This article was released in the ICOM Canada September 2019 e-newsletter on Cultural Diplomacy. See more articles from this issue here.
Dr. Sascha Priewe (Royal Ontario Museum; ICOM Canada)
This summer, researchers from Queen’s University, in partnership with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), commenced work on Global Engagement of Museums in Canada, a research project supported by the Mitacs Accelerate Program. Filling a considerable data gap, this project parses the international cultural work and activities of eleven museums and art galleries across Canada, including the Art Gallery of Alberta, Aga Khan Museum, Canadian Museum of History, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Anthropology at UBC, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa Art Gallery, Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, and the Royal Ontario Museum.
The selected museums are by no means representative of all museums and art galleries in Canada, but they offer diversity in terms of location, funding structure, and size. Through archival research, document analysis, and interviews with museum professionals of all institutional levels, this project seeks to establish much needed baseline data and identify best practices to share with the museum sector and cultural diplomacy community.
By examining the various ways that museums and art galleries engage in international activities, the project surfaces institutional agendas for partnerships, network development, and global collaborations and emphasizes the potential of the creative and cultural sector to foster mutual understanding, intercultural dialogue, and sustained relationships between cultures and nations on the global stage.
The researchers would like to thank the institutions that have generously opened their doors to welcome the research team and the museum professionals who have shared their experiences and expertise with us. The project findings will be published in a report in 2020.
For more information about this project, please contact Bronwyn Jaques (PhD Candidate, Queen’s University) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sascha Priewe (Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships at the Royal Ontario Museum) at email@example.com.