News – en2019-03-31T18:01:25-04:00


City Museums: Reflections on a Missing Definition

ICOM Canada wishes to share with our members an article on City Museums by Francesca Lanz, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano. The article reflects on city museum concepts and definitions that might be useful in an operative way. The article was originally published in the September 2019 CAMOC Museums of Cities Review and is available here (English only). Please learn more by visiting

ICOM 2025 General Assembly Call

ICOM Canada would like to bring to members’ attention the imminent call from ICOM for a host city for the ICOM 2025 Triennial. For those interested, until the release of the 2025 bidding manual, we direct them to consider and prepare using the 2022 ICOM Triennial bidding manual at the ICOM website. A special ICOM Canada board committee will be struck to determine the best process for the selection among potential host cities and its final recommendation to ICOM.

ICOM Canada Travel Bursary Report

Sophie Yamauchi From September 1-7, 2019, nearly 5,000 museum professionals, scholars, and cultural advocates gathered in Kyoto, Japan, for ICOM’s 25th General Conference. Because of ICOM-Canada’s Travel Bursary for Emerging Museum Professionals, Queen’s graduate-student, Sophie Yamauchi (Vancouver), was able to join her international colleagues in Kyoto to partake in fascinating conversations and gain insight into the governance of ICOM and its deep and meaningful roots world-wide. As an ICOM-newcomer and aspiring museum-polymath, Sophie took the opportunity to attend a variety of sessions offered by many different international committees. She was particularly interested in ICME (ethnographic museums) sessions, which were rich with case studies of collaboration with Indigenous people and revealed the interesting international similarities that museums face within their own communities. An advocate for the politicization and decolonization of museums, Sophie believes that museums can and should play an active role in engaging and shaping impactful and relevant discourse; and be accessible to all members of the [...]

Decolonisation and Restitution – moving towards a more holistic perspective and relational approach

Michèle Rivet The first afternoon of the ICOM Kyoto 2019 General Conference featured a panel on Decolonisation and Restitution. The panel was held in the main hall, with translation in English, French, Spanish, and German. Representatives of 10 ICOM national committees presented on the panel, including Canada. Michèle Rivet, Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Board member of ICOM-Canada gave a presentation titled, From Decolonisation to Indigenization: the road to equality. After having given an historical overview of Canadian examples of policies and practices on restitution and repatriation with museums, she illustrated with five examples the work now being done by museums throughout Canada, discussed the principles underlying museums’ actions, and concluded with challenges still facing museums today. The full version of this presentation can be found here.

ICOM Canada and the Museum Definition

Marie Lalonde This year, the ICOM held its triennial conference in Kyoto, Japan from September 1 to 7, welcoming 4,500 delegates from 119 national and 30 international committees including ICOM Canada and its members. This resulted in the highest triennial attendance on record.  Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition theme inspired a rich program of plenaries and concurrent sessions alongside meetings and study tours where delegates were offered memorable experiences and professional exchanges in the unique museums of the host country. Plenaries reflected the evolving role of museums and their impact on global challenges, with an overall program aligned with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Topics included Curating Sustainable Futures, reconciliation, and intangible heritage. ICOM Canada was invited to present Canada’s experience with decolonization (see the article below) and on the need to develop disaster resilient museums, with the [...]

The Museum Definition – The Backbone of ICOM

Michèle Rivet The Museum Definition discussion was constant at the ICOM Kyoto 2019 General Conference, in the corridors, at the coffee breaks, everywhere. Released by ICOM in July, the proposed definition immediate sparked a petition from ICOM-Europe requesting a postponement on the vote to approve the definition. ICOM-Canada, in an August 15 Board meeting, was the first non-European national committee to join that petition. On September 7, the Extraordinary General Assembly voted in favour of the postponement. THE ROLE PLAYED BY ICOFOM DURING THE KYOTO CONFERENCE ICOFOM has been actively involved with ICOM’s defining the “museum” process as ICOFOM has a long history of meetings and publications on the topic. Amongst the most current ones are the international symposia held in 2017 in Paris and 2018 in Cuba. During the Kyoto conference, ICOFOM organised a half-day meeting on the Museum definition. This meeting included Marie Lalonde, Chair of ICOM-Canada in [...]

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