Thursday, 18 August 2016

Hammer - In, Hammer - On!

The volunteers at the Lacombe Blacksmith Shop have invited blacksmiths from around Alberta to join them in a Hammer-In this year during Alberta Open Farm Days August 20 and 21, 2016.

During this special event, spectators can watch blacksmiths showcase their extraordinary talents while they make two benches and help a great cause! One of the benches made during the event will be donated to the community of Fort McMurray and the other will be auctioned during the September Lacombe Culture & Harvest Festival with proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross.

Volunteers Karl Beller, Jennifer Kirchner, Henrietta Verwey, and summer student Seth Burnard at the Lacombe Blacksmith Shop Museum. Photo credit: Tildy.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

AMA Conference 2016 Keynote Interview: Ryan Dodge, Digital Engagement Coordinator at the Royal Ontario Museum

As the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)’s Digital Engagement Coordinator, Ryan is focussed on digital content creation and campaign and community management as well as building digital capacity within the institution. Ryan is active in the global museum community and has volunteered with the Canadian Museums Association's Young Canada Works Project, the New Media Consortium's Horizon Report: Museum Edition and the board of ICOM Canada. Ryan is currently a board member of the Virtual Museum of Canada and the Museum Computer Network's part-time Digital Content and Community Manager.

In anticipation of his upcoming keynote and session at AMA Conference 2016, Lisa Making, Director of Exhibits and Communications at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, met with Ryan to discuss digital engagement in museums.

Lisa Making: ROM has taken a unique approach to managing social media by allowing multiple profiles for one organization. Can you share with us some of the strengths of this approach, as well as some of the challenges?

Ryan Dodge:The decision to open up multiple official twitter accounts was not one taken lightly and was in line with an overall strategic direction taken by the museum to organize our collections around Eight Centres of Discovery back in 2013. Before I came into the role in 2012, our @ROMPalaeo and @ROMBiodiversity teams had already started accounts with lively dialogue and engagement. The decision became whether to ask them to close those accounts or to start new ones for the remaining six Centres of Discovery once they were fully launched in 2014. In the end we chose to expand to give our public the opportunity to engage with the areas of the museum that they are most interested in. Our aim here was to allow people to self-select and engage with the content they want – more on that here:

Friday, 5 August 2016

AMA Conference 2016 Keynote Interview: Ry Moran, Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

In 2008, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was established as part of a settlement agreement between the Government of Canada and survivors of the Indian Residential School System. Through the work of the TRC, many Canadians have now been able to learn more about this dark period of Canada’s history and the lasting impacts it has on our country and its people today.

Also part of the settlement, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) was created as a depository for the information and records gathered through the work of the Commission. The NCTR, housed at the University of Manitoba, carries on the work of the TRC by continuing to share the history of residential schools and create a foundation for reconciliation through truth.

Ry Moran is Director of the NCTR. Through his work with the TRC, Ry was responsible for gathering the history of the residential school system from more than twenty government departments and nearly 100 church archives - millions of records in all. As a prelude to his upcoming keynote address and session at the AMA Conference, Miranda Jimmy, Program Manager at the Edmonton Heritage Council and Co-Founder of RISE – Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton, met with Ry to learn more about the NCTR and the place for museums in the reconciliation process.

Miranda Jimmy: How did you become involved with the work of the TRC?

Ry Moran: I started talking to the first Commission after attending a ceremony at Rideau Hall in 2008. When that Commission ended, I picked up the conversation with the second Commission. Initially, I bid on the TRC’s Request for Proposals for statement gathering through the business I was running. They contacted me later through their recruiting firm, Higgins International, and the next thing I knew I was being interviewed in Winnipeg. That was early January 2010, and by late January I was working for the Commission. I fully relocated to Winnipeg in March of 2010, but all of my stuff showed up right in the middle of the first national event.

MJ: While working through the mandate of the TRC, what were your biggest challenges?

RM: It was emotional work – on a regular basis, you heard terrible stories of abuse. In that, you had to provide support, kindness, and empathy to everyone involved – even when my own tank was running on empty.  You had to dig deep. The work was complicated, and it involved many uncertainties and roadblocks. Document collection was extremely complicated, and we were in court on a number of occasions. We were quite a small team, but we had a tremendous amount of responsibility. There was a lot of work and the hours were intense – at a national event, it wasn’t uncommon to work sixteen to twenty hours in a day.