Join us for three days of networking and learning at the BCMA Virtual Conference, October 6-8, 2020. All events are FREE, you do not need to be a member to join in! Please register for each event you wish to attend – you will receive an individual event link prior to the Conference for each event you sign up for.

We ask that all attendees please review our Disruption Policy prior to attending conference sessions, which you can download here: BCMA Virtual Conference Disruption Policy

Our gratitude goes to Eli Hirtle and TEALIYE Brianna Dick for allowing us to showcase their video “Lekwungen: Place to Smoke Herring” as a virtual acknowledgement of the traditional, unceded territory the BC Museums Association Secretariat is located on. We encourage everyone to set aside 15 minutes to watch this video and join us in appreciation and reflection. As an organization of provincial scope, the BCMA recognizes that its members, our conference’s presenters and attendees occupy the lands and territories of B.C.’s Indigenous peoples. We ask all of you to reflect on the places where you reside and work, and to respect the diversity of cultures and experiences that form its richness.

Lekwungen: Place to Smoke Herring from Eli Hirtle on Vimeo.

Special thanks to the University of Victoria Cultural Resource Management Program for sponsoring this year’s territory acknowledgment – through this sponsorship a donation has been made to the Lekwungen language revitalization group at the Songhees Nation.

 Innovation, 10 am

A discussion with Tracy Calogheros (The Exploration Place), Johanna Martens (Kiwanis PAC), and Michael Unger (HR MacMillan Space Centre), facilitated by Michael Schwartz (Jewish Museum & Archives).

In 2020, innovation has become a method of survival as museums, galleries, science centres, and cultural organizations are faced with a once-in-a-generation crisis. Join Tracy Calogheros (The Exploration Place), Johanna Martens (Kiwanis PAC), Michael Unger (HR MacMillan Space Centre), and Michael Schwartz (Jewish Museum & Archives) for a virtual discussion of how their organizations embraced innovation during COVID-19. 

Join the live virtual conversation (October 8 from 10 – 11 am) and share your innovative successes, creative failures, and hopeful dreams for the future!

Learn about the panelists here.

Beyond the Black Squares: A Meaningful Conversation on Museums and Allyship, 11 am

Facilitated by Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra (Sikh Heritage Museum/UFV), with Sdaahl Ḵ’awaas Lucy Bell, 方靜怡 Denise Fong, and Armando Perla

This panel – a bold, honest and meaningful conversation led by IBPOC museum professionals across Canada will reflect on the ongoing race revolution around the world, the unsilencing of racism within white-led institutions and specific calls to action on how museums can become true allies. The panelists will share their range of experiences and truths, but through those experiences offer meaningful solutions to museums and museum leaders.

Learn about the panelists here.

 Decolonization Roundtable, 1 pm

A discussion with Ta7talíya Nahanee (Decolonizing Practices and M̓i tel’nexw Leadership Society) and Chepximiya Siyam’ Chief Janice George (M̓i tel’nexw Leadership Society and member of the BCMA Indigenous Advisory Committee), facilitated by c̓ris Jordan Coble, səxʷk̓ʷinmaʔm̓ (Councillor for Westbank First Nation and member of the BCMA Council).

Taking steps to decolonize your institution’s practices requires time, empathy, relationship building, and emotional investment. Join Ta7talíya Nahanee and Chepximiya Siyam’ Chief Janice George for a facilitated discussion of how you can take meaningful steps to improve your practices no matter where you are in your decolonizing journey.

Join the live virtual conversation (October 8 from 1 – 2 pm) and share your experiences, questions, and ideas for bettering our practices. 

Learn about the panelists here.

Special thanks to the University of Victoria Cultural Resource Management Program for sponsoring this session.

Ask the Experts breakout sessions, 2 pm

Engage directly with arts, culture and heritage sector experts to receive actionable advice and direct feedback with this interactive format. Stop by each breakout session to chat with sector experts in funding and navigating the virtual space. Learn more here.

Confirmed speakers

 BCMA Awards Showcase, 6 – 7:30pm

Join us for BCMA’s first virtual Awards event! This free, access-anywhere event will celebrate our nominees and announce the winners of the 2020 BCMA Awards for Outstanding Achievement. Family, friends, and colleagues are all encouraged to attend and celebrate with us. Learn more here!

BCMA Awards Reception, 7:30pm

Following the showcase, stick around for a special Awards-themed ‘Watercooler WednesdayThursday’ to connect with this year’s nominees and reflect on the achievements of the sector.


BCMA Annual General Meeting, 11 am – 12 pm

Voting members are encouraged to attend our virtual AGM. Tune in for a chance to win a complimentary registration to our 2021 Conference in Surrey! View your Voting Member Package here.

Lightning Talk Series, 12 – 1 pm

Come learn from BC’s arts, culture and heritage sector professionals with a series of lightning talks about reopening, new programming and the ways museums, galleries, and heritage organizations have adapted and innovated this year.


How to Address the Collections Management Troublesome Trio, 2 – 3 pm

Lucidea’s museum collections management specialists Marcus Liban and Benitta MacLachlan will describe and address the Top 3 highest visibility and most common CMS-related challenges museum professionals face today. During this interactive presentation, attendees will be inspired by the possibilities for leveraging:

  • Online, browser-based collections description and access, for both staff and visitors
  • Exhibition management, with a dashboard for a comprehensive view of objects associated with an exhibition
  • Powerful, flexible reporting that supports evidence-based decision making
Special thanks to Lucidea for sponsoring this session!


Stretch Break, 3 – 3:15 pm


Interactive Storytelling in the Digital Era, 3:15 – 4:15 pm

Digital storytelling offers all sorts of possibilities for expression, but where to begin? As we consider how to engage audiences at a distance, join Jonny Hepburn – Content Strategist at ngx – to reflect on some guiding principles and to explore a spectrum of excellent online works. Part showcase, part curated conversation, part group discussion, participants will walk away with actionable ideas and a little inspiration for their digital ambitions.


Tales from the Trenches, 4 – 5 pm

Always an attendee favorite, Tales from the Trenches is back! Creative work is full of hiccups, potholes, dead ends, and taking the scenic route. Before we start celebrating our accomplishments over the past year we’ll take a humorous and cathartic dive into the projects that didn’t go according to plan, the times we fell flat on our faces, or put our foot firmly in our mouth. Kick things off by joining together for a time of connection and mentorship with your colleagues from BC’s arts, culture, and heritage community.

Conference delegates will be invited to share their personal tales from the museum trenches. Come prepared to share your story!