Born and raised in Chatham Ontario, Michael has been Executive Director/Curator of the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum since July 1, 2007. He studied Fine Arts at Fanshawe College in London Ontario, before receiving a diploma in Applied Museum Studies from Algonquin College in Ottawa. He was employed as Assistant Curator at the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum, and then Program Coordinator for Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations with the Canadian Museums Association.
He developed the permanent exhibit Fabric of a Small Town; making the building heated and air-conditioned; making the building fully accessible; and increasing the museum’s partnerships within Mississippi Mills and surrounding areas. Michael is also involved with several Town committees.
One of his most exciting projects at the museum has been the Millworkers’ Reunion. This began with oral histories by former millworkers – hearing the tales from the actual folks who were there makes the past come alive – and it led to a number of thrilling artifact donations to the museum, including paystubs, tools, photos, and even water purifiers.
Neville is indispensable and far more than just a dogsbody at the museum. Neville graciously waives his salary in favour of adding to the museum’s bottom line.