Conference Opening


The Incluseum Plenary & Workshop

The Incluseum advances new ways of being a museum through critical discourse, community building and collaborative practice related to inclusion in museums. The Incluseum is, a space to build community around issues of inclusion and justice in museums; a resource for current research and practice related to inclusion; a platform for critical dialogue that advances the ways in which we understand, talk about, and enact inclusion in museums; and a project that weaves digital and offline engagements to catalyze ‘next practices’.

Aletheia Wittman cofounded and coordinates The Incluseum. Through The Incluseum she acts as a facilitator and strategist at the intersection of institutions, policy, research and organizing efforts with the goal to insure a future where all arts and cultural spaces are grounded in justice and equity. The Incluseum has also informed her practice and philosophies as a public programmer and exhibit curator at the Seattle Architecture Foundation (SAF).

Porchia Moore is an ABD (All But Dissertation) PhD candidate at the University of South Carolina in the School of Library and Information Science and the McKissick Museum Management program. She serves on the Professional Development Committee for the South Carolina Federation of Museums, and is a Board Member for the Friends of African American Art Committee at the Columbia Museum of Art. Porchia is currently a graduate teaching assistant in the School of Library and Information Science and works as a museum consultant at the Columbia Museum of Art and Historic Columbia Foundation where she trains incoming docents on cultural competency. She is also co-creator of the Visitors of Color project.



Addressing Diversity and Inclusion

Speakers and Bios TBC



Ignite Sessions

PICTURE IMPERFECT: Tips and Tricks for Using Historic Images when Looking for Artifacts—Presenter: Sean Stoughton (Village Coordinator, Waterloo Region Museum)

Often in our museums we need to research small details about objects in order to determine function, assess the accuracy of replicas, or for general information about a place or event. When historic photographs are available as reference, they can be an enormous asset. However, using historic photographs as research material comes with its own set of problems which can lead to confusion and misinterpretation. This talk will offer some basic hints and tips for finding the details you need from historic photographs, as well as some of the pitfalls and limitations of using photos as research material.

EXPERIENCE & PLAY: The Critical Role of Dungeons & Dragons in Museum Education—Presenter: Daniel Kwan (Studio Instructor, Royal Ontario Museum)

The purpose of this presentation is to consider how experience and inquiry through role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder can be employed in a museum setting as a means to work towards problematizing and mitigating deficiencies in mainstream classroom education. As a means of experiential learning, role playing games can serve as a powerful collaborative educational tool for fostering the development of the skills required to more broadly navigate the world outside of the museum. These include, but are not restricted to: mathematics, literacy, inter-personal communication, self-reflection, critical thinking, and resiliency. As such, the presenter will critically evaluate the educational aims of the museum and how they can be achieved through analog gaming.

SHARED AUTHORITY AND INCLUSIVE STORYTELLING: A Grassroots, Community-Led Effort to Build Toronto’s First Museum of Migration—Presenters: Arlene Chan (Tour Guide, Toronto Ward Museum), Anja Hamilton (Programming Coordinator, Toronto Ward Museum)

Shared authority and inclusive storytelling are guiding principles of the Ward Museum, a museum without walls dedicated to telling stories of migration to Toronto. Since its inception, the Museum has been supported by a network of institutional partners from four different sectors, working to give local residents the opportunity to co-develop and co-deliver the museum’s programming. This presentation will speak to the ethical necessity and importance of sharing authority within museums, as well as exploring the experience of Arlene Chan, one of the guides and storytellers on the Museum’s Dishing Up Toronto tours.

COME SEE THE REAL THING: Film-Based Programming in Historic House Museums—Presenter: Emma Tennier-Stuart (Master’s Student, Folklore Department, Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Historical dramas on television and in film have always been popular, and recently Canada has been experiencing a boom in its own production of historical television. With museums always looking to reach wider audiences, and develop engaging, experiential programming, film-based programming is an excellent way to create an accessible museum experience for a ready-made audience. However, trying to tie in museum programming with television and film is an imperfect art. Based on field work carried out for her Folklore Master’s degree, Emma will outline a basic Do and Don’t list for creating film-based programming applicable to the museums here in Ontario. 

WHAT CAN MUSEUMS LEARN FROM AGENCIES SERVING IMMIGRANTS? And what can they offer to newcomer audiences?—Presenter: Marta Keller-Hernandez (Administrator, Sur Gallery; Programming Coordinator, Paralia Newcomer Arts Network)

Agencies Serving Immigrants are the first place to go for over 95,000 newcomers moving to Ontario every year from a country other than Canada. Based on the presenter’s experience when using these agencies’ services, this session aims to explore some key aspects that make ASI’s services and programming a successful way to attract and engage newcomers.

How can these practices be implemented in the museum sector? What can museums offer when trying to build long-lasting relationships with newcomers? The presentation will provide some ideas and thoughts around potential programming opportunities for museums to attract, engage, and retain newcomer audiences.




Presenters: Jan Emonson (Curator, York Region District School Board Museum & Archives), Christina Blake (Education Programmer, York Region District School Board Museum & Archives)

York Region is one of the most diverse communities in the country and as a school board museum and archives we have students from across the region coming to our site to take part in our programs.

How have we responded to the cultural landscape of our audience? Using our updated in-house programs and our board wide WWI Arts Inquiry Project we will provide the audience with an interactive look into how we have embraced the diversity of York Region through our programming.



Towards an Inclusive Society: Intersections of Race, Culture and Disability – Presenter Rabia Khedr

Rabia Khedr runs diversityworX, a private consultancy company, which helps organizations promote diversity in their work environment. In October 2005, she wrote a white paper investigating, among other things, the impact of ethno-cultural and faith backgrounds on the lives of mothers with disabilities. Through diversityworX, which she runs out of her home, she has consulted for the Canadian Association for Community Living and Providence Health Care. She sits on the board of the Ontario Women’s Health Network and is a member of the City of Mississauga Accessibility Advisory Committee. Rabia is devoted to building inclusive communities. She knows it is a goal she can accomplish in Canada, where she has already had success fighting systemic biases against people with disabilities.



ENGAGING AUDIENCES: The New Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History - 30 minutes Presenter: Glenn Ogden (Creative Development Specialist, Canadian Museum of History)

How do we engage audiences to create 21st century museum experiences? How can we plan for and balance audience needs with those of stakeholders and communities? This session will take you through how the Canadian Museum of History grappled with these questions to craft its new signature exhibition, the Canadian History Hall. This case study will focus on the value of audience development and public engagement as a vital activity for all institutions. It will explore how this process unfolded for a major project, and how it shaped messaging, guiding principles, storytelling, content selection, design, accessibility and interpretive approaches.



Awards of Excellence Reception

Paris Ballroom, Thursday, November 3, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Join us as we celebrate this year’s OMA Awards of Excellence recipients

The OMA Awards of Excellence are designed to recognize outstanding contributions to the Ontario museum community, with emphasis on innovation; advance the museum profession in Ontario; and encourage high standards of excellence in the museum field.




Ontario’s Museums 2025 and Your Museum: A Strategic Plan for the Future

Ontario’s Museums 2025: Strategic Vision & Action Plan was launched by the OMA on May 16, 2016. The OMA is using this document to inform the direction its own strategic plan for 2015-2020. Ontario’s Museums 2025 is intended to be used in this way -- to help individual museums with their own future planning and operations. The vision and the action items should be considered when developing institutional strategic and business plans. This plenary workshop delivered by OMA staff and Council members will demonstrate the process -- using the OMA’s own recent strategic planning process as an example.



Frank Vagnone of Twisted Preservation

Franklin Vagnone (Principal – TWISTED PRESERVATION: Cultural Consulting. New York City), has a strong background in the creative arts (Architecture, Design, Sculpture), is a Public Historian and “domestic-archeo-anthropologist.” An international thought leader in innovative and entrepreneurial non-profit management, he has a thoughtful combination of philosophical and practical experiences that have allowed him to consult, lecture, and teach internationally for an extensive list of universities, cultural sites, museums, and community-based membership organizations.

As well as maintaining the blog, Twisted Preservation, and the series “One Night Stand,” and moderating an international discussion group – The Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums, Franklin has co-authored The Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums (with Ms. Deborah Ryan), a book about innovative concepts for historic cultural sites. The book, in its 3rd printing since November 2015, was voted best Museum Education-related book of 2015 by Museum Educator’s Monitor.




Presenter: Kate Butler (Museum Director, Haliburton Highlands Museum)

Visitors to the Haliburton Highlands Museum have long been telling staff that there were many traditional skills they wished they had learned from parents and grandparents. In this session, you’ll learn about the innovative mentorship program we implemented to address this need, partnering seniors and children in our community. Kate Butler will share the lessons we learned along the way and the adventures we had (including babysitting bees and emergency crafting lessons), as well as how this sort of rewarding program can be adapted to a museum of any size, including yours!

RELEVANT & MEANINGFUL COLLECTIONS: Change Makers Past, Present, Future - 30 minutes

Presenters: Mandy Salter (Director/Curator, Art Gallery Mississauga)

In 2017 Canada will celebrate its Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Confederation. A time to honour Canadian nation builders and change makers, many anticipate a year that will celebrate and strengthen the diversity of our country. Only twenty four years ago another anniversary was celebrated: the quincentennial of the arrival of Christopher Columbus. The year of 1992 celebrated the discovery of this continent, but would also be the beginning of change in Canadian museums and galleries. At this time the National Gallery purchased its first work by an Indigenous Canadian artist; Carl Beam’s The North American Iceberg. Carl’s work would be at the forefront of Land, Spirit, Power, the first Indigenous exhibition at the National Gallery. 

The Art Gallery of Mississauga is a young gallery, housed in the diverse and ever-growing Peel community, but nevertheless houses a Permanent Collection of noteworthy works from some of the most significant artists in Canadian Art History. Among these notable Canadian artists are works by several Indigenous artists including Norval Morrisseau, Carl Beam, Rita Letendre, and Robert Houle. Their work tells stories that span histories far beyond one hundred and fifty years. However, their history of recognition and acceptance within arts and cultural institutions is a recent one.

Anniversaries offer moments us to be introspective. What does it mean to house work by survivors of the Residential School System, or work by the first Indigenous artist to have a retrospective at the National Gallery? Furthermore what can their stories tell us about Canada, about ourselves? 



INDIGENOUS COLLECTIONS: Who Cares? - 45 minutes

Presenters: Janis Monture and Paula Whitlow (Woodland Cultural Centre), Petal Furness (Grey Roots Museum & Archives), Cara Krmpotich (University of Toronto), Heather George (McMaster University), Tanis Hill (Six Nations Polytechnic), Mary Collier (OMA)

We do and we want you to as well. Join members of the Indigenous Collections Symposium Working Group for a panel of perspectives on why we care about Indigenous collections in Ontario’s museums and what is at stake if the status quo persists. In the months leading up to the Indigenous Collections Symposium in March 2017, let’s talk about what issues need our attention and what action we as museums, small and large, can take.



ANIMATING HISTORIC SITES & MUSEUMS: Creating Innovative Programming in Evocative Historic Spaces - 45 minutes

Presenters: Linda Irwin (Manager, Museums, City of Toronto Museums & Heritage Services), Claire Hopkinson (Director & CEO, Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation), Penelope Stewart (Artist), Allen Kaeja (Co-Artistic Director, Kaeja d’Dance)

The Toronto Arts Council and City of Toronto Museums started a partnership in 2013 entitled "Animating Historic Sites & Museums" to create an innovative and creative opportunity for artists to animate historic sites outside the downtown core. The project has served as a catalyst for people to see and think about historic places in a new way – to provide alternatives to traditional methods of historic understanding and interpretation. The program positions historic site museums as vital public spaces of social interaction – where the past provides creative context for future-looking interpretation. Entering its 4th year, this project offers funding to artists to create and present new work inspired by and presented in the historic spaces. A range of innovative projects have been presented to date including dance, theatre and exhibitions. A panel of representatives from the TAC, the museums and artists will discuss the inspiration and some feedback on this program concept. Discussion will provide inspiration and suggestions for museum and cultural professionals to consider developing similar programming at their own museums.



Closing of Conference

Announcement of Conference 2017 Date and Location

Conference Draws and Prize Winners

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