Dear Colleagues and Members of ICOM Canada,
On behalf of ICOM Canada I am hopeful that 2022 will be a better year than 2021, both for ICOM and for the world. Much has happened during the past two years, and I am happy to report on some business that ICOM Canada has completed and will undertake over the next year or so.
In 2022 ICOM Canada plans to hold consultation sessions with members on our new Strategic Plan, and we are proceeding with a much-needed update of our Bylaws. We are also looking forward to meeting with old and new colleagues at ICOM Prague at the end of August.
Starting in January 2022, as part of ICOM Canada’s effort to be as inclusive as possible, we will offer complimentary membership to anyone who identifies as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, or Inuit). ICOM Canada feels that our organization should be building and fostering relationships with Indigenous people. We wish to create a respectful environment to explore, learn, and communicate with communities that have been underrepresented in Canadian Museums. Fully including Indigenous voices in Canada’s museums is long overdue. We believe that respect, reciprocity, and listening to those voices is the most important thing we can do to advance mutual understanding.
In 2022 ICOM Canada’s membership and administrative functions will be handled through ICOMOS Canada (Ottawa) and our financial administration by Young Associates in Toronto.
2020-21 Initiatives and Collaborations
During 2020 and 2021 the Board of ICOM Canada collaborated with many other ICOM committees, including ICOFOM, CAMOC, ICOM Costume and ICOM Ecuador, as well as with the National Centre for Cultural Diplomacy, and the Commonwealth Association of Museums.
In March 15-21, 202, Michèle Rivet (CHRM) worked with ICOFOM (International Committee for Museology), UQAM, Université Laval, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Université du Québec a Trois Rivières, CÉLAT, and CIERA to present the 43rd ICOFOM Symposium and a series of lectures, as well several monographs. The Symposium was scheduled to be held in Montreal and Ottawa in 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic and was instead held online. The theme for the symposium was, “The decolonisation of museology: museums, mixing and myths of origin.” The Symposium was very successful, with more than 1000 people signing up to attend.
In 2020 and 2021, Sascha Priewe (ROM) continued his commitment with the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative. NACDI is a multi-disciplinary research network of academics, policymakers and practitioners in the field of cultural diplomacy in North America and beyond.
Sascha continued his non-resident Research Fellowship at the USC Centre on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California. He published the monograph Museum Diplomacy: Parsing the Global Engagement of Museums and the report “Locally Vibrant/Globally Engaged – The Bloor St Cultural Corridor and Cultural Diplomacy”.
Sascha also co-organized “Players: We Are All Practitioners”, the second research summit of “The Cultural Relations Approach to Diplomacy” a SSHRC-funded research project (ICOM Canada is a partner organization) in November/December 2021, part of which included the panel “Cultural Diplomacy in your Neighbourhood”. During the summit Sascha moderated the session “Remembering and Engaging: Diaspora Museums as Cultural Diplomacy”
Finally, in 2021, Sascha was named the inaugural Chair of the International Advisory Council of IMID, the Idaho Museum of International Diaspora.
On June 24, 2021, Elka Weinstein and Sascha Priewe introduced Anne Ewen of the Whyte Museum of the Rockies, and Patricia Deadman of Woodland Cultural Centre, as participants in the workshop “Documenting the Material Culture of the Pandemic: Strategies and Challenges”. The workshop was conducted by the Costume Committee in collaboration with ICME and the two coordinators of ICOM CC working groups as part of a forum of expert panelists who discussed museum strategies and challenges in collecting, displaying, and conserving data and material culture to document the COVID-19 pandemic. Working closely with ICOM Costume, ICOM Canada, ICOM CC and ICME will be involved in presenting and publishing the results and providing access to the collections.
Part of this series hosted by ICOM Costume includes a collaborative Virtual Exhibition of COVID-19 facemasks. The exhibition represents facemasks collected by the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada); the MUCEM (France); National Museums Scotland (UK); Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (New Zealand); The Menswear Archive, University Museum of Westminster (UK); Modemuseum in Antwerp, and Central Museum Utrecht (The Netherlands), and The Budapest History Museum (Hungary), The Rose and Textiles Fashion Archives at Shenkar (Israel) and the Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, BC (Canada).
You can visit “Clothing the Pandemic: A Virtual Exhibition of Covid-19 Facemasks around the World’ here: www.clothingthepandemic.museum
On November 15, 2021, Elka Weinstein presented on the “Indigenous Context in Ontario’s community museums and galleries” at the “Programa de Capacitación Curso Taller internacional de formación professional para Latinoamerica y el Caribe.” This conference was hosted by ICOM Ecuador and the Universidad Salesiana de Quito, funded by SAREC (ICOM International’s Strategic Allocation Committee). Elka also presented a workshop in collaboration with Armando Perla (University of Toronto) and Heather George (Canadian Museum of History and Woodland Cultural Centre) on “Methodologies with a focus on sustainability in museums: indigenous peoples and settlers, decolonizing practice in museology.” Both the presentation and the workshop were well-attended by community museum educators, students, and independent museologists from an impressive roster of Central and South American countries.
Upcoming events at Directors’ museums
Sophie Cormier reports that Resurgo Place (New Brunswick) will be hosting an event for the Nuit des Idées on January 27. Nuit des Idées is a French initiative and happens simultaneously in many countries. We are doing this for the 2nd year in partnership with the Consulat général de France en Atlantique, l’Alliance française and this year l’Université de Moncton is also a partner. The details are not all set but we will be hosting a series of artists’ performances (readings, slam poetry, photography, dance and more) most likely from 17:00 to 19:00.
Here’s the call to artists (closed Dec 27) https://www.resurgo.ca/sites/default/files/inline-files/Night%20of%20Ideas%202022%20-%20Open%20Call%20for%20Artists.pdf
And the link to the French event: https://www.lanuitdesidees.com/en/
“Kent Monkman: Being Legendary” will be featured at the Royal Ontario Museum in October 2022. Kent Monkman: Being Legendary explores an alternative interpretation of objects from the ROM’s collections. Created and curated by Cree artist Kent Monkman, it includes a gallery-style installation of original paintings and interventions created by the artist, presented alongside objects in the Museum’s permanent galleries.
Interpreted by Monkman’s shape-shifting, time-travelling, gender-fluid alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, the exhibition reframes history through the rich and complex story of her life. Through engaging storytelling, humanity’s most powerful tool, and a touch of humour and subtle pokes, the exhibition nudges us to question our responsibilities as human beings, expand our worldview, and through the interconnectedness of Miss Chief’s story, remember and honour our relationships to all beings.
Monkman’s painting and installation works have been exhibited at many important art institutions. He has created site-specific performances at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Royal Ontario Museum; Compton Verney, Warwickshire; and The Denver Art Museum. Monkman has had two nationally touring solo exhibitions, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience (2017-2020), and The Triumph of Mischief (2007-2010). He is a longtime member of ICOM Canada.
Finally, remember that your ICOM membership gives you free admission to thousands of museums all over the world and access to a network of nearly 40,000 museum professionals.
Additional information can be found on our ICOM Canada website. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@icomcanada) for the latest news from the museum and cultural heritage community.
We hope that all ICOM Canada members will continue to be engaged by our ongoing initiatives and with ICOM’s international committees. We look forward to hearing about your adventures!
All the best for 2022,
President, ICOM Canada