Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Opening and Closing Plenary Presenter Preview with Cathy Molloy

Cathy Molloy is the Director of Markham Museum. She was born in Toronto and grew up in the Rouge Valley, specifically on the edge of one of its wonderful ravines. Before returning to Markham Museum and becoming its Director in 2008, Cathy worked as a Curator at both the Oshawa Museum and Markham Museum, and was instrumental in raising funds to build the Aurora Cultural Centre. Cathy’s interest in environmental issues goes back to her teen years where she participated in the Boyd Conservation Archaeological Summer Field School, which was the start of a life-long desire to better understand how humans interact with the natural world.

Please provide a brief overview of your role at Markham Museum and the work that your organization does.
The Vision of Markham Museum is to "inspire a life-long curiosity, pride in, and care for, the people, tangible heritage, places, lands and waterways of the City of Markham: past, present and future.” Our mission is to “examine Markham by engaging technologies developed and used by all human cultures to live in the natural world; agriculture and food; material culture; engineering and environmental. We will engage science, industry, history and the arts to understand how Markham became what it is today and what its possible futures could be”.
Markham is, demographically, the most diverse city in Canada. It is vital that the museum connect to the community as a whole. Additionally, protection of the environment is a strategic priority of Markham Council, and many of the city’s sustainability initiatives relate directly to the goals of the Museum.
While the new LEED Gold building that houses Markham Museum was being constructed, an archaeological excavation discovered a wealth of pottery had once been on the land. The land sits on a clay bed of the Rouge Watershed. The study of the pots eventually led to the development of the environmental program direction at Markham Museum.

Why are you interested in participating in the AMA’s 2018 Conference?
The Strategic Plan of Markham Museum is dependent on partnerships with community groups, academic groups, other government agencies, and local businesses. The theme of this Conference is Cultivating Connections, so the discussions are very relevant to our work. As the program direction of Markham Museum is rooted in our natural environment, I am interested in learning about the work that other museums and organizations are doing.

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