BCMA Visits the Lower Mainland Museum Educators Conference

The BC Museums Association was excited to participate in the Lower Mainland Museum Educators (LMME) Conference on January 29.

The LMME Conference was a one-day event held at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver, BC.  The conference featured an amazing variety of presenters throughout the day – 15 presentations in three concurrent sessions over five time slots – and an insightful keynote address by science communicator and SciCATS founder, Dr. Jennifer Gardy.  Attendees were also treated to a post-conference social at the Vancouver Maritime Museum!

The BCMA’s Programs & Member Services Coordinator Ben Fast had the chance to connect with some of our members (great to see some BCMA Mentors EMPs in attendance!) and talk with other attendees about how the BCMA can better serve educators throughout the province.  Our webinars and other professional development opportunities were a hot topic of discussion.  Ben also took part in the closing panel, discussing the conference theme Big Ideas: Museums and Momentum – what was learned at the conference and how participants can continue their journeys.

There was lots of great information shared throughout the day by innovative, professional, and collaborative speakers.  Here are some highlights from Ben’s Twitter feed:

The BCMA was glad to attend the LMME conference and support this group of passionate educators and grassroots conference organizers!  Congratulations to all on a very successful and well-run conference, we can’t wait for next year!

BC Museums respond to McDonald’s Canada ad campaign

McDonald’s Canada launched a radio advertising campaign on January 9, 2018 that appeared to negatively reference museums and the value they provide.  The 15-second ad, for McDonald’s Canada’s $5 McPick Meal Deal, compared the value of spending $5 at McDonald’s to spending $5 on a museum tour.

“You could get a museum tour for $5,” the male narrator says. A woman playing the role of a museum guide then cuts in.

“There were dinosaurs and then there weren’t,” she says. “OK, then, exit through the gift shop!”

BC museum professionals and supporters alike quickly responded, voicing their displeasure with the campaign and calling for the ad to be pulled.  The BCMA office received dozens of emails, as well as posts to our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The story was picked up by local media and across Canada, including such posts as BC Local News, CBC, and Vice Media’s Munchies food blog.

The ad was removed from the airwaves early on January 11, with McDonald’s Canada contacting many of the involved museum staff and the BCMA with an apology.

The BCMA thanks McDonald’s Canada for listening to the voices of their community, and especially thanks those museum professionals who spoke up for the value of museums.

As a way of framing this event in a positive, informative light, the BCMA sent Ben Fast, Programs & Member Services Coordinator out to find out what $5 at a museum actually can get you.  We hope our quick video response encourages you to visit your local museum!

2018 Webinar Series Launches January 16

The BCMA Webinar series is back for 2018!  We are excited to launch the new year by announcing its first two webinars.

The first webinar of 2018 will help you Write Your Own Fundraising Plan!  Join Cassie Holcomb from The Robert Bateman Centre on January 16 as she touches on the critical components of a fundraising plan like targets, memberships, grants, donations and appeals, stewardship, and new revenue streams.  You will leave the webinar with the tools and materials you need to build your own plan and put you on the right fundraising track for the new year!

The following month, on February 20, one of Canada’s most experienced museum professionals will guide webinar participants on a journey through Planning Successful Exhibitions.  Join Tim Willis as he explores some exhibitions around the world and have fun learning from their failures! Then look at 10 key principles that provide the foundation for a successful exhibition. The presentation will focus on practical solutions that work for every museum and gallery regardless of mission or size.

Click here to see all the webinar dates and watch for new topics as they are announced.

About BCMA Webinars:

BCMA Webinars are held on the third Tuesday of every month (except December) and are hosted by museum professionals and special guests from BC and around Canada. Webinars are free to attend for BCMA Members and just $10 for not-yet-members.

While focusing on a BC context, the lessons presented are applicable to museums, galleries, heritage sites, and other organizations across Canada and around the world. We were excited to welcome attendees from 10 Canadian provinces in 2017!

New This Year:  Sponsor a BCMA Webinar!

Support the BCMA’s professional development efforts and raise your organization’s profile by sponsoring a webinar in 2018.  Webinar sponsorship is a great opportunity for our Affiliate Members and other service providers, support organizations, and contractors to get noticed by the BCMA membership.

Stand out from your competitors by helping your community and colleagues!  Learn more about sponsorship here.

Propose Your Own Webinar:

The BCMA is always looking for great presenters and topics for our monthly peer-to-peer professional development webinars.

Do you have a skill or technique you want to teach to your colleagues in BC’s museum sector?  Do you like to share the successes (and failures) of best practices used in projects or processes at your museum?  Join our growing family of webinar presenters!

We hope you join us throughout the year as we continue to grow our webinar program and other professional development opportunities.