OCTOBER 7, 14, 21, 28    |     #BCMA2021


BCMA’s 2021 Conference took place on October 7, 14, 21 & 28 in the virtual space, co-hosted by the City of Surrey.


The 2021 Conference invited delegates to explore the following four themes:

View recordings and resources from the 2021 Conference

Delegate access only. Password required.


October 7

Theme sponsored by the Cultural Resource Management Program


10:30 AM PT

Welcome by Kevin Kelly & Michael Kelly-Gabriel, q̓ʷɑ:n̓ƛ̓ən̓ / Kwantlen First Nation
Welcome by Doug McCallum, Mayor of Surrey


Pausing to Decolonize: Decolonizing Museum Policy and Practice

11:00 AM PT

Opening address by Brandie Macdonald (Chickasaw/Choctaw; she/her), Senior Director of Decolonizing Initiatives at Museum of Us (San Diego), residing on the homeland of Kumeyaay Nation in San Diego, California, USA.

Brandie’s work focuses on systemic change within museums through the implementation of anti-colonial and decolonial theory-in-practice, which centers truth-telling, accountability, and tangible change to redress colonial harm. Her 12 years working in non-profits is based around capacity building through transformative policy, repatriation, and education.
In her talk, Brandie will share with attendees about the work that Museum of Us has been doing to transform their organization, the decolonial work that she is leading and the guiding principles they have adopted.

We are very excited to have her and so grateful to learn from her.


Lightning Talks

2:30 PM PT

Projects, ideas, and challenges that support justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, or decolonizing practices

Carol Ballard and Barbara Hilden, Museum of North Vancouver

Learn more about their travelling exhibit ‘Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist’.

Carolyn Nakagawa, Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre

Carolyn Nakagawa is the Education Program Developer at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. She is a fourth-generation Japanese Canadian and holds a degree in English Literature and Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies from the University of British Columbia.

Irwin Oostindie, Wild Bird Trust of BC

Irwin Oostindie served as both Communications and Executive Director for non-profits and public institutions including the Roundhouse CC, Gallery Gachet, North Vancouver Arts Council, Under the Volcano Festivals, and W2. He has worked for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, City of Vancouver, and Vancouver Park Board. Irwin is Director of Voor Urban Labs, supporting community research, communications, and engagement strategies. Since 2017, he has been President of the Wild Bird Trust of BC, managing the 320-acre Maplewood Flats in Tsleil Waututh lands and waters. Irwin is a double-MA graduate researcher examining place-based redress, and the spectacle of reconciliation: https://summit.sfu.ca/item/20219.

Kayt Ell, Sncewips Heritage Museum

Kayt Ell is syilx and a member of Westbank First Nation. She has a Bachelor of Arts and has been working at the Sncewips Heritage Museum for two years. As museum assistant, Kayt has her hands in many of the museum’s moving parts. Primarily, she manages their social media, creates educational video content, curates displays, conducts community outreach, and coordinates events.

Chris Dawson-Murphy, Alanna Edwards & Claire Moore, Surrey Art Gallery

Chris (he/him) is an artist, musician, and art educator working in the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people. He has exhibited his digitally-based installations at galleries in the US and Canada, and has performed on stages in Canada, the US, and Europe. He completed undergraduate studies at the Alberta College of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art from Louisiana State University. Chris has taught studio art courses at Louisiana State University, Loyola University in New Orleans, and here at the Gallery.

Alanna is an artist and art educator of Mi’gmaq and settler descent occupying, living, and working on unceded Coast Salish territory, of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ Nations when in Vancouver and Nations including the q̓ʷɑ:n̓ƛ̓ən̓, q̓ic̓əy̓, and Semiahma when in Surrey. Alanna has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Women’s Studies from Simon Fraser University, a diploma in Fine Arts from Langara College, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with distinction from Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Claire Moore has been involved in art education for most of her career. She has taught privately and through ArtsStarts, the Vancouver Biennale, and spent 10 years with the Surrey International Children’s Festival. Claire has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Cape Town (Michaelis School of Fine Art) and diplomas in secondary education and adult literacy. Her art practise covers a wide range of media and favours collaborative projects with other artists and community.

Denise Fong, University of British Columbia

Denise Fong (方靜怡) is a 1.5 generation Chinese Canadian with roots in Hong Kong, Toisan (China), New Zealand and San Francisco. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program, with a special interest in public history, digital media and Chinese Canadian history. Since 2009, Denise has coordinated a number of historical research and public history projects, including SFU’s From C to C: Chinese Canadian Stories of Migration and UBC’s Chinese Canadian Stories: Uncommon Histories from a Common Past. She recently co-curated two Chinese Canadian exhibitions locally — Burnaby Village Museum’s Across the Pacific and the Museum of Vancouver’s A Seat at the Table. As the Research Director for UBC’s INSTRCC (Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies), Denise provides guidance on historical context and oversees the research team.

Sponsored by the Museum of North Vancouver. Learn more about their travelling exhibit ‘Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist’

Repatriation Action Group

4:00 PM PT

A community forum-style event with a talk followed by facilitated discussion and breakout groups. On International Museums Day 2021, the BCMA launched a national Repatriation Call to Action urging all publicly-funded institutions to immediately work to repatriate all ancestral remains in their collections. Join a panel and discuss how your organization can take action to not only repatriate ancestral remains but support culturally appropriate collections management and repatriation protocols across your institution.

Moderated by Sdaahl Ḵ’awaas Lucy Bell

Lucy Bell, Sdahl K’awaas is a Haida museologist from Haida Gwaii. She has worked in the heritage and language management field for over 20 years, including serving as the Head of the Indigenous Collections and Repatriation Department at the Royal BC Museum. She and the Haida Repatriation Committee have traveled the globe to bring home over 500 of their ancestors’ remains since 1996. She has witnessed great discrimination and racism in museums but she has also witnessed great friendship and allyship.

Panelists: Lou-Ann Neel (Royal BC Museum), Alyssa Leier (The Exploration Place)

Lou-ann Neel is the Curator of Indigenous Collections and acting Head of Indigenous Collections and the Repatriation Department at the Royal BC Museum. She is from the Mamalilikulla and Kwagiulth people of the Kwakwaka’wakw. Lou-ann is a practising visual artist and has worked for over 30 years in policy and program development in the areas arts, culture, languages and community development. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University, a Diploma in Public Sector Management from UVIC and a Certificate in the Administration of Aboriginal Governments.

Alyssa is the Curator at The Exploration Place in Prince George, BC. A graduate of Simon Fraser University, her educational focus has been in Archaeology, Conservation, and First Nations Studies. She has spent several years both in the field, working as an archaeologist and in the Curatorial Department at The Exploration Place. She is passionate about the human history of the Northern Region, loves the outdoors and is always eager to deepen her understanding of the history of the place she calls home.



Evening Event | Conversation with q̓ʷɑti̓cɑ / Phyllis Atkins

7:00 PM PT

Coming from k’wy’i’y’e/ Spring Salmon Studio, hear exhibiting artist q̓ʷɑti̓cɑ / Phyllis Atkins speak about the inspiration for her works in ƛ̓a tə qələms tə c̓ic̓əɬ səy̓em̓ / The Creator’s Eye at Surrey Art Gallery.

Hosted by Surrey Art Gallery


October 14

Community Leadership in Action

12:00 PM PT

Community forum style event with a talk followed by facilitated discussion and breakout groups. Cultural organizations and professionals have tremendous power to help shape dialogue and discourse in our communities. Join this panel of cultural professionals who have used this power to show leadership and take climate action. Hear stories of how individuals have taken action, learn from their experiences, and discuss strategies for taking action in your own communities.

Moderated by Mary Forbes, Potato House Project

Panellists: Devon Hardy (Creative Green Tools) & Mickella Sjoquist (City of Surrey)

Devon Hardy is an environmental specialist with a background in environmental sciences and water resources management, and more than 6 years of professional experience in her field. For the last several years, she has been working to combine her technical knowledge of environmental sciences and impact measurement with her passion for arts and culture by collaborating on carbon footprinting and sustainability initiatives in partnership with Ecosceno, the St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival, the Quebec Drama Federation, and the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, among others. She is currently the Project Manager for the Canadian Creative Green Tools Adaptation.

Mickella is a registered Landscape Architect on the City of Surrey’s Parks Planning, Research, and Design team. She is keenly interested in the intersection of climate adaptation, nature-based green infrastructure, ecological sensitivity, and reconciliation. With multiple awards, significant funding grants and an international publication, Michella enjoys planning and designing interesting and exciting parks for Surrey residents.


Museums and Community Food Security

2:30 PM PT

Community forum style event with a talk followed by facilitated discussion and breakout groups. Did you know that due to the pandemic the rate of children experiencing hunger in Canada has increased from 1 in 4 to 1 in 3? Museums can play an important role in contributing to community food security. Join this panel and discuss how museums are building community food gardens, supporting community education about food security and sustainability, and helping to ensure that fewer people go hungry in their communities.

Moderated by Kelly Black (Point Ellice House)

Kelly Black is the Executive Director at Point Ellice House Museum and Gardens in Victoria. Kelly has more than a decade of experience in heritage, museums, and non-profit management. He received his PhD in Canadian Studies from Carleton University in 2018 and his research interests include Settler-Indigenous relations and public/local history. Kelly is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of History at Vancouver Island University and current President of the Friends of the BC Archives.

Panellists: Clea Schooner (Qqs Projects Society), Rose Wu (INSTRCC, University of British Columbia), Wei Yan Yeong (INSTRCC, University of British Columbia), Jerrilin Spence (Historic Stewart Farm)

Clea Schooner is a member of the Heiltsuk Nation and resides in Bella Bella, BC. She has spent her life surrounded by knowledge keepers who have instilled the value of the environment. Clea is cognizant of the impact she has on everything and everyone around her. Ms. Schooner works to find ways to preserve the life and spirit of the people who have come before her to preserve environmental sustainability, she does so through her personal and professional life as she leads communications for Qqs Projects Society, a community-driven charitable non-profit focused on the Great Bear Rainforest. Qqs implements climate action in each step of programming. Her work with Qqs reflects her values and beliefs.

Wei Yan is Chinese-Malaysian who studies plant and soil sciences at UBC. When she was looking for a deeper connection between her cultural roots and the intersection with our land and food systems, she also found her passion in storytelling through food and community engagement by working with different project teams at SJC. She also loves growing food!

Rose is a master’s student in the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia, interested in the connections between food systems and urban design. A native to Vancouver, she is continually exploring different ways to understand her home city and the unique stories it holds. When she’s not doing yoga or slaving away under a never-ending pile of research papers, you can find her baking 红豆酥饼 for her family and friends.

Jerrilin is privileged to work at one of Surrey’s most beautiful sites, Historic Stewart Farm, nestled in the forest at the river’s edge with view of the mountains to the north. Jerrilin’s mix of education and experience (Biology, Environmental Science, Education and Cultural Resource Management) is a good fit for the picturesque site that welcomes visitors to explore eight heritage buildings, heirloom flower and vegetable gardens, a fruit orchard and more. Jerrilin loves using stories and experiences to connect people and inspire learning.


The Sea Garden Restoration Project

4:30 PM PT

Webinar style presentation followed by Q&A. First Nations have actively managed food producing sites all along the Pacific Coast since time immemorial. Between California and Alaska, an Indigenous technology of creating a rock wall at low tide and modifying beaches increased the productivity of key seafoods. The Sea Gardens restoration project is a partnership between Parks Canada and local First Nations in restoring these practices and determining a path forward to ensure their management for generations to come. The project is in its second phase and is focused on safe access to traditional foods, the continuation of restoration activities and a governance transition to ensure the work is overseen and managed by an Indigenous body.

Presented by Alag̱a̱mił Nicole Norris & Erich Kelch, Sea Gardens Project

Nicole Norris (Alag̱a̱mił) is a member of the Halalt First Nation nestled in the heart the Hul’q’umi’num Territory on Vancouver Island. We are part of the Salish people and have occupied the coast line of the Salish Sea for thousands of years. She has been a knowledge holder for a vast amount of years now with a specialty in shellfish aquaculture. Over the course of nearly a decade she has been working alongside Parks Canada staff restoring harvesting sites, reviving them back to being a productive food source for the surrounding nations in the spirit of Nusts’a Mawwt.

Erich Kelch, of German and English Ancestry, was born on the homelands of the Lekwungen people in present day Victoria. After a number of years of being involved in government and environmental work, collaborating with Indigenous peoples, he has found himself now working for Parks Canada in partnership with the local Nations who have stewarded these Sea Garden sites since time immemorial. Erich is the project manager for the second phase of this project and feels fortunate to be one part in this amazing work and helping carry it to wherever it goes


Evening Event | BEES!

6:30 PM PT

Our evening’s hosts Colleen and Cassie will introduce you to Museum of Surrey’s brand-new BEES! exhibit and their sweet local partnership with the Honeybee Centre. We will learn all about the fascinating world of bees and their role in urban and rural ecosystems. Join us for a honey-themed cocktail and snack tutorial, a demonstration on how to make your own beeswax wrap in a few easy steps and a chance to win a golden prize!

Presented by Colleen Sharpe, Museum of Surrey & Cassie Gibeau, Honeybee Centre


October 21

Theme sponsored by Advanced Listening and Masters Digital

BCMA Annual General Meeting

10:00 AM PT

Please note: The AGM does not require a conference registration to attend. 

Find out more – including the downloadable member material package – on this page: https://museum.bc.ca/bcma-year-in-review-2021/


Inclusive Equals Welcoming: Creating Accessible Museums

12:00 PM PT

No matter how comfortable your furniture or how nicely decorated your spaces are, they aren’t really welcoming unless they are designed to meet the needs of all individuals. If a visitor can’t use the space as intended, they certainly won’t feel welcome. Join Taylor Sands (Canucks Autism Network) and Sandra Borger (Museum of Surrey) for an up-close look at accessibility and inclusion. Taylor will speak about why museums should incorporate a sensory friendly space and who they benefit. Sandra will then review inclusive solutions that have been implemented at the Museum of Surrey over the last two years, from expensive upgrades to free changes you can make today.

Presented by Sandra Borger, Museum of Surrey, and Taylor Sands, Canucks Autism Network

Taylor Sands is the Training Coordinator at Canucks Autism Network (CAN), where she oversees the bookings for over 200 live training workshops and community engagement events for recreation, sport, business, first responders, and schools. She is also a Behaviour Interventionist and has been working with individuals on the autism spectrum for over 10 years. With a history of directly delivering autism training workshops and 5 years of working as an interpreter in museum settings, Taylor is passionate about supporting museum educators to provide inclusive and welcoming spaces for autistic visitors.

Sandra Borger is the Curator of Programs at the Museum of Surrey. She oversees programming and events and leads the museum’s accessibility and inclusion projects and initiatives. She has worked in museums for over a decade in various positions, including research, education, visitor experience, and programming. Sandra is passionate about relationship building and making museums welcoming and relevant for all.

Hosted by Museum of Surrey


Guided Breaks

1:30 PM PT

Attendees are encouraged to take some time between learning sessions to move their bodies and still their minds.

Bhangra Dance lesson with Arjun Panesar 
Available in Conference Central
Movement Challenge
With Leia Patterson, BCMA

Our BCMA staff member, Leia, loves to get outside and away from her desk! She has curated a list of options for you to use during the wellness break today. Whether you have the ability to leave your desk or not, moving your body and calming your mind is possible! Below are a few stretches and articles for you to watch, read, or actively participate in.

Whatever you choose to do on your break, tag #BCMA2021 and our accounts on social media @BCMuseumsAssn (Twitter), BC_museums_Association (Instagram), and @BCMuseumsAssn (Facebook). Show us what you participated in, or where you walked, ran, biked or rested on your break!

Standing Yoga and Stretch – no mat needed! Youtube – Yoga with Adriene (15 minutes)

Guided Desk Stretch, mostly seated – no mat needed! Youtube – Adidas  (9 minutes)

Desk Workers Yoga. Youtube – Flow and Heal Yoga with Marinka (14 minutes)

Desk Stretches with Derek Waddy. Youtube – Lululemon (15 minutes)

Tara Brach – Basic Guided Meditations accessed via website. 

University of Michigan Health – Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation

Office Ergonomics by Mayo Clinic, Sitting Workspace & Standing Workspace


Mindful Breath Meditation

With Sherri Kajiwara, Director|Curator of the Nikkei National Museum

Sherri is Director|Curator at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby. She is honoured to work, live, and play on the homelands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw and traditional hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking people, and acknowledge the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish, including the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm. Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ, and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nations. Sherri has been a fine-arts professional since 1992 as a gallerist, gallery director, gallery owner, writer, editor, publisher, and curator. She is a graduate of the Sauder School of Business at UBC and of the Board of Trade’s Leadership Vancouver program where she was the recipient of the Multi-cultural Television Network’s bursary in 2006. After co-owning the Bjornson Kajiwara Gallery, a contemporary visual art space, from 2004 – 2008, she launched an online arts communications company, Vantage Art Projects, to bridge the gap between artists, institutions, galleries, and art fans by creating parallel opportunities for creativity through satellite exhibitions and on-demand publication of prints and books. Sherri remains passionate about the importance of communication and collaboration to support creativity. At the Nikkei National Museum, she is dedicated to the mission of honouring, preserving, and sharing Japanese culture and Japanese Canadian history and heritage for a better Canada.
In addition to her professional commitments, Sherri is active in the volunteer sector on the current Council of the BC Museums Association, public art committee member for Heritage Vancouver, Past President of the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver, and is a teacher and Past President of Three Jewels Vancouver (a yoga/meditation/dharma centre).



Accessible Design 101

4:00 PM PT

Ask the expert format with a short presentation followed by moderated Q&A. This session will focus on intersectionality, accessibility, and diversity. Explore tips, tools, and advice for making your design work more accessible, and bring all your questions!

Featuring Sarah Banks (National Air and Space Museum – Smithsonian Institution), Laneen Wells (Sublation Studio) & Taylor Sands (Canucks Autism Network)

Laneen is a Creative Strategist, Designer, and Lover of Snacks who founded Sublation Studio. “SBLTN” is a design and discussion studio that offers creative services focused on intersectionality, accessibility, and diversity through inclusive practises, education, and advocacy.
The term “sublation” refers to a philosophical concept that suggests when seemingly contradictory things or ideas intersect, they have the potential to produce something more powerful than either could alone. Sublation is integration without elimination.
Laneen embraces their own intersectional identities and integrates those perspectives into both their work and connecting communities. Through SBLTN, Laneen aims to show clients how their design, and practices, can be inclusive and accessible without sacrificing aesthetics or brand messaging and voice.

Taylor Sands is the Training Coordinator at Canucks Autism Network (CAN), where she oversees the bookings for over 200 live training workshops and community engagement events for recreation, sport, business, first responders, and schools. She is also a Behaviour Interventionist and has been working with individuals on the autism spectrum for over 10 years. With a history of directly delivering autism training workshops and 5 years of working as an interpreter in museum settings, Taylor is passionate about supporting museum educators to provide inclusive and welcoming spaces for autistic visitors.

Sarah Banks is the Exhibits Media Manager in the Exhibits Department at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM). She currently oversees development and production of over 200 computer interactives, videos, and soundscapes for upcoming exhibits at NASM’s location in Washington, DC. In her fifteen years with the Smithsonian, Sarah has worked on a variety of digital projects including websites, mobile apps, computer interactives, videos, and social media accounts. Inclusive digital design has become core to her work, and Sarah has had excellent teachers in Jan Majewski and Anoopa Sundararajan from IHCD, as well as the many user/experts who have so generously shared their expertise.


Evening Event | Chai and storytelling with South Asian women

7:00 PM PT

Join exhibiting artist Sandeep Johal, co-owner of Vij’s restaurant Meeru Dhalwala, general manager Amarjeet Gill, and assistant curator Suvi Bains as they discuss their stories and experiences surrounding chai. Hear Amarjeet Gill speak about her personal story as a South Asian woman cooking at the established and award winning Vij’s restaurant and how important it is to support the women you work with. Johal and Dhalwala speak to how we should continue to share stories of South Asian resilient women who are unseen and unheard.



October 27

Learning From Our Mistakes 

3:30 – 5:00 PM (PT) / 6:30 – 8:00 PM (ET) 

Sharing flops and fiascos to move forward together!

We all make mistakes. This event proposes a fresh and timely take on the familiar session where people share their work mistakes so they can learn and grow as a community. With the rapid and profound changes caused by the pandemic, and the adaptation and experimentation it generated, there is doubtless a whole new crop of missteps to share. Join Digital Museums Canada Director, Megan Richardson, and some brave colleagues from BC museums, for a light-hearted look at fails and the learning that came from them.

This session will not be recorded. What happens in the Zoom room, stays in the Zoom room.

You do not need to be registered for the conference to attend! Click for live access!

Brought to you by Digital Museums Canada


October 28

Theme sponsored by Lucidea

From Statues, to Streets, to Schools – How Do We Take Action Against Racist History? 

11:00 AM PT

Community forum style event with a talk followed by facilitated discussion and breakout groups. Museums have a critical role in helping communities to reassess colonial narratives through an anti-racist lens and are increasingly being called upon in community debates around statues, street names, and school names associated with racist historical figures. Join a panel of colleagues with experience in helping their communities reassess the true legacies of notable figures and discuss strategies for how you can take action to move forward with difficult discussions in your own community.

Featuring Mariko Smith (Australian Museum), Janis Monture (Woodland Cultural Centre) & Daniel Sims (University of Northern BC)

Dr Mariko Smith is an Aboriginal woman from the Yuin Aboriginal Nation (of the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia) with Japanese heritage. She undertakes an interdisciplinary practice encompassing museology, contemporary art, visual sociology, research methodology, epistemology, and history. Mariko has worked in the museum and tertiary sectors in Sydney, specialising in Aboriginal cultural heritage, community-based cultural resurgence projects, and incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing into museum and artistic practices. She is currently the First Nations Collections & Engagement Manager at the Australian Museum, and is also an Honorary Associate in the School of Literature, Art & Media at the University of Sydney.

Daniel Sims is a member of the Tsay Keh Dene First Nation. He is also an associate professor and the chair of the Department of First Nations Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia. He is currently working on a book on the impacts of the W.A.C. Bennet Dam on the Tsek’ehne of Northern British Columbia as well as a research project examining concepts of wilderness and failed economic developments in the Finlay-Parsnip watershed.

Janis Kahentóktha Monture is Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River.  Janis returned as the Executive Director of Woodland Cultural Centre in May 2020.  Previously, Janis was appointed the Director of Tourism and Cultural Initiatives for the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation from 2017 – 2020.  From 2003 – early 2017 Janis was the Executive Director of the Woodland Cultural Centre, one of the largest First Nations- run cultural centres/museums in the country.  In her capacity with Woodland, Janis was a steering committee member for the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures.  A committee member for the Arts & Culture Advisory Council for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan American Games.  For two brief 18-month periods Janis was on secondment to Harbourfront Centre as the Guest Artistic Director of Planet IndigenUS in 2009 and 2015.  Janis attended the University of Western Ontario where she attained a Bachelor of Arts in History and received a Museum Studies diploma from Algonquin College.  Janis continues to volunteer in her community at Six Nations and in Brantford with various organizations such as Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Brant Community Foundation and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation.

Lightning Talks – Imagining the Future

1:00 PM PT

Speakers will present their vision of the future of the museum and cultural heritage sector- purely imaginative, based on project they’re working on now, or a reflection of lessons learned from the past year.

Gina Armstrong, Haunted History BC

Gina Armstrong is an award-winning historian and author who shares her artistic passion by incorporating original photography, poetry, local folklore and legends into her diverse historical projects. Gina resides in Maple Ridge, BC and is the co-founder of Haunted History BC with her sister, Victoria Vancek. Together the sisters launched a website in 2020 and over the last year they have put forth several publications featuring local heritage sites.

Shelby McCannel, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

Shelby McCannel is the Collections and Community Engagement Manager at the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located at BC Place in Vancouver. Starting as a Young Canada Works student, she has become an integral part of the collections, education and guest services teams at the Hall. Shelby holds a BA in History with a concentration in Early Modern World History from Simon Fraser University and is currently enrolled in the Cultural Resource Management diploma program through the University of Victoria. As an emerging museum professional, Shelby is passionate about cultural heritage and is always looking for ways to learn, grow, and expand her knowledge in the field.

Debby Reis, Talent MATCH

Talent MATCH’s Project Manager, Debby Reis has a long career supporting arts and culture. In addition to managing Talent MATCH, she recently took on the role of Board President for Geist Magazine. She’s worked with various cultural organizations including Discorder Magazine, the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, the Vancouver Farmers Markets, and most notably as the Vancouver Fringe Festival’s Communications Director where she hired and managed a new team of students every year for 12 years. Debby is available for one-on-one support to organizations considering bringing on student staff.

Bronwen Bird, Gallery 2

Bronwen Bird is the Administrator/Registrar at Gallery 2 – Grand Forks Art Gallery, located in BC’s Southern Interior. Her responsibilities include collections management, public and educational programming, and financial administration. After spending four years in a local government setting, Bronwen returned to the museum and cultural heritage sector in 2018. Bronwen has a BA in History from SFU and a Master of Archival Studies degree from UBC.

Amina Chergui, National Emerging Museum Professionals Network

Amina Chergui (she/her) is a settler of Kabyle Algerian and Portuguese descent, living on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She is currently serving as the Director of Resources for the National EMP Network, an organization dedicated to advancing the interests of emerging museum professionals and building vibrant, equitable, and inclusive communities of practice and exchange. Amina is also the Education Coordinator at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC and holds a Master’s degree in Museum Education.



CMS Essentials: Showcase Collections Online, Engage Virtual Visitors, and Expand Knowledge

2:00 PM PT

Lucidea’s museum collections management specialists Candyce McDonald and Benitta MacLachlan will describe the essentials museum professionals must provide when showcasing collections online, addressing visitor engagement proactively, and expanding knowledge capture to enhance curation.

Attendees will be inspired by the potential for using a CMS to deliver:

  • An integrated portal – real time publishing and updates; your website is always current, no “extra” steps needed
  • Full multimedia support—engage virtual visitors with images, sound, videos, or documents; deliver an absorbing and inspiring experience to all
  • Browser-based access for visitors and staff—enable staff collections management and visitor exploration anytime, anywhere

Presented by: Candyce McDonald (Senior Account Executive, Lucidea) and Benitta MacLachlan (Knowledge Management Consultant, Lucidea)




The Future of Museum Leadership: Exploring Collaborative Leadership Models

3:30 PM PT

Community forum style event with a talk followed by facilitated discussion and breakout groups. Do top-down, hierarchical leadership models really serve the best interests of museums? More museums are experimenting with non-authoritarian leadership models in favour of collaborative leadership, distributed authority, and shared decision making. Join a panel of cultural professionals who have worked to innovate leadership models and discuss their experiences.

Moderated by Chris Creighton-Kelly (Primary Colours)

Chris Creighton-Kelly is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and cultural critic born in the UK with South Asian/British roots. His performative, usually ephemeral, artworks have been presented across Canada, in India, Europe and USA. He has received grants and awards in five countries. Chris has been persistently interested in questions of absence in art-making. Whose epistemology is unquestioned? Who has power? Who does not? Why not?
For over 30 years, he has worked as an arts consultant for artists; arts organizations and institutions; government agencies in Canada and internationally. In 1989-91, Chris was a consultant to the Canada Council on issues of cultural/racial equity. His work launched the formation of two critical offices – the Aboriginal Arts Office and the Equity Office that have subsequently led the way in transforming the Council from a mostly European arts agency to one in which multiple art traditions and practices are funded. In 1991-92, he worked at the Banff Centre designing and directing a 20 artists’ residency, Race and the Body Politic which indirectly influenced the establishment of the Aboriginal Arts program.
In 2011, he co-authored, along with France Trépanier, Understanding Aboriginal Art in Canada Today. In 2012, they were co-recipients of the inaugural Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellowship awarded by Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Panelists: Kerr Smith (Gay Lea Dairy Museum), France Trépanier (Primary Colours), Mike Murawski (Museums Are Not Neutral)

Kerr Smith is the Manager of Co-operative Community Engagement at Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. Prior to joining them in 2017, Kerr entered the co-op sector in 2010 working with the Ontario Co-operative Association. In his role as Education Manager, Kerr created and illustrated the “All 4 Each” Co-operative Education Outreach Program – which won the award for Mobilization & Involvement at the 2014 International Summit of Co-operatives. He also received the 2012 ACE William Hlushko Award for Young Co-operative Educators.

In his current role, Kerr is focused on Gay Lea Foods’ engagement with the co-operative community: supporting and building strong relationships with fellow co-ops, while also implementing the vision of creating a collaborative, year-round Co-operative Education Centre (CEC) at the 98-acre Gay Lea Dairy Museum property located in Aylmer, Ontario. For his efforts and contributions to the sector, Kerr was awarded the OCA’s Spirit Award in 2019.

France Trépanier is a visual artist, curator and researcher of Kanien’kéha:ka and French ancestry. Her artistic and curatorial work has been presented in many venues in Canada, the US and Europe. France was the Aboriginal Curator at Open Space Arts Society in Victoria BC, where she is co-curated, with Michelle Jacques and Doug Jarvis, the exhibition Deconstructing Comfort. She also curated the Awakening Memory Project with artists Sonny Assu, lessLIE and Marianne Nicolson. France was the co-recipient of the 2012 Inaugural Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellowship by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. She co-authored with Chris Creighton-Kelly Understanding Aboriginal Art in Canada Today: a Knowledge and Literature Review for the Canada Council for the Arts. Her essays and articles have been published in numerous journals and magazines. France is co-chair of the Indigenous Program Council at the Banff Centre. She worked at the Canada Council for the Arts before becoming a Senior Arts Policy Advisor for the Department of Canadian Heritage. She held a diplomatic post as First Secretary, Cultural Affairs at the Canadian Embassy in Paris. She directed the Centre for New Media at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris. France was also the co-founder and Director of the artist-run center Axe Néo-7 in Gatineau, Quebec.

After more than 20 years of work in education and museums, Mike is an outspoken advocate for transformation across the museum field. He is an independent consultant, author of Museums as Agents of Change: A Guide to Becoming a Changemaker (2021), and co-producer of Museums Are Not Neutral,a global advocacy campaign calling for equity-based transformation across museums. Mike has previously served as the Director of Learning & Community Partnerships for the Portland Art Museum, Director of School Services at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and Coordinator of Education and Public Programs at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis. Mike has also served as a contributor to the Museums as Sites of Social Action (MASS Action) initiative supporting equity and inclusion in museums; and First Wave Project Advisor for the OF/BY/FOR ALL initiative helping civic and cultural organizations grow of, by, and for their communities. Mike earned his MA and PhD in Education from American University in Washington, DC, focusing his research on gender in curriculum development and interdisciplinary learning.


Closing remarks by Chief Harley Chappell, Semiahmoo First Nation

5:00 PM PT


October 28

BCMA Awards Event

6:00 PM PT

Join us for the 50th BCMA Awards Ceremony! BCMA’s very own Lorenda Calvert and Ryan Hunt will host an exciting evening that will highlight the achievements of our sector! Come learn about recent successes in community engagement, social action, and innovative practice. Honour the achievements and impact of distinguished members of the arts, culture, and heritage community. Click here to learn about this year’s nominees and cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award!

As this is our 50th Golden Awards Ceremony we encourage you to wear gold and shine like the stars you are. Attendance is free! You do not need to be registered for the conference to attend!

Here’s what we have in store for you:

  • Get the party started
  • Cocktail break
  • Introducing our nominees
  • Snack break
  • Honoring past winners
  • Celebrate this year’s winners

Click here to join live!

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over one large cube of ice.

Rich Honey Syrup
Heat 1 cup of honey (preferably locally sourced) and ⅓ cup water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients have integrated. Remove from the heat, let cool, then refrigerate. Stored in a tightly sealed container, the syrup keeps for 1 week.

Learn more about this year’s nominees!

BCMA is grateful for the support of this year’s event sponsors:

Explore to learn more about our sponsors and stay tuned for more information about them throughout the month of October.



This year’s Accessibility & Amplifying Voices theme is sponsored in part by Advanced Listening

Since 2014, Advanced Listening has been a leader in the creation of barrier-free listening environments for the hard of hearing. From large venue systems to one-on-one counter systems, we provide the technologies required for a better hearing environment.

Specializing in all forms of assistive listening technologies, including FM, Infrared and Induction Loops, our team of experts will help select the system that’s right for you.

Advanced Listening has designed and installed assistive listening systems for a variety of situations including, all branches of Vancity Credit Union, BC Ferries, YVR, YYJ, Museum of Surry, Council Chambers for Town of Sidney, District of North Saanich, Sooke District, City of Delta, City of Victoria and City of Surrey.  Also, many Churches and various one-to-one counter systems.

Learn More Today!  See Tim’s Welcome Video!

This year’s Accessibility & Amplifying Voices theme is sponsored in part by Masters Digital

Masters Digital is an audio production company, specializing in sound design and installation for giant screen films (IMAX), museums, science centres and themed attractions.

With over 35 years of experience, we are proficient in all aspects of audio production and post-production from multi-channel location recording to sound design to “in theatre” mixing. As well as hardware design and installation for special venues and themed attractions.

Recent projects include Britannia Mine Museum, Great Bear Rainforest IMAX film, Pier D Vancouver International Airport multimedia installation, Flyover Iceland and Cape Breton Miner’s Museum.

Learn More Today!  See Tim’s Welcome Video!

BCMA is grateful for the support of Digital Museums Canada for this year’s conference!

Be sure to join us for their social event, Learning From Our (Digital) Mistakes, on October 27th where we’ll be sharing flops and fiascos to move forward together – digitally!

Learn more about their event!

Learn more about Digital Museums Canada


This year’s weekly theme of Reconciliation and Decolonization is presented by the Cultural Resource Management Programs at the University of Victoria

Cultural Resource Management Programs

The smart next stop in your career in the cultural sector.

Serving the educational needs of emerging and mid-career professionals in the museum, heritage and cultural sector for over 30-years, the Cultural Resource Management (CRM) Programs provide the knowledge, skills and experience needed to support your professional goals. Current programs include the Diploma in Cultural Resource Management, Professional Specialization Certificate in Collections Management, and the new Professional Specialization Certificate in Visitor and Community Engagement, as well as a diverse range of courses accessible on an individual basis.

Learn more about the programs available:

Reconciliation and Decolonization Lightning Talk Series presented by MONOVA


Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist

Originally developed by MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver in close collaboration with the Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nation and the George Family, this exhibit focuses on Chief Dan George’s influence as an advocate for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and his career as an actor. Told through stories and artifacts, the exhibit also considers other significant figures, events and milestones in the Indigenous rights movement in British Columbia and Canada, and touches on the wider history and portrayal of Indigenous people in film and television.

Learn More Today!

A special thanks to this year’s partnering institution, The Museum of Surrey.

Museum of Surrey fosters and welcomes Surrey’s diverse communities by connecting it people to each other, and to their stories – past, present, and future.

Tune in for this year’s Night at the Museum for a special look at the Museum of Surrey’s new exhibit all about bees on October 14.

Learn more today!

Imagine loving your CMS

CatalogIt is a powerful, collaborative and intuitive software platform for all types of collections.

CatalogIt empowers your museum to bring to life the story of things through the histories, creative processes, relationships and destinies of your objects and collections. CatalogIt reduces administrative costs and empowers your staff/volunteers to collaborate simultaneously, securely viewing and editing your records anywhere, anytime, on mobile and desktop devices. Included with a subscription is the CatalogIt HUB, an easy web-publishing platform for quickly and selectively publishing your collections making them publicly discoverable and searchable.

This year’s weekly theme of Moving Forward is presented by Lucidea:


Collections management software systems that are suitable for libraries, archives and museums – both large and small

Make your collection more visible and accessible than ever before.  Flexible and purpose-built for museums and galleries, Argus enhances curation and opens your museum’s doors to the world.

Learn More Today!

Spark the imagination of your visitors with Ingenium’s engaging and creative travelling exhibitions!  Together, let’s ignite ingenuity.

Ingenium’s Travelling Exhibition website

Ingenium’s Travelling Exhibition at a glance

Ingenium’s Travelling Exhibition newsletter sign-up

Special thanks to Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility for their support in providing ASL translation and CART Closed captioning for some of our sessions!

Established in 1956, Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility is a B.C. based, charitable not-for-profit organization operating as a social enterprise. Wavefront Centre delivers innovative services in Audiology and Communication Devices, Counselling, Seniors Outreach, and Accessible Communication Services that assist people who are Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing achieve full communication accessibility.

At Wavefront Centre, our Accessible Communication Services provide ASL interpreting, captioning, translation, plain language and audio description to our clients and community members. We envision a society where Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing and Hearing people can interact freely without communication barriers.

Learn more today!