“Recognizing excellence on the occasion of the BCMA’s 50th Anniversary”
Throughout its history, the BC Museums Association has benefited from the fortunate affiliation of people who care deeply about BC’s art, history, environment and culture, and who have participated in the Province’s and the BCMA’s development with passion, commitment and outrageous fun. In 2007, on the occasion of the BCMA’s 50th Anniversary, Council created an Award to celebrate fifty individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the profession and Association. Like those before them, they were honored for their distinguished and sustained service to the arts and heritage sector with an emphasis on service to the BCMA.
John Adams received a BA in history at UBC (1972) and a Master of Museology from the University of Toronto (1976). His museum career started as a summer guide at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site in 1970. He was elected BCMA president when he worked at Burnaby Village Museum, but resigned to assume the duties of Provincial Museums Advisor in 1979. For twenty-five years he taught museum studies part-time at SFU and UVic and worked for the provincial government. After retiring from the Heritage Branch in 2004 he started his own company, “Discover the Past,” which specializes in heritage interpretation and historical research and writing.
A BCMA Councillor, leader, inspired teacher and mentor, quiet but strong, astonishing thinker and writer, Mike Ames pushed the BCMA and the global museum community to think critically about what we do, why, and its consequences. Mike played a key role in the profession’s move towards diversity and the recognition of community (and its multiplicity of values, ideas and identity). He elevated the provincial discourse and through the museum studies program he lead at UBC, influenced generations of museum workers who have gone on to lead within BC, Canada and internationally. Michael Ames was Director of the UBC Museum of Anthropology 1974-1997, 2002-2004 and a Fellow of the CMA. He greatly valued being a part of the Association and contributed accordingly.
Curator/Director at the Kitimat Museum & Archives since 1996, Louise has distinguished herself in her community, the province and in particular, with the BCMA through her lifelong commitment to community-based museum practices. As BCMA Councillor and in particular Awards Committee member and Chair through the late 1990s and early 2000s, Louise assisted in redesigning the Museums in Motion Awards and reinvesting them with the prestige they deserve. She compiled the early history of the BCMA’s awards (available online) ensuring the Association’s historical record of achievements were not lost to future generations. Louise received a BA in Anthropology / Museum Studies from UBC and the UVIC Certificate in Cultural Heritage Sector Leadership; she began her career at the UBC Museum of Anthropology and continued through several community museums including Richmond, Alberni Valley and the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. Louise’ quiet and delightful presence in the field has been an inspiration to her colleagues and we salute her with a BCMA Golden Anniversary Service Award.
It is particularly fitting that a Golden Service Award be given to Mary Balf, whose name is synonymous with the Kamloops Museum & Archives. Mary came to Kamloops with her husband in 1955 from England and instantly fell in love with what was then a sleepy, dusty wild west of a town. She worked for several years as a volunteer and in 1966 became the first full time paid employee of the museum, the year the BCMA was incorporated. During her 25-year involvement with the museum she wrote more than 750 articles and 8 booklets as well as volume 1 of the History of Kamloops up to 1914. After her retirement in 1980 she continued with another of her fervent interests – the environment.
Mary was a modest person but won numerous awards of recognition for her community service. She became the first woman president of the BC Museums Association and received the Award of Merit from the Canadian Museums Association. She was also honoured with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977. Mary’s daughter Ruth sent the BCMA this message: “Mary loved her work, and she would be honored to know that sixteen years after her death there are still people who remember and respect her work.”
Bill Barkley began his career as a teacher, later overseeing the establishment of Environment Canada Wildlife Centres. He has been a BCMA Councillor, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal BC Museum and President of the CMA (1985-87). He is a Fellow of the CMA, and today, an independent consultant to the cultural sector. As a mentor and consistent supporter of the BCMA, its members and young people, Bill has always been an inspiring, accessible leader, present at conferences and supportive of the profession. His leadership established a model for RBCM staff and their role province wide.
Roger Boulet has had a long and distinguished career in the visual arts, museums and galleries of British Columbia and Canada. From Curator of Art at the Whyte Museum in Banff (1972) to Technical Assistant with the National Gallery’s National Program (1974), Director at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1975), Director of the Burnaby Art Gallery (1981), Director of the Edmonton Art Gallery (1985), and Director and Curator of the Penticton Art Gallery (1993), his work has touched many of us in the field.
In the later years of his career, Roger became the Assistant Manager of Heritage Services for the Township of Langley, and since 1993 has made Summerland his home base. Most recent ventures include the successful: Vistas: Artists on the Canadian Pacific Railway for the Glenbow Museum in Calgary (2008), as well an award-winning companion book by the same title. The first of his “retirement” projects, which now include assisting galleries like the new Grand Forks Heritage Gallery, the Burnaby Art Gallery, consulting and writing, he is currently active in the re-installation of the permanent historical art gallery for the Glenbow Museum.
Dynamically engaged throughout his career, Roger held leadership posts with a number of organizations, including many years on Council of the BC Museums Association. His energy and commitment to BCMA and the many and varied museums and galleries he has been associated with has been deep and sustained.
Museum Round Up Editor 1967-72, President of the Canadian Museums Association 1973-74, Recreation Officer, Senior Planning Officer and Chief, Historic Parks and Sites for the Provincial Parks Branch, Bob Broadland is an agent provocateur, mentor, supporter, watchdog and storyteller. He was instrumental in laying the foundation for today’s BCMA and has been referred to by former President Phil Ward as “the warm heart of the BCMA – kind, generous, funny, endlessly ingenious, and tireless in his devotion to the Association.”
With Willard Ireland, Dr. Carl organized the first meeting of BC museum workers in 1957 formally called “Short Course on Museum Management.” He became BCMA’s first President at the 3rd annual seminar in 1959 (1959-61), was Director of the BC Provincial Museum, and persuaded BC Premier W. A. C. Bennett to build a new provincial museum for the 1967 Centennial. Dr. Carl was a biologist by training who, through his Saturday morning program at the old museum, influenced many a child, some of whom later went on to become leading anthropologists and biologists of their own.
As President 1997-99, Kirstin led the BCMA through some difficult times with wisdom and grace. She has astonishing parliamentarian skills (thanks to mom) and auction skills (thanks to dad) and is considered a talented educator and change agent, most recently transforming an industrial heritage site – BC Museum of Mining now known as the Britannia Mine Museum – towards sustainable operations (visitors) and museum practice (conservation and training). A former Alberta Association of Museums Councillor, Kirstin is Executive Director at the Britannia Mine Museum.
Gloria Cranmer Webster was a BCMA Councillor, teacher and founder of the landmark U’Mista Cultural Centre (established to hold the first repatriated aboriginal materials in Canada). Gloria has been hugely influential in government and the profession having aided in establishing First Nations cultural authority. She was instrumental in pushing the BCMA towards the recognition of First Nations rights.
Through her leadership in the museum training field, Joy has influenced generations of museum volunteers and professionals and the work they do within their communities. She created training opportunities for the broadest range of learners (from basic to advanced) in ways that overcame issues of geographic distance from teaching centres and demanding lives. Joy has brought some of the profession’s most significant leaders and thinkers to BC and provided the opportunity and encouragement for local professionals to teach and share their knowledge. For many years Joy Davis was Program Director and Academic Advisor of the Cultural Resource Management Program at the University of Victoria. Most recent, she has held the positions of Interim Dean of Art Collections and Interim Director of Ceremonies and Events.
What words can describe the zany, passionate and irrepressible fun Donna, Kris and Lynne brought to the BCMA? In many ways, they were the heart and soul of the Association through the 80s and 90s. The MSA Ladies, sometimes with a little help from their friends, were responsible for the President’s “Coat of Arms,” the distant and often risqué adventures of the BCMA mascot “Owl,” kidnappings and various other fundraising campaigns… Remember “Nick on a Stick”? (referring to President Nick Tuele). Through it all, Lynne, Kris and Donna were passionate about the BCMA and its role in BC, in particular as it related to community museums. They are dear friends of the Association who remind us that while museum work is serious business, so too is the camaraderie and fun we all share. Lynne Wright was Executive Director of the MSA Museum, Abbotsford from 1991 to 2009. Kris Foulds and Donna Dempsey, formerly of the MSA Museum are now the Collections Manager and Office Manager (respectively) of The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford.
Rick was Executive Director of BCMA 1983-89, a consultant and Manager/Curator of the BC Forest Discovery Centre. A BCMA Councillor, trainer, musician, poet and orator, he was dogged, questioning and ethical, and empathized and related to the diverse BCMA membership. Rick led the Association through times of tremendous growth and activity. He also actively engaged in international museum work through the CUSO organization.
Wilson Duff was Curator of Anthropology, BC Provincial Museum and Associate Professor/Professor of Anthropology, UBC. Together with Dr. Carl and Willard Ireland, he provided the impetus for the formation of the BCMA with Duff serving as President from 1963-65. Wilson Duff was recognized as one of the leaders in the redefinition of ethnological materials as art, and actively encouraged First Nations participation in the Association.
Yorke Edwards once said “The job of interpretation is to open the minds of people so they can receive…on the world’s best receiver, the human brain…the interesting signals that the world is constantly sending…” Yorke Edwards began his career as a park interpretation officer with the Provincial Parks Branch where he developed and designed the BC parks interpretation program considered at the time to be one of the finest in North America. In 1964, he was loaned to the Provincial museum to help organize displays for its new building, helping to move the museum into the site in 1968-9. He left BC Parks to start a program for the Canadian Wildlife Service to interpret natural regions of Canada touched by the Trans-Canada Highway and in 1972 became Assistant Director of the Provincial Museum serving as its Director from 1975-1984. Yorke was the BCMA’s second President from 1961-1963 and second editor of Museum Roundup from 1963-1967 “…during the days [as per Bob Broadland] when that position was purely volunteer, to a large extent a labor of love.” Yorke’s term as editor coincided “…with a period of considerable improvement and expansion of community museums throughout the province; Yorke made dramatic changes to format, objective, scope and quality of Museum Round-Up.” Yorke is currently in active retirement, an honorary member of the BCMA, who continues to contribute to the many aspects of conservation that have been central to his philosophy.
Greg Evans was the BCMA Executive Director from 1993-97 having served as Training Coordinator in the mid-80s. He has also held curatorial, special project and management positions with the Vancouver Museum, Royal BC Museum, Maritime Museum of BC, and the Fannin Foundation. Where Greg goes, fun follows, be it as “Speedy Conservator,” beer historian or auctioneer extraordinaire.
Slim and Margaret were residents of Pemberton. Slim was a member of the BC Historical Society. He was enthusiastic about the community’s history and pushed to have the first book about the community published, and helped to open Pemberton’s museum. Slim and Margaret were recognized with a BCMA distinguished service award in 1986 for their contribution to the preservation of the history of the Pemberton area. More recently, Margaret was an active member of the Bowen Island Historians.
Jacquie Gijssen has been a driving force in the museum, gallery and heritage scene in British Columbia for the past 25 years. Ever present at BCMA conferences, she consistently asks the really probing questions, is passionate about community involvement, creative practice and the environment, and is an advocate for collections and their power to connect with community-based practice. Currently the Senior Cultural Planner for the City of Vancouver, she has served in senior positions for a variety of institutions as well as board member with the BCMA, Royal BC Museum and Western Museums Association. She is a co-recipient of the CMA Award for Outstanding Achievement and has participated in museum-related projects that have taken her to other parts of Canada, USA and Europe. Jacquie is particularly well known for both her powerful sense of ethics that in many ways serves as our conscience and runs through everything that she undertakes, as well as for occasionally looking at the world upside down.
Although intended as an individual award, the 50th Anniversary Advisory Committee recommended Fred and Carol be recognized together as they really were the “BCMA Team.” Working side by side, they knew and cared about everyone. Carol Grubb was the Association’s first employee who began as a part-time typist for Museum Round Up. For many years she not only filled, but championed the role of Association Secretary /Treasurer. Fred was Museum Round Up Editor, Associate Editor and producer at various times through the 1970s, as well as general fac-totem for BCMA, and the gentleman who said grace before every important meal. Carol and Fred, in the minds of many, enabled the Association and Museum Round Up to succeed during those early times.
The former Director of the Nanaimo Museum and BCMA Councillor, Barrie was unique for the time on Council. He was an advocate for, and pushed the BCMA (Association and members) towards, greater business sensibility, financial and managerial acumen and decent wages for workers. Following his passing, the BCMA established a bursary for museum financial management in his name.
George Harris has spent his entire working life in museums, ever since his first job twenty-three years ago at the Cumberland Museum where he spent a summer as a photographic archivist before returning to University. He has worked for a number of institutions, most notably the Prince George Art Gallery, the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon and Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George, BC and has been involved with a number of organizations like Open Space Artist Run Centre, the Yukon Historical and Museums Association, ICOM Canada and the BCMA. Over this period, he has sat on the BCMA council, presented and organized sessions at BCMA conferences and been one of many conference organizers. For the previous six years, he has participated in and then chaired the BCMA awards committee. George has stated…“I have always held the work of my colleagues in very high regard and my recent work on the Awards committee regularly reinforced how well founded that regard was. The calibre of work and professionalism that pervades this community is of the highest standard. Thank you George for all you have done for the BCMA community!
Friend and mentor to many working in BC museums, Robin Inglis holds a degree in history from Cambridge University and a degree in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Museums Association, a former director of both the Vancouver Maritime Museum and of the North Vancouver Museum and Archives, past President of the Ontario Museum Association and past Executive Director of the Canadian Museums Association. In the nine years spent at the VMM, he introduced a program of major temporary exhibits and was responsible for the building of heritage harbour. His special interest in local history was instrumental in having the shipbuilding at the Old Burrard Shipyard declared of National Historic importance and his passion for maritime history has resulted in numerous exhibitions and publications including the Historical Dictionary of Discovery and Exploration of the Northwest Coast of America. Robin has received recognition for his work as a museum professional and historian from the governments of France, Spain and Canada.
Robin has always given freely of his time, offering advice and encouragement and sharing his passion for museums and the important role he believes they play in our society and communities. He has presented talks at BCMA conferences, served on a number of committees, and on BC Arts Council panels.
Jennifer Iredale is a master of heritage preservation and education—passionate about history from her early teens, noted by her mother that, while other kids collected small things, her daughter collected old houses. The BCMA is pleased to award Jennifer with a Golden Anniversary Service Award in recognition of the lifelong commitment to heritage and to the BCMA. As a BCMA Councillor, early champion of technology in the field and the Association (the Dogwood Project), and more recent advocate for heritage tourism and greening of the industry, Jennifer has demonstrated grass roots, intelligent advocacy and action. Jennifer is currently Director of the Heritage Branch for the Province of BC, and has had a hand in collections, preservation and education programs at Helmcken, Carr, Point Ellice, Craigflower and Haig Brown Heritage Houses, Yale Heritage Precinct & St. John the Divine Church, the Grist Mill at Keremeos, Kilby Store and Farm and Barkerville Historic Site. She holds a BA in History (UBC) and Master’s in Historic Preservation (Columbia University). Heritage and culture pervades every fibre of Jennifer’s existence and her contribution to British Columbia and the BC Museums Association warrants the highest regard.
Willard Ireland was Provincial Archivist and Librarian and with Dr. Clifford Carl and Wilson Duff formed the BCMA. Ireland is remembered for having understood the potential of provincial support related to the Centennials of 1958, 1966, 1967 and 1971 and for having effectively advocated for heritage projects during those years. Willard was BCMA President from 1971-73.
For the past 35 years, David has been the principal of D. Jensen & Associates Ltd., an exhibit design firm specializing in the planning and design of museums, science centres, art galleries, world expositions, cultural institutions and government agencies. Throughout his 40 year career he has chosen to work on exhibits that present authentic stories with themes relevant to people, nature and human values. David is a member of the BCMA, CMA, and ICOM. Over the years he has attended and made 38 presentations at many local, national and international museum conferences.
Bev Kennedy is fondly known as the BCMA “Heritage Warrior.” With quiet determination and enormous perseverance, she has made it her life’s work to preserve and make heritage resources accessible. Bev has been a BCMA Councillor and was the Executive Director of the Fraser Heritage Society, working with heritage resources like Kilby Historic Site. She is a life-long learner and an example of someone committed to the small, but critically important and sometimes extraordinarily difficult, community heritage.
For more than 20 years Bryan Klassen has actively supported the BC Museums Association in countless ways, quietly, behind-the-scenes, without fanfare. Bryan optimizes the “friendly, genial host,” seeking out new members or unfamiliar faces, and making sure they are introduced around and connected. Stepping in unasked to take care of a technical problem or a logistical snafu, his efforts were carried out with infectious enthusiasm and a wonderful sense of humour.
Bryan’s relationship with the Association began in the mid-1980s while working at the Provincial Museum. Bryan’s friendship with then Executive Director Rick Duckles blossomed, but even more so with Rick’s able administrative assistant Eleanor Busse, who became Bryan’s wife. Mirroring another earlier BCMA staff and volunteer husband and wife team, Carol and Fred Grubb, many a night would find Rick, Eleanor and Bryan stuffing mailings of Roundup into envelopes, assembling conference packages, playing around with yet another new logo design, and dreaming new dreams. So often, it was Bryan who took on the un-envious grunt work of delivering heavy boxes and running countless small errands.
Bryan’s career took him to Langley as Arts and Heritage Curator and then on to Richmond where he was the Britannia Heritage Shipyard Supervisor. Bryan also played a lead role in establishing the inter-disciplinary provincial Heritage Alliance Committee. Through it all, the BCMA remained a constant in his life. Every successful organization needs a myriad of skills and talents coupled with enthusiasm and determination. Bryan has willingly and unstintingly supplied all of those and more throughout his career and association with the BCMA.
BC’s first Museums Advisor and early Museum Round Up Editor (George Moore was the actual first advisor, but enjoyed only a short tenure before leaving BC), John Kyte was a tireless supporter of museums, traveling throughout BC helping institutions and museum folk with practical, creative and knowable skill. He was loved by the community and well respected by government and politicians, and as a result, greatly advanced the cause of museums in BC.
Ches Lyons was one of the founding members of the BC Museums Association as well as the designer and editor of the first edition of Round-Up (January 1961). He was an enthusiastic member of the early group of BC museum pioneers that included Yorke Edwards, Don Abbott and Wilson Duff. It is through the Golden Anniversary Service Award that we can remember people such as Ches who are no longer with us but who contributed so much to the growth of heritage awareness in BC and the BCMA.
Ches was described by Bob Broadland (a previous recipient of this award) as “a most unforgettable character who influenced the inter-connectedness between our province’s natural and cultural environments.” His love of the environment steered him towards a career with the Parks Branch where he carried out exploration and planning for new parks. However, it was his recognition of this inter-relationship of nature and man that truly benefited the BC museum world – and is always worth thinking about when we believe we are isolated.
In 1957, the year the BCMA was founded, the government began preparations for province-wide celebrations planned for the 1958 Centennial. Ches was given the task of planning and implementing the restoration and management of the then ghost town of Barkerville which became BC’s first Historic Park. He also undertook a province wide Stop-of-Interest plaque program adjacent to main highways. The success of these projects subsequently led to other heritage sites such as Cottonwood House, Fort Steele, Hat Creek Ranch, Keremeos Grist Mill and Kilby Historic Park. An intuitive understanding and application of the inter-relationship of nature and humanity is perhaps Ches’s greatest legacy for those of us who work in the museum and gallery world.
Diane was BCMA President from 1982-84, Director of the MSA Museum and the last BCMA staff Museums Advisor. She was a member of the “MSA Ladies” (the talented champions and energy behind much fun, frivolity and BCMA fundraising). Diane helped steward the inevitable but sometimes difficult transitions between volunteers and professionals, bringing experience, skill and empathy to the task.
The BCMA is delighted to present Jay and Peter with a Golden Anniversary Service Award. Both Jay and Peter have had extraordinary careers — separately and, more recently, together. Peter served as the Curator of Anthropology at the RBCM for more than 30 years. There he worked closely with First Nations, pioneering models of collaboration based on respect of knowledge and heritage that have become standard practice for museum professionals. Over the years he has directed programs in research, collections management and public programming, and develop an awesome (and much sought after) expertise in the material culture and traditional lives of the coastal peoples of the North Pacific. He has always been willing to share his knowledge with colleagues and serves (perhaps unknowingly) as a mentor to many.
Jay is well known for her work in the heritage field; she served as Director of the Campbell River Museum for 18 years and spearheaded the complex task of planning and building a new facility which is much celebrated today. She served on the BCMA council for many years and during her tenure co-authored the re-writing of the BCMA constitution and Bylaws. She has served on numerous committees of the CMA, Association of State and Local History and has lent her expertise and advice to many levels of government, having been appointed to the first BC Arts Council in 1999. This very busy lady has also continuously worked closely with First Nations elders, artists, students and chiefs. Jay established a museum ethical policy regarding inclusion and responsibilities to aboriginal communities that, like Peter’s commitment to the collaborative process, provides guidance to people working with First Nations. Jay started her consulting firm in 1996 and Peter joined one year later. Together they have lent their expertise to exhibitions such as “Down from the Shimmer Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast” and “To the totem Forests: Emily Carr and Contemporaries Interpret Coastal Villages.” They continue to be active in the museum world and are truly treasures of the BC museums’ community.
Ken Mather was BCMA President 1989-91 and briefly again at the end of the 1994 term. As the former Interpretation and Education Coordinator and Curator of Barkerville Historic Park, and Manager/Curator of the O’Keefe Ranch for close to two decades, Ken is renowned for his easygoing cowboy ways, most especially his cowboy poetry and passion for history, storytelling and writing. Ken led the Association through difficult times, becoming known for a period as the longest serving Past President.
Former BCMA Councillor and current Head, Curatorial Department at the UBC Museum of Anthropology, Carol Mayer inspires countless students and museum colleagues with her knowledgeable, creative and practical approaches. From acquisitions to exhibition development, her practice gives voice to the people and stories behind the artifacts. While her academic reach is international in its scope, she generously shares her time and skills at home. A skilled teacher, Carol has been a leader and advocate for ongoing professional development, at MOA, at UVIC through the Cultural Resource Management Program and as part of the BCMA. Her humour and occasional irreverent attitude is equally inspiring. Dr. Mayer is definitely a lot of fun!
Len McCann worked at the Vancouver Maritime Museum for more than forty years. He is a recipient of a BCMA award for his publication “Ship without a Sail” (1971), served as president of the Vancouver Historical Society 1978-1983 and in 1992 was awarded the Vancouver Historical Society Award of Merit for his historical conservation of maritime history. Underneath his studious demeanor, there lurks a man with a wry sense of humour, a generosity of spirit and absolute commitment to the museum profession. Len began his career at the Royal Canadian Engineers Museum in Chilliwack, joining the Vancouver Maritime Museum as an assistant curator in 1968. His work encompassed numerous exhibitions and historic vessel restorations as well as assistance to thousands of researchers, multiple publications on BC maritime history and the acquisition of important collections including Captain George Vancouver’s “Arnold 176” chronometer from his voyage to the West Coast. Len officially retired a few years ago but you’d never know it! His extensive knowledge of BC maritime history and collections keeps him busy as a speaker, writer and curator emeriti. He is an exemplary role model for those considering entering the museum profession and a perfect candidate for the Golden Service Award.
Sue Morhun is probably one of the best known faces at BCMA conferences. For more than 25 years, she has promoted the history of British Columbia as Manager of Community and Heritage Services for the Township of Langley, Director for the Langley Museum, Gallery and Archives. Sue has received numerous awards for her leadership in heritage preservation and museum studies. Her work in communities around the province was recognized in 2004 with the prestigious Minister’s Heritage Award. She has been active on a number of Boards including Tourism B.C., the Land Conservancy of B.C. and the Aldergrove Rotary Club. She is a volunteer historic re-enactor and, in the past, has served as president of the BC Museums Association and Vice-chair of the BC Heritage Trust. She is fondly known as “The Heritage Goddess” aka “she who inspires and should be obeyed”!
BCMA Councillor and Director/Curator of the UBC Geology Museum, Joe was an enthusiastic, caring, dogged advocate of the leading edge-ideas, business practices, revenue generation and most especially technology. Joe was a thinker (larger issues and outside the box) who forced us to consider our work and its impacts. Following his passing, the BCMA established a bursary for museum technology in his name.
Mary Orr was an active volunteer in the Summerland area, with an intense interest in the history of British Columbia, with a focus on the Okanagan Valley. She was a founding member of the Summerland Museum and Arts Society, a life member of the BCMA, an active member of the BC Historical Federation, and member-at-large of the BC Historical Society. She made significant contributions to the Okanagan Historical Society where she served on the executive from 1977 to 1991, including serving as president in 1983-84. In 1985 she was honoured by the American Association for State and Local History with a Certificate of Commendation for her support of the Okanagan Historical Society and the province’s museum community.
Cuyler Page is the curator at the Maritime Museum of BC in Victoria. Following a career in practical and inspirational architecture, Cuyler Page has worked with historic buildings for 30 years. In the museum world, he has enjoyed roles as site manager of the Grist Mill at Keremeos, curator of the Kamloops Museum, design consultant to many museums through his business Heritage Interpretation Services, exhibit technician at the RBCM, and site manager for the Land Conservancy of BC at Craigflower Historic Site in Victoria.
Former CEO of the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM) from 2001 to 2012, Pauline began her career in BC trained as an archaeologist, her first work centered on archaeology, heritage interpretation, and later on the marketing and financial needs of provincial historic sites such as Fort Steele and Barkerville. Pauline’s career moved her through various positions in government including Director of the Heritage Trust and Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Women’s Equality.
At the RBCM, she led the integration of the Provincial Archives with the Royal BC Museum – the combined organization named one of Canada’s top employers on three successive occasions. After retiring from the Museum in 2012, Pauline has continued to be active on the boards of both national and provincial organizations including: British Columbia Government House Foundation, and The National Capital Commission Program, and committees for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Additional past Boards have included Simon Fraser University Board of Governors, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Victoria, Advisory Committee for the University of Victoria Cultural Resource Management Program and the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada.
The recipient of numerous awards, Pauline believes passionately about the important role museums play in society. She has been a strong supporter of organizations like the BC Museum Association, recognizing the critical need for support of the professional needs of its members.
Although the Golden Anniversary Service Awards were intended to acknowledge the efforts of individuals, it is not possible to recognize past leaders and supporters of the BCMA and BC museum community without honoring the role of the RBCM, formerly known as the Provincial Museum of BC.
Just as it takes the efforts of many people with many talents to build and grow an Association like the BCMA, it also takes leadership by member institutions to help support and nurture that growth. Without the leadership of the RBCM over the past five decades—and its directors, curators, conservators, exhibit designers, museum advisors and others—the BCMA would likely not have been founded nor survived.
The RBCM provided staffing and office space, paid for supplies and telephone, supported travel, and enabled connections. Time and time again, the RBCM rallied to assist the BCMA. This leadership was matched only by the RBCM’s terrific engagement with museums throughout the province. The RBCM has demonstrated the highest level of provincial leadership and outreach. It is not easy to sustain a membership-based umbrella organization.
On behalf of the Association and its members, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to the RBCM—BC Provincial Museum for seeing the value in the BCMA and standing by as one of its strongest supporters.
Martin Segger was Director of the Maltwood Museum and Gallery, Adjunct Professor and Academic Advisor to the Cultural Resource Management Program and Director of Community Relations at the University of Victoria. Heavily involved in the training of museum professionals, Martin developed an early training program for British Columbia Museums and later funding support for the training of Canadian museum workers through the National Museums Corporation. He has been involved in international museum practice through ICTOP/ICOM and the Commonwealth Association of Museums; his interests and influences span heritage, art and museums, and his contributions always push the thinking of the day. Martin is a Fellow of the CMA.
Ursula Surtees was two-time President of the BCMA (1976-78 and 1981-82) and a ground-breaking leader as one of the first female museum directors (Kelowna Museum) and BCMA Presidents (Mary Balf was the actual first in 1973-74). She established the first conservation lab in a regional museum and was recognized for her “…tenacious dedication to the advancement of the museum discipline, for her long support to the BCMA, and for her personal inspiration to so many in the national heritage community” (1997 Distinguished Service Award Notation).
Debbie Trueman began her career at the Nanaimo Museum in 1989 as the Business Manager and almost immediately began a long-standing involvement with the BC museums community. She was elected to the Council of the British Columbia Museum Association after serving as a member of the Conference 2002 (Vancouver) Program Committee; hosted Conference 2004 (pre-convention center); was appointed President in 2005 and elected President in 2006. Debbie represented BCMA at Canadian Museum Association meetings and conferences and on CMA program and other committees. Somewhere in there she also took courses and found time to research and present papers at conferences and symposia both locally and nationally.
At the Nanaimo Museum, she has always sought ways to develop and diversify the museum’s programmes, increase its membership and build its relationships with the local communities. She oversaw all the day to day activities; fundraised; developed partnerships; lobbied government; tossed disappointments to the wind and, through sheer determination and by working closely with the community, secured the funds necessary to create the new Museum space – attendance has doubled in the first 2 years. She is also the host of this year’s conference, and as you will have all noted she always smiles and says, “What can I do for you?”
Nicholas Tuele was BCMA President from 1987-89, former Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and now a consultant to the cultural sector. His career spans close to 40 years including assisting the Association as Interim Executive Director during the 2001 transition. Passionate about BCMA history and a superb leader in non-profit governance and fundraising, Nick was the subject of some crazy BCMA fundraising initiatives–a very good sport! Nick continues to be an avid supporter of the Association.
Barry and Lou were active in the Lake Cowichan District and BCMA for decades. Barry’s focus on the Lake Cowichan and provincial heritage community began over 20 years ago; his heritage work initiated in 1983 when he assembled Western Forest Industries company records at the time when the mill closed. Now part of the collection at the Provincial Archives and History Department of the Royal BC Museum they form a key aspect of BC’s industrial heritage. Lou was an historian in her own right with various publications of written and photographic materials from the Cowichan area. Barry went on to establish the Kaatza Station Museum in Lake Cowichan and served as a board member and recipient of numerous awards. Barry and Lou were members of the BCMA for most of their active museum careers, ever present at conferences and training seminars, bringing the best of community museum expertise to these activities, generously sharing and engaging in best practice learnings.
Phil Ward, to quote Bob Broadland, was one of the most active early BC Museums Association Presidents having served on Council for ‘eight distinguished years’ and as President from 1974 to 1976. Many folks will remember Phil, or at least his publications, from his days at the Canadian Conservation Institute. “Getting the Bugs Out” sat on bookcases across this land; a goggle search of Phil reveals dozens of publications and contributions to museum conservation in Canada. It is understood that at that time, Phil’s conservation workshops were a conference highlight and his contributions to Museums Round Up were, again to quote Bob, ‘some of the most thought provoking and inspirational.’
Phil trained at the prestigious British Museum in London England, and in 1966 became the BC Provincial Museum’s (Royal BC Museum) first Chief Conservator; moving in 1977 to the CCI. In phoning Phil to tell him of this award, he told me of how he came to be on council. …apparently at the annual conference (sometime in the late 60s in Vancouver), he happened to be at the meeting AGM. Not a member, that did not stop him from challenging then president Gerry Wellburn on something Gerry had said. Moments later, Bob Broadland nominated him for Council. Protesting that he wasn’t even a member, Bob asked for a couple of bucks, turned away and then back and proclaimed, “right, now you are a member!” Phil stated… The BCMA had been a big part of his life, and on leaving for the CCI, he knew he would miss it. Phil remained at the CCI for 13years and now lives on Saltspring Island.
Rob Watt began his career as an archivist in the Public Archives of Canada assuming the role of Vancouver City Archivist 1971-1973, Curator of History, Vancouver Centennial Museum (now Museum of Vancouver) 1973-1976, and Director until 1988. Robb served as President of the BCMA from 1979 – 1981 and during this time he worked hard to ensure that the BCMA was recognized at all levels of government as a truly professional organization. He developed a particular interest in architecture, stained glass and Heraldic stained glass as well as a deep appreciation for the need to honour and preserve the collections left to us by our ancestors. During his time at the Museum of Vancouver he began collecting tangible evidence of Vancouver’s history that was in danger of being destroyed. This included a collection of neon signs (how many remember the Aristocrat sign?) and pieces of the Burke building before it was demolished. He received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and numerous international and national awards and honours for his work in Heraldic Sciences. Robb is currently an Honourary Vice-President of the United Empire Loyalists of Canada and recently retired as the Chief Herald of Canada.
Brenda Weatherston began working in the museum and gallery field in 1988, participating in her first “BCMA Basic Museum Studies” training workshop in Kelowna while working for the summer with the Art Gallery of the South Okanagan in Penticton. After completing her degree and working for a few years with community, provincial, and national institutions, she joined the Cultural Resource Management Program at the University of Victoria in 1995 where she remains today enabling learning and engagement for the sector.
Brenda first participated with the BCMA in 2000 for the joint BCMA-WMA conference, and in 2003 joined the BCMA Council. She has chaired the Council’s Member Services Portfolio, bringing her interest and experience in training and development, professional standards, networking and online services to Council. Brenda has aided in conference planning committees and from 2008 to 2009 served as the BCMA President; retiring from the Council position of Past President this year. Brenda’s commitment to the BCMA and her genuine interest and care of her colleagues and members of the community is exemplary. In her quiet and gentle way she has lead the Association and in 2007 helped to launch the 50th Anniversary celebrations (which continue today with this award). Brenda is a sucker for a good story, and being on hand for the Annual Awards Banquet continues to be a BCMA highlight for her.
Buddy Williams was BCMA President from 1994-96. Buddy is a ‘heart and soul’ person who is present for everyone, a generous eternal optimist and mentor who has worked with the BCMA through some difficult times. As Temporary and Traveling Exhibition Coordinator for the Royal BC Museum, he has seen the full range of the province’s museums and has become highly regarded by the community for his care and consideration of their work.
Wayne Wilson started at the Kelowna Museum in 1978, working in various areas including exhibitions, education, public programming and curatorial. He served as the Executive Director of the Kelowna Museums Society, 2000 – 2012. Over the years he has served on the BCMA council and numerous BCMA committees including the conference planning committee. Wayne brings his expertise and knowledge to every BCMA conference – be it as an organizer, a presenter, a session leader or an enthusiastic and probing discussant. He is a role model for the BC museum community – challenging, goading, questioning, always learning, always with more than a touch of intellectual rigor combined with a wicked sense of humour. Beyond the museum, Wayne is a published author, a radio and recording narrator, and has co-produced two award-winning television documentaries. And, if all that wasn’t enough he has earned two degrees from UBC, and taught geography of BC at Okanagan University.
His passion for his vocation is undeniable. He surrounds himself with equally passionate people who he encourages to constantly reach for the stars. He also knows that passion does not pay the bills and he has worked hard to move the organization toward a sustainable business model. Wayne strives to live life fully, contributing what he can to those around him and appreciative of what he learns from them in return. He says, “We are here for such a short, rich time – I think it is so important that we take really big bites!
“Collectively the fifty recipients of the Golden Service Award provide insight into the nascent days of museum development in BC, the growth and evolution of a profession, and the history and ethos of the BC Museums Association. Their legacies stand as an inspiration to us all.” ~ BCMA Committee.
50th Anniversary Awards Advisory Committee:
The Committee wishes to extend a very special thanks to Mr. Bob Broadland, whose advocacy, historical record and passion for the BC Museums Association provided the foundation for these awards.