Tuesday October 3

“Warming Up” Welcome Reception: 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Hosted by the BCMA Emerging Museum Professionals Conference Sub-Committee

Venue: The Robert Bateman Centre

Warm up to Conference with a special welcome reception at The Robert Bateman Centre overlooking Victoria’s picturesque harbour and skyline. Join other Conference delegates in a series of fun, light-hearted social and professional networking activities. Take part in the classic BCMA “Tales from the Trenches” open mic storytelling event – a must-see part of many past conferences. More details coming soon!

This reception is hosted by the Emerging Museum Professionals sub-committee, a group of professionals in the first 10 years of their career.

Registration is free for all full-conference delegates. Space is limited.


Wednesday October 4

Morning Plenaries and Workshops: 10:45 am – 11:45 am

Making it Right: Reconciliation Through Collaboration

Seven organizations – 6 First Nations cultural centres and 1 non-First Nations museum – will speak about collaborating on an exhibition that we collectively see as an act of reconciliation. This presentation will offer insights into this collaborative work-in-progress and discuss the ways in which we reconcile culturally different approaches to knowledge in this project. In partnership with 6 First Nations cultural centres, MOA is co-creating an exhibition that presents aspects of the work these critical cultural organizations do for their community and the larger cultural and heritage world.

Jill R. Baird, Curator of Education, UBC Museum of Anthropology
Pam Brown, Curator of Pacific Northwest, UBC Museum of Anthropology
Nika Collison, Curator, Haida Gwaii Museum
Stephanie Halapija, Director and Curator, Nisga’a Museum
Scott Marsden, Executive Director, Haida Gwaii Museum
Alison Pascal (Mixalíts̓a7), Junior Curator, Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

Interventions for Change

This workshop will explore intervention strategies scaleable for museums of any size that can be used in school programs and special events to respond proactively to the wants and needs of your users.

Kim Gough, Learning Program Developer, Royal BC Museum
Chris O’Connor, Learning Program Developer, Royal BC Museum
Liz Crocker, Learning Program Developer, Royal BC Museum

Afternoon Plenaries and Workshops: 2:00 pm-3:00 pm

Changing the Climate: Indigenous Right, Land and Environment in BC and Beyond

This presentation explores the relations between exhibitions and advocacy. We will introduce how four exhibitions at MOA aimed to contribute to broader public awareness of present-day relations between Indigenous civil and political rights, global responsibilities, and debates over land issues and environmental change. Each project brought its own local or international focus to these questions, and promoted the notion that our collective well being here in BC and elsewhere is dependent on a social contract based on Indigenous self-determination.

Nuno Porto, Curator for Africa and South America, UBC Museum of Anthropology
Susan Rowley, Curator Public Archaeology/Circumpolar/Pacific Northwest, UBC Museum of Anthropology
Karen Duffek, Curator of Contemporary Visual Arts and Pacific Northwest, UBC Museum of Anthropology
Carol E. Mayer, Head of Curatorial and Interpretation, UBC Museum of Anthropology

Archives, Museums and Secondary Trauma: Understanding the Current Climate

This presentation focuses upon how the change towards a climate of compassion in collecting organizations can lead to an increase in risk for secondary traumatic stress amongst those working in the memory, heritage, and information sectors. As the LAM community moves away from being passive curators of the materials in their possession to being more active mediators and facilitators, we ask what safeguards are currently in place to protect the emotional and mental well being of those working with records, objects, and communities associated with trauma.

Katie Sloan, Project Archivist, UBC Athletics & Recreation
Jennifer Vanderfluit, Archivist
Jennifer Douglas, Assistant Professor, iSchool@UBC

Afternoon Plenaries and Workshops: 3:30 pm-4:30 pm

Voices of the Nisga’a Treaty: A Community Creation

In the summer of 2017 the Nisga’a Museum launched a multi-media, interactive community based project focused on the gathering of intangible heritage connected to the Nisga’a Treaty. This two year project and temporary exhibition entitled Voices of the Nisga’a Treaty, features upwards of 30 interviews of Nisga’a citizens integral to the negotiation and formation of the treaty, as well as Nisga’a youth and Nisga’a Lisims Government employees who work towards a future made possible by the treaty. This was ambitious community project that involved consultation and participation on many levels.

Stephanie Halapija, Director and Curator, Nisga’a Museum
Justina Moore, Administrative Assistant, Nisga’a Museum
Jolene Sampare, Museum Coordinator, Nisga’a Museum

From Audience to Community: Creating Space, Embracing Change

Community engagement is no longer a mere buzzword – it has matured as a way of doing business in the museum and cultural sector. Our understanding of it, and relationship to it has transformed the way we approach everything from programming, curation, and exhibition development. Panelists from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (AGGV), Jewish Museums and Archives of BC (JMABC), and the South Asian Canadian Histories Association (SACHA) will share their insights and reflections on how community engagement is the defining feature of their work.

Hanna Cho, Producer, NGX Interactive
Naveen Girn, Co-founder, South Asian Canadian Histories Association
Michael Schwartz, Director of Community Engagement, Jewish Museum and Archives of BC
Nicole Stanbridge, Curator of Engagement, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria


Thursday October 5

Morning Plenaries and Workshops 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Moving Forward: Changes with Indigenous Communities with the Surrey Museum

This presentation is a case study that focuses on the Surrey Museum’s experiences in rewriting Indigenous education programs to reflect recent changes in the provincial school curriculum. Attendees will discover how the rewriting process turned into a valuable learning experience in working with Indigenous partners, and attendees will benefit from the Museum’s mistakes, successes and learned best practices.

Sandra M. Borger, Education Specialist, Surrey Museum

Moving from the Inside Out: Museums and Environmental Education

Today, human impacts such as climate change, habitat degradation, and pollution are impacting biodiversity at an alarming rate. The Beaty Biodiversity Museum is a natural history museum, we serve as an indoor library of the natural world. How can we, and other indoor institutions, best use our spaces and collections to inspire people to be environmental stewards? In this session, we will share our varied approach to this challenge, how the Beaty supports visitors understand, value, and protect biodiversity in a number of ways, and the ways these can be applied in other indoor institutions.

Jackie Chambers, Education & Outreach Manager, Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Nicole Balsdon, Education & Outreach Coordinator, Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Amy Gibson, Marketing, Communications & Events Coordinator, Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Afternoon Plenaries and Workshops 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Anti-Racist and Activist Work Through Museum/Community Collaboration with the Reach Gallery and Sikh Heritage Museum/South Asian Studies Institute

This presentation will frame anti-racist work, community outreach and activist work as experienced through the partnership between a museum/art gallery and historic site that functions as an ethno-cultural museum. Kris Foulds (The Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford) and Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra (Sikh Heritage Museum/Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, UFV), will share their experiences over the past six years of educational tours that have taken place in the Sikh Heritage Museum, National Historic Site, Gur Sikh Temple. The presenters will discuss their unique perspectives on their roles in counter.

Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, Coordinator, South Asian Studies Institute, University of the Fraser Valley
Kris Foulds, Curator of Historical Collections, The Reach Gallery Museum

Language Matters

This session will use paper airplanes and creative process to involve everyone in discussing how language can be a catalyst for positive social impact in and by the GLAM sector. Babs Kelly will share how BCLTA’s 2017 Resolution on the Rights of Transgender, Gender Variant, and Two-Spirited People is shaping her work with library boards, with communications and a website design, and with strengthening partnerships and stakeholder relationships. Melissa Adams will present on the role that language (including terminology and structure, as well as the actual language used) plays in shaping the varied relationships people have to the collections held by libraries, archives and museums. Melissa will use a storytelling format to share a few of her experiences as an Indigenous person in the GLAM world, including as a subject, student and manager. Through these real world examples, the power of language will be illustrated, and tools and actions to address issues raised will be discussed. Babs will also use paper airplanes and a creative process jam to share some of the practical ways for the GLAM sector to use language in their work as a catalyst for positive social impact on the communities we serve.

Babs Kelly, Executive Director, BC Library Trustees Association
Melissa Adams, Librarian and Archivist, Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Ask the Expert – 3:15 pm – 4:45pm

Volunteer Programs: Changing for the Better

Volunteer programs can be a challenge to coordinate, especially for those of us that cannot devote all of our time to them. Volunteers are looking for more inclusive and flexible opportunities, which don’t always match our current programs. So, how do we match both of these needs? Be ready to discuss and share your own volunteer programs! Expect to go back to your workplace with new ideas and tools.

In this round table, we will discuss simple solutions like volunteer surveys, efficient interviews, revisiting training, improving manuals, creating inclusive position descriptions, and using online scheduling tools. We may also explore when it’s time to step back and overhaul.

Nicole Balsdon, Education & Outreach Coordinator, Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Planning for Change: Building Flexible Resources for Educators

Education in BC is changing – the curriculum has been redesigned and teachers are looking for resources and support in creating learner-centered projects and opportunities for their students. How do we balance the goals of the revised curriculum, provide support for educators and flexibility for learners, while still remaining committed to our mission and our collections? How can we be responsive to educators and at the same time mindful of our own staffing levels and resources?

Jackie Chambers, Education & Outreach Manager at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum will share her experience navigating this process and examples of how the Beaty is building flexible educator resources to support learning in the museum, in the classroom and online. Jackie will share some of her challenges and successes and is looking forward to discussion with others working on similar projects. The goal of this ‘show & share’ session is for all participants to come away with new ideas to try in their workplace.

Jackie Chambers, Education & Outreach Manager, Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Working with Students

Do you have troubles finding season employees? Do you wish that more young people would pursue working in the museum sector? Do you wish student employees would return for another season? UVic Co-op Coordinators are happy to connect you to students at UVic. We can help you develop attractive job postings, ask the right questions in interviews, develop hiring timelines that work for students, create engaging win-win work projects, connect with funding opportunities and more.

You can learn about: developing attractive job postings, creating workplaces and projects that engage students, funding opportunities, co-operative education and other community-engaged learning models, and working with the University of Victoria.

Helen Kobrc, Co-op Coordinator, University of Victoria
Allison Benner, Co-op Coordinator, Humanities and Fine Arts, University of Victoria

What’s Your Story? Sharing museum stories through social and traditional media

Learn how to communicate the many fascinating stories of your GLAM institution far beyond its walls. Develop relationships with members of the media and conduct media training for spokespeople. Generate memorable narratives and share them on social media. Use best practices to grow your social media presence, experiment with new trends and measure your results.

Participants will be able to learn the following: How to select the best social media platforms; How to grow a following on social media; Social media best practices; How to measure social media impact; How to pitch to traditional media; How to prepare your spokespeople; How traditional media needs are changing; How to build relationships with media; and How to put together a communications plan.

Mairin Kerr, Communications Specialist, Royal BC Museum
Erik Lambertson, Corporate Communications Manager, Royal BC Museum

The Future of Museum Standards in Canada: “Nomenclature + Online”

Efficient access to your museum’s collection depends on the use of standards for the classification and naming of museum objects.  “Nomenclature” and the “Parks Canada System” have been vitally important to Canadian museums for decades.  These two standards will soon be freely available online as a harmonized, fully bilingual standard: “Nomenclature + Online”, including the entire Nomenclature 4.0, the harmonized Parks Canada system, AND new French equivalents for all terms and definitions! Find out how your museum can benefit – and learn about our new Canadian Working Group for Nomenclature!

Heather Dunn, Heritage Information Analyst – Standards, Canadian Heritage Information Network

Too Much Stuff: Collections evaluation and de-accessioning

Is your collections storage area beyond capacity? Do you feel like you have too many items that are not relevant to your collecting mandate? Is it hard to make decisions about what you should keep, and what you should let go? You are not alone. Many museums struggle with the legacy of past collecting practices that brought in too many items, and not enough documentation. Lisa will share resources and information about how to evaluate new donation offers and existing collections to create a more relevant, focused collection. She will share tools to evaluate items for retention or disposal, and answer questions about the practical, ethical, and legal dimensions of de-accessioning.

Lisa Codd, Curator, Burnaby Village Museum

Smart Fundraising

How do you prioritize your limited time and resources to ensure you effectively raise funds? This session is designed to provide practical advice to help museum professionals in becoming more effective fundraisers, particularly those at smaller institutions with limited staff.  Sean will share a snapshot of the current state of fundraising in Canada, particularly as it relates to the heritage sector. Learn real-world strategies you can use for major gifts, grant writing, sponsorship, stewardship, and board engagement.

Sean Rodman, Principal, Philanthropy Intelligence

BC Heritage Emergency Response Discussion (location TBA) – 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm

In the fall of 2013, staff and interns from the Royal British Columbia Museum, the UBC Museum of Anthropology, and the Museum at Campbell River responded to a call for help from a coastal cultural centre following a fire. The experiences gained during that event led those involved to understand that BC requires an organized approach to heritage disaster response. To that end, a Museums Assistance Program grant application was submitted and subsequently funded to explore the idea and to develop a framework for a BC Heritage Emergency Response Network (BC HERN). This initiative has already begun with a proposal for the larger arts and heritage institutions to sign a Statement of Cooperation that would lead to reciprocal support in an emergency situation as well as a commitment to work together to broaden the network to include smaller institutions and centres. An emergency response workshop was held at the Royal BC Museum last fall and plans are underway to outfit at least two salvage kits that would be ready and available for the next emergency.

The BC HERN organizing group will be providing some background on the initiative and would welcome a discussion with the BCMA membership around ideas on how a viable and sustainable emergency response network might be collectively built.

Heidi Swierenga, Senior Conservator, UBC Museum of Anthropology
Kasey Lee, Senior Conservator, Royal BC Museum
Liz Czerwinski, Conservator, Burnaby Village Museum