Preliminary Program

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Preliminary Program:

► Sunday, April 14

► Monday, April 15

► Wednesday, April 17

PDFs for Download:

► CMA 2019 General Information

► CMA 2019 Call for Papers Submission form

► CMA 2019 Exhibitor and Sponsorship Information

► CMA 2019 Exhibitors List and Expo Floor Plan

► CMA 2019 Delegate Kit Insertion Program


Tuesday, April 16


7 a.m. – 5 p.m.



7 – 8:30 a.m.

Breakfast with Exhibitors


8:30 – 10 a.m.

Conference Opening and Special Announcement 

Karen Bachmann Portrait

Karen Bachmann, President, Canadian Museums Association


10:15 – 11:30 a.m.

Concurrent Educational Sessions


I. Sustainable Collecting

Moderator: Gail Lord, Lord Cultural Resources

Panelists: Kevin Gosling, Collections Trust, London, England; Tom Smart, Beaverbrook Art Gallery; Corey Timpson, Corey Timpson Design Inc.

It has been three decades since the Lord landmark UK study The Cost of Collecting noted that the average annual growth in UK museums was on average 1.5% per year and that all the costs associated with collecting amounted to 66% of museum budgets. How much have your own museum’s collections grown since 1989? Can your museum and all the others attending CMA 2019 sustain such growth over the next 30 years? If not, what gives? This session considers the cost of collecting — and of not collecting and what is being collected. Panelists will discuss the cost and efficacy of collecting both tangible and intangible heritage, considering physical collections, oral histories and other less tangible collection practices, practical constraints – and the impacts into museological due diligence and museum practice. This session will amplify the CMA’s Sustainable Development Guide . Participants will leave with a more comprehensive understanding of how they can implement sustainable collecting within their own institution.


II. Redefining Natural History Museums for the 21st Century — At Home and Abroad

Moderator: Joanne Orr, Royal British Columbia Museum

Panelists: Meg Beckel, Canadian Museum of Nature; Mark Engstrom, Royal Ontario Museum; Pauline Robert, Natural History Museum, London, England

The world is facing a crisis in nature. Our planet is currently experiencing unprecedented levels of pollution, extensive habitat loss and major global threats to biodiversity. At this critical point in our history, it is more important than ever to engage our visitors with the natural world. Although one might think about natural history institutions as being mostly about the past, they are increasingly being called upon to play a critical role in preparing citizens for an uncertain future. We face a series of ‘wicked problems’ including climate change, biodiversity loss and food security. Helping citizens to understand and respond to these threats is one of the most important challenges for public education facing our institutions today. In response to these threats, natural history museums around the world are changing the way they engage with their public to become powerful and relevant voices for nature in the 21st century. In this session, panelists will outline the plans and challenges for this ambitious process of renewal in order to build museums for the future.


III. Renovations, Expansions and New Construction: Stakeholder Engagement Strategies in Museum Planning — Take II

Moderator: Bruce D. Thibodeau, Arts Consulting Group Canada

Presenters: Alexandra Badzak, Ottawa Art Gallery; Michael Wallace, Theatre Museum Canada; 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. Building upon the successful session held during CMA 2018 in Vancouver, Take II looks at the activities and practices of several museums who have embarked on the journey of revitalizing their facilities, including examples of how they overcame inertia and gained momentum to advance from concept to groundbreaking and beyond. The discussion will focus on how museums mobilize intellectual, emotional, political and social resources in the earliest stages of museum planning that are the precursor to incremental financial and regulatory support. Stakeholder and community engagement strategies, including their inherent benefits and challenges, seek to provide a deeper understanding of the importance of building consensus, articulating vision and defining the impact on the communities that these major museum projects are intended to serve in a rapidly changing society. Participants will leave with a better understanding of how you can mobilize resources effectively.


IV. The Future of Museum Diplomacy: Skills and Knowledge for a Connected World

Moderators: Sascha Priewe, Royal Ontario Museum and Sarah E.K. Smith, Carleton University

Panelists: Lynda Jessup, Queen’s University; Gerald McMaster, OCAD University; Anne Élisabeth Thibault, Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archeology and History Complex; Chen Shen, Royal Ontario Museum

What do museum professionals need to know in an ever more connected world? Which challenges lie ahead for museums as geopolitical centres are shifting? What changes can we expect for international cultural relations when established alliances and trade patterns undergo challenges, while others are opening up? Or, have we been here before and can we build on past and existing experiences? This panel brings together museum leaders who, for a good part of their careers, have been heavily involved in international collaboration, sharing Canadian museology across the globe. We will use their extensive experiences as a jumping off point to outline a skill set for working internationally, be it in international networks and alliances, working abroad or in and with specific countries and regions. We will frame the conversation in recent work that applies an international cultural relations approach to cultural diplomacy that empowers museums and museum professionals in their international engagement work.

Kindly supported by: 



V. Cultural Literacy and the Museum

Moderator: Sophie Thomas, Ryerson University

Panelists: Paul Bishop, Allison Nichol Longtin and Mack Rogers, ABC Life Literacy; Janine Rogers, Mount Allison University.

Based on a 2018-2019 research project and pilot case study entitled Cultural Literacy: Addressing Learning Barriers with Museum Literacy, panelists will cover key questions the program is addressing: What does literacy research and outreach do that is different from and complementary to other educational and social practices within the museum? What is unique about literacy as a suite of methodologies in museum practice? What would a literacy approach to museology have to contribute to the larger picture of museums and society? Why should we think about museums through the lens of literacy? This session will help you better understand how you can use literacy as an engagement tool at your own institution.


VI. Bringing Art into Landscape

Moderator: Victoria Dickenson, McGill University Library and Collections

Panelists: Patricia Grattan, Independent Curator, NL; Richard Laurin, Independent Project Manager, MB; Natalia Lebedinskaia*, Director of Public Projects, Vancouver Biennale (*via Skype)

Not every Canadian will visit a museum or art gallery this year. This session discusses three innovative projects that brought collections out of museums and studios and placed them directly in the path of the public on the shore, on maps and in national parks. The Bonavista Biennale created a 100-kilometre exhibition trail through fishing communities and along the coasts of Newfoundland. The Good Lands placed images of historic and contemporary artworks into the map application used by hikers along the TransCanada Trail’s Great Trail. LandMarks 2017 installed artworks in Canada’s national parks. Panelists will discuss each project in terms of objectives for audience engagement, collaboration with museums and heritage sites, use of technologies and the special challenges of working in unconventional venues and with multiple partners in their effort to bring art and artists onto the land and into the imaginative landscape of Canadians. You will leave this session with a better understanding of how you might use unconventional venues and work successfully with multiple partners at your institution.


VII. Case Studies Part I

Facilitator: Rebecca Frerotte, Lord Cultural Resources


A. The Museum at Play: Programs as a Tool of Relevance and Innovation

Presenters: Erin Kerr and Zoe McQuinn, Royal Ontario Museum

Today's museums face both overt and subtle challenges, as they attempt to navigate the myriad of demands they face. Predominantly, the core of these challenges centres around questions of relevance. Programs that create vibrant public experiences that are collections and community-reflective supply the key to museums attaining future success. This case study will discuss how the ROM thinks strategically, using curiosity, wish fulfilment and the exploration of new horizons to drive the creations of the visitor experience. Learn how innovation lies at the heart of the ROM’s creativity and success in engaging current and future audiences while invigorating the visitor experience and how you can implement their experience within your own institution.


B. “I Have an Old, Old…” Sustainable Approach to Artifact Collecting

Presenter: Kevin MacLean, Galt Museum and Archives

Museums face daily challenges in their obligation to care for ever growing collections. For some, it begs the question, “Why do museums devote so much energy to looking after stuff that is relatively the same in all Museums?” In the past decade-plus, the Galt Museum in Lethbridge, AB has shifted its collecting outlook from a focus on scale and proverbial “old stuff” to maximizing the unique value of objects and stories through direct, personal voice using recorded oral histories. The first part of this case study will share some of the Galt’s key findings: that specific object memory is powerful “stuff” and that objects’ connections and meanings are more fragile than the objects themselves. Part two of the discussion will focus on the methodology around soliciting, recording and sharing objects’ connections and meanings. What initial screening questions should be asked of donors to decide if an offer has value? How and when do you solicit and capture objects’ connections and meanings? How do you manage and share that contextual information after it is collected? And finally, how might this shift in institutional collecting patterns benefit your institution over the longer term?


C. Moving Heaven and Earth: Rehousing the ROM’s Canadian and European Furniture Collection

Presenters: Greg Kelley and Melissa Maltby, Royal Ontario Museum

How do you ensure safe transport and sound long-term storage when parts of your collections are on the move? This case study examines the creative systems and processes developed by conservation protocols to ensure the preservation of over 26,000 ROM artifacts during a large-scale two-year move. You'll hear about the innovative approach of designing a storage facility from the ground up by using 3D modelling software to pre-visualize the floor plans and furniture shelving layouts, to plot out pallet sizes for the furniture and boxed collections and to plan weekly truck loads. Finally, you will hear how valuable time and energy was saved by implementing this intensive system in advance of the move.


D. Repatriation 101 at the Royal British Columbia Museum

Presenters: Lucy Bell, Lou-ann Neel and Genevieve Hill, Royal British Columbia Museum

At the 2017 Repatriation Symposium, the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM) asked, “What’s next in repatriation in BC and at the RBCM?” The 200 symposium participants gave recommendations and with the support of the provincial government, the Museum responded to the four main directives: help communities locate their belongings and ancestral remains in museums; assist in the repatriation of ancestral remains and burial items; digitize and make audio-visual collections more accessible and repatriate cultural belongings. This case study discusses the new direction, from the forming of a First Nations Advisory Committee, creating a repatriation 101 handbook, providing a provincial repatriation grant, showing respect to the ancestors and indigenous belongings in our care, to changing policy and procedures to better support repatriation. Participants will receive a copy of the Repatriation 101 handbook.


11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Lunch with Exhibitors


1 – 2 p.m.

Keynote Address

Maayan Ziv Portrait

Maayan Ziv

Kindly supported by:


2 – 2:20 p.m.

Networking Break with Exhibitors


2:30 – 4 p.m.

Concurrent Educational Sessions


VIII. The Art of Engagement: How Museums Can Use Artist Residencies to Help Tell Their Stories

Moderator: Marie Chapman, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

Panelists: Sonya Poweska, City of Waterloo; Carrie-Ann Smith, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21; Kate Wolforth, The Rooms; Jovanna Scorsone, Aga Khan Museum; Devyani Saltz, Art Gallery of Ontario; Elena Soni, Artist

Panelists from a wide range of institutions will describe their unique artist-in-residence programs. Everything from exhibit specific residencies, to sharing local history with participatory public art projects will be explored. Panelists will discuss how an artist-in-residence program could compliment attendee's content and programming. The panel will be joined by artist Elena Soni who will describe the Aga Khan Museum residency project Finding Home and their new organization MAMC (Making Art Making Change). After the presentations, each panelist will lead a small group activity to help attendees generate ideas about how artists may be able to help tell their institution’s stories.


IX. When Bad Things Happen. What's Next?

Facilitator: Robert Laidler, CMA Member's Insurance Program

Presenters: Rose Proby and Henry Watts, Marsh and Aegis Syndicate, UK

Need help with filing insurance claims and understanding the 'ins and outs' of your insurance policy? This session will provide an overview and insight into the fine art insurance market and CMA's insurance program carrier. We will examine the roles of brokers, underwriters and the process of how your museum can make a claim...when bad things happen. 'Hot insurance topics' such as contractual liability as well as answers to some common coverage questions and an examination of recent claim examples will be shared with attendees.

Kindly supported by: CMA Member's Insurance Program


X. Talking Circle: What's Next for Indigenous Cultural Centres

Moderator: Sarah Pashagumskum, Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute

Presenters: Harold Bosum, Rob Imrie and Jessica Maclean, Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Centre

Building on the discussion generated from the 2018 Talking Circle, presenters will address specific questions raised in Vancouver. The Centre's exhibition and general museological processes, as they are re-visioned from the colonial foundations to a focus on Indigenous world views and techniques from experiences as the regional museum, library and archive of Eeyou Istchee, will be presented. Our discussion will include examples that illustrate:

  • How we collaborate with non-Indigenous organizations;
  • How we collaborate with Eeyou organizations and entities;
  • How we collaborate with our Indigenous neighbours;
  • How our exhibition program demonstrates Eeyou resilience and Eeyou world views;
  • How our educational programming incorporates Eeyou cultural traditions and techniques;
  • How we adapt standard museological practices to work in our remote region;
  • How our regional centre supports the needs of our communities;
  • How we are adapting classification systems to reflect Eeyou world views.

Participants will leave with concrete ideas of how to successfully collaborate with Indigenous Cultural Centres and how your institution can work with Aanischaaukamikw.


XI. Back to the Museum Future: Tomorrow's Diverse Leadership Today

Moderator: Wendy Ng, Royal Ontario Museum

Panelists: J'net Ayayqwayaksheelth, Royal Ontario Museum; Audrey Hudson, Art Gallery of Ontario; Gracia Dyer Jalea, Toronto Ward Museum

While the call for greater diversity and inclusion in museums has been sounded for some time, the demographics of museum workers do not necessarily reflect the diversity of many of our communities. Fundamentally, diversity without equity can be viewed as tokenism. Equity may in some instances require the intentional dismantling of systemic barriers to inclusion. A greater critical analysis of how museums perpetuate systems of oppression and a real commitment to enact structural change is needed. As change-makers in the field, this panel of museum professionals who self-identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Colour (BIPOC) will share what they have done at their respective institutions to make space for BIPOC museum professionals. This panel will challenge the field to think critically about the structural change that is needed to cultivate BIPOC museum professionals of the future and to build the skills, knowledge and abilities of white, cisgender and able-bodied museum professionals to work in ally-ship to affect positive institutional change.


XII. Exhibition Interpretation: Beyond the Museum

Moderator: Lisa Wright, Lord Cultural Resources

Panelists: Kellie McIvor, Halifax Regional Municipality; Gerald Dieleman, Assiniboine Park Conservancy; David O'Hara, Fort York National Historic Site

Exhibitions can play an important role in broadening and deepening understanding and relationships within our communities. Exhibitions do not only need to happen within museum buildings. In fact, exhibits may be even more effective when encountered in the community itself. Interpreting culture, history, art or science in a non-museum space has it challenges but also provides great opportunities. In this panel discussion, representatives from three non-traditional museums — public gardens, historic sites and monuments —  will speak about their experience developing and interpreting exhibitions that aim to promote and strengthen community. What have these spaces learned from museum practice? What museum practices can you learn from the unique challenges of interpreting different cultural spaces? Participants will leave with a more comprehensive understanding of how their institutions can provide exhibition interpretation beyond their four walls.


4:15 – 5:30 p.m.

CMA Business Meeting


6 – 7 p.m.

ICOM Annual General Meeting

Open to ICOM members only!


Optional Evening Event

Pre-registration is required for all evening events. Tickets will not be sold onsite.


6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Royal Ontario Museum


Founded in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum showcases art, culture and nature from around the world and across the ages. Among the top 10 cultural institutions in North America, the ROM is home to a world-class collection of 13 million artworks, cultural objects and natural history specimens, featured in 40 gallery and exhibition spaces. Delegates will have the opportunity to see two extraordinary exhibitions: Zuul: Life of an Armoured Dinosaur and Treasures of a Desert Kingdom: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India.

Fee: $95. This is included in your all-inclusive registration fee! Open to delegates and guests. Includes transportation and special programming.