ICOM Canada 2020 Board

//ICOM Canada 2020 Board

ICOM Canada 2020 Board

Meet the 2020 ICOM Canada Board of Directors! Get to know the members of the ICOM Canada Board by reading their bios and short interviews below. Additional Board bios and images will be added throughout the summer.

Leah Best (BC)

Head of Knowledge, Royal British Columbia Museum
ICOM Canada Director (2019)

Image: Royal BC Museum

Leah coordinates the research program at the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM) and manages a curatorial team of 8 historians and scientists.  Her recent projects include the curatorial coordination of the museum’s upcoming exhibition, Orcas: Our Shared Future, acting as curatorial liaison in Guatemala for last summer’s exhibition, Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises, and the co-curation of the exhibition, Broken Promises: The Dispossession of Japanese Canadians with the Nikkei National Museum. Her background includes a Master’s degree in Art History from the University of Toronto and several positions as curator and director in rural museums, galleries and archives in BC.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity for Canadian museums coming out of the challenges of COVID-19?

Rapid response collecting is becoming more mainstream in museums. While COVID-19 highlights the need for collecting “in the moment”; it comes with drawbacks. Where I work, we recognize that the pandemic experience of marginalized groups is likely being overlooked. We also recognize that collecting from these groups requires trusting relationships and a willingness to let the community take the lead. It also requires an honest understanding of our systemic biases. The biggest opportunity for Canadian museums coming out of COVID-19 is reckoning with our own racialized and gendered systems and making a commitment to be actively anti-racist not passively non-racist.

What international museum project or community do you want to highlight with Canadian members?

La Ruta Maya Foundation based in Guatemala City is a private organization that actively repatriates Guatemala’s pre-Columbian cultural heritage removed from the country without permission. Archaeological material, once returned, becomes the patrimony of the state. La Ruta Maya stewards a collection of over 3,000 repatriated pre-Columbian artifacts and participates as a lender to many international exhibitions.


Sophie Cormier (NB)

Director, City of Moncton Culture and Heritage Department
ICOM Canada Director (2020)

Image: Isabelle Smith

Sophie Cormier has over 20 years of experience in the museum world. Since 2017, she has been Director of Culture and Heritage for the City of Moncton (NB). As such, she is responsible for heritage places and Place Resurgo (Moncton Museum and Transportation Discovery Center). Ms. Cormier’s career has taken her across Canada and France. She is a member of several associations of professional groups at both a regional and national level. During her five years spent at the helm of traveling exhibitions for the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (2007-2013), she had the privilege of collaborating with museums across all the provinces, making her very aware of the pan-Canadian reality. Ms. Cormier has also worked with partners in more than 15 countries, which gives her a global perspective on the field. In 2017, Ms. Cormier completed a master’s degree in international strategy-management (MSc), the subject of which was: “A Cultural Heritage Contribution to Corporate Social Responsibility and Stakeholder Management”.

What was the first museum you remember visiting as a child? What made that memory special?

It was a series of historical sites visited on a summer holiday in Nova Scotia: Fort Anne, Port Royal, Louisbourg. Bilingual interpreters telling the stories of early settlers with the same name as my friends introduced me to the joy of learning history via live interpretation! I started collecting Parks Canada booklets on forts from across Canada. I eventually ended up writing a paper on fortifications in Canada during my B. A. in History.

How are you hoping to contribute to ICOM Canada in the coming year?

I want to give back! I would like to contribute to the sustainability of heritage institutions. I hope to trade info on experiences, best practices with colleagues everywhere. My goal is to support advocacy for the museum field both in Canada and around the world by illustrating its importance and its significance.

What international museum project or community do you want to highlight with Canadian members?

Museomix! An annual event started in France in 2011, now happening in various countries (even in Canada!). A great way to get new ideas and have people discover your museum.


Dr. Shabnam Inanloo Dailoo (AB)

Director & Associate Professor, Athabasca University- Heritage Resources Management Program
ICOM Canada Director (2018)

Dr. Inanloo Dailoo is an Associate Professor and Director of the Heritage Resources Management Program at Athabasca University. She has two decades of national and international experience in heritage conservation theory and practice. She holds a PhD in Environmental Design from the University of Calgary. During her post-doctoral research with the Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage, Université de Montréal, she examined the application of the values-based approach in managing cultural places. She holds ICCROM Certificates in Conservation of Built Heritage and Communication and Teaching Skills in Conservation and Science. She was a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Updating Canada’s Tentative List for World Heritage Sites in 2017. She serves as the co-coordinator of the Canadian Chapter of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, co-chair of the National Trust for Canada’s National Roundtable on Heritage Education, and a member of ICOMOS Canada and its World Heritage Task Group.

What museum do you want to visit but have not had the chance to yet?

I really wish to visit the Museum of Alhambra in Spain one day.

How are you hoping to contribute to ICOM Canada in the coming year?

I would like to work on engaging emerging professionals and involve more museum and heritage studies students in ICOM Canada activities and initiatives.

What international museum project or community do you want to highlight with Canadian members?

I would like to highlight the Heritage in Times of COVID, an initiative of ICCROM that acts as “a space for ICCROM’s extended community to come together and share knowledge experience and tools to overcome this crisis.” (#HeritageintimesofCOVID)


Dr. Karine Duhamel (MB)

Curator for Indigenous Rights, Canadian Museum for Human Rights
ICOM Canada Director (2019)

Image: Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press

Karine Duhamel is Anishinaabe and Métis. In 2016, Dr. Duhamel joined the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), working collaboratively with Indigenous communities to share the stories that most mattered to them through exhibitions and programming. From 2018 to 2019, she was Director of Research for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, researching and drafting the Final Report, managing the Forensic Document Review Project and directing the Legacy Archive. Upon the Inquiry’s completion of its mandate, she returned to the CMHR, where she now works as Curator for Indigenous Rights.

How are you hoping to contribute to ICOM Canada in the coming year?

I’m looking forward to contributing to a new strategic plan, as well as ideas for growing our organization.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity for Canadian museums coming out of the challenges of COVID-19?

What has become apparent within the COVID-19 crisis is the importance of human connection within a context that is, necessarily, limiting our ability to connect in person. The arts and culture sector can play a key role in generating and maintaining human connection. As such, COVID-19 can be a catalyst for a reinvigorated commitment on the part of cultural institutions to fostering empathy, understanding and connection, and doing so in innovative ways. For instance, encouraging institutions to experiment with new, remote ways to connect and to share stories is just one way in which the focus of our work has already changed. As this crisis develops, it may also spark new innovations in delivery and communication for the sector as a whole.


Dr. Elka Weinstein (ON)

Museum and Heritage Programs Advisor, Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Ontario
ICOM Canada Director (2012-2016), Treasurer (2016-2018), Vice-President (2019-2020)

Dr. Weinstein has worked in museums as a curator, educator and grants officer, and as a volunteer Board member of both community and art museums. Her expertise is in museology and ceramics. She has a Ph.D. in Archaeology and a Master of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. In her current position as a Museum and Heritage Programs Advisor for the Province of Ontario she gives advice about new developments in museology to museums across Ontario, as well as ensuring that community museums across the province keep up with professional Museum Standards. She works collaboratively with the Ontario Museums Association and has visited many museums in rural and remote parts of the province. She has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Zaragoza, Spain since 2011, and a part-time lecturer and Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto in the Museum Studies Program since 2016.

What was the first museum you remember visiting as a child? What made that memory special?

My first memory of visiting a museum was of the Red Fort in Delhi, India, where I lived as a child. The Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Audience), a white marble pavilion in the centre of the fort was special for me because it had inlaid stonework with semi-precious stones in patterns of flowers and vines on all the walls, and I thought that was so beautiful. You could walk through the corridors and look up at the decorations.

What museum do you want to visit but have not had the chance to yet?

That’s a difficult choice! I would say I’d love to go back to the Louvre and really explore it thoroughly, but there are also many museums in Spain (such as the Alhambra Palace) that I haven’t seen yet and would like to visit. I’ve never been to Pompeii, or anywhere in Italy, so that is also on my bucket list.

How are you hoping to contribute to ICOM Canada in the coming year?

I believe that Canada’s museums are among the best in the world. As Vice President of the Board of ICOM Canada I hope to continue to improve Canada’s standing in the international community of museums. In particular, I am active on several committees (ICOFOM, CAMOC, DEMHIST) and I would also like to be more involved with those.

2020-07-25T14:29:43-04:00July 20th, 2020|Archives|