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► Keynote Speakers

Preliminary Program

► Tuesday, April 14

► Wednesday, April 15

► Friday, April 17

PDFs for Download

► CMA 2020 Exhibitor and Sponsorship Information

► CMA 2020 Exhibitors List and Expo Floor Plan


Thursday, April 16


7 am – 5 pm



7 – 8:45 am

Breakfast with Exhibitors


8:45 – 10 am

Conference Welcome and Opening Address


10:15 – 11:30 am

Breakout Sessions I


Session 1

Pecha-Kucha — the Montreal Museum Boom

Moderator: Geneviève Angio-Morneau, GSM Project
Presenters: Sonya Charest, Montreal Insectarium; Marie-Blanche Fourcade, Montreal Holocaust Museum;
Annabelle Laliberté, MEM /Centre d’histoire de Montréal; Louise Pothier, Pointe à Callière, Musée d’histoire et d’archéologie; Suzanne Sauvage, McCord Museum; John Zepetelli, Musée Art Contemporain

In Pecha-Kucha (Japanese: へ゜ちゃくちゃ) presentations, 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each. The architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham first developed this format in 2003 in Tokyo, to keep presentations concise and fast-paced. Montreal is in cultural renaissance! Many of its museums have renovation plans, from expansions, to renovations, to moving, to new builds. Join seven Montreal museum directors as they share their respective vision behind their individual projects. Attendees will have the opportunity to collectively ask questions of presenters.

Session 2

The Future is GLAM

Moderators: Megan Lafrenière and Madeleine Trudeau, Library and Archives Canada

Presenters: Claire Champ, Canadian Museum of History; Nicole Dawkins, Toronto Public Library

In 2016, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), in partnership with the Canadian Museums Association (CMA), presented the first in a series of summits on galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs). That summit’s Ottawa Declaration, which was universally adopted, encourages GLAMs to find new ways of working together in order to increase accessibility, visibility, engagement and impact. LAC has worked actively to develop non-traditional relationships with GLAMs, often within different sectors. This session seeks to inspire attendees by exploring three innovative LAC collaborations. In the true spirit of GLAMs, each project will be co-presented. Presenters have been selected to represent the different roles and perspectives of a variety of cultural heritage professionals: curators, project managers and interpretive planners. Join us to learn why these rewarding relationships are the way of the future… in spite of the risks and challenges of truly going GLAM.

Session 3

Making it Work: Digital Possibilities and Practicalities

Moderator: Shyam Oberoi, Royal Ontario Museum

Presenters: Meaghan Eley, Thunder Bay Art Gallery; Mark McKay, Art Gallery of Ontario; Fynn Leitch, Art Gallery of Peterborough

What kind of digital strategies are effective for visitor engagement? How can digital help museums embody their mission statements and achieve their goals? In 2018, the Art Gallery of Ontario received a Digital Strategy Fund grant to answer these questions and share its Content Management System with the museum community to make it easier to create and scale innovative museum experiences. The AGO, together with partners from the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Peterborough, will share learnings from their research, exploring how digital strategies can be used to foster meaning-making, as well as how we can make these tools more accessible. After a short panel discussion, the session will breakout into groups to dive deeper and explore the relevancy of these findings for participants’ institutions. Participants will leave feeling empowered by the possibilities of using digital as a key tool in their work.

Session 4

Case Studies – Part I

1. Engagement: From Institutional Values to Visitor Experience Dimensions

Presenter: Pascale Grignon, McCord Stewart Museum

Maximizing employees’ engagement and transforming the visitor’s experience are both the results of a 3-year journey started in 2016 by the McCord Stewart Museum. Clarifying our institutional values with the employees (openness, engagement, etc.), reviewing our working processes to reflect those values and implementing a multidisciplinary Visitor Experience Committee were key in this revolution. Every step of the visitors’ journey is now being reviewed in the light of brand-new Visitor Experience Dimensions, among which are Hospitality, Well-Being and importantly, Social Engagement, all transforming the experience of our visitors and contributing to their personal growth.

2. ARCHÉOLAB.QUÉBEC: Connecting Scientific Research and Resurgence for the Sustainability of Archaeological Heritage

Presenter: Marie-Michelle Dionne, ARCHÉOLAB.QUÉBEC

The ARCHÉOLAB.QUÉBEC project was developed by Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, with the support of the Plan culturel numérique du Québec (Digital Cultural Plan) of the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications). Since 2017, more than 2,500 artifacts have been digitized, documented and posted online, making the platform ( the main hub for resources related to Quebec archeology. Provincial collections and those of partner institutions have been brought together for the first time and made accessible to both researchers and the general public. There are also other useful resources for the heritage and education communities, including interviews with researchers, a bibliography, articles, informative videos and educational tools. In addition, an interactive timeline enables the collection to be viewed in its chronological, cultural and historical contexts. The ARCHÉOLAB.QUÉBEC project is part of the shift in archaeological practice towards a community-based, sustainable archaeology and makes the knowledge it holds and its construction accessible to audiences from here and abroad. Continually evolving, ARCHÉOLAB.QUÉBEC fosters research, as well as the sound management and enhancement of Quebec’s archaeological heritage. This Case Study explores the issues, challenges and successes involved in such a project.

3. The Virtual Museum of Canada: NEW and Improved!

Presenter: Megan Richardson, Virtual Museum of Canada, Canadian Museum of History

The Virtual Museum of Canada is a major investment program, managed by the Canadian Museum of History, that helps build digital capacity within Canadian museums and heritage organizations, giving Canadians unique access to diverse stories. The Virtual Museum of Canada has been undergoing an exciting renewal.... and it’s not over yet! The renewal refining the core identity, identifying key stakeholders, rationalizing levels of investment, streamlining the workflow, updating processes and tools, creating a new brand and developing a new website — all with the input of the Canadian museum community and the goal of serving them better. This Case Study will offer an overview of the renewal and a sneak peek at some of the main features to be rolled out in 2020. Come learn about the new and improved program and how museums can use it to create dynamic digital user experiences, share their collections and stories widely and improve their digital skills — among other benefits. Then think about an online product and consider submitting a proposal in the spring.

Session 5

Footprints for Our Future: Stepping Beyond the Gallery Walls

Moderator: Ingrid Birker, Redpath Museum

Presenters: Shelley Charles, Community Elder, Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation; Richard MacPherson, York Region District School Board; Anna Stanisz, McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Footprints for Our Future is a cross curricular, intergenerational and multidisciplinary programming package developed and implemented with the York Region District School Board. This school program initiative targeting Grade 7 students, combines land-based learning, experiential learning and art activities created in collaboration with Indigenous artists and traditional teachers such as Phil Cote and Christi Belcourt. Rooted in the McMichael’s Indigenous plant restoration strategy, this innovative educational venture has been nurtured for the last several years by a close collaboration with Elder Shelley Charles, Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, who has strongly encouraged the participation of the Indigenous artists in this project along with the integration of the Indigenous worldview within the program. Panelists will address the various challenges and great successes faced by this inclusive, multi-faceted partnership that expands the gallery experience beyond its traditional walls and art holdings. Learn how your institution could develop and implement a similar initiative.

Session 6

RE-ORG Phase 2: Collaboration and Innovations

Moderator: Irene Karsten, Canadian Conservation Institute

Panelists: Brigitte Campeau and Mylène Laurendeau, Les Sœurs de la Charité de Montréal «Sœurs Grises»; Simon Lambert, Canadian Conservation Institute; Anita Price, Association of Nova Scotia Museums; Mike Steinhauer, Department of Canadian Heritage

Join panelists as they outline the next phase of the successful RE-ORG Canada project — a storage reorganization training initiative organized by the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) in collaboration with the Museums Assistance Program (MAP). Concluded in 2019, the successes and lessons learned during Phase 1 of the five-year initiative will be shared with attendees. The panel will then focus on the collaborative and innovative structure of Phase 2 as it pertains to the funding model and the delivery of the program through the provincial and territorial museums associations and regional host institutions. Come to learn how you and your institution can participate and benefit from RE-ORG Phase 2!


11:30 am – 12:45 pm

Lunch with Exhibitors


1:00 – 2:00 pm

Keynote Address

What is a Museum?

Nathalie Bondil
Director and Chief Curator, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Museums are a tool of cultural diplomacy. Their relevance today rests not only in their collections but also in their capacity to inspire reflection based on the objects they shelter, opening the door to diverse interpretations. It’s our belief that aesthetics can play an immense role in fostering understanding and reconciliation. We are convinced that emotional intelligence is as important as artificial intelligence, as it provides a space for inclusion and togetherness within a community. When stereotypes, rumours and manipulation are spread with a simple click, contributing to a harmonious society becomes part of our mission as well. And how can a museum be a vector of social progress as recommended by the OECD? How can it retain the essential aspects of its traditional missions with regard to its collections? How can we imagine a global citizenship that is equal to the challenge of current issues such as sustainable development, togetherness, and the protection of diversity? How can we exhibit our networks of artefacts with an open and dynamic identity? How do we avoid ideological and systemic constraints? What is our ideal vision of a universal polis in Canada? Can a museum be the venue where one world-view encounters another world-view? Please join us for this thought-provoking Keynote on the Vision of 2020.

Kindly supported by: the CRM program in the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Victoria. The MMFA  has generously directed these funds to supporting bursaries for museum studies students to attend the CMA 2020.

2:00 – 2:20 pm

Networking Break with Exhibitors


2:30 – 4:00 pm

Breakout Sessions II


Session 7

How Did Museums Celebrate the Sesquicentennial of Canadian Confederation? Latest Results from the 2019 Government of Canada Survey of Heritage Institutions

Presenter: Ken Amaral, Department of Canadian Heritage

In 2019, the Department of Canadian Heritage conducted its fourth iteration of the Government of Canada Survey of Heritage Institutions. The survey captured financial and operating activities of museums for the 2017 data year, which coincided with the sesquicentennial of Canadian Confederation. Ken’s presentation will provide highlights from the survey results, while focusing on the particular outcomes of increased public funding during this period.

Session 8

Sustainable Volunteer Communities for Museums

Moderator: Margaret Chrumka, Kamloops Art Gallery

Presenters: Kate Butler, Haliburton Highlands Museum; Gary Dyck, Mennonite Heritage Village

This session will highlight two very different approaches to volunteer programs in museums, united by a focus on sustainability and the well-being of staff and volunteers. The Mennonite Heritage Village draws its strength from a volunteer program which values work, play and contemplation. They have seen great success with numerous volunteers serving over 20 years using an approach similar to energetic monasteries that have served their communities for centuries. The Haliburton Highlands Museum, meanwhile, has moved away from a conventional volunteer base to focus on partnerships. This approach has greatly reduced the demands and stress on staff time and resources, ensuring that the museum can focus on a greater range of programs. At their core, both of these approaches hinge on the concept of a community museum in its truest sense — a place for hearts and minds to be grounded and renewed, where everyone can belong. Come learn which approach best suits your institution.

Session 9

Speaking Truth to Post-Truth: How American Museums are Tackling Today

Moderator: Jeremy Taylor, Content Director, GSM Project

Panelists: Brayden Paynter, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience; Ashley Rogers, Whitney Plantation

In an era too easily defined by climate crisis complacency, the rise of neo-fascism, a culture of mass shootings, the suspension of human rights, and a frightening increase of support for leaders who embolden xenophobia, misogyny, and racism, what happens to museums? As holders of knowledge and as places of debate and discussion, where do we fit, and what are our responsibilities?

Our neighbours to the south (and northwest!) find themselves deeper in these trenches than perhaps anyone else on the planet. Why are these things happening in America, and how are museums making a difference? Why are these things happening in Canada, and what can we learn from our American counterparts? Join three leaders from America’s museums who are working tirelessly to push the conversation forward across the USA as we explore the role of museums in an increasingly fragmented world, and as we ask ourselves: how can we be better?

Session 10

Case Studies – Part II

4. Television Stars and Celebrity Chefs: Developing Strategic Exhibition Programming for Targeted Audience

Presenter: Erin Kerr, Royal Ontario Museum

Museums in the 21st Century exist in a social framework that demands competition for visitors with a myriad of entertainment options. With the increased demand to attract new audiences, formalized museum programming can and does play an integral role in supporting museum initiatives through non-traditional interactions. This case study will leverage learnings from the ROM Speaks programming series to look specifically at how presenters from diverse industries play a key role in exploring exhibition content in a way that drives engagement beyond the regular museum visitor, encouraging museums to challenge traditional models by looking for speakers and presenters beyond an academic sphere when developing innovative programming.

5. Ci Dëne (I am …) ~ A Celebration of Northern Indigenous Heritage

Presenter: Rachel Dell, Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre

A collaborative initiative between the Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre (NLMCC) and the B.Ed. program at Aurora College, Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, mentored fifteen Indigenous and Métis students through the process of researching their intergenerational family and community stories. This research, spanning a dozen communities across the territory, will form the basis of a travelling exhibition and companion book which will launch at the NLMCC in the fall of 2019. The exhibit will travel throughout the Northwest Territories in early 2020. Indigenous voices shape and define the exhibit, stories and research encompassed by this project. As museums across our country struggle to become more inclusive places that can truly reflect and celebrate Indigenous culture and heritage, the NLMCC is proud of this innovative project — one of our steps towards reconciliation. This project, with its territorial scope, is a first for us and a lesson in best practices for smaller museums.

6. Get Your Tartan On: A Social Media Experiment

Presenters: Cynthia Cooper and Sabrina Lorier, McCord Museum

In 2019, a curator and digital content specialist brought their two distinct skill sets to a project they devised to create nation-wide exposure and position the McCord Museum as an organization that promotes inclusivity. They collaborated to produce a two-minute video for social media, featuring Museum employees and outside influencers sporting maple leaf tartan garments and accessories. The idea grew from the museum’s proactive stance on creating innovative content inspired by collections and an opportunity recognized in the obscurity of both Canada’s official tartan and Tartan Day. A campaign was launched on Facebook and Instagram while a media campaign targeted television and print. Results largely surpassed expectations. This case study will feature the video and the communications plan, discussing their development, the resulting reach and key learnings, as well as how the project has inspired other avenues for visitor engagement around the topic of plural identities.

7. Beyond the Field Trip: Rethinking Education Programs in Museums

Presenters: Meredith Leonard, Halton Heritage Services

While school field trips have long been a reliable source of audience and revenue for museums, rising transportation costs are posing challenges. In response, Halton Heritage Services reimagined the traditional field trip experience and developed Partners in Time, an in-school program which invites students to curate exhibitions and transform their hallways into museum galleries. Experiential, authentic and hands-on, the program can be scaled and adapted for a variety of audiences.

During this case study, attendees will review the Partners in Time program method and:

  • Examine and discuss current trends in education affecting the viability of traditional museum education programs;
  • Explore strategies for co-developing education programs alongside schools and partner organizations;
  • Reimagine the future of museum education and community engagement with a focus on scalable, sustainable and economical solutions.

Session 11

Challenging the Status Quo: New Approaches for Sustainable and Effective Packing and Shipping

Moderator: Simon Lambert, Canadian Conservation Institute

Panelists: Doris Couture-Rigert, National Gallery of Canada; David Lavoie, PACART; Paul Marcon, Canadian Conservation Institute

This panel will look at art shipment and the challenges presented by the status quo, which include ever-increasing packaging and transport costs and a growing interest in undertaking these activities in sustainable ways. What is the rationale for and benefits of current packaging and crating guidelines and activities and how effectively do they manage transport risk? How does the current focus on planning and preparation compare to the evidence-based experience of professionals involved in all phases of museum shipments? An overview of the latest packaging information including cushion design tools, crating approaches and sustainable practice for packaging and shipping artwork, including some new alternatives to foam cushioning, will be discussed. The panel will seek insight from stakeholders in the transportation process and will explore new packaging approaches that make artwork easier to pack and move safely at a potentially lower cost.

Session 12

Reconciliation and the Nation

Moderators: TBC

Presenters: TBC

The Canadian Museums Association (CMA)’s Reconciliation Program is part of the cultural shift in rethinking how museums engage with Indigenous heritage. Called upon by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to undertake a national scan of museum policies and approaches to historical memorialization and the protection of Indigenous traditional knowledge and cultural rights, this panel will provide insight on the CMA’s work to date and allow attendees with an opportunity to provide feedback into this national endeavour.


4:15 – 5:30 pm

CMA Business Meeting

Open to members only.


5:30 – 7:00 pm

CMA EXPO 2020 Reception

Join your colleagues and valued exhibitors as you discover the latest products and services that will help you work more efficiently and effectively! Once again, CMA will be providing a conference app to ensure participants are up-to-date on all the news on the conference, able to contact their fellow delegates and exhibitors and to provide an opportunity to win fabulous prizes provided by the exhibitors. Details will be provided to delegates prior to conference.

Fee: FREE! This is included in your basic and all-inclusive registration fee! Additional tickets may be purchased for guests at a cost of $40. Includes light refreshments and one glass of wine followed by a cash bar.

Kindly supported by:


6:30 – 9:30 pm

Evening Event

Arts of One World at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ (MMFA) Arts of One World collection, the second largest of its kind in Canada, comprises over 10,000 artworks and archaeological artifacts from the Museum’s encyclopedic collection, including treasures from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Oceania and the Mediterranean. At the heart of this humanist, socially engaged museum and one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, the MMFA’s new Arts of One World, the new Stephan Crétier and Stéphany Maillery Wing, showcases over 4,000 artworks, reinforcing the trans-historical and intercultural discourse between different cultures of our past and our times. It opens the way to addressing disciplines and social issues beyond the discourse of art history, promoting dialogue and the understanding of one another. Tonight, let us bring you around the world with a special evening celebrating culturalism through art and special performances! Guests will also have special access to the exhibition Paris 1900 and Post-impressionism: Signac and the Indépendants. Discover a magnificent body of paintings and graphic works by Signac and the avant-garde: Impressionists, Fauves, Symbolists, Nabis, Neo-Impressionists and observers of life in Paris — an exceptional private collection exhibited in its entirety for the first time.

Fee: $95. This event is included in your all-inclusive registration fee! Open to delegates and guests. Fee includes gallery access, special programming, buffet dinner and one complimentary glass of wine followed by a cash bar.