Monday, March 21, 2016

Explore Nova Scotia with CMA 2016 National Conference Study Tours

In less than one month, museum and gallery professionals are gathering at the Canadian Museums Association's National Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The five-day conference from April 11-15, 2016 will allow national and international delegates to work together to improve museum policy, practice, and sustainability.

From April 12-14, attendees will be able to take part in workshops and educational sessions and can enjoy several keynote addresses and an awards ceremony. The first and last day of the conference, delegates are invited to participate in a day trip along the maritime coast to visit the town of Lunenburg and Peggy's Cove Lighthouse.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Photo: areyougonnaeatthat@flickr
For those who want to see as much of Nova Scotia as possible, there are two additional options: 

 Two-day pre-conference tour of the Annapolis Valley and Southern Coast

Three-day post-conference tour of Cape Breton

All three study tours come at an additional cost that includes travel, guided site tours, and some meals.

The study tours allow attendees to see the example set by local Nova Scotian institutions, and may provide inspiration for working solutions that can be applied at home.

Micaela Krawczuk, CMA/ Muse Magazine Intern
School of Journalism and Communications
Carleton University 

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

An Inside Look at the CMA 2016 National Conference

The Canadian Museums Association’s National Conference is coming up this April 11-15 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. With study tours, workshops, keynote speakers and fun events scheduled over the course of this five-day conference, there’s a lot for attendees to look forward to.

Peggy’s Cove and Lighthouse: A Unique Legend.

Nova Scotia is a particularly scenic Canadian location with a rich history.  Conference attendees should look forward to a unique Maritime experience, with the ability to explore their surroundings and learn more about East-Coast culture. The full day Study Tour on day five of the conference (at an additional cost), fittingly named “Iconic Nova Scotia: A Maritime Coastal Experience,” will allow participants to explore the historically significant locations Nova Scotia has to offer.

Photo: @rizvii - Peggy's Cove
A particularly interesting point of this tour will be a stop at Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse. While this lighthouse and the cove it resides on are quite famous, not many know the legend that accompanies this quaint fishing village. As the story goes, according to Peggy’s Cove Costal Region website, a schooner wrecked on “Halibut Rock” off the lighthouse point in a “Southeaster” during one treacherous storm. The only rumored survivor of this shipwreck was a woman (or in some versions of the tale, a young girl) named Margaret, nicknamed Peggy of the Cove, who went on to marry one of the eligible bachelors of the Cove. People from places nearby would come to visit Peggy, which led to the location eventually being nicknamed “Peggy’s Cove.” William deGarthe writes in his book, “This is Peggy’s Cove,” that this story is “generally more accepted, because of its romantic and dramatic appeal to most people.”

The second version of the story is much more simplistic, stating that as Peggy’s Cove is near the entrance of Margaret’s Bay, the Cove was short formed over time from Margaret’s Cove to Peggy’s Cove. Though no documentation confirms the legends of the shipwreck, locals like Ivan Fraser owner of a Peggy of the Cove museum created from his childhood home, celebrate the tale of Peggy through artwork, storytelling and more. Fraser’s childhood home that doubles as a museum is completely covered by a painted mural depicting Peggy’s Cove, lighthouse and all.

The story behind Peggy’s Cove and its lighthouse is just one piece of history Nova Scotia has to offer and only one of the stops on the list of significant places available to explore during the Canadian Museum Association’s National Conference.

Wade Davis: World Explorer & Keynote Speaker.

The places you’ll visit in Nova Scotia will be well worth the trip to this year’s conference, as will the people you’ll hear from. The Canadian Museum’s Association has a strong list of keynote speakers, who will no doubt inspire. One of many interesting speakers at this year’s conference is explorer Wade Davis.
But explorer isn’t his only descriptor; Davis has been labeled a scientist, scholar, poet, anthropologist, ethnobotanist, writer, photographer, filmmaker and one of the National Geographic Society’s (NGS) Explorers for the Millennium. The NGS defines exploration as more than the idea of finding new places. Explorers like Davis need to be creative and according to National Geographic Adventure, “need to redefine the nature of exploration itself, casting it, for instance, not as a straightforward search for unknown landscape, but as an emergency investigation of the disappearing species and cultures that live upon it.” Davis has done just that, exploring the Amazon, the Andes, East Africa and numerous other places, where he’s explored local tribes and learnt about different cultures across the globe.

From 2000-2013, Davis was an Explorer-in-Residence with National Geographic. This program offered Davis the support to develop programs and carry out fieldwork in his areas of study.
Wade Davis
One of his most notable feats includes a three-year stay in the Amazon and the Andes through the Harvard Botanical Museum, where he lived among fifteen indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations. During this time, he also made 6000 botanical collections. He has won numerous awards, written fifteen books and a number of articles on his exploration experience.

Davis’ research has been the topic of over 900 media reports and interviews in Europe, the Far East and both North and South America. He has been featured in a number of lectures including a TED Talk and his research has also inspired documentary features. One particularly interesting fact about Davis is that his research has also inspired three episodes of The X-Files, a popular television series. Davis is sure to spark the interest of all conference attendees with his lifetime experience in exploration and learning.

Workshops: Why Things Like Social Media Are Important For Museums To Learn About.

In between the sightseeing and inspirational talks, the National Conference offers a wide variety of workshops. On day two of the conference, the “Inspiring Museum Social Media Solutions” workshop will be presented by Victoria Castle, Online Marketing Officer from the Nova Scotia Museum and moderated by Ryan Dodge, Digital Engagement Coordinator from the Royal Ontario Museum. The workshop will start with the basics of social media followed by how to take a museum’s online presence to the next level and use social media as an effective tool.

Think about #MuseumWeek. This campaign, the first worldwide cultural event taking place solely on Twitter, created global museum buzz. The campaign motto reads “7 days, 7 themes, 7 hashtags.” The sharing of photos showing museum secrets, architecture, inspiration, souvenirs and more engaged the general public and made Canadian museums a bigger part of the media buzz during the event. In March 2015, #MuseumWeek had 2825 participants in 77 countries. Over 130 Canadian museums participated in this Twitter event.

This year, the events motto is the same, but of course the hashtags are different. At the end of March, the #MuseumWeek themes will focus on museum secrets, honouring the people who have helped make your museum, telling the story of your building, the heritage of your museum’s content, sharing your museum’s innovative projects, zooming in to show insight on your collection and finally sharing what you love about the museum. All of this can be shown through photos shared on Twitter.

As online campaigns like this become increasingly important, the ability for museums to engage with the public through social media becomes necessary. The “Inspiring Museum Social Media Solutions” workshop during the National Conference will enhance participants knowledge on the value of social media use, the creation of content, the analytics of social media use and the process of launching social media campaigns, so your museum can be active and engaged online all year, not just during campaigns like #MuseumWeek.
This is an inside look at just a few of the fantastic events 2016’s National Conference has to offer. Whether it’s the excursions, speakers or workshops, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this year’s National Conference and much to learn. Share your thoughts on the Conference with us on Twitter by using #CMAMC2016.


Molly Kett, CMA Intern
School of Journalism and Communication
Carleton University

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Let’s Welcome the Refugees with Open Arms

Le français suit.
Canada is moving fast to welcome 25,000 refugees, mostly from Syria, in the next few weeks. This is an ambitious target for Canada, more so after the tragic events of last week in Paris and Beirut. The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) welcomes this humanitarian action and we call upon all members to embrace these people with open arms.

They will be arriving in cities and town all across the country. Each province has its own quota, for example, Saskatchewan’s is 2,500, Ontario and Quebec are expecting 8,000 each, and Prince Edward Island’s is 100 individuals. They will be arriving in the midst of our cold winter, in a very different culture, and many will not be able to speak either French or English. The challenges these souls face are incredible, but as you know hundreds of thousands have risked their lives with the hope for a better future.

Social service agencies are springing into action all across Canada. Museums can and should join in these efforts to welcome these refugees. There are many reports from Europe that new refugees feel isolated in the shelters that are provided and isolated from contact with the people of their new homeland. While they may have shelter, meals and heat, there are long hours of uncertainty, worry and boredom. There are missed opportunities to adjust to their new homeland, to explore it and to meet other people.

We feel museums have a role to play, to help welcome them to their new homeland, help them learn more about our history and culture, but also as community centres for learning and adjustment. Language may be a barrier initially, but a warm smile does not need translation and speaks volumes.

Each one of us should consider what role we can play. Small steps of kindness will help make their adjustment to the new homeland much more inviting.
Let us all consider what role we can play.

John G. McAvity
Executive Director
Canadian Museums Association


Réfugiés : accueillons-les à bras ouverts

Le Canada bouge vite afin d’accueillir dans les prochaines semaines, 25 000 réfugiés venant pour la plupart de la Syrie. C’est un objectif ambitieux, surtout suite aux événements tragiques de la semaine dernière à Paris et Beyrouth. L’Association des musées canadiens (AMC) se félicite de cette initiative humanitaire et nous encourageons nos membres à accueillir ces gens à bras ouverts.

Les refugiés arriveront dans les villes et villages à travers le pays. Chaque province dispose de son propre quota. Par exemple, Saskatchewan accueillera 2 500 réfugiés, l’Ontario et le Québec s’attendent à recevoir 8 000 réfugiés chacune, et l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard accueillera 100 individus. Ils arriveront en plein cœur de notre rude hiver, au sein d’une culture qui leur est étrangère, et beaucoup d’entre eux ne parleront ni le français ni l’anglais. Les difficultés auxquelles sont confrontées ces âmes sont incroyables mais, comme vous le savez, ils sont des centaines de milliers à risquer leurs vies dans l’espoir d’une vie meilleure.

Les agences de services sociaux passent déjà à l’action partout au Canada. Les musées peuvent et devraient participer aux efforts d’accueil des réfugiés. De nombreux témoignages nous proviennent de l’Europe indiquant que les nouveaux réfugiés se sentent isolés dans les hébergements mis à leur disposition et isolés du contact avec la population de leur nouvelle patrie. Les réfugiés disposent de logements et de repas chauds certes, mais ils endurent aussi de longues heures d’incertitude, d’inquiétude et d’ennui. Ils ratent des occasions de s’adapter à leur nouvelle patrie, de la découvrir et de rencontrer d’autres personnes.

Nous estimons que les musées ont un rôle à jouer pour l’accueil des réfugiés dans leur nouvelle patrie, en les aidant à connaitre notre histoire et culture, mais aussi en étant des centres communautaires pour l’apprentissage et l’adaptation. La langue pourrait être une barrière au début, mais un sourire chaleureux est assez éloquent, et en dit long sur nos intentions.

Chacun d’entre nous devrait envisager de jouer un rôle. Des petits gestes de gentillesse contribueront à rendre l’intégration des réfugiés à leur nouvelle patrie encore plus attrayante.

Songeons tous à contribuer notre part.

John G. McAvity
Directeur général
Association des musées canadiens

Friday, October 23, 2015

Museums Display their Halloween Spirit with Exciting Events

It’s almost time for princesses, ghosts and goblins to take over the streets for trick-or-treating. Leading up to Halloween weekend, museums around Ottawa are offering Halloween inspired activities—haunted tours, family pumpkin carving, adult-only parties, magic shows and more.

Check out these fun and spooky Halloween events at museums around the Ottawa area!

Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure is Ottawa’s living version of the Walking Dead. Haunted Walks will take you on an interactive tour around the Cold War bunker. Zombies and surprises await you! Tours are offered on October 24, 25, 31 and November 1. Suggested for ages 12 and up. Click here for details.

Watson’s Mill
Take a dark and spooky tour through Watson’s “haunted” 1860’s flour mill. Recommended for children 10 and older. The Haunted Mill will take place at night from October 22-24. On Halloween, Watson’s Mill in Manotick is also holding a children’s Halloween party. Find the details here.

Nepean Museum
A Pumpkin Party is occurring at the Nepean Museum. On Sunday October 25, families are invited to come carve pumpkins and make Halloween costumes. There will be professional face-painters, ready to transform guests into beautiful butterflies, ghastly ghosts and everything in between. Even better, this family event is free! Details here.

Cumberland Heritage Village Museum
Halloween Hijinks is a daytime event being held on Sunday October 25. Children are encouraged to wear their costumes and come trick-or-treating in the safe museum environment. They will go from one heritage building to the next, and costumed characters will give out period-appropriate treats. Click here for additional information.

Pinhey’s Point Historic Site
Halloween at Horaceville is taking place Sunday October 25 in the day. Families can come and carve pumpkins, snack on Halloween candy, and enjoy some scary stories. Pinhey’s Point is a historic site with 88 acres to explore. Click here for details about Halloween at Horaceville.

Canadian Aviation and Space Museum
Halloween magic tricks and treats will be happening on Sunday October 25 at the museum. Guests are invited to wear their costumes to watch Illusionist Chris Pilsworth’s Halloween magic show. More information here.

Goulbourn Museum
The museum is welcoming children ages 6-11 on Sunday October 25 for Mansion Mayhem. They will spend the afternoon creating (and possibly eating) their own edible haunted houses, playing games and of course wearing their Halloween costumes. Click here for details.

Billings Estate National Historic Site
Séance and Halloween Party at the historic estate of the Billings family! On Sunday October 25 in the evening, a séance will take place with a psychic medium. The séance is an 18+ event, and there will also be Halloween treats and hot cider served. On October 31, a family friendly Halloween Party is planned. Children will be able to trick-or-treat at child-sized haunted houses. More details here.

Canadian Museum of Nature
Nature Nocturne, themed Giant Bug Invasion this month, is being held on October 30. One night before Halloween, guests are invited to dress in bug-inspired costumes for this 19+ adult-only event. Explore the museum galleries and enjoy music, dancing, food and drinks. Click here for additional information.
The Spencerville Mill
A Halloween masquerade ball will be held at the Spencerville Mill on October 30. Spend a night out at this is an adult-only event. Come dressed up because there will be prizes for the best costumes! More details here.

The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum
A haunted walk and movie screening will be taking place in Almonte. At night on October 30 , scary stories will be told during the tour which begins at Almonte Old Town Hall and ends at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. The movie “The Ghosts of Mississippi Mills” will be played in the museum. Further information can be found here.

Upper Canada Village
Pumpkinferno displays over 6,000 intricately carved artificial pumpkins. The walking tour around the 1860’s themed living village takes around 40 minutes. A new Fish of the St. Lawrence exhibit was added this year. Pumpkinferno, a family friendly event, is open Thursday-Sunday evenings until November 1. Click here for more information.

Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum
A Barnyard Hallowe’en is taking place during the daytime on October 31 and November 1. This museum celebrates Canada’s agriculture heritage and invites families to wear costumes, create “green goblin” smoothies, participate in decorating pumpkins, Halloween activities, scavenger hunts, wagon rides, and more. Click here for details.

Canadian Museum of History
During October, children ages 5 and up can make Halloween crafts at the Canadian Museum of History. Little ones are also encouraged to find all of the bats hiding in the children’s section of the museum to win a Halloween prize. Craft details here and Bat Hunt details here.

Osgoode Township Museum
On Halloween, children can stop by the museum to get crafty by creating creepy creatures, participating in a Halloween maze, and visiting in the evening for trick-or-treating. Check out the details here.

Old Carleton County Jail
This former prison now functions as a youth hostel, the Ottawa Jail Hostel. Haunted Walks offers a Ghosts and the Gallows tour of the old jail throughout the year, including some tours on Halloween night. The jail opened in 1862, and Canada’s last execution took place there. Where else is more haunted on Halloween? Click here for further information.

Victoria Klassen, intern at the CMA, is a fourth-year Carleton University journalism and English student.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Demystifying the Budget section of the Young Canada Works – Summer Jobs application | Déchiffrer la section Budget de la demande Jeunesse Canada au Travail – Emplois d’été

Le français suit.

The new YCW season is in full swing, and the CMA is pleased to renew its delivery of the YCW program in partnership with the department of Canadian Heritage.

For employers who wish to submit an application to the YCW Summer Jobs program with the CMA, the Budget section in the application can raise questions. We’ve come up with this article in hopes of answering  some of these questions. Please note that other delivery organisations may have different requirements; as such, the advice provided in this article pertains to applications submitted to the CMA.

Some fields in the application are calculated automatically based on a five-day work week. If you offer an irregular work week, please contact your Program Officer and we will help you ensure there are no mistakes in your budget.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Museums play a vital role in nation’s response following events in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa | Les musées jouent un rôle primordial dans la réaction de la nation suite aux événements à St-Jean-sur-Richelieu et Ottawa

Le français suit.

Following the tragic attacks in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa, the nation has shown a strong resolve and united front. We are still mourning but activities in the nation’s capital are returning to their normal pace. Parliament has reopened its doors to the general public and municipal elections were held as planned. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Q&A with Two Interns from the RBC Museum Internship for Emerging Professionals Program | Questions et Réponses avec deux stagiaires du Programme de stage RBC pour la relève muséale

Le français suit. 

PART 2 of 2 

This blog post series profiles the 2013 interns from the RBC Museum Internship for Emerging Professionals program. In part 2 of 2, Samantha Shannon, a recent graduate from the Collections Conservation and Management program at Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario, provides a glimpse into her life as an intern: 

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Q&A with Two Interns from the RBC Museum Internship for Emerging Professionals Program | Questions et réponses avec deux stagiaires du Programme de stage RBC pour la relève muséale

Le français suit.

PART 1 of 2

Each year, the RBC Museum Internship for Emerging Professionals program offers an enhanced learning experience for emerging museum professionals. For a period of four to six months, interns benefit from practical skills development in a professional and supervised setting. The internships take place in museums or art galleries located in the city where the CMA National Conference is to be hosted each year. This means that both 2013 interns had the rare opportunity to work in Whitehorse, Yukon! We’ve asked last year’s interns to answer some questions about their experiences.

In part 1 of 2 in this blog post series, Lianne Maitland, a recent graduate of the Masters of Museums Studies program at the University of Toronto, provides a glimpse into her life as an intern:

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Virtual Reality: Taking Museum Tours into the Future | La réalité virtuelle : les musées se voient projetés dans l'avenir

Internet cultural portal Europeana is exploring a new way for the public to interact with artifacts usually kept behind closed doors. They are looking to incorporate Virtual Reality (VR) and three-dimensional (3-D) technologies into the cultural sector to allow members of the public to tour a museum without having to leave the house.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

How to Improve Your YCW Application | Améliorez vos demandes Jeunesse Canada au travail

(Le francais suit)  

As employer applications are received for the 2014 Young Canada Works (YCW) program, the CMA would like to thank last year’s peer review committee for their hard work.

During last year’s review process, we asked the committee to identify general recommendations for developing stronger employer applications. 

We would like to share the top 5 tips to help you write your best application yet!