Call for Presentation Proposals

Stronger Together – Resilience, Collaboration, and Inclusion in a Changing World
Surrey, BC  | October 3-5, 2021


Present at British Columbia’s ONLY conference for museum, gallery, and heritage professionals!

We live in a time of fundamental change. Our landscapes and geographies are shifting with ever dire consequences predicted for the future; income inequality is rampant; climate change is upon us; budgets are tight; and misinformation can spread fast.

While it sometimes feels overwhelming, museums have proven that they can be creative, empathetic, resourceful and resilient. How do we as trusted institutions respond to the changes in our world? Come to this conference and generate ideas for action, plans for equality and accessibility, ideas to make a positive social impact in our communities and strategies for creating spaces of activism and action.

This fall, the BC Museums Association Conference will be held on the unceded traditional territory of the Salish Peoples, in particular the land-based communities q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie), q̓ʷɑ:n̓ƛ̓ən̓ (Kwantlen), and Semyome (Semiahmoo) First Nations.

Why be a presenter?

The BC Museums Association’s Annual Conference brings together professionals and volunteers from museums, galleries, cultural centres and historic sites. Presenters have a unique opportunity to gain recognition and exchange ideas with well over a hundred registrants from across BC, and will also receive a discounted conference registration rate if registered by the early-bird deadline of June 30, 2021. Deadline for proposal submissions is May 1, 2021.

Sessions can explore a range of topics, such as:

  • Sustainability initiatives, climate adaptation or community activism
  • Social justice through exhibitions, education, and programming
  • Engaging diverse audiences within museum, art gallery, and cultural centre practices
  • Practical topics related to core museum functions and non-profit management and governance

BCMA encourages proposals that:

  • Highlight this year’s theme Stronger Together: Resilience,Collaboration, and Inclusion in a Changing World
  • Think beyond standard presentation formats
  • Are accessible to the audience
  • Are innovative and provide diverse, active, hands-on learning experiences. Mount-making activities, applied conservation skills, arts education demonstrations are just a few ideas for how you might get conference delegates out of their seats.
  • Are relevant and tailored to small museums and the challenges and opportunities at their museum, gallery or cultural centre. Remember that a majority of museums and cultural centres in BC operate with budgets of under $100,000 per year.
  • Share viewpoints, case studies and discussions on important issues affecting the cultural sector
  • Explore best practices, risks taken and lessons learned
  • Tell stories of challenge, transformation, innovation
  • Build new connections with colleagues and galvanize action


Proposed sessions should be grounded in practice rather than theory, and focus on topics of interest to the museum, gallery, archive, library, history, and heritage sectors. Session formats in the past have included:

  • Workshop (45 mins) – Active learning with dedicated time for hands-on participation.
  • Presentation (45 mins, incl. Q&A time) – One or more presenters and panel discussions of up to 4 people.
  • Deep Dive (120 mins) – A longer time block to allow for deeper exploration of topics that may have a presentation and workshop element to them. Presenters are encouraged to consider how their presentation will align with our theme.
  • Ask the Expert Session (120 mins, open format – participants rotate through 4-6 tables during this time) – You will host drop-in style roundtable discussions, demonstrations and mini-workshops in an area where you have specific expertise to share. Ask the Expert presenters do not have access to a projector or computer.

Have an idea for a different format? We’re looking for out-of-the-box, innovative ideas for sessions. We encourage everyone with a great idea to send us proposals for new formats and experiences.

Technology Guidelines

Each meeting room will be supplied with the following AV:

  • Laptop with sound for video
  • LCD projector and screen
  • Microphone for presenter and microphone for panel
  • Flipchart with paper and markers

Each year’s conference includes dozens of speakers. In an effort to streamline administration, minimize technical issues and provide the best possible experience for delegates and presenters, we ask that our presenters adhere to these guidelines:

  • Presenters must use the laptop provided and cannot bring their own laptop.
  • Presenters must provide presentations in advance for upload. No USBs on site.
  • Presentations are accepted in PowerPoint format only. No other format is accepted. You may include video or audio in your presentation.
  • Presenters are responsible for supplying any materials or handouts associated with presentations.

Important Dates

May 1, 2021 – Deadline for proposal submission
June 5, 2021 – Notification of accepted proposals will be issued
June 30, 2021 – Deadline to access discounted presenter registration rate for conference. After this date, regular registration fees apply.
August 28, 2021 – Deadline for presenters to submit their PowerPoint presentations to BCMA

Additional Information

A $100 discount on conference registration will be provided to accepted presenters if registration is completed and paid for prior to the early bird registration deadline June 30, 2021. Presenters are responsible for their own transportation and accommodation. Presenter fees and/or honorariums are not provided.

We encourage all presenters to register for and attend the full conference. We do recognize that there are times when this is not possible due to time or financial constraints. Please get in touch with the BCMA office during the proposal process to discuss alternatives and arrangements.


We invite you to connect with us by phone 250-356-5700 or email to discuss ideas for proposals.

How to Submit Your Proposal:

Online Form Coming Spring 2021

Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2021 

When completing this form, we recommend that you complete the information in a separate word processing program and then paste your responses into this form. This form does not allow for saving and returning to the form at a later date.


Check out this great resource from Museum Hack to help you with your conference session: 5 Tips for Designing a Great Conference Session