Quick Reference

Tuesday, April 4th


Wednesday, April 5th


Thursday, April 6th


Friday, April 7th

Directors Symposium

Provincial Museums Association Meeting

Study Tours — Offsite Insights

Optional Evening Event


Full-day Workshops

Half-day Workshops



Evening Events


Opening Ceremonies and CMA Business Meeting

Keynote Address
Joseph Boyden

Lunch with Exhibitors

Keynote Address
Sarah Parcak

Educational Concurrent Sessions

Fellows Lecture
Senator Murray Sinclair

Optional Evening Event


Keynote Address
Michael Edson

Networking Break with Exhibitors

Meeting of the Fellows

Educational Concurrent Sessions
10:30−11:45 am

Luncheon, Trade Show Draw

Case Studies

Educational Concurrent Sessions
2:15−3:15 pm

Educational Concurrent Sessions
3:30−4:30 pm

Evening Events

Program and Speakers

Tuesday, April 4th


All events will be held at the Westin Ottawa Hotel unless otherwise noted.  

8:00 am – 5:00 pm

9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Directors Symposium
Bytown Museum
By invitation only!

10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Provincial Museums Association Meeting
By invitation only!

10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Meeting of the Alliance of Natural History Museums
By invitation only!

Study Tours — Offsite Insights    
Study Tours take advantage of local expertise to help you learn more about practical approaches to apply within your institution. You will enter each site through the front door and move through them systematically to get a thorough behind-the-scenes look. You will learn about the exemplary works that fulfill our traditional mandates. You will also learn about different aspects of cultural and heritage tourism. The study tours will give you the knowledge to implement action plans in your institutions. The 2017 CMA Conference offers three pre-conference Study Tours. All tours depart from the Westin Ottawa Hotel. A separate fee is applicable for each tour and includes admission to all sites, guided tours, food, and transportation, as specified. Comfortable walking shoes are a must, as is a warm, water and windproof jacket or coat. Add a pair of gloves and you’ll be prepared for any type of weather but we hope spring will have sprung!  

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Behind-the-Scenes Tour — Conservation, Preservation and Technology
Canadian Conservation Institute and Canada Science and Technology Museum
A major renewal is underway in the east end of Ottawa! Join representatives from the Canada Science and Technology Museum (CSTM) and the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) to learn firsthand about a "mostly new" museum building along with the development of 80,000 sq. ft of exhibition space and the new 400,000 sq. ft Collection Conservation Centre building that will house three national partners. From the emergency closure to reopening, the CSTM renewal will be completed in just three years while the new collection and conservation building will be built in only two. The countdown is on!

Fee: $70 — This is in addition to the all-inclusive registration fee! Open to delegates and guests. Includes transportation, lunch, a behind-the-scenes tour of the current conservation and science labs at CCI, presentations on the exhibition and building projects and a hard hat building tour of the CSTM. The tour will conclude with a tour of the Bicycle Craft Brewery. http://www.bicyclecraftbrewery.ca. Limited to 30 participants.  

9 am – Noon  

The Three R's: Redesign, Reinstall and Reinterpret Canada's National Collection
National Gallery of Canada - SOLD OUT
To celebrate Confederation’s 150th anniversary, the National Gallery of Canada will unveil an unprecedented narrative of Canadian art through a full transformation of its galleries. Some 600 works of art by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists in dialogue will be displayed in a new museography designed and contextualized thanks to innovative visitor-centric didactic contents. Meet the cross-departmental team that has led this strategic initiative — the first comprehensive reinstallation of the Gallery’s permanent collection since the building was inaugurated in 1988 — around the 3D model used to conceptualize the new vision for the galleries and get a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the vaults.

Fee: FREE — Open to delegates. Tour includes behind-the-scenes tour, presentations and light refreshments. Delegates will meet in the lobby of the Westin Ottawa at 8:45 am for the short walk to the National Gallery. Limited to 30 participants.  

12:30 – 4:00 pm
A Treasure Trio: Behind-the-Scenes at Canadian War Museum, Bank of Canada Museum and Ottawa Art Gallery
Join us for behind-the-scenes tours of three of Ottawa’s major and unique cultural facilities: The Canadian War Museum, the Bank of Canada Museum and the Ottawa Art Gallery. Having just celebrated its 10th anniversary, your first stop at the Canadian War Museum takes you on a behind-the-scenes visit of the Museum’s soon to be opened exhibition Vimy — Battle, Memorial, Icon, before it opens to the public! This multi-faceted exhibition exploring the Battle of Vimy Ridge and its meaning 100 years later, will explore commemoration and memory, and include upgrades to the presentation of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in the Museum’s galleries enabling visitors to understand how this iconic event has shaped our perception of history. Our second stop takes us to The Bank of Canada Museum where you’ll don steel-toed boots and a hard hat! Reopening Summer 2017, this “hard hat” tour of the new facilities provides a behind-the-scenes peak as the finishing touches are made to the building structure and the exhibitions. Our final stop takes us to The Ottawa Art Gallery. An Ottawa treasure, it curates its own collection, as well as the City of Ottawa’s Firestone Collection, serving the local art community and community-at-large with professional art education services. Over the past several years it has been working with partners and stakeholders to design and build a fabulous new art gallery within the context of a ‘PPP’ business model - the art gallery, a hotel and an offering of condos, all in the same building. It is an excellent example of a game changer including: the art of negotiation; fundraising; grant securement and design. Opening in the fall of 2017, this too is a “hard hat” tour of the new facilities and a behind-the-scenes viewing of the new design elements.

SOLD OUT Fee: $30 — This is in addition to the all-inclusive registration fee! Open to delegates and guests. Tour includes transportation, behind-the-scenes tour, presentations and light refreshments. Limited to 30 participants.    

Optional Evening Event
6:00 – 9:30 pm
Beautiful and Deadly Reception
The Canadian Museum of Nature welcomes CMA delegates to the first event of CMA 2017! The CMN resides in the first building in Canada created to house a national museum. It's a national historic site and the birthplace of Canada's national museum. You’ll tour this beautiful historic building and explore the museum’s extensive galleries. Participate in an evening themed around the Beautiful and Deadly — featuring the live Reptile exhibition, themed cocktails, delicious food and unique programming that will help you master your inner fears! Additionally, there will be the opportunity to partake in an Escape Manor experience. Test your wits, spatial reasoning and problem solving abilities to escape within the 45 minute time period. This event is offered in partnership with Escape Manor.

Reception Fee: $65 — This is in addition to the all-inclusive registration fee! Open to delegates and guests. Includes transportation, behind-the-scenes tour, and programming. Heavy hors dœurves and one themed cocktail followed by a cash bar.

Escape Manor Fee: $20 — This is in addition to the all-inclusive registration fee and the Reception fee! Open to delegates and guests. There will be six sessions offered throughout the evening with up to 15 people participating per time. Places are limited so register early to avoid disappointment.  

Wednesday, April 5th


All events will be held at the Westin Ottawa Hotel unless otherwise noted.  

8:00 am – 5:00 pm

9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Full-day Workshops 

Priority will be given to individuals who register for the full conference. A higher fee will be charged to individuals only attending workshops. As space is limited, we would encourage you to register as soon as possible.  

1. Rapid Strategic Planning — An Oxymoron or a Brilliant Tool for Smaller Museums and Galleries?

Facilitator: Wayne Hussey, Wayne Hussey Consulting Inc.

A clear and dynamic Strategic Plan is essential to organizational success. This is especially true for smaller organizations where there is limited people, money and time. The Navigator© Strategic Planning Process is something that you could actually lead your Museum through and save thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours compared to the traditional processes. During the workshop, Wayne will take participants through the process of building a real Strategic Plan for their institution based on the key six “Navigator” steps of building an effective and dynamic Strategic Plan that can save you money and time!

About your facilitator:
Wayne Hussey, of Wayne Hussey Consulting Inc. has been a key presenter at a number of CMA conferences. His down to earth and humorous style, combined with innovative and practical content has resulted in very positive evaluations by his participants.

Fee: $250. Includes two networking breaks, lunch and Syllabus. Limited to 20 participants, one per institution.   

2. Toolbox for Delivering and Developing School Programs: Changing the Game of How We Develop and Deliver

Facilitators: Maggie MacIntyre, Nova Scotia Museum; Katherine MacLeod, Baile nan Gàidheal | Highland Village;
With Virtual Assistance from the Nova Scotia Provincial Library, Nova Scotia Archives and several Nova Scotia Museum sites.

Back by popular demand, this "new" toolbox full-day workshop will expand on the 2016 CMA workshop. Where the 2016 workshop focused on best practices and partnerships, this practical and hands-on workshop will focus directly on how museums can easily use the toolbox. This workshop will encourage and empower participants to rethink how they develop and present school programs. All participants will be encouraged to collaborate and share their experiences in development and delivery in the hopes of developing their network of museum educators. The morning portion of the workshop will focus on program development, including skills, tips and tricks. By using the Toolbox and its ready-made resources, including templates and activities, the group will develop a program together based on Canada 150. This experience will make the fundamental building blocks presented in the Toolbox tangible and practical to the participants. After lunch the workshop will focus on program presentation skills. Leaning and using these newly developed skills participants will head out into the city and work through the process of delivering the program developed in the morning. By actually using the Toolbox , participants will see how easily they could use the Toolbox to run similar workshops with their own staff and partners. Additionally, attendees will take away a brand-new school program they will be able to deliver in their community.

Proposed audience:
This full-day workshop is intended for staff of museums and cultural facilities, including archives and libraries, who champion, develop and/or present museum school programs (education programs).

About your facilitators:
Maggie MacIntyre has worked with both cultural and natural history museums in a variety of interpretation roles (planning, outreach, online and public programming). As Nova Scotia Museum's Interpretive Researcher, she has led the development of the Toolbox for Museum School Programs and works with museums across the province to empower them in their quest to engage audiences with "the real."
Katherine MacLeod is the Learning & Media Specialist at Baile nan Gàidheal | Highland Village, a part of the Nova Scotia Museum, in Cape Breton. A native of Iona, Katherine specializes in program creation, graphic design, outreach and social media for the Highland Village Museum.

With Virtual Presentations from:
Nova Scotia Provincial Library provides resources to public libraries across Nova Scotia. They work collaboratively with museums to help build community partnerships, providing resources and venues for public engagement.
Nova Scotia Archives serves as the permanent repository for the archival records of the Government of Nova Scotia and acquires and preserves provincially-significant archival records from the private sector. They work closely with museums to promote archives and primary source document learning in Nova Scotia schools.
Nova Scotia Museum is a family of 28 provincial museum sites across Nova Scotia that includes rural, urban, as well as small and large museums. The Toolbox represents work being done across this museum system, showing the diversity and flexibility of the resource.

Fee: $150. Includes two health breaks and lunch. The Toolbox for Museum School Programs will be made available for free download to attendees. Participants will be required to bring their own supplies for taking notes, all other materials will be provided. Limited to 30 participants.  

Kindly supported by: 
Logo : Bank of Canada Museum

3. How Do We Know What We Know? Implementing Historical Thinking in Museum Programs
Held offsite at the Canadian Museum of History, in the new Canadian History Hall

Presenters: Lindsay Gibson, Assistant Professor, University of Alberta; Viviane Gosselin, Senior Manager, Curatorial Curator of Contemporary Culture, Museum of Vancouver; Heather Montgomery, School Programs Officer, Canadian Museum of History; Sandra O’Quinn and Jessica Shaw, Learning Specialists, Canadian War Museum.

The establishment of historical thinking as the foundation for many provincial social studies and history curricula has been a game changer for history education in Canada. Museums and historic sites are uniquely positioned to contribute to the development of students’ historical thinking abilities through their exhibitions, public programs and collections. This workshop will help museum educators navigate the waters of historical thinking and provide practical ideas for incorporating the “Big Six” historical thinking concepts into their institutions’ programs. Based on The Big Six by Peter Seixas and Tom Morton, the historical thinking concepts include:

    • Evidence

• Significance
  • Continuity and change

• Cause and consequence
  • Perspective-taking

• The ethical dimension of history

Lindsay Gibson of the University of Alberta and the Historical Thinking Project www.historicalthinking.ca  will provide an introduction to the “Big Six” historical thinking concepts. Learning Specialists from the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum will demonstrate key segments of their school programs to highlight the application of these concepts in their educational programs. Viviane Gosselin will discuss how museum educators and interpretive planners can play the role of historical learning advocates in the exhibition team by asking specific questions in the planning phase of exhibition projects. Throughout the day, participants will be invited to generate and share ideas on how to apply historical thinking in their museum programs to foster deeper audience engagement with history. Attendees will expand their knowledge and understanding of how to successfully implement historical thinking in their museum programs.

Fee: $70. Includes two networking breaks, lunch and a printed hand out. Transportation from The Westin Ottawa to Canadian Museum of History is included. Limited to 30 participants.  

9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Half-day Workshops


9:00 am – Noon
1. Inclusive Design Practices: Strategies and Skills for Museum Practitioners

Facilitators: Corey Timpson, Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Gabrielle Trépanier, Canada Science and Technology Museums

This hands-on workshop invites participants to learn about inclusive design principles and develop basic accessibility assessment skills. In the first half, participants will employ accessibility standards developed at the Canada Science and Technology Museum and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to evaluate various exhibits. Findings and ideas for remediation will be shared in small group discussions. In the second half of the workshop, participants will use interactive design process to develop an inclusive exhibit or activity. This will include idea generation, mock-ups, testing, and re-designs. The workshop will close with a roundtable discussion focusing on best practices for museums hoping to improve their site’s accessibility and capacity to work inclusively. Throughout the morning, participants will be encouraged to ask questions, work collaboratively, and solicit feedback on their ideas.

Proposed audience:
This full-day workshop is intended for staff of museums and cultural facilities that wish to become more familiar with accessibility and inclusive design practices.

Fee: $50. Includes one health break and transportation to the  Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum (CAFM) . Participants will be required to bring their own supplies for taking notes, all other materials will be provided. Limited to 25 participants.  

9:00 – 11:30 am
2. Serious Fun: Gamifying the Way We Train Our Staff & Volunteers

Emerging Professionals brand

Facilitators: Jodi Larson, Lake Jackson Historical Association

At our institutions, we go above & beyond to provide an engaging, memorable, differentiated, and interactive learning experience. But when it comes to training our people, we hand our colleagues a copy-machine packet and call it a day. It’s time to change the game. This workshop redefines how we plan & present professional development & training. It can be made un boring — with the same methods we use for visitors. Think of this workshop as a game show & everyone wins. We start with dozens of mini-modules and you decide what to “play” next. Each module takes only 5-15 minutes but offers essential topics like interpretive theory, narrative, in-gallery practices, educational trends, or current museum movements. Games, crowdsourcing, props, and activities — each one will get you thinking about how we think about museums. Best part? Every module is ready for you to replicate in your training room, historic house, or boardroom — we want you to steal this session ! You’ll leave with tools to make training, morning meetings, board retreats, and any professional development not only enjoyable but also memorable and meaningful.
Proposed audience:
This lively half-day workshop is intended for all levels of staff at museums and cultural facilities, including archives, libraries, and living history sites. While this workshop is as valuable to the front line interpreter as it is to upper management, it will be particular useful to those who plan and manager volunteer programs, train and manage staff, and do planning for interpretive programs.

About your presenters:
Jodi Larson and Hannah O. Moses are emerging museum professionals working at history museums in the southern United States. Coming from a lifetime of service, award-winning scholarship, and a dedication to innovating the museum experience, they have collectively worked history and living history, science, art, children's museums and national parks in six different states.

Fee: $50. Includes one health break. Handouts and materials will be provided and will be made available for later download. Limited to 60 participants.  


1:00 – 4:00 pm
Annual Meeting of the History Museums Network

1:00 – 4:00 pm
1. What’s Next for Museums?

Facilitator: Jo Hargreaves, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre

This interactive workshop explores how to rethink the role of the museum and audience engagement in the 21st century using The Spectrum of Audience Engagement, remarkable new tool to help museums map major philosophical, organizational and operational decisions that they have to make in a changing world. What does it mean to be a museum in the 21st century? What does it mean to be a museum in your particular context? What’s next for museums? The tool maps out how museums might choose to define their role and purpose, their core beliefs and values and how they seek public engagement. It describes the evolution of museum policy and strategy and the changes museums have had to make over the past 30 years and the changes they may have to make over the next 30 years. This approach unifies the seminal ideas of leaders like Nina Simon and John Falk, and of movements like the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Attendees will receive at no additional cost the Spectrum tool and a process they can take back to their own institutions to repeat with their colleagues, so they are able to explore what it means to be a contemporary museum within their own context, audiences and communities.

About The Spectrum :
Developed in Western Australia, it came out of major £428 million redevelopment at Western Australian Museum (WAM): one of the biggest new museum projects in the world. WAM’s aim was to celebrate cultural diversity in Western Australia, so it led a major strategic study with staff, Aboriginal and community stakeholders, peers, visitors and non-visitors. The result of that consultative, interactive process was The Spectrum model. It has given WAM a map to navigate the new terrain in which museums now find themselves. And it’s informing everything from WAM’s vision, strategy, design and brand. It is being used in the UK, US, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and Denmark to help museums navigate new terrain or to identify how they might better engage with new and diverse audiences. Leading museums around the world such as Tate, SFMOMA, Science Museum of Minnesota, Sydney Living Museums and Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand are already using it.

About your Facilitator:
Jo Hargreaves is a founder director of Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM), an award-winning cultural strategy and research agency. Working for more than 30 years in the cultural sector, her areas of expertise include: strategic planning, market appraisal, feasibility studies, measurement of economic, social and cultural impact, marketing strategy and planning, market segmentation, audience development, market research, social research and evaluation. She is an expert trainer and mentor, delivering training programs around the world. She is a guest lecturer on the MA in Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths University of London and on the Museum and Gallery Practice MA at UCL Qatar.

SOLD OUT  Fee: $50. Includes one health break and a copy of the Spectrum. Limited to 40 participants.  

1:00 – 4:00 pm

2. 3D Media and the Future Museum: Storytelling with VR, AR and Mixed Reality

Presenters: Marquis Côté, Head, Digital Interactives & AV, Canadian Museum of History and Canadian War Museum; Brian Dawson, Chief Digital Officer, Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation; Dan Stopnicki, Digital Strategy Director, SEED Interactive

New and evolving 3D media present significant opportunities for museums. Media like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and other real-time 3D applications present new and distinctive avenues for digital storytelling and for connection and engagement with audiences. However, these media are evolving quickly, and that pace of change is only accelerating. Are emerging media like AR, VR, mixed reality, and game engines appropriate for a museum experience? Can virtual and mixed realities play a role in compelling narrative and storytelling? How can museums assess the opportunity and tackle these new forms? How can our museums manage the pace of change with emerging media? Can real-time 3D media help museums stay relevant in a changing digital media landscape? This interactive half-day workshop will provide attendees with an overview of the VR/AR/MR landscape, including a forward view of the technology horizon, and the connections between these different 3D media forms. It will explore the question of relevance of museums in an evolving digital media landscape, and how real-time 3D media may in turn be relevant for museums. The workshop will translate the technology into potential opportunities and applications for engagement and storytelling for museums. It will explore a framework for assessing opportunities and potential ground of action for museum experiences, both in and outside the walls of the museum, and offer perspectives on how to manage projects and experiments with these media. This workshop is intended for a broad audience of museum practitioners that would like to better understand the evolving 3D media landscape.

About your Presenters:
The presenters bring a range of experience working on VR, AR, games and other digital storytelling media for museums, both in the galleries and beyond the walls of the museum.

SOLD OUT  Fee: $70. Includes one health break. Limited to 20 participants.   

1:00 – 4:00 pm
Annual Meeting of the History Museums Network

Evening Events  

4:00 – 5:30 pm
CMA EXPO Opening and Reception with Exhibitors

Reconnect with old friends and make a few new ones at the 2017 CMA Expo Opening and Reception. Showcasing the latest in exhibit design, technology, lighting, security, transportation services and countless other products and services, the 2017 CMA EXPO is your opportunity to visit with tried-and-true vendors and meet new suppliers displaying and demonstrating cost effective solutions and cutting edge technologies, all aimed at helping you and your institution.  

Fee: $35.  The fee is included in the conference registration. Additional tickets for non-registered delegates can be purchased at a cost of $35 each. Includes hors d'œuvres and one glass of wine followed by a cash bar.  

5:30 – 9:30 pm
5,4,3,2,1…Lift Off
Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Please join us for unforgettable evening as we take a journey through Canada’s aviation history and into the future of space science. Enjoy a cocktail as you explore the Museum’s internationally renowned collection, including rare aircraft and exclusive pieces such as the Canadarm, a Canadian Aerospace icon. Transport yourself through time and space, sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet or in the cupola of the International Space Station. (Don’t forget your camera!) Experience a unique dining environment among the aircraft, capped off by a presentation by Canadian Astronaut Jeremy Hansen. After dinner, entertainment includes presentations, demonstrations and interactive activities that will inspire and delight your inner dreamer, maverick, innovator and game changer!

Fee: This event is only available to individuals who have purchased the all-inclusive conference registration. Includes transportation, presentation, activities, dinner and one alcoholic beverage followed by a cash bar.  

Thursday, April 6th


All events will be held at the Westin Ottawa Hotel unless otherwise noted.  

7:00 am – 5:00 pm

7:00 – 8:30 am
Breakfast with Exhibitors

8:45 – 9:45 am
Opening Ceremonies and CMA Business Meeting

10:15 – 11:00 am

A Fresh Look or Why Museums Don't Suck

Moderator: Angela Cassie, Canadian Museum of Human Rights

Panelists: Eepmon aka Eric Chan; Alex Cherry, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21; Sebastian Irvine, Royal British Columbia Museum 

Young adults, whether millennials, Gen Z, or whatever’s next, are engaged, creative and seeking inspiration for their creativity. They are an important part of the future for our museums and galleries both as visitors and leaders. How we engage them also needs its own way of thinking. A true game changer from our traditional opening keynote, this interactive panel discussion will share how young adults can be a positively disruptive force at your institution. Discover how youth provide unique opportunities to reach a broader audience, develop long-lasting relationships, and provide fresh perspectives on content creation.  

11:00 – 11:45 am
Keynote Address
The Strength of the Voice
Joseph Boyden, author

Since the beginning of time, humans have understood the power of story-telling. Today more than ever, museums need to tell complex stories from diverse perspectives to help make sense of our increasingly challenging world. Renowned Canadian author Joseph Boyden will reflect on how the power of the voice and story can raise awareness of many important issues that we face in society today and how it is important to have a diverse range of voices at the table to tell that story. It is only in this way that we can have an understanding of the multiple perspectives that frame many of the issues and concerns that we face.  


11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Lunch with Exhibitors

1:15 – 2:15 pm
Keynote Address
Sarah Parcak, “Space Archaeologist” and 2016 TED Talk Prize Winner

This keynote will discuss the increasing importance of sharing, protecting, and preserving our shared cultural heritage in the face of a rapidly changing world. With the destruction of ancient sites and looting by ISIL, climate change, and urbanization, archaeologists and cultural institutions must work hand in hand to develop a shared agenda for the future of our heritage. New and developing technologies have made the discovery and protection of sites and objects easier, yet countless challenges exist: how should archaeologists engage appropriately with local communities on or next to ancient sites? How should site data be secured against potential looters? And how should museums respond to the increased likelihood that ancient objects on the market could be looted? Examples will be presented from ongoing project work. The other major thing to consider is the level of public engagement needed in the face of threats to funding cuts to university programs, museums, and funding sources. A new citizen science crowdsourcing platform, called Globalxplorer, launched Jan 30th, offers one way to engage with scientists and the general public concurrently. The future of cultural heritage is exciting, but we must plan carefully for engagement with the most diverse stakeholders groups possible.

Kindly supported by:
Loogo : Canadian Museum of History  

2:45 – 4:00 pm
Educational Concurrent Sessions

Game-Changing Projects for the 21st Century Art Museum

Moderator: Stephen Borys, Winnipeg Art Gallery

Panelists: Alexandra Badzak, Ottawa Art Gallery; Gregory Burke, Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan; Line Ouellet, Musée national des beaux-arts de Québec; Reid Shier, Presentation House Gallery

The museum for the 21st century is a collection of objects, ideas, and people reflecting cultures and stories that look back and forward. It is a place where the acts of invitation, welcome, and engagement thrive, enabling the museum to be relevant, impactful, and sustainable. Art is a living and dynamic force in the world capable of imparting and shaping ideas and viewpoints, and, in this vibrant and global exchange we call cultural democracy, the museum is the forum. Several current architectural projects at museums across Canada reflect many of the key elements that have come to define the 21st-century art museum. What do these new museums look like? The directors overseeing these building projects in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Québec, will share their thoughts and experiences on how the idea of the 21st-century museum has impacted on the design, mission, and program of their new museums.  

Let’s Keep Learning from Our Mistakes

Facilitators: Megan Richardson, Canadian Museum of History and John Swettenham, Canadian Museum of Nature

Innovation is a game-changing concept in museums right now. It brings outside ideas and approaches into the museum, challenging its traditional roles, and creating new ways of thinking and working. The focus on innovation is a by-product of a rapidly changing world. A reprise of the highly popular Learn from Our Mistakes sessions offered during CMA 2015 and 2016, co-founder Megan Richardson will be joined by Year 1 alumnus John Swettenham to animate a lively two-part discussion. In the first half, a number of experts and neophytes from museums large and small will share stories of innovation efforts that misfired, and how they have emerged the wiser. In the second half, participants will share their own stories in small groups, and choose ones to be shared with the wider room. Voting and prizes round out the session. Regardless of the kind or size of museum in which they work, participants will leave the session with valuable lessons learned around innovation, and an expanded network of contacts.  

Beyond Rhetoric; Beyond Neutrality: Introducing Three Game Changers

Moderator: Robert R. Janes, FCMA

Panelists: Nika Collison, Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay; Beka Economopoulos, The Natural History Museum, Brooklyn, New York; Hilary Jennings, The Happy Museum, United Kingdom (via video)

Neil Postman, the American culture critic, wrote that, “a museum must be an argument with its society… a good museum always will direct attention to what is difficult and even painful to contemplate.” Three seasoned museum professionals will approach this responsibility by presenting distinct examples of self-reflective museum practice that depart from traditional conventions while at the same time linking culture and nature — a profoundly important linkage essential to our collective well-being. Collectively they will offer strategies to assist museum professionals in how to “change the game.”  

Cultural Crossroads

Moderator: Bryan Dewalt, Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation

Panelists: John Moses, PhD candidate, Carleton University; Andrea Walsh, University of Victoria

Canadian and foreign museum collections of traditional Indigenous cultural expressions experienced significant growth during the same era as the most draconian Indian Act provisions, including the forced removal of Indigenous children to residential schools. The history of Indigenous collections in museums is inextricably linked with the legacies of the residential schools experience in Canadian history. Progressive collections and exhibition stewardship includes acknowledging and addressing the rights and concerns of those individuals and communities inherently connected to the objects and materials managed by museums. This presentation explores these challenges and presents examples of these complex and sensitive issues in the context of museums and reconciliation.  

4:15 – 5:15 pm
Fellows Lecture
Senator Murray Sinclair

7:00 – 9:30 pm
Optional Evening Event
Inspired by Canadians!

Be among the first to see the Canadian History Hall! The Canadian Museum of History invites you to a sneak preview of its new signature gallery, the Canadian History Hall, opening to the public on July 1, 2017. Come and explore the events, movements and personalities that have shaped our nation, and whose influence on our lives can still be felt today. Join us for a cocktail reception, followed by an exclusive visit of the new Hall, and buffet dinner in the majestic Grand Hall.

Fee: $95. This is in addition to the all-inclusive registration fee! Open to delegates and guests. Includes transportation, one themed cocktail followed by a cash bar and buffet dinner.  

Friday, April 7th


All events will be held at the Westin Ottawa Hotel unless otherwise noted.  

7:00 am – 5:00 pm

7:00 – 8:30 am
Breakfast with Exhibitors

8:45 – 9:45 am
Keynote Address
Michael Edson
Co-founder / Associate Director / Head of Digital, The Museum for the United Nations – UN Live, Copenhagen, Denmark

Dark Matter
Who is responsible for creating and sustaining culture, the preservation and study of history, and the increase and diffusion of scientific knowledge? Who participates in these processes? And who benefits? Twenty-five years after the invention of the World Wide Web museums are still only taking baby steps with technology, while a new world of engagement and a new universe of impact lies just outside their reach. Michael Peter Edson, the co-founder, associate director, and head of digital at the newly forming Museum for the United Nations – UN Live, takes us through his vision for this new "museum for humanity" and how UN Live, and all museums, can use technology to accomplish society’s goals.

Kindly supported by: 
Loogo : Canadian Museum of Science and Technology                 Loogo : Canadian Conservation Institute  

10:00 – 10:30 am
Networking Break with Exhibitors

10:00 – 11:45 am
Meeting of the Fellows
By Invitation only!

10:30 – 11:45 am
Educational Concurrent Sessions

Examining LGBTQ2 Guidelines for Museums

Panelists: Clark Barnett, City of Niagara Falls Museum; Michael Blackburn, PFLAG York Region; Cathy Molloy, Markham Museum 

Delegates are invited to participate in this open discussion about LGBTQ2 guidelines for Canadian museums. Considered safe places within their communities, museums are continuing to adapt to our ever-evolving and growing diverse communities. Are we doing our best to welcome the LGBTQ2 community and are we equipped to provide direction and assistance to our museum community and co-workers? A brief over-view of the AAM document will be presented. We will then open the floor for comment and discussion around the following topics:

  • Do Museums have role to play within the LGBTQ2 community at Museums?
  • Should Canadian Museums adopt the AAM document as a reference tool, or are there other documents that should be considered?
  • Are there specific instances at sites where Museum could have benefited with an LGBTQ guidelines document?
  • What recommendations would you make to the CMA about LGBTQ2 guidelines for Canadian Museums?

Delegates are asked to review the AAM document in advance of this session:

Out of the Depths – the Blue Whale Story

Moderator: Mark Engstrom, Royal Ontario Museum

Panelists: Amanda Fruci, Dave Hollands and Jacqueline Miller, Royal Ontario Museum

Royal Ontario Museum scientists recovered two blue whales from the southwest coast of Newfoundland in May 2014. Born of tragedy, the event provided the impetus for a major exhibition and research project. This panel presentation features the scientists, exhibit designers and project publicists who helped create and continue to share this story of the events in Newfoundland and its impact on Canadians. This is a tale of how to sustain interest in a relevant story over three years and build a high impact exhibit based on our own research and objects.


How to be F****ing Awesome: 21st Century Strategies for Engaging Audiences

Moderator: Dustin Growick, Museum Hack

Panelists: Kerry-Leigh Burchill, Canada Agriculture and Food Museum; Rod Constantineau, Parks Canada; Samantha Haddon, Royal Tyrrell Museum

Museum Hack specializes in understanding the needs of the 21st century audience, focusing on millennials as the next generation of museum lovers and patrons. Museum Hack’s methods showcase how “Museums are F***ing Awesome,” inviting visitors to experience museums in entirely new ways and become active co-creators of their museum experience. This session, will demonstrate how a “reverently irreverent” approach can transform institutions of all shapes and sizes, providing deeper audience engagement while empowering staff to become personally invested in the institution’s mission and goals. Through these discussions, attendees will discover best practices for utilizing storytelling, the powerful tools in guests’ pockets, and social and inquiry-based activities to engage guests with museum collections and each other. Attendees will leave with an understanding of “reverent irreverence,” the importance of passion based storytelling, and tactics for innovating their institutions in order to improve engagement, revitalize existing programs, and cultivate new audiences as future supporters.   

What’s Open Now? Museums and the Open Movement

Moderator: Charlie Costain, Canadian Heritage Information Network

Panelists: Sheila Carey, Canadian Heritage Information Network; Michael Edson, United Nations Live Museum for Humanity, Copenhagen, Denmark; Fiona Smith-Hale, Canada Science and Technology Museum

The word “Open” seems ubiquitous these days. It generally signifies something positive: Open data, open access, open source, open government and more. Yet, what exactly does it mean to be “open”? Internationally, an increasing number of museums, libraries and archives have been opening up cultural content and data to their community and to the world. There are many aspects to this, including defining exactly what is open, and what this trend means for museums. This panel discussion explores the strategic use of open content, open access, open data and how this openness can encourage participatory heritage. We will demystify what it means to be open and encourage museums to embrace the challenges and opportunities presented. As well, panelists will discuss what happens if you don't go open.

Kindly supported by:

Loogo : Canadian Museum of Science and Technology                 Loogo : Canadian Conservation Institute

Finding Funding

Moderator: Audrey Vermette, Canadian Museums Association

Panelists: Boris Stipernitz, Library and Archives Canada; Megan Richardson, Canadian Museum of History; Melinda Mollineaux , Canada Council for the Arts

This session provides an overview of some of the national funding opportunities available to Canadian museums. From practical bricks and mortar projects to innovative digital products, support is available for a broad range of initiatives for museums large and small. Experts from the Museums Assistance Program, the Virtual Museum of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, the Canada Cultural Investment Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts will explain what their programs cover and how they work, and offer some tips for applying. There will be ample time for questions.  

Strategic Planning for the 21st Century

Moderator: Robin Etherington, Bytown Museum

Panelists: Alexandra Badzak, Ottawa Art Gallery; Marie Lalonde, Ontario Museum Association; Maria de Rosa, communications mdr; Cheryl Johnson, Algonquin College

Strategic plans are meant to articulate a long-term vision. The strategic planning process can help strengthen organizational culture to be results focused, with sharing of information needed for strategy execution. Whatever your type of institution, similar issues, challenges and opportunities will present themselves during the planning process. Panelists will discuss the various processes they engaged in during their respective exercise. They will share with attendees the strategies and tactics they proposed to address the ongoing and dramatic changes that the 21st century presents. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the strategic planning process and how such a plan could benefit your organization.  

Museums or Monuments? The How and Why of Memory in the Public Realm

Moderator: Gail Dexter Lord, Lord Cultural Resources

Panelists: Mark Kristmanson, National Capital Commission; Stephen Quick , Canadian War Museum;  John Young, Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Canada's 150th anniversary will awaken many memories — some celebratory, some cautionary. As we enter this new era, Museums are challenged to represent people's experiences in more specific and powerful ways than in the past. Communities are also demanding to be represented in the public realm in the form of memorials and monuments. As museum professionals how do we respond to the sufferings and celebrations of the past and the concerns of the present? This multi-disciplinary panel will present four of Canada’s leading museum and cultural leaders to discuss and debate this subject and to engage with conference attendees on how museums and monuments address the pressing issues of the past and present. When is the Museum the right setting? When is the landscape or the urbanscape A better choice?  

Noon – 1:30 pm
Luncheon with Exhibitors

1:30  2:00 pm
Ice Cream Break with the Exhibitors 

Kindly supported by: 

Logo : Pacart  

10:30 – 11:45 pm
Come and meet the Board of the CMA and senior staff. We will share with you our upcoming priorities for the next year. CMA offers an incredible variety of services. This is your opportunity to learn more about what we offer and to raise any questions you may have!

2:15 – 4:00 pm
Case Studies

Facilitator: Margaret Chrumka, Kamloops Art Gallery   

1. Different Words, Different Worlds: An Exploratory Case Study Into the Use of Gender-Neutral Language in Museums

Presenter: Joanna Munholland, Sam Waller Museum

Though entrenched for years in English, gendered language has in some institutions been replaced by gender-neutral language. This case study explores the use of gender-neutral language in museums. The key questions explored were if museums are using gender-neutral language, and if so, why. Attendees will learn about the value of gender-neutral language, its power in museums, and how to make its use part of normal museum text creation at your institution.  

2. Museum Windsor Expansion — A Game Changer for the Windsor Community

Presenter: Madelyn Della Valle, Museum Windsor

Recently Museum Windsor has undergone a major museum expansion, resulting in the development of the new Chimczuk Museum – located in a building shared with the Art Gallery of Windsor. They also renovated the existing François Baby House. Nearly 60 years in the making, it is a story of bricks and mortar and much more. This case study examines how the expansion occurred and how various communities were engaged during the process.  

3. The Haida Gwaii Museum — A Space for Reconciliation

Presenter: Scott Marsden and Nika Collison, the Haida Gwaii Museum

2017 is an opportunity for museums to reflect on how they have articulated stories for the past 150 years. How have these stories helped define Canada? How has the museum community begun to make significant changes to the evolving relationships with First nation as a people? This case study will examine how the Haida Gwaii Museum's strategy exposes visitors to new ideas and how over time their philosophical approach has led to an increased level of trust, understanding and companionship between the museum and the First Nations Community.  

4. Augmenting Reality: Beyond Bricks and Mortar in a Historic House Museum

Presenters: John Hughes and Kate Humble, Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society

Is your institution interested in developing digital technologies to enhance your audience engagement? This case study examines the challenges and successes associated with developing an interactive digital museum experience that allowed Craigdarroch Castle to engage their audience in a different way. Best practices, lessons learned and the next steps will be shared with attendees.  

5. Innovations in Audience Engagement-Mobile Experiences and Exhibitions

Presenters: Christine McGuire, Aga Khan Foundation Canada and Tony Amato, MRA mobile experiential

Making exhibitions more accessible and relevant is essential to cultivating audiences. Mobile experiential exhibitions are the next game changer. This case study discusses how exhibitions and museums have the power to provoke, reveal, and relate to people around the world, specifically referencing Together: An Exhibition of Global Development. Developed by MRA mobile experiential and the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, the exhibit features the work of over 20 organizations, exploring how Canadians are working together to alleviate global poverty.  


6. Developing Content for Non-Traditional Media

Presenter: Boyd Laanstra, Bank of Canada Museum 

This case study will explore interpretive planning and the development of content for exhibits that aren’t exhibits — public programs that use non-traditional platforms and vastly different media. Based on the Canada 150 Bank Note, a 2017 commemorative bill that has been imagined and designed as an exhibit found in the pockets of all Canadians, methods grounded in the interpretation principles and constructive learning theory will be examined. This case study looks beyond the bricks and mortars of the museum to how history, heritage and culture can be celebrated and communicated in unique, ubiquitous and meaningful ways.  

7. Maximizing Your Temporary and Travelling Exhibition Investment

Presenter: Tanya Bouchard, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

This case study will share Pier 21's approach to temporary and travelling exhibitions through Canada: Day 1 and its subsequent reproductions. Feedback, lessons learned and how the Museum reached its exhibition and institutional goals while maximizing resources will be discussed. Contributing to Canada’s 150th Anniversary celebration, Canada: Day 1 explores the multifaceted experiences of newcomers on their arrival in Canada, from confederation to present day.  

8. From Vimy to Juno: An In-depth Look at a "Digital First" Experience

Presenters: Jen Sguigna Juno Beach Centre Association and Warren Wilansky, Plank

Producing a multi-year, expansive digital project from scratch is never easy. With a “Digital First” focus, the various parties involved had to redefine the relationship between physical / virtual space, measuring visitor engagement and meaningful interaction. This case study will share with attendees the ups and downs of working together on a collaborative basis, ensuring that all of the different team members, and involved parties were at the table and how the project was defined since day one. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how a similar project could be introduced at their own institution.  

2:15 – 4:30 pm
Introducing the Coalition of Museums and Galleries for Climate Justice
Facilitators: Robert R. Janes and David Jensen , Coalition of Museums and Galleries for Climate Justice
Canada is home to over 2,500 museums and related organizations, all of which are uniquely qualified to address climate change - based on their historical consciousness, sense of place, commitment to stewardship, public accessibility, and public trust. The mission of the Coalition of Museums and Galleries for Climate Justice is to mobilize and support Canadian museums and galleries in addressing climate change awareness, mitigation, and resilience. This informal session will introduce the Coalition and its work, in conjunction with an audience discussion of interests, concerns, and aspirations.

2:15 – 3:15 pm
Educational Concurrent Sessions

10. The Outernship: An Alternative Approach to Training and Capacity Building

Moderator: Sarah Carr-Locke, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

Panelists: Nyla Klugie-Migwans and Cathy Ritchie, Government of Yukon

The Museums Unit, Department of Tourism and Culture, Government of Yukon, provides funding and support services to 18 Yukon museums and First Nation cultural centres. Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) is a self-governing First Nation with Traditional Territories in the Yukon and Northern British Columbia. CAFN owns and operates the Da Kų Culture Centre in Haines Junction, Yukon. This session examines how staff from both governments worked collaboratively to develop a training plan for an underfill position as Exhibit Design/Collections Officer at the Da Kų Culture Centre. Focusing on the collections care component, CAFN and Museums Unit staff will speak to the decision-making process, challenges and key factors that led to the success of this distinctive training plan that was designed to support the Exhibit Design/Collections Officer via hands-on training, academic courses and project-based work in their own institution and based on the learning priorities identified by CAFN. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how reciprocal collaboration benefits all when developing comprehensive training plans.  

11. Engaging Young People to Inspire Social Change

Moderator: Pauline Dolovich, Reich+Petch

Presenters: Tony Reich, Reich+Petch Design International and Tara Robinson, Youthlink Foundation, Carlee Bojarski

Can museum exhibits prompt social change? A 26,000 sq. ft. innovative hands-on learning centre filled with immersive, interactive exhibits, Youthlink Calgary opened in 2015. This session examines the underlying goals and theme of the project and how a culture of sharing, inquiry and empowerment through immersive multi-media encourages the innovative exchange of knowledge and resources. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the importance of addressing challenging societal issues in museums and the “game changing” impact that can result and how such change could be implemented at your institution.  

12. The Museum as a Lab

Moderator: Benoît Légaré, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Presenters: Thomas Bastien, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Carol Pauzé, Foundation J. Armand Bombardier; Melissa Smith, Art Gallery of Ontario

Long gone are the days when museums were strictly specialists within their community. The game has changed! Panelists from three diverse institutions will challenge attendees to think about and begin to explore the untapped potential and various opportunities that the 21st century museum must offer its audiences.  

13. Risk to Restoration: Game Changes in Risk and Restoration for Museums in a Digital World

Moderator: Jane Sirois, Canadian Conservation Institute

Panelists: Irene Karsten and Tom Strang, Canadian Conservation Institute; Stephen Fai and Mario Santana, Carleton University

What happens when you are faced with a disaster? This session features thought provoking presentations on technical innovation, from the initial concept to the practical building of a framework for the conservation of collections based on risk. Recent innovations including geo-mapping, laser scanning of a 3D site will be discussed. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how the game changing use of digital information not only for record keeping but for the innovative use of digital data can be used effectively to record and manage loss in a profound way when disaster does strike.  

14. We’re Not that Hard to Find: Hiring Diverse Museum Staff

Moderator: Gail Dexter Lord, Lord Cultural Resources

Panelists: Joy Bailey Bryant  and  Veronica Blandon, Lord Cultural Resources; Jameson Brant , Canadian Museum of History 

How do you recruit diverse museum staff? Where do you find diverse candidates? How can you ensure that you have a staff culture where every employee can thrive regardless of age, ethnicity or gender? This session will discuss the leadership and museum management strategies that can help to address these critical issues and how diversification of your workforce will help to attract wider and more diverse audiences and truly be a game changer.  

15. Adventures from the Field

Moderator: Ailsa Barry, Canadian Museum of Nature

Panelist: Kathleen Conlan, Stewart Peck and Natalia Rybczynski, Canadian Museum of Nature

Join three renowned Canadian Geographic Explorers to discover the highs and lows of field research and what it takes to collect precious specimens. Each explorer will discuss why they choose to undertake research in their specific field and how their research contributed to our understanding of the natural world.  

3:30 – 4:30 pm
Educational Concurrent Sessions

16. The Digital Museum: Inspiring Solutions

Moderator: Sarah Beam-Borg, Aga Khan Museum

Panelists: Ryan Dodge, Royal Ontario Museum; Megan Richardson, Canadian Museum of History; Corey Timpson, Canadian Museum for Human Rights 

Digital is the biggest game changer of our time. Museums worldwide are striving to respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by this sweeping change, while keeping current with visitor expectations. Panelists from diverse perspectives will discuss the role that digital plays in their institution or the institutions they work with, and how it is used in sustainable ways to foster understanding, further dialogue and to inspire solutions for a better world. Regardless of the size of their institution, attendees will leave the session with ideas and resources they can adapt to their own context.  

17. Communicating Complex Concepts to Museums' Youngest Visitors

Moderator: Lisa Leblanc, Canadian Museum of History

Panelists: Kerri Davis and France Therrien, Canadian Museum of History;  Jean François Royal, Musée des religions du monde

Culture, community, religion and tradition…these are big ideas that many museums are attempting to address. Can we meaningfully engage with these topics when the audience is children? Based on the traveling exhibition Kids Celebrate, panelists will discuss the advantages of developing content and activities specifically targeted at museums’ youngest visitors. You will see that you don’t need a dedicated gallery space to make children, youth, and families feel welcome in your museum. Learn more about how your institution can effectively reach this audience.  

18. Thinking Outside the Box: Bringing Objects to Remote Museums

Moderator: Sarah Pashagumskum, Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute

Panelists: Laura Phillips, Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute; Stephanie Halapija, Nisga'a Museum; Dominique Chalifoux, Lachine Musée

As new museums are built by Canada’s Indigenous and First Nations communities, established museums need to start thinking about practical ways to make their collections and exhibitions accessible for all, especially the communities where these collections originated. This panel discussion will feature three presentations that will examine the critical aspects of the realities of making collections more accessible and cost effective to remote communities. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the requirements of remote museums and how your institution can assist them in meeting their objectives.  

20. Public Collections: How to Be All Things to All People

Moderator: Amy Jenkins, National Gallery of Canada

Panelists: Rebecca Huxtable, Canada Council for the Arts; Erin McDonald, Alberta Culture and Tourism; Belinda Harrow, Saskatchewan Art Board 

Staff responsible for managing public collections are increasingly required to play a balancing act when trying to fulfill the diverse needs of audiences, stakeholders and the objects they are responsible for caring for. Exploring the topics of accessibility and usability, acquisitions practices and mandate/program needs and history, this session will offer examples of challenges, solutions and ongoing issues from three public art collections from across Canada. Panelists will provide a brief overview of their respective collections and engage in a conversation about each topic. Audience members will be invited to share their own experiences in order for increased knowledge sharing and discussion.  

Evening Events  

5:30 - 6:30 pm
Canadian Museum Awards Ceremony and Reception

Recognize the outstanding accomplishments of your peers at the 2017 Canadian Museum Awards national ceremony, as we honour excellence in the fields of research, conservation, education, exhibitions, new media, marketing, and museum leadership. After the ceremony you will enjoy a reception followed by the Celebrate 70! Gala.

Fee: $35. The fee is included in the conference registration. Aditional tickets for non-registered delegates may be purchased.  

7:30 pm
Celebrate 70!

Get ready to party with your colleagues. The CMA's Gala is going to be an extraordinary experience in every way from the food, to the decor to the live entertainment with Ambushed. Please join with us as we celebrate this important milestone.

Fee: $125. The fee is included in the conference registration. Additional tickets for non-registered delegates may be purchased . Includes dinner, entertainment and one glass of wine at dinner followed by a cash bar. Cocktail attire.

Kindly supported by:

Logo : Total Transportation