RBC Emerging Artists Project Banner English

► Program Overview

► Program Structure

► Program Criteria

► How are mentorships selected?

► How are mentees selected?

► Program History

► About the RBC Foundation

Sue Lamothe,
613-567-0099 x229

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Program Overview

The RBC Foundation Museum Mentorship program is administered by the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) with the generous financial support of the Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Foundation. The program aims to provide quality, mentored learning experiences for emerging museum professionals over a period of 4 to 6 months. The program is designed to enhance the participants employability skills, while structured mentoring helps to coach and champion the emerging professional to future success.

2019 program will offer a specialized focus on mentorship for Indigenous youth for two emerging professionals to undertake a structured learning experience with CMA member organizations. Designed to not only offer Indigenous youth relevant work experience, this program will also match participants with a qualified museum mentor. This mentorship will offer meaningful experiences for qualified Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, Métis) participants setting out on their planned career patch in the museum, heritage and cultural sectors.

This mentorship is ideal for graduates or enrolled students (ages 18 to 35) of museum and arts studies programs, curators, conservators, and arts administrators.

2019 Employer Application Form (Word format)  Download document icon

The CMA is now receiving applications from eligible employer applicants in Toronto, ON.
The employer application deadline is May 17, 2019.

Program Structure   (back to top)

The program provides the Indigenous emerging museum professional with a paid work experience, while also engaging in a mentoring relationship with a member of the museum’s staff.

The work experience typically focuses on one of the following disciplines:

  • Exhibition Development
  • Collections Management
  • Programming/Education
  • Conservation
  • Visitor Engagement

During the mentorship component, mentors and mentees undertake discussions to help foster connections and plan for success.

The curriculum of mentorship may include:

  • Creating a mentoring agreement (terms of relationship, confidentiality)
  • Assessing current work experience, how to get the most from it
  • Undertaking self-assessment, recognizing strengths and weaknesses
  • Planning a career path, including professional development
  • Setting realistic expectations for the future

Program Criteria   (back to top)

Mentoring opportunities are located in the city/region where the CMA National Conference is to be hosted, thereby ensuring that the mentee will be available to participate in the conference and gain exposure to the CMA’s vast network of professional contacts.

Proposals can be accepted from museum applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • CMA Institutional membership in good standing
  • Able to offer a mentorship project lasting 3 to 6 months
  • Able to provide sufficient orientation, training, mentorship and support during the mentorship
  • Willingness to participate in required program promotion (pre-, during and post-mentorship)
  • Must use open & fair recruitment methods and select a candidate meeting the eligibility criteria
  • Located in the region of the next CMA National Conference (Greater Toronto Region)

How are mentorships selected?   (back to top)

All applications will be juried by experienced museum professionals who are committed to the advancement of young professionals. The committee’s funding recommendation may take into account:

  • Level of detail in the project proposal
  • Level of mentoring, orientation and supervision during the mentorship
  • Project planning
  • Marketability of the mentee’s skills post-mentorship
  • Ability to make professional contacts during the mentorship
  • Prominence of the museum
  • Level of museum’s involvement in CMA and the museum community

How are mentees selected?   (back to top)

Mentees are recruited by the approved museum, art gallery or cultural institution that will be hosting the RBC Foundation Museum Mentorship. Mentorship opportunities will be posted on the CMA and CHIN’s job board. (Please note that the CMA does not receive applications from mentees.)

Eligibility criteria for mentees are as follows:

  • Must be a Canadian citizen
  • Must be 18 to 35 years of age at the start of the mentorship
  • Must be enrolled or a recent graduate from a museums studies program and/or arts studies, curatorial, conservation or an arts administrators program
  • Must be willing to commit to the full duration of the mentorship
  • Must not be a current or previous employee of the museum/organization

Program History   (back to top)

In 2018, the RBC Foundation Museum Mentorship recipients organizations were:

  • 2018: Contempory Art Gallery (Vancouver, BC)
  • 2018: Museum of Vancouver (Vancouver, BC)

In 2016, the RBC Foundation Museum Mentorship offered the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) two Emerging Artists Project mentorship opportunities in Halifax. Participating emerging museum professionals were recruited to fill the roles of "Museum Collections Mentee" and “Curatorial Intern”, respectively which allowed the mentees to participate in some core activities of museology work. The CMA is pleased to have worked with the following Recipient organizations of the RBC Foundation Museum Mentorship were:

  • 2016: Nova Scotia Museum
  • 2016: Saint-Mary’s University Art Gallery (Halifax, NS)

In 2015, the RBC Foundation Museum Mentorship was formally launched. Recipient organizations of the RBC Foundation Museum Mentorship were:

  • 2015: The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies (Banff, AB)
  • 2015: The National Music Centre (Calgary, AB)

The RBC Foundation previously supported a similar program, the RBC Museum Internship for Emerging Professionals. The CMA is pleased to have worked with the following institutions to offer other career-launching experiences for emerging museum professionals:

  • 2014: Art Gallery of Mississauga (Mississauga, ON)
  • 2014: York Region District School Board Museum & Archives (Markham, ON)
  • 2013: Yukon Arts Centre (Whitehorse, YT)
  • 2013: Yukon Historical & Museums Association (Whitehorse, YT)
  • 2012: Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum (Carp, ON)
  • 2012: Canadian Conservation Institute (Ottawa, ON)
  • 2011: Museum London (London, ON)
  • 2011: Fanshawe Pioneer Village (London, ON)
  • 2010: The Rooms Corporation: Provincial Museum Division (St. John's, NL)
  • 2010: Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John's, NL)
  • 2009: Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, ON)

About the RBC Foundation   (back to top)

The RBC Foundation Museum Mentorship program is generously funded through the “RBC Emerging Artists Project” stream of the RBC Foundation. For more information about other community initiatives of the RBC Foundation, please click here.