BC GLAM Sector Symposium: May 8

BC’s GLAM sector partners – BC Museums Association, BC Library Association and Archives Association of BC – proudly present a symposium that will showcase the power of collaboration in the gallery, library, archives and museum (GLAM) sector and set the agenda for future innovation and partnership.

Join us for a day of learning and discovery as presenters share their achievements and aspirations for the GLAM sector and ask symposium participants to do the same.  Come ready to think, listen and engage in the collective future of BC’s dynamic GLAM sector.

Will you join us?

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
10:00am – 3:30pm
Sheraton Vancouver Airport, Richmond BC
Lunch included


$75 for members of BC’s GLAM sector associations (BC Museums Association, BC Library Association and the Archives Association of BC)

$125 for non-members (future members!)

If cost is a barrier to your participation, please contact us.

Register Now!

Find information about our keynote speaker, Prem Gill, by visiting our GLAM Sector Partnerships page.

BCMA Conference 2018: Call for Papers open now!

The BC Museums Association Conference 2018 call for papers is now open!

The BC Museums Association invites proposals from individuals interested in speaking at our 2018 conference on the theme of Innovation and Technology: Keeping Pace with Acceleration. 

Sessions will explore a range of topics, such as relationships with Indigenous and diverse communities, social justice through exhibitions and programming, and engaging diverse audiences through innovations and new technologies within museum, art gallery, and cultural centre practices. BCMA encourages proposals that explore best practices and/or innovations, making connections with colleagues, and workshops for museum professionals in areas such as exhibit design or development, education, budgeting, fundraising, volunteer management, marketing, and storage.

You can propose a session in one of these three formats, focusing on practice rather than theory, on topics of interest to the museum, gallery, archive, library, history and heritage sectors:

  • Presentation – 60 minutes; to include Q&A. (3 panelists maximum).
  • Workshop – 60 minutes; to include dedicated time for hands-on participation.
  • Ask the Expert Plenary Session – 1.5-2 hours. Drop-in style roundtable discussions regarding a specific area of expertise.

The deadline for submissions is May 1.

See the full details for submitting a conference session proposal here.

The BCMA Conference will be held October 21-23, 2018 in Kelowna!  Keep up to date with the latest conference news by visiting our Conference 2018 page.

Nominate someone for a BCMA Award today!

The BCMA encourages members and people from the community to nominate someone for a BCMA Award for Outstanding Achievement today!

The BCMA recognizes a number of individuals and organizations each year for their service and excellence within the sector.  There are six awards available for nomination: the Distinguished Service Award, the Museum Stewardship & Service Award, the Innovation Award sponsored by NGX Interactive, and three categories of Awards of Merit (Excellence in Community Engagement, Excellence in Exhibitions, and Excellence in Collections).  To view the full award categories and descriptions, please click here.

If you are interested in nominating an individual or organization for an award, please read through the full criteria and nominations page.

Nominations for the BCMA Awards for Outstanding Achievement for 2018 are now OPEN.


The 2017 BCMA Awards for Outstanding Achievement winners gather with The Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia after the 60th Anniversary Gala. See the full list of award recipients from 2017.


Each year the BCMA recognizes award nominees and announces the winners at our BCMA Awards Gala event, a main part of our annual conference.  This year’s gala will be held in Kelowna.  Visit our conference page for more information.

Be sure to submit nominations early to ensure no deserving nominee is left out!

BCMA Webinar 12 – Overcoming Challenges of Recruitment & Retention in Youth Programming

The BCMA is excited to welcome Aisha Hamis from Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George as presenter of the BCMA’s 12th webinar!  We are celebrating out webinarversary with a presentation about Overcoming Challenges of Recruitment & Retention in Youth Programming.

Having trouble with youth engagement?  Using Two Rivers Gallery’s MakerLab Youth Immersion program as a case study this presentation will focus on some of the challenges involved when working with youth aged 15-20, some of whom are considered at-risk, and many of whom self-identify as Indigenous. It will focus on problems our organization has had with youth recruitment, retention, and engagement while providing tips to overcome some of these challenges.


See the full webinar description, and find out just how cool MakerLab is, by visiting our webinar page.

Join us for our 12th BCMA webinar by registering here.

Community Gaming Grants Webinar

The deadline for the Province of BC’s Community Gaming Grants program is quickly approaching – applications are due April 30, 2018 for the arts and culture category.  The BCMA was pleased to welcome Mike Sherman, Community Outreach Manager for the Community Gaming Grants program, for a webinar and Q&A presentation that provided an overview of eligibility criteria and program guidelines to help you get ready to apply for the program.

This presentation was geared at new applicants to the program, those who are new to writing the grant, or for anyone looking for a refresher on the program. Please read the program guidelines in advance here.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the webinar on Community Gaming Grants on March 7. We had 27 people participate in the webinar, and 138 people have also since viewed the presentation on Facebook Live. If you weren’t able to attend, or if you would like to share the presentation and view additional resources, please see the links below.

We hope you found the webinar helpful – if you have any feedback, as always we’d love to hear it – send a note to bcma@museumsassn.bc.ca. Best of luck writing your grant applications!


A recording of the webinar is available here:

The PowerPoint presentation is available here

Visit the Community Gaming Grants website to download the program guidelines and templates to help you create your budgets and track in-kind contributions and volunteer hours.

Key Contacts:

Thank you for joining us!  Good luck on your applications and remember to explore all the resources and events the BCMA has to offer, including monthly webinars and Regional Workshops.

RE-ORG Canada comes to Parksville

BCMA was pleased to partner with the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) to hold “RE-ORG West: Adventures in Storage Reorganization” at the Parksville Museum last week where delegates from across Canada and abroad came together to exchange best practices in this area. This workshop was one part of the year-long training program for museum professionals who will be working collaboratively to improve access to their collections in storage and to improve preservation conditions. The participating BC museums this year include: Qualicum Beach Museum in Qualicum Beach BC, Haida Gwaii Museum in Skidegate BC, Greater Vernon Museum and Archives and the O’Keefe Ranch in Vernon BC, and the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse.

Last week, over a dozen museum professionals from these museums came together to put their learning to work and re-organize three collection storage rooms at the Parksville Museum over the course of three days. Below are before and after photos to illustrate the improvements made to Storage Room 2 (including the installation of an affordable rolling rack storage system, new ways of hanging textiles, new DIY artwork storage system).  The results were impressive!


…and after!

The training program is specifically designed to provide small- to mid-sized museum professionals with best practices to maximize their storage space for the safe preservation of their collections for future generations.  The RE-ORG program began as an initiative of ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) and the RE-ORG tools are meant to be easy-to-implement, step-by-step guides that are free and available to museum professionals around the world.

The first step of the RE-ORG method is the self-evaluation tool. This tool is a great place to start if you are considering embarking on a collections storage re-organization project at your museum. This tool helps to communicate to Board members, decision-makers and grant funders your current storage conditions and the associated risks.

Following the self-evaluation tool is a workbook (with step-by-step ideas for storage re-organization) as well as additional resources that illustrate storage tips and tricks.

Click here for the media release.

For additional information about this RE-ORG process, please feel free to contact Anissa Paulsen at the BCMA:  grants@museumsassn.bc.ca.

Uniting to safeguard Parksville and Qualicum Beach’s heritage

See below for images from the RE-ORG Workshop!


Uniting to safeguard Parksville and Qualicum Beach’s heritage

8 March 2018

PARKSVILLE. Four cultural institutions from across the Western region were selected by the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) to be part of “RE-ORG: Canada” a training program for museum professionals who, over one year, are working collaboratively to improve access to their collection in storage and to improve preservation conditions: Qualicum Beach Museum in Qualicum Beach BC, Haida Gwaii Museum in Skidegate BC, Greater Vernon Museum and Archives in Vernon BC, and Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse.

From 13-15 March 2018, as part of the training, these museums will join forces to reorganize a collection storage area at the Parksville Museum in Parksville, British Columbia. This hands-on experience, made possible thanks to funding received from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Museums Assistance Program (MAP), will then be applied in their own institutions over the next 6 months.

On 16 March, a conference entitled “RE-ORG West: Adventures in Storage Reorganization” is being held at the Parksville Museum, where delegates from Canada and abroad will exchange best practice in this area.

RE-ORG Canada, the CCI-led initiative, aims to build professional and institutional capacity in storage reorganization by encouraging the creation of RE-ORG networks across Canada (Ontario, Atlantic, Quebec, West, Prairies and North). Having gone through the process first-hand, museums in these regional networks will be able to advise other museums on how to improve their own storage conditions.

When storage is disorganized, museum collections are at higher risk of damage and loss, and it is all the more challenging to make them accessible to the public. Typically, about 95% of museum objects are housed in storage, so this is a significant problem for many museums in British Columbia.

“It is no secret that most museums struggle with providing adequate storage conditions – not only in Canada but all over the world… two out of three museums are in this situation, according to a recent international survey,” says Simon Lambert, Preservation Development Advisor for CCI and coordinator of the event, “…and it is a significant problem because most museums are small- to medium-sized organizations with limited resources; it’s the more crucial to provide tools that are adapted for their specific reality by maximizing existing space, equipment and human resources.”

“The British Columbia Museums Association (BCMA) is happy to be a partner in this initiative that provides practical solutions for museums in our region while also contributing to the knowledge and best practice of the international museum community,” says Erica Mattson, Executive Director of the BCMA.

The four selected museums based in the Western region will be using the RE-ORG Method, which was originally designed by ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) with the support of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a step-by-step tool to help smaller museums tackle the reorganization of museum storage areas for better access, visibility and space efficiency. The method also ensures that adequate equipment and storage furniture is available, that the space is functional, and that all the necessary procedures are in place (available free online: http: https://www.iccrom.org/section/preventive-conservation/re-org).

Parksville Museum hosted the first day of the RE-ORG West workshop

Simon from CCI introduces the first workshop day

Mapping out the storage area for re-organizing during the workshop

Progress charts ready to guide workshop participants through their reorganization

One storage area to be tackled during the first day of the workshop

Tools of the organizer’s trade. Look how well organized the table is!

Rolling textiles for proper, safe storage

Progress chart showing how much has gotten done throughout the day. Great work!

Progress on the storage area after day 1. Shelving cleared, textiles stored properly, and collections safe