It’s difficult to find anything to say about the year that hasn’t already been pounded into cliche. It’s been an awful year, a year where everything changed, and a year that laid bare our society’s brittleness. A number of news outlets have gone so far as to make the mind-numbingly ahistorical claim that 2020 was the worst year ever (1348 would like a word!).
Nevertheless we’ve all had to adjust our lives in ways we could barely have fathomed a year ago. 2020’s economic collapse is the worst since records began by a very significant margin. Our partners, museums, tourism professionals, small business associations, have all suffered enormous blows to their operations, and some have lost loved ones.
For our part, the initial shutdowns in March and April caused our business to shudder to a halt as our partners and prospective partners all closed their doors and hunkered down. We seriously wondered if we’d be able to survive.
However, it quickly became clear that we could help our partners get through this exceptional period. We offer services that allow people to experience history while safely socially distancing. Our app gives museums and heritage societies a way to share digital exhibits, interact with their community remotely, and entice prospective tourists to come visit once it’s safe to do so.
As such 2020 became a surprising year of milestones for us in our aim of making history accessible to Canadians, and giving communities a platform to share their history.
- Launched 17 new Partner Cities, more than doubling the total from 2016-2019. Before 2020 we’d launched 14 partner cities, so 17 this year (or rather last year) alone is a pretty eye-popping milestone! We are pretty confident we can do better this year, while continuing to improve the quality of the content.
- Over 200 museums signed up for free listings in every province across Canada. They’re included in our nearby system, alongside our regular content.
- Launched our first Virtual Tour in Vulcan, AB. Virtual tours are a key new offering, the first major expansion beyond our core concept of then-and-now photo-based tours. We think this feature will be hugely popular because…
- We registered 250 people for a Virtual Tours Webinar. When we started webinars early in 2020, we’d get 10 to 20 registrants. But we’ve been improving them, and our last webinar on Virtual Tours–the first of a three part series–received a truly impressive 250 registrants, showing there’s interest across Canada for what we’re talking about!
- First Translated Content. We brought on Jo-Any, to translate French for us, and we’ve developed the capabilities to translate all our content into any language. Translating not just to French, but many other languages, is something we really want to build upon in 2021. We have German and Chinese tours in the works right now.
- Brought on 7 New Team Members. We’re growing rapidly, and we’re working hard to bring together a super-talented team to ensure we can scale without compromising our mission of providing the highest quality history we can.
In 2021 we hope to continue building on these milestones and improving our offerings to better help communities quickly bounce back after the pandemic draws to a close. After a year like no other, we’ll be there for you and hope we can find new ways to help you!