Instructor Marcus Letourneau teaches 489C, Determining Significance of Heritage Resources. We recently had the opportunity to have a conversation with Marcus to ask a few questions about his background, interests and more.
Why is cultural resource management important to you?
I have always been fascinated by the past, what it means to be an individual and group identity, and how people interact with it. One of my earliest memories is seeing a museum set up a new exhibit in my hometown of Haliburton, Ontario.
What do you like about teaching?
There is so much! I like not only sharing what I have learned, but also having the opportunity to learn and grow from interactions with my students and colleagues. I like helping to shape the next generation of heritage professionals in the same way I was fortunate to learn from so many amazing teachers and practitioners myself.
What do you do when you aren’t teaching?
Too much! I am currently the managing principal of a heritage consulting firm in Ontario, and I teach at several different academic institutions across Canada. I am also the chair of the Leeds and the Thousand Islands municipal heritage committee, where my partner and I own an old general store we are conserving. I serve on the board of directors of ICOMOS Canada and several other heritage organizations. I am an active gardener, bibliophile, ephemerist and passionate collector of many things. Lastly, and most importantly, I am the very proud father of three children, all of whom keep me very busy!
How did you end up in your career?
I always knew I would do something with history. I originally wanted to be an archaeologist, but my grade 8 teacher suggested I should consider teaching. While I have always loved learning, in university I was given the opportunity to explore new and exciting topics and ideas. I decided to pursue graduate studies in political and historical geography focusing on historic cities and landscapes (as well as conflicts over these places). In the fourth year of my PhD, I was offered a chance to become the senior heritage planner for the City of Kingston in Ontario. While I was initially trepidatious, I decided to give it a chance. I stayed with Kingston for nearly seven years and in the process I became a registered professional planner. Following my time with Kingston, I decided to explore working in the private sector, and have worked there since. Simultaneously to starting with Kingston in 2004, I started teaching at Queen’s University and have gone on to teach at Carleton University, University of Waterloo, Algonquin College, Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, the Ontario Museum Association and more recently at UVic.
Any advice for our students?
Never stop learning! There are always new ideas and approaches, and we can always build upon our knowledge and experience. I returned to school several years ago to complete a third graduate degree (which will be finished early next year), and I know it will not be my last!
Learn more about Marcus Letourneau by reading his instructor bio.