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Logo of Surface Impression

December 1


5 – 7:30 p.m.
Symposium Ice Breaker
Bank of Canada Museum

Pre-registration required!

Enter the heart of Canada’s economic engine and explore fun, hands-on, interactive exhibits that cover everything from how people’s expectations affect the health of an economy to how inflation targeting works (hint: you get to fly a rocket ship!). Mixed in with all the high-tech interactives are informative videos, multimedia stations and exhibits featuring centuries’ worth of economic artifacts: from shells once used as money, to bank notes made from tree bark, together with their history and lore. Stimulating. Engaging. Most of all, fun. Please join us at the opening event of the Symposium.

Fee: $40. The Bank of Canada Museum is a short walk from the Ottawa Marriott Hotel.


December 2

All events will take place in the Victoria North meeting room unless otherwise noted.


8 – 9 a.m.
Registration and Networking

9 – 9:30 a.m.
Official Welcome and Overview of Symposium

Dr. Vanda Vitali, Executive Director Canadian Museums Association and Peter Pavement, Facilitator, Technology in Museums Symposium.

About your facilitator: Peter Pavement is the Director of Surface Impression, a digital design and development agency (based in Toronto and Brighton, UK) that specialises in work for the cultural sector. Peter has been working with museums and heritage organisations for over 18 years, helping them to create engaging digital interfaces to collections, venues and histories. He has a PhD from the University of Leicester’s Department of Museum Studies and a MA in Digital Media Arts (University of Brighton).

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Flying in the Dark

Presenter: Kim Kilpatrick, Storyteller and Coordinator, Get Together with Technology (GTT) Program, Canadian Council of the Blind (CNIB)

Have you ever wondered how someone with no vision might experience your museum? Have you ever thought about how someone who is blind and uses braille, feels about your museum exhibits? Would you like to make this environment more welcoming for people who are blind? Kim will share her insights and experiences, with a focus on museum access.

About your presenter: Kim Kilpatrick is a professional storyteller and music therapist, a Paralympian, a radio show host, and a disability awareness and access technology trainer.

10:30  – 11 a.m.
Networking Break/Round Table Discussions

11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Can Data Analytics Improve Your Museum?

Presenters: Jennifer Wild Czajkowski, Deputy Director, Engagement and Shyam Oberoi, Chief Digital Officer, Royal Ontario Museum

What would your museum look like if it were data driven? What type of insights can be revealed to museum professionals — if we use institutional and operational data in innovative ways? In recent years, data analytics has been used at a number of museums to create solutions for longstanding issues such as developing sustainable revenue streams and attracting new audiences. Jennifer and Shyam will share with attendees an introduction to the role of data and analytics in museum management, using real-world examples on how museums can support the mission for social good while increasing revenue and efficiency through data driven decision making.

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Luncheon/Round Table Discussions

1:45 – 3 p.m.
Learning from the Smithsonian’s Digital Journey

Facilitator: Diane Zorich, Smithsonian Institution

Digitizing 155 million objects and specimens located in 19 museums, 9 research centres, several botanical gardens and a zoo, is not for the faint of heart. But despite its size and scale, the Smithsonian’s digital journey is a macrocosm of lessons, challenges, and opportunities that most cultural heritage organizations experience. The Institution’s early experiments with digitization in the 1970s evolved into major programs over time (in mass digitization, 3D digitization and digitization assessment.) Moving forward, the Smithsonian is focusing less on its own digital properties and more on placing its digitized collections, experiences, and expertise in external online spaces and platforms where people prefer to work, learn, and play. However, we continue to face resource challenges, particularly in the areas of digital preservation, digital accessibility, and gauging the impact of our efforts. This keynote will outline the Smithsonian’s digital journey, the decisions made over several decades, and how they have positioned the Institution as it moves forward on ambitious plans over the next years.

About your facilitator: As Director of the Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office (DPO), Diane Zorich leads an expert team in digitizing Smithsonian collections to maximize their impact for the public. She oversees mass digitization, 3D digitization, and digitization assessment activities that develop and improve digitization processes across the Institution. Through partnerships and collaborations, she and her team ensure that digitized Smithsonian collections can be used with existing and emerging technologies to enable creativity, learning, insight, and innovation. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Diane worked as a cultural heritage consultant specializing in the digitization and delivery of cultural heritage online. She also served as data manager for the Association of Systematics Collections in Washington, D.C., and documentation manager at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. She is past president and board member of the Museum Computer Network, and has published extensively on digitization, digital humanities centres, library/archive/museum collaborations, museum information policy and intellectual property policy in the cultural heritage sector.

3 – 3:30 p.m.
Networking Break/Round Table Discussions

3:30 – 4:45 p.m.
Learning from our Mistakes

Facilitator: Charles Bloom, Canadian Museum of Nature

Experts and novices from museums large and small will share stories of innovative technologies that not only net or exceeded their objectives, but also some that misfired, and how they emerged the wiser. In the second half of the session, participants will share their own stories in small groups, and choose ones to be shared with all the attendees. Regardless of the size or type of museum in which you work, participants will leave the session with valuable lessons learned.

4:45 – 5 p.m.
Day 1 Wrap-Up and Overview of Day 2

5 – 7 p.m.Summit

Join us on the 29th floor of the Ottawa Marriott Hotel for Techtails where attendees of TIMS meet up with Tech companies exhibiting the next wave of innovation with research and insights that will be sure to help you… and all this over a glass of wine or two!


December 3


8 – 8:30 a.m.
Registration and Networking

8:30 – 9:15 a.m.
Imposter! Or, Digital Humanities & the Museum

Presenter: Shawn Graham, Associate Professor, Digital Humanities, History Department, Carleton University

Shawn is the imposter in the history department: the digital humanities fellow. When he visits a museum in his official capacity, it’s even worse… what is DH? What is it supposed to do versus what it can do versus what it shouldn’t do? DH in the museum sits perhaps at an awkward intersection between information management and public outreach. In this session, Shawn thinks out loud about the virtue of being an imposter, in perhaps an imposter discipline and tries to find the virtues that tie our work together.

About your presenter: Shawn Graham is Associate Professor of Digital Humanities in the Department of History at Carleton University. Originally trained as a Roman archaeologist he now fills his time studying an eclectic mix of subjects, including how and why people buy and sell human remains online and the ways computational creativity can be used to find delight and enchantment in legacy archaeological data. In the winter term he is teaching a course on ‘digital history and museums’ and hopes to learn from all of you what that course might involve.

9:15 – 9:45 a.m.
Networking Break/Round Table Discussions

9:45 – 11 a.m.
Impact of Technology

Facilitator: Ken Ross, Bank of Canada Museum

Presenters: Marquis Côté, Canadian Museum of History; Mila Dechef-Tweddle, Nordicity; Danuta Sierhuis, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University

When we meet we will be at the tail end of 2019, gazing into 2020 and beyond. The past decade has seen a strong upswing in the use of new technology in museums. Experiments have been tried and lessons have been learned. As we move with more confidence into this arena, what kind of impact do we anticipate from this evolving model of museum exhibitions and audience engagement? Is it helping or hindering our story telling? Is it inevitable that our use of digital tools and technologies will continue to increase? Is it inevitable that our use of it will continue to increase? Is there an optimal balance between virtual and real? And how can museums prepare themselves to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities that exist in a digital world? Seasoned museums professionals will discuss the principles of digital readiness, digital maturity and digital integration. You'll hear about examples of cultural organizations that have already embarked on a digital transformation journey and how it will impact the future of their organizations and how your institution can benefit from their experience.

11 a.m. – noon
Presentation by Round Table Discussion Groups

12 – 12:30 p.m.
Symposium Wrap Up & Closing


Post-conference workshop



1 – 5 p.m. — Mackenzie

Pre-registration required!

  3dWorkshop Illustration  

Creating Digital 3D Assets from Existing Artifacts for Fabrication and Digitization

A Post-Conference Workshop with Kate Forrest, Replik8 Studios, Victoria, British Columbia

Museums, libraries and archives face many challenges utilizing 3D imaging technologies. Namely, selecting the right technology, choosing and operating the 3D scanning hardware and developing modeling skills for post finishing and the cleanup of digital models. If you want to learn more about 3D solutions and how you can create 3D assets from existing artifacts, this is the post conference workshop for you.

This post conference workshop will provide an introduction to the construction of 3D digital models from photos, of artifacts, archaeological features, and landscapes. It will showcase some of the diverse ways 3D techniques are being used, as well as show you how to implement them to provide meaningful connection to your collections. It will also explore some of the emerging scanning technologies and methodologies to create digital assets for fabrication methods, discuss real and practical methods to integrate 3D technology to reach more diverse audiences, show you how to access and harness this technology as a realistic tool and provide tips and tricks for 3D model success, both in the field and in the lab.

By the end of the Workshop, including a Q&A, participants will have gained a greater understanding of various applications for digitization, methods of digitization, selection criteria for digitization methods and considerations for documentation of the digitized content. Participants will learn about a professional approach to digital asset creation, particularly as it relates to fabrication and will leave with a variety of resources for integrating 3D technologies with their collections in a practical way.

About your Facilitator: Kate Forrest works as a prototype designer and fabricator for inventors and creatives, specializing in challenging build propositions. As the founder of Replik8 Studios, Kate is a pioneer in the real-world solutions offered by the latest innovations in 3D-image, 3D-print and computer-assisted design technologies. Captivated by the intersection of these emerging technologies, modern manufacturing and traditional hand-crafting methods, Kate collaborates with innovators, problem-solvers, artists and archivists to both create and preserve.

The registration fee is $150 and is limited to 12 participants and you must have registered for the Symposium to attend. Participants are asked to bring an artifact that is sized between a golf ball and soccer ball, not too shiny, not all black or clear and can be positioned in different orientations.


Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed by any participant at any activity organized by the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) reflect the opinion of the specific participant, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the CMA. Participants are expected to be constructive, respectful and professional in their engagement at CMA events.