Program — April 2018

CMA 2018 National Conference Logo  

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Program Dates

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► Tuesday 10

► Wednesday 11

► Friday 13 

► CMA EXPO 2018 prospectus

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Thursday 12


7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.



7:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

Breakfast with Exhibitors


8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Musical Interlude

Underground Circus

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Kindly Supported by:

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8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.


Jean-Marc Blais

  Alexandre Trudeau Portrait  

From ‘Civilization’ to ‘History’: Stories and legends — and Going Beyond Where No One Has Gone Before…

The Canadian History Hall is the cornerstone of the Canadian Museum of History’s transformation. This five-year project felt like sailing a stormy sea, with no lighthouse in sight. The museum faced incredible challenges — but against all odds, we trusted and believed that we were doing the right thing and going beyond the expected. Transforming a museum is not a small feat, but when there is hope, courage and willingness, there are great rewards. What can be learned is enlightening, comforting, but also quite surprising…

Jean-Marc Blais was appointed Director General of the Canadian Museum of History in March 2013. Mr. Blais brings an extensive management experience in the areas of culture, education, information technologies, international relations, in both the private and public sectors. He has been instrumental in transforming the Museum into a modern, effective and innovative national cultural institution focused on the interests of the public. He has overseen the design and construction of the Canadian History Hall, one of the largest museological transformation projects in Canada.


9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.


Alexandre Trudeau

  Alexandre Trudeau Portrait  

Documentary filmmaker, writer and journalist, Alexandre Trudeau has produced and directed compelling and provocative films and reported from all corners of the world. He was a trusted witness on the ground as the bombs began to fall on Baghdad in 2003; he charted out the intimate realities on both sides of the Israeli security barrier; stood up for the rights of arbitrarily imprisoned security certificate detainees in Canada; tracked youth-driven democratic awakenings in the Balkans; shed light on the origins of unrest in Darfur, Liberia and Haiti; and deconstructed the Canadian peace-keeping legacy fifty years after Pearson’s Nobel. He helped Canadians grapple with the millennial-old cultural underpinnings behind China’s return to glory during the 2008 Olympics and tackled the planetary power shifts that link Somali piracy, the Arab Spring and the allimportant maritime resource trade. Many years and many journeys in the making, Trudeau’s first book was published to wide acclaim in September 2016. Barbarian Lost - Travels in the New China is an intimate and touching portrait of this ancient nation as it experiences one of the most transformative periods of its long history. Trudeau is a founding executive committee member of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation for excellence in social sciences and humanities’ research and innovation, and is president and chief producer at JuJu Films.

Kindly Supported by:

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10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Meeting of the Fellows

By invitation only!


10:15 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.

Networking Break with Exhibitors


10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Concurrent Educational Sessions


Museums and Memorials: Cultivating Public Memory for Mediation


Moderator: Pauline Rafferty, Canadian Museum for Human Rights 

Panelists: Mark Kristmanson, National Capital Commission; Carey Newman, Artist — The Witness Blanket: Cultivating Public Memory Through Art ; John F. Young, Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Building on the CMA 2017 Museums and Memorials concurrent educational session, this panel discusses the dynamics of collective memory and explores opportunities for museums and memorials to broaden and deepen the public memory.


From Island Hopping to Bridge Building: Reflections on Museum Practice to Share Knowledge of Indigenous Cultures

Moderator: Ailsa Barry, Canadian Museum of Nature

Panelists: Jameson C. Brandt, Canadian Museum of History; Julia Cyr, Kamloops Museum and Archives; Pamela Gross, Pitquhirnikkut Illihautiniq/Kitkmeot Heritage Society; Elizabeth Logue, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada;

In keeping with the conference theme of No Museum is an Island this session will explore the critical questions around museum practices on effectively and accurately presenting the stories, knowledge and history of Canada's Indigenous Cultures. How can we effectively engage with Indigenous Peoples to have them tell their stories in their own words? How do we mediate storytelling, while maintaining authenticity? And, how do we represent a dialogue that speaks to the various intricacies we find in our shared histories, and in the specimens from our collections?


Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums: Sparking Innovation in Canada's GLAM sector

  Glam Illustration  

Moderator: John G. McAvity, Canadian Museums Association

Panelists: David Alexander, Royal British Columbia Museum; Guy Berthiaume, Library and Archives Canada; Maureen Sawa, Greater Victoria Public Library

GLAMs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) are ingenious institutions that have unique value propositions - they have earned the trust that comes with a century of service. This session will explore the collaboration that comes with being a GLAM by providing practical case studies of how GLAM institutions have successfully partnered. A toolkit currently being developed by the BC Museums Association will be presented.


The Canadian History Hall: A New Hall for a Renewed Museum

Moderator: Katy Tari, Pointe-à-Callière Museum

Panelists: Chantal Amyot, Jonathan Lainey, Canadian Museum of History; Lyle Dick, Canadian Historical Association

This session will discuss the challenges faced by the Canadian Museum of History in creating a completely new hall on the history of the country, in a highly political and media hungry environment. Panelists will explain the thought process behind the selection of common stories, share lessons learned, identify strategies to manage risks, and describe the path to its successful completion. Attendees will be invited to participate in a discussion about the challenges we all face when presenting Canadian history while engaging our audiences in meaningful interactions.


What Does it Take to Preserve and Protect our Country’s Heritage? Our Stories?

Presenter: Ken Amaral, Department of Canadian Heritage

In 2012, the Department of Canadian Heritage decided to capture snapshots of the museum and heritage community. To date, the research has allowed for a greater understanding of the museum sector, it has helped shape decisions on government funding and, above all, demonstrate the significant roles that museums play throughout the country. Ken Amaral is a Policy and Research Analyst at the Department of Canadian Heritage and manages the Government of Canada Survey of Heritage Institutions. During this session, Ken will discuss the current state of museums and where they are possibly headed. He will also be sharing newly captured data for 2017.

Want to know the latest about museums? This year’s data tells a story never before captured.


Renovations, Expansions and New Construction: Stakeholder Engagement Strategies in Museum Planning


Moderator: Bruce D. Thibodeau, Arts Consulting Group Canada 

Panelists: Karen Bachmann, Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre; Jane Fullerton, CMA Board Member; Ann Webb, Vancouver Art Gallery

Museums in the 21st century face many challenges when it comes to mobilizing resources and building capacity to address the multi-year process involved in major facility projects. How do you mobilize intellectual, emotional, political and social resources in the initial stages? This session will examine the activities and practices of a variety of different type of institutions which have embarked on the journey of revitalizing their facilities. Examples of how they overcame inertia and gained momentum to advance from concept, to ground breaking to completion will be shared with attendees.


Empathetic Museum 101: A Maturity Model to Advancement


Presenters: Marie Chapman, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and Jim Cullen, The Empathetic Museum Project

Visitor-centered. Civic minded. Diverse. Inclusive. Welcoming. Participatory. Learn how these qualities of the 21st century museum are impossible without an inner core of institutional empathy: the intention of the museum to be — and to be perceived as — deeply engaged with its community. In this session, Empathetic Museum member Jim Cullen will introduce the Empathetic Museum Concept, review the Empathetic Museum Maturity Model and describe its use as an accessible tool for institutional self-reflection, assessment and change. Marie Chapman from The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, an institution on the Empathetic Museum’s Honour Roll, will present a case study on her museum’s empathetic practices and the challenges and outcomes they represent. Attendees will leave with a fuller understanding of how best to foster institutional empathy within their own institution.


Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Luncheon with Exhibitors

Immediately following the Luncheon enjoy the Ice Cream Break

Kindly supported by PACART

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1:45 – 4:30 p.m.

CMA 2018 — Idea Exchange

The Idea Exchange seamlessly blends networking and learning into one engaging and memorable session. Showcasing five 30-minute presentations, the Idea Exchange features speakers discussing a variety of subjects related to Indigenous issues. Offering something for everyone, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in this 135-minute session. With ample time for Q&As, you will have your most pressing questions answered, make new connections, discover viable solutions and explore the wealth of knowledge of your association peers and experts alike.

Ignite — Indigenous

Presentation 1: Voices of the Nisga’a Treaty: A Community Creation

Presenter: Stephanie Halapija, Nisga’a Museum

This presentation examines different methods of involving First Nations communities in exhibition creation by utilizing intangible cultural heritage and community consultations. Through a combination of physical objects and a two-year interview project aimed at capturing the intangible cultural heritage associated with the formation and ratification of the Nisga’a Treaty, the Nisga’a Museum launched a landmark temporary exhibition entitled Voices of the Nisga’a Treaty .

Learning Outcomes:
1. How to effectively work with and involve First Nations in all levels of exhibition design and excavation, and build meaningful relationships between your institution and your local Indigenous peoples.
2. How involving Indigenous nations in your organization benefits not only your exhibitions and programs, but often provides an outlet for Indigenous peoples to safeguard their own cultural heritage (tangible and intangible) and ensure a connection with their cultural practices while educating the general public on their importance.
3. The realities and methods of building an exhibition based on intangible cultural heritage.

Presentation 2: Bridging Generations and Cultures Through Indigenous Voices and Technology

Presenters: J'net AyAyQwaYakSheelth and Sarah Chu, Royal Ontario Museum

This discussion will explore how Indigenous Education and Digital Learning, as strategic priorities, can converge to decolonize and indigenize school programs at a large provincial museum.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Participants will increase their capacity to build authentic relationships between museums and Indigenous communities.
2. Participants will learn how technology can amplify Indigenous voices and create space for multiple perspectives.

Presentation 3: Making it Right: The Process of Collaboration

Presenters: Jill Baird, UBC Museum of Anthropology, Nika Collison, Haida Gwaii Museum; Stephanie Halapija, Nisga’a Museum; Allison Pascal, Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

This discussion will explore how Indigenous Education and Digital Learning, as strategic priorities, can converge to decolonize and indigenize school programs at a large provincial museum.

Learning Outcomes:
1. How do you share authority and responsibility.
2. Build awareness of the diversity of First Nations Cultural Centres.
3. Access to multiples perspectives on the critical issues museums must reconcile.
4. Ways of engaging with the public in dialogue to help facilitate multiple and diverse ways of knowing.

Presentation 4: Next-Gen Ethics: Discussions of Ethical Museum Practices in the 21st Century

Presenters: Sarah Carr-Locke, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre; Genevieve Hill, Royal British Columbia Museum; Melissa Phillips, Chimczuk Museum; Lia Tarle, Simon Fraser University

Since the 1960s, museums’ roles and guiding principles have been shifting. Indigenous activists have criticized museums for the unethical collection and display of human remains and cultural materials, while new museology has emphasized the importance of public engagement, multivocality and serving communities. Presenters will reflect on their experiences implementing recent ethical calls to action.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Dialogue between museum representatives about successes and challenges in repatriation and collaboration.
2. Discussion of public consultation regarding the ethical treatment of human remains.


1:45 - 2:45 p.m.

Concurrent Educational Sessions


Helpful Hints for Emerging Museum Professionals

Presenter: Hannah Chipman, Telephone Historical Centre

This session will be of particular interest to emerging museum professionals who have found themselves trying everything they need to learn on the job. Based on personal experiences of being given a role of authority in my institution at an early stage in my career and having to navigate the sea of information that is thrown at you, the session will give some tips and advice to help build confidence in the participants, and share with them the resources that made me say "I wish I had known that then." It will also help them see the importance of having a training manual and succession plan for future staff and volunteers. Participants are encouraged to share tips they have learned and personal experiences.

  Study tour 2  

Case Studies – Day II 

4 – 15 minute presentations with Q&A

Moderator: Margaret Chrumka, Kamloops Art Gallery 

A- Transform Your Space with Art: Enhance Your Visitor Experience, Strengthen Community Involvement and Inspire New Works

Presenters: Amy Gibson, Linda Jennings and Yukiko Stranger-Galey, Beaty Biodiversity Museum

How can art exhibitions transform your space? Instead of simply hosting an exhibition, seize the opportunity to stimulate visitor understanding of your permanent collections, reinvent the cultural space you hold in your community and inspire new pieces of art. Referencing past temporary exhibitions, members of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum's exhibits, events and curatorial teams will share some of the innovative elements they are employing, all within a limited budget, that can make your space a place to learn, enjoy and remember.

B- Telling Our Stories Together: Innovative Partnerships Between Museums and the Arts

Presenter: Kate Butler, Haliburton Highlands Museum

Focusing on the creation on a new place-based theatre Rural Rogues Production theatre troupe and the way in which the Haliburton Highlands Museum has essentially acted as an incubator for this venture, this case study will showcase innovative ways in which museums can partner with community groups. The presentation will share lessons learned and explore ways in which this model can be adapted to other communities and relationships with other arts organizations.

C- Voices for the Vote: Collaborative Storytelling

Presenters: Joan Fitzpatrick and Barbara Hilden, Legislative Assembly of Alberta

In 2016, to recognize the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Alberta, the Borealis Gallery created an exhibit and a series of public programs that involved as many artists, local museums, performers and presenters as possible. A Call for Curators as well as a Call for Artists was issued, and working with two novice curators from southern Alberta we developed an exhibition that explored the rise of the suffrage movement on the prairies. Collaborative storytelling, programming and interpretation expanded the scope of Voices for the Vote. This approach to exhibit and program development was challenging and complex, but yielded a dynamic, lively and entirely unique presentation. As well as a 400-person recreation of the 1914 march on the Legislature. This Case Study will tell you how we did it, why it worked and what we’d do differently next time.

D- Close to Home: The Impact of Alberta’s Local Museums on Canada’s Cultural Landscape

Presenter: Kristen McLaughlin, University of Toronto: Master of Museum Studies

Local museums have a strong presence across Canada. They make up 88.4% of museums in Alberta alone and it is believed a similar percentage ranges across the country. Local museums frequently expand their work into their communities, with whom they are in close contact with on a more regular basis. They then develop distinct forms of museological practice but receive little attention when it comes to policy, strategic planning, or reliable public funding. Using a case study from my thesis fieldwork being performed in the summer of 2017, I will demonstrate some of the strategies an Albertan local museum uses to engage its community and to stay relevant, as well unique challenges it faces. This session will help attendees increase their understanding of community engagement practices.


Staying Alive

Moderator: Alyssa Tobin, Exploration Place

Panelists: Fern Proulx and Christina Tessier, Ingenium

Closing down and reopening Ingenium – Canada Science and Technology Museum created massive challenges for management, staff and the community the museums serves. The realization that a massive shift was required to stay relevant during closure and create a new museum that is reflective of its community and Canada was paramount in the consultative and decision-making processes. This session will provide an overview of different approaches and solutions taken during the time of rebuilding. The panelists will share their experience and insights from all parts of the process.


Designed to Heal: Bringing the Healing Power of the Arts to BC Children’s Hospital

Moderator: Joanne Waxman, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

Panelists: Jill Baird and Pam Brown, UBC Museum of Anthropology; Kim Gough, Royal British Columbia Museum; Lisa McIntosh, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

One year, a limited budget and one BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Six arts organizations embarked on an uncharted journey with BC Children’s Hospital to create healing exhibits for the new Teck Acute Care Centre. This presentation will share the journey of the three organizations and how they collaborated with patients and clinicians to create meaningful museum experiences that accomplish clinical goals – to heal children in body, mind and spirit. Attendees will leave with an understanding of how they can undertake similar collaborations in their own community.


How Can Museums Better Serve the LGBTQ2 Community?

  LGBTQ2 Illustration  

Moderator: John G. McAvity, CMA 

Panelists: Michael Blackburn, PFLAG York Region/City of Markham; Jeremy Dias, Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity; Cathy Molloy, Markham Museum

Are you interested in making your museum more welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning and two-spirited (LGBTQ2) staff and visitors? Join the CMA's LGBTQ2 Working Group for a discussion on the preliminary draft of LGBTQ2 guidelines for museums in Canada. The goal of this session is to present and discuss the draft guidelines and to receive feedback. This will help attendees better understand the purpose of this project and how it could be applied to all types of institutions. Participants are encouraged to download and read the LGBTQ2 Guidelines prior to attending the session.


Collaborative Ventures — Near and Far

Moderator: Vanda Vitali, Independent Consultant

Panelists: Barbara Filion, John F. Kennedy University, Museum Studies Program; Betty Sedor, El Camino College

This American-Canadian panel will address how museums can collaborate in non-traditional ways with other museums and institutions to create sustainable partnerships with communities, demonstrating how these alliances can enhance capacity and harness resources. The panel will examine how collaborations can and must advance the strategic interests of each institution while making the most of limited resources or even expanding the potential for support. Panelists will share stories and specific project examples that demonstrate how cross-pollinating resources and ideas among museums and between community organizations can lead to original forms of engagement and more powerful and lasting impacts.


Refugees and museums: Critical practices for innovative actions in the age of migration

Moderator: Dr. Jennifer Carter, Université du Québec à Montréal

Presenters: Chandra Erlendson, Canadian Museum for Human Rights; Dafina Savic, Montreal Holocaust Museum; Deniz Unsal, University of Victoria

The ongoing refugee crisis around the world has highlighted the need to examine the root causes and consequences of forced migration, ranging from human rights violations and social injustice, to issues of discrimination, prejudice and the systemic racism refugees often face once they settle. As storytellers and cultural intermediaries, what role can museums play in engaging with refugees, through their programming and exhibition initiatives, and thereby enter into this discussion more broadly and deeply? Several projects between museums and refugees are taking place in Canada and around the world today. This panel asks how museum resources can be used to help foster better citizenship and civic engagement with refugees in Canada, while providing a social and cultural space for refugees to appropriate and in which to articulate their thoughts and experiences. The panel will focus on recent initiatives by several Canadian museums and museum professionals in partnership with refugees, and open up onto a larger dialogue with members of the audience.


3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Concurrent Educational Sessions


Being There: Exploring Inclusive Solutions Using Digital Technologies

Moderator: Megan Richardson, Canada Museum of History

Panelists: Sina Bahram, Prime Access Consulting; Brigitte Beaulne-Syp, Virtual Museum of Canada; Amy Hetherington and Peter Pavement, Surface Impression Canada; Jean-François Vachon, La Boîte Rouge Vif

“The accessibility problems of today are the mainstream breakthroughs of tomorrow.” — Eve Andersson, Google. No digital product is an island. A wide range of users will experience them; some will have disabilities, others will have technical challenges. So how do you turn immersive products such as VR or 360 videos into a more accessible experience? How do you immerse all visitors in the content you’ve created? This panel will discuss the benefits, and challenges related to two specific projects — VRarchaeology exhibit at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology and La Boîte Rouge Vif’s new online exhibit, Hanging Out . This session will engage all kinds of audiences, not only those with disabilities and bandwidth challenges.


Beyond the Museum Walls: Doing Community-Engaged History in Partnership with Universities

Moderator: Yvonne Hotzak, Fort Pelly Livingstone Museum

Panelists: Keith Carlson, University of Saskatchewan; Teresa Carlson, Diefenbaker Canada Centre; Elizabeth A. Scott, Western Development Museum

Museums are naturally rooted in the communities in which they operate. But to what extent do museums contribute to impactful social change varies with each institution's mandate and capacity? Fostering connections with community groups, and representing a diversity of experiences, is sometimes limited by resources, scope, connections and internal education. One way to overcome these challenges is to work in partnership with other museums, universities and community groups, sharing resources and ideas in the pursuit of community-led storytelling and knowledge creation. Working together will be paramount in answering the Calls to Action released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015. This panel will discuss the goals, training, challenges and outcomes of a unique collaborative research relationship between the Community-engaged History Collaboratorium at the University of Saskatchewan, the Western Development Museum and the Diefenbaker Centre Canada. The tripartite research initiative forges a path towards indigenizing and diversifying the three institutions.


Anti-Racist and Activist Work Through Museum Community Collaboration

Moderator: John G. McAvity, Canadian Museums Association

Panelists: Kris Foulds, The Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford; Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, Sikh Heritage Museum/South Asian Studies Institute, UFV

This presentation will frame anti-racist work, community outreach and activist work as experienced through the partnership between a museum/art gallery and historic site that functions as an ethno-cultural museum. Kris and Sharanjit will share their experiences over the past six years of tours that have taken place in the Sikh Heritage Museum, a National Historic Site and Gur Sikh Temple. The presenters will candidly discuss their unique perspectives, how to counter racism and the meaning of activism through dialogue and exhibitions.


What is Innovative Exhibition Design?

Moderator: Geneviève Angio-Morneau, GSM Project

Presenters: Ken Ross, Bank of Canada Museum; Viviane Gosselin, Museum of Vancouver; Anne-Élisabeth Thibault, Pointe-à-Callière

What, in fact, makes really good design? As clichéd as the question may sound, it hits the nail squarely on the head of innovative exhibition design. Is an exhibition innovative and, therefore, good if it delves into the subject matter in great depth? Is it good if it is interactive? Does it touch the visitors if or because it is the place where they encounter the original? This session showcases three institutions — the Bank of Canada, the Museum of Vancouver and Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal’s Museum of Archaeology and History and the impact major projects featuring innovative design have had on the visitor experience.


Looking, Listening, Feeling, Discovering and Believing: The Changing Role of Primary Research in the Creation of Exhibitions

Moderator: Darren Morrison, UBC Museum of Anthropology

Panelists: Skooker Broome and Carol E. Mayer, UBC Museum of Anthropology

This session is a workshop, case study and conversation. Skooker Broome, designer, and Carol E. Mayer, curator, will engage the audience in a lively exchange based on their research for the exhibition “In the Footprint of the Crocodile Man: Contemporary Art from the Sepik river, Papua New Guinea.” They will explore the hurdles, tensions and breakthroughs experienced when curators and designers assume the roles of co-researchers when creating the content, both tangible and intangible, for this and other exhibitions.


Evening Events

Tickets are required to access all evening Events. Please note that pre-registration is required for all. Tickets will not be sold onsite.


5:00 p.m.

2018 CMA Awards Ceremony

6:30 – 7:15 p.m.

2018 CMA Awards Reception

Join us for the 2018 CMA Awards ceremony — a celebration of talent, success and achievement! Presentations will be made for the CMA Awards of Outstanding Achievement, CMA Awards of Distinguished Service, the Museum Volunteer Award and ICOM Canada’s International Achievement Award. The ceremony will be followed by a reception where we will fête award winners.

Fee: This fee is included in Premium and Full Conference registration. Additional tickets for non-registered delegates and guests may be purchased at a cost of $25 each. Includes one alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage.

Kindly supported by:

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7:30 p.m.

Beautiful BC Closing Gala

Vancouver Skiline

Pack your cocktail attire and dancing shoes for the fabulous final event of CMA 2018! Join your colleagues and friends to dine and dance the night away while you enjoy local culinary creations and fine wines from BC.

Fee: This fee is included in Premium and Full Conference registration. Additional tickets for non-registered delegates and guests may be purchased at a cost of $125. Includes a three-course dinner and a glass of wine. Cash bar also available.

Kindly supported by:

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