worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to raising awareness. Be sure that you have your picture taken with the politician inside or in front of your archives. Digital photography is preferable, as it allows for easy distribution. Make sure photographs are taken in high enough resolution to print copies. If you are using a non-digital camera, be sure to print 3 copies of each photograph-one for yourselves, one for CCA, and one to tuck into a thank-you letter for the politician.
  • Thank you. Again. Close the meeting by thanking the politician again for his/her time and presenting him/her with your business cards, as well as a brochure on your archives, and a CCA fact sheet. Tell him or her you hope to keep in contact.

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