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About CHIN - 2005-2006 Year in Perspective

audio Listen to an introduction by Gabrielle Blais, Director General of CHIN

view transcript Transcription

Table of Contents

CHIN ENABLES CANADIAN MUSEUMS TO ENGAGE CANADIAN AND WORLDWIDE AUDIENCES THROUGH THE USE OF INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES.

OUR GOALS

Heritage professionals and volunteers develop the skills they need to engage evolving audiences through the use of innovative technologies.

Canadians are engaged in Canada's diverse cultures, history and languages through the digital content developed by museums.

Canada’s diverse heritage has a strong presence in today’s global environment.

Photo of young visitors at the Montreal Science Centre
Young visitors at the Montreal Science Centre.

OUR FOCUS

Museums learning from CHIN and each other. Canadians, especially youth, learning with museums.

Photo of Joan Brophy from the Corner Brook Museum and Archives, and CHIN`s Martine Lachance
Joan Brophy from the Corner Brook Museum and Archives, and CHIN’s Martine Lachance.

 

Preface

  • Reason #875

    “Passage is a community museum-based project that has embarked upon developing standard approaches to museum management issues, including information management and dissemination. Who better than CHIN to help us on this path?”

    Photograph of Paul Collins, Curator, Nova Scotia Museum, Nova Scotia Paul Collins, Curator, Nova Scotia Museum, Nova Scotia

  • Reason #124

    “We have benefited from the service and leadership of CHIN for over 20 years, from the early days of the support for computerized collection management up to the newly released Knowledge Exchange.”

    Photograph of Grant W. Hughes, Director of Curatorial Services, Royal BC Museum, B.C. Grant W. Hughes, Director of Curatorial Services, Royal BC Museum, British Columbia

  • Reason #25

    “Community Memories helps us to reach an audience that can experience and engage in our history, stories, and community spirit - regardless of their geographic location.”

    Photograph of Sheryl Kolt, Curator, Transcona Historical Museum, Manitoba Sheryl Kolt, Curator, Transcona Historical Museum, Manitoba

  • Reason #1152

    “CHIN enabled us to bring our Permanent Collection to the attention of a wide audience and brought a vital new aspect of programming to our Gallery.”

    Photograph of Diana Brooks, Manager of Education Programs, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, B.C. Diana Brooks, Manager of Education Programs, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia

  • Reason #998

    “The attention, the support and the visibility CHIN offers help us to grow our collections while giving our stories a Canadian dimension.”

    Photograph of Michel Vallee Director, Musée de société des Deux-Rives, Quebec Michel Vallée, Director, Musée de société des Deux-Rives, Quebec

  • Reason #523

    “From better collection management practices to digitizing images, creating virtual exhibits, networking and much more, CHIN has helped our community museum emerge from taking baby steps to running a marathon! ”

    Photograph of Kathryn Elliot Curator, Corner Brook Museum and Archives, Newfoundland and Labrador Kathryn Elliott, Curator, Corner Brook Museum and Archives Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Reason #236

    “Being able to share expertise with, and learn from, other museum professionals across Canada involved in the always-evolving digital heritage field.”

    Photograph of Mark Heyck Virtual Exhibit Coordinator, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Northwest Territories Mark Heyck, Virtual Exhibit Coordinator, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Northwest Territories

  • Reason #709

    “For me CHIN represents the power of cooperation and vision; many people at many institutions contributing to and benefiting from such a rich public information resource.”

    Photograph of Kevin Rice, Registrar / Curatorial Manager, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, P.E.I. Kevin Rice, Registrar / Curatorial Manager, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Prince Edward Island

  • Reason #589

    “CHIN's CANMUSE message system for museum workers is an excellent tool for colleagues to exchange ideas and ask questions.”

    Photograph of Allan Symons, Founder / Curator, The Canadian Clock Museum, Ontario Allan Symons, Founder / Curator, The Canadian Clock Museum, Ontario

  • Reason #1012

    “In addition to being very open to our needs, CHIN offers us good options for promoting our collections.”

    Photograph of Jeanne Mance Cormier, Curator, Musée acadien de l'Université de Moncton, New Brunswick Jeanne Mance Cormier, Curator, Musée acadien de l'Université de Moncton, New Brunswick

  • Reason #557

    “Innovative online projects, pan-Canadian partnerships, the means to preserve heritage, an easily accessible site for Canadian and international audiences, a team dedicated to excellence.”

    Photograph of Manon Roch, Curator, Maison Saint-Gabriel, Quebec Manon Roch, Curator , Maison Saint-Gabriel, Quebec

  • Reason #58

    “CHIN has changed not only how we build Web sites but how we create exhibitions, opening our gallery to a whole new audience.”

    Photograph of Dean Bauche, Director, Allen Sapp Gallery, Saskatchewan Dean Bauche, Director, Allen Sapp Gallery, Saskatchewan

  • Reason #985

    “CHIN connects us to our stories of struggle and celebration, enabling us to build a better future through learning, culture, heritage and the arts.”

    Photograph of Renée Wetselaar, Executive Director, Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, Ontario Renée Wetselaar, Executive Director, Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, Ontario

  • Reason #21

    “Having the opportunity to connect with others, I have found solutions to my problems, answers to my questions, and have been able to share my expertise and knowledge in return.”

    Photograph of Wendy Zack, Operations Manager - Curator, Crowsnest Museum, Alberta Wendy Zack, Operations Manager / Curator Crowsnest Museum, Alberta

Message from the Outgoing Director General

Photo of Namir Anani, Outgoing Director General of CHIN

A STRONGER, MORE VIBRANT NETWORK

Members like you are our Network’s strength. The more connected we are, the better we can harness our collective knowledge, and the more effective Canadian museums can be at engaging Canadian and worldwide audiences. The needs and habits of audiences around the globe are quickly evolving in tandem with the technologies they are making part of their lives. Together, we can enable each other to meet the challenges and maximize the opportunities that this evolution presents.

Our well-known logo showcases five CHIN member institutions that represent some of the diverse regions of this vast country. This logo symbolizes the function of our Network: to connect geographically dispersed organizations and make them virtual neighbours, even if they are physically located thousands of kilometres apart. By enabling our members to tap into each other’s expertise, we are also helping to strengthen and connect the communities in which we live.

Our primary effort over the past year has been to harness the full power of information and communications technologies to connect CHIN’s approximately 1,200 member institutions. I am happy to report that you can now experience the results of our efforts for yourself at www.rcip-chin.gc.ca. The Knowledge Exchange is enabling our member institutions to share, collaborate, and learn from each other. As a result, we have a more responsive and vibrant Network that plays an increasingly larger role in Canada’s social, economic and cultural development.

The Knowledge Exchange accelerates members’ ability to learn from each other, day in and day out. It provides a variety of services and products that professionals and museums can learn to use, and use to learn, in reaching their objectives and desired outcomes. The Knowledge Exchange also gives specific examples of how to use RSS feeds, communities of practice (or online working groups), and podcasts to reach out to each other and to our audiences.

The Knowledge Exchange is only the beginning. The Web in general is becoming increasingly interactive. Growing numbers of people are embracing wikis, blogs, and other innovations. So while we now have the Knowledge Exchange to help bridge the distances among us, CHIN will go a significant step further in the near future by creating tools museums can use to expand their presence and respond to the evolving needs of Canadians, particularly when it comes to engaging Canada's educators and learners.

I’m referring to a pilot initiative we are undertaking in an effort to further connect current and future generations with Canada’s heritage. This new online learning space will take the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) to a new level of interactive and collaborative learning by means of reusable learning resources that are created by museums, and innovative technologies to make maximum use of this content. A number of museums and schools are already involved in this initiative. We will continue to keep you up-to-date on the initiative.

In the meantime, the Knowledge Exchange will evolve in tandem with the wider Web. More courses, presentations, and other content will be added, and you, the user, will help shape its evolution. The Knowledge Exchange is already at the heart of the CHIN Web site. Eventually, it will reshape the entire Web experience for museum professionals and volunteers at www.rcip-chin.gc.ca.

The Knowledge Exchange is your space to learn, collaborate, and share. It is also a wonderful way to connect with colleagues across the country. I encourage you to take advantage of the many possibilities it offers. After all, there are 1,200 reasons to do so.

signature

Namir Anani
DIRECTOR GENERAL
(2004-2006)

Interacting and Learning with CHIN and Each Other

Photo of CHIN`s Member Services team: Richard Bastien, Joan Korzeniowski (Manager), Yannick Tellier, Domnique Dénommée, Nick Frenette and Martine Lachance

The 2005 -2006 CHIN Member Services team: Richard Bastien, Joan Korzeniowski (Manager), Yannick Tellier, Dominique Dénommée, Nick Frenette and Martine Lachance.

“HOW CAN I HELP YOU?”

Every day, museum professionals and volunteers across Canada rely on CHIN’s team of experts to provide guidance and to answer their questions. Over 2005-2006, CHIN’s Member Services welcomed thousands of enquiries related to joining CHIN, member benefits, technical support, publications, and the many other CHIN services and products that are enabling the heritage community.

The only network of its kind in the world, CHIN is connecting museum professionals and volunteers across Canada to tools, resources and original research designed to enable our community to thrive in the information age. More importantly, CHIN is connecting members to each other. From in-person workshops and print publications to online working groups and sophisticated databases, CHIN offers myriad ways to draw from our collective knowledge and experience, and to develop our capacity to create, present, manage and preserve online content.

CHIN WORKSHOPS IN 2005-2006

From the Atlantic to the Pacific, staff from CHIN member institutions have been able to attend a number of face-to-face workshops where they upgrade their skills in digital content development.

MEASURING MEMBER SATISFACTION

A CHIN Member Satisfaction Survey undertaken by Decima Research in early 2006 found that in the preceding six months, 60% of respondents had used CHIN’s toll-free line to ask for assistance, and 61% had contacted CHIN’s Help Desk by email. An impressive 95% thought CHIN staff went the extra mile to ensure they received the service they needed.

Of the 96% of respondents that accessed the CHIN Web site, 85% were either very or somewhat satisfied with the site (11% were neutral). However, 44% agreed with the statement that "so much more could be added to the site to enhance your online experience,” a concern that the Knowledge Exchange has helped to address. Decima obtained responses from 146 directors (or assigned staff ), which translates into a maximum margin of error of + / - 7.6%. An Executive Summary of the survey’s findings is posted in the CHIN/VMC Members section at www.rcip-chin.gc.ca.

GAUGING MEMBER NEEDS

In an effort to better understand the challenges and needs facing Canada’s museums, CHIN undertook a Technology Assessment Survey in the fall of 2005. This data plays a vital role in ensuring responsive programs and services.

Among its findings, the survey found digitization to be “Very” or ‘Somewhat’ important for 94% of respondents. In keeping with the growing prevalence of high-speed Internet access, 43% of institutions already had broadband or high-speed access; 19% DSL or “Cable Lite” access; 33% dial-up access, and 5% no Internet access.Thirtyfour percent of respondents represented community museums.

LEVERAGING KNOWLEDGE AND RESOURCES THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS

Not only does the Network connect its 1,200 member institutions to each other, it also serves to connect Canada’s heritage community with a number of leading organizations and forums with which CHIN works closely. In partnership with museum associations, governmental counterparts, academic institutions, international organizations, and experts in a variety of fields, CHIN is leveraging expertise from across Canada and around the world for the benefit of Canada’s heritage community, and involving CHIN member institutions in exciting research initiatives.

BRINGING PROVINCES & TERRITORIES TOGETHER

In February 2006, CHIN brought the executive directors and training coordinators of Canada’s provincial and territorial museum associations together for their annual meeting with CHIN staff. In addition to updating each other on the challenges and successes museums across the country are experiencing in the use of technology, the event served to assess the community’s needs and identify opportunities to collaborate.

CHIN's annual meeting with Canada's museum associations: Joan Kanigan-Fairen; Gerry Osmond and Charlene Garvey; Suhas Deshpande and Martin Lajoie.
CHIN's annual meeting with Canada's museum associations: Joan Kanigan-Fairen, Museums Association of Saskatchewan (MAS); Gerry Osmond and Charlene Garvey, Alberta Museums Association (AMA); and CHIN’s Suhas Deshpande and Martin Lajoie.

STRENGTHENING THE TIES AMONG CANADA’S LEADING HERITAGE ORGANIZATIONS

In 2005, CHIN and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) signed a memorandum of understanding that establishes the framework for collaborative action toward the development of standards and a long-term preservation strategy for digital assets produced by museums, libraries and archives. CHIN also continued its close working relationship with the provincial museum associations on a number of projects. One such project was the development of learning modules with the Learning Coalition (which includes the associations of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia) on storyline development and project management for Community Memories projects.

BUILDING BRIDGES TO ASIA

In June 2005, 60 heritage and new media practitioners and thought leaders from Canada and Asia gathered in Aichi, Japan at the EXPO 2005 Canadian Pavilion for a remarkable exchange of knowledge and best practices. CHIN and Canadian Culture Online planned the event on behalf of theDepartment of Canadian Heritage.

Photo of a break during CHIN’s colloquium at EXPO 2005
A break during CHIN’s colloquium at EXPO 2005.

As part of the event, CHIN organized a full-day colloquium that explored the challenges and opportunities presented by audiences that increasingly seek participatory online spaces that allow for personalization and experiential learning. The presentations, along with bios for all of the presenters, are available in the CHIN Web site’s Knowledge Exchange section. As a result of contacts made during the colloquium, CHIN has since received delegations from counterparts in Singapore and Japan, and was invited to visit China to discuss possible partnerships.

SHARING THE CANADIAN EXPERIENCE AND PERSPECTIVE

Globalization presents challenges and opportunities to every segment of society, including the heritage community. By showcasing the Canadian experience in digital content development, and sharing lessons learned, CHIN continued to actively shape digital heritage policies and initiatives in the international sphere. Among many others, activities included:

  • a leadership role in thedigital Cultural Content Forum, an annual gathering of government agencies from Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and many other countries engaged in the digitization and delivery of cultural heritage;
  • participation in the UNESCO-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society, particularly in lead-up meetings and conferences;
  • obtaining and sharing knowledge and resources with educational institutions for the benefit of students and the museum community. Partners included Cornell University (United States), the Canada School of the Public Service, Collège Montmorency, École du Louvre (France), Senghor University (Egypt), Université Laval, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal, and the Fondation Omnium nord-africain (Morocco).

ENABLING OUR COMMUNITY TO LEARN, COLLABORATE AND SHARE ONLINE:
THE KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE

As a national Network, one of our main challenges is to effectively reach and connect the thousands of heritage professionals and volunteers – each with their own needs - distributed across Canada’s six time zones. Fortunately, new and exciting technological solutions are continuously emerging to help us successfully meet the challenge.

In 2005, CHIN undertook an intensive year-long project for Canada’s museum community: leveraging the emerging family of technologies that make it possible to offer convenient, personalized and interactive online services.

While the CHIN Web site continued to grow in popularity throughout 2005-2006, with the average number of monthly visits doubling to nearly 400,000, the addition of the Knowledge Exchange makes www.rcip-chin.gc.ca even more responsive to the needs of today’s heritage professional. This new section is a dynamic space that provides users with interactive access to courses, communities of practice, and engaging presentations by knowledgeable experts. It is a place where heritage professionals and volunteers - everyone from directors and curators to museum educators and collections managers - can overcome physical distances to learn, collaborate and share.

Key features include:

  • online courses on subjects ranging from digitization to collections management practices, which enable users to ‘learn by doing’. These e-tutorials include support and reference resources and allow users to track their progress, take online quizzes and engage in forum discussions;
  • online communities of practice where users can hold real-time meetings and exchange ideas, documents, and other reference materials;
  • expert presentations and commentary via podcasts, interviews, blogs and other interactive media, as well as demonstrations and guidelines of how such applications can be added to heritage Web sites;
  • really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds for job postings, news releases and conferences, as well as training announcements on the CHIN site

The Knowledge Exchange was developed by a dedicated team of CHIN staff, supported by an advisory group composed of representatives from museums, museum studies programs, and museum associations. Museum personnel tested the usability of the different services offered.

Much of the content found in the Knowledge Exchange is developed in partnership. For example, certain courses developed by educational institutions with other audiences in mind have been adapted for Canadian heritage professionals and volunteers.

The first phase of a wider redevelopment of the CHIN Web site, the Knowledge Exchange offers our community an interactive, participatory space of its own to learn and exchange information. New online courses, communities of practice, podcasts, and other content will be added to the Knowledge Exchange on an ongoing basis.

Screen Capture of the Knowledge Exchange

THE FIRST ONLINE COURSES IN THE KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE

DRAWING ON THE COMMUNITY’S EXPERTISE

In the spring of 2005, while the Knowledge Exchange was still in the early stages of development, CHIN issued a call for heritage professionals and volunteers to participate via the Internet in a number of data standards working groups. More than 75 people from across Canada expressed their interest in the pilot. Overcoming time and distance through the aid of technology, participants have been able to exchange ideas and resources online. Much of their attention has focused on the resources and tools used for classifying and naming objects, as well as subject descriptions, geographic location and cultural descriptions. These working groups are now part of the Knowledge Exchange.

ANALYSING TRENDS AND OPPORTUNITIES

Information and communication technologies are evolving at a frenetic pace, as are the audiences that use them. To anticipate trends and opportunities in this ever-changing environment, research and analysis are invaluable.

In 2005, CHIN developed its own methodology for undertaking an annual environmental scan that analyzes events, trends and relationships in order to provide an overview of the environment in which Canadian museums and CHIN operate. CHIN then shares relevant findings with the heritage community through its Web site, presentations, and other means.

PROVIDING RESOURCES AND NURTURING CAREERS

Through the Young Canada Works program, CHIN coordinated the placement of 21 interns seeking to start a career in the heritage field.

Lasting from four to six months, these internships permitted CHIN member institutions to receive valuable help. They also allowed participants to perfect their skills in conceiving and developing virtual tours of collections, mounting exhibits, leading workshops on the cataloguing of images and recordings, researching the intellectual property of heritage content and developing virtual exhibits.

Photo of Barry King, Executive Director of the Community Museums Association of PEI, at the annual meeting of CHIN staff and museum association directors
Barry King, Executive Director of the Community Museums Association of PEI, at the annual meeting of CHIN staff and museum association directors.

ADVANCING COLLECTIONS MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

Over the past year, a number of community museums across Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have taken huge strides in improving their collections management practices.

This success is the result of a coordinated strategy, led by museum associations in the above-mentioned provinces and CHIN, to address a lack of resources, technology and standards for collections management.

Participating museums have been creating thoroughly researched information about key objects, and learning to use their collections management systems to meticulously document this information about their collections.

They are also increasing their presence on the Web by sharing this data through Artefacts Canada, the country’s freely accessible inventory of museum artefacts and specimens. Five commuunity museums in Alberta, 18 in New Brunswick, seven in Newfoundland and Labrador, and nine in PEI together contributed 640 objects with images. We welcome these new partners.

Photograph of the Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador’s (MANL) Mark Penney and Paul Gruchy planned and delivered 13 workshops across that province
The Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador's (MANL) Mark Penney and Paul Gruchy planned and delivered 13 workshops across that province.

Other results included:
  • well-researched data for multiple institutions;
  • province specific documentation, including data dictionaries and information about CHIN membership and Artefacts Canada contribution;
  • training material and workshops;
  • provincial standards and instructions that facilitate the digitization process across institutions, as well as the uploading to specific software and Artefacts Canada;
  • increased level of expertise in managing collections and determining hardware and software requirements;
  • better representation in Artefacts Canada.

Reaching and Captivating Our Audiences

The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) celebrated its fifth anniversary on March 22, 2006. Created for the museum community in partnership with the museum community, the VMC continues to enable Canada’s museum community to reach and captivate Canadian and international audiences with their collections and the fascinating stories they tell. The added visibility also leads to greater traffic through museum doors. Throughout 2005-2006, the VMC initiative continued to support the development, presentation and promotion of engaging virtual exhibits, interactive games and learning resources developed by CHIN member institutions.

ENGAGING AUDIENCES

The 2005 VMC Awareness Survey showed that Canadians aware of the VMC are more likely to have visited a visual art exhibit (77%), a historical exhibit (65%), attended a literary or poetry reading (35%), and to have visited museum-related Web sites (14%). The growing popularity of the Web – 79% of respondents had accessed the Internet within the preceding months – shows how powerful a marketing tool it is for heritage institutions.

WINNING AWARDS

Online exhibits give heritage institutions an exciting new forum for showcasing their collections and their creativity in presenting them. A Journey to a New Land by the Simon Fraser University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology won a number of awards in 2005, including:

  • Education: Interactive Design Award, Vancouver International Digital Festival
  • Feature Award, Museums and the Web
  • Digital Education Achievement Award, First Place
  • Integrated Multi-Focus - Award of Excellence, University & College Designers Association
  • Educational Achievement Award, Canadian Archaeological Association

In addition, the Royal British Columbia Museum’s Journeys and Transformations: British Columbia Landscapes was one of three finalists in the Excellence in Culture, Lifestyle and Arts category at the 2005 Canadian New Media Awards.

Photo of Department of Canadian Heritage employees celebrating the VMC’s fifth anniversary
Department of Canadian Heritage employees celebrate the VMC's fifth anniversary.

INTERPRETING THE NUMBERS

Online statistics can provide us with great insights into what works and what doesn’t. CHIN analyzes and dissects audience interaction with online museum content in a number of ways – visits, duration, engagement, and more. The insights gained help museums develop more effective, engaging content in the future.

Monthly Visits to the VMC and VMC Content in Snapshot.
Monthly Visits to the VMC

April 812,970
May 855,759
June 725,662
July 723,192
August 700,997
September 844,440
October 979,255
November 960,871
December 923,860
January 1,075,006
February 1,152,106
March 1,453,596

VMC Content in a Snapshot

335 Virtual Exhibits
144 Games
218 Community Memories Exhibits
464,484 Images

VMC INVESTMENT PROGRAM
EXHIBITS LAUNCHED IN 2005-2006

TIPATSHIMUNA: INNU STORIES FROM THE LAND

Shortly after opening its doors in the summer of 2005, The Rooms in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, erected an Innu tent on the grounds. Innu guests assembled for a cup of tea and a pot of caribou stew. In addition to demonstrating the institution’s commitment to promoting and preserving Innu culture, the event was part of the launch of a physical exhibit titled Pien Ashtunu: Pien Builds a Canoe, a companion CBC documentary, and an online space titled Tipatshimuna: Innu Stories from the Land.

To bring Tipatshimuna to life, CHIN and The Rooms (Provincial Museum Division) worked closely with the Innu communities of Labrador and Quebec, as well as several government organizations, schools and museums in a project that epitomizes the Network’s role in facilitating collaborative projects.

Other heritage institutions involved in the project includethe Centre d'interprétation de la Côte-de-Beaupré, the McCord Museum of Canadian History, the Musée amérindien de Mashteuiatsh, the Musée montagnais d'Ekuanitshit, the Musée Shaputuan, and the New Brunswick Museum.

Offering the perspectives of Elders, youth and artists, this Web space at www.tipatshimuna.ca includes narratives about the Innu way of life before settlement, an exhibition gallery, and an online object database of Innu objects found in several Canadian museums.

Not only is Tipatshimuna an online manifestation of Innu culture, it also provides the means for Innu communities to record, document, share, promote, and control access to their culture and traditional knowledge. In this sense, it is a long-term project that will continue to evolve. The project has been praised for its growing contribution to preserving the Innu culture, and has been recognized by the Canadian Museum Association (CMA) with the 2006 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Multimedia.

Photograph of Tipatshimuna collaborators: Allister Pone and Melvin Penashue, apprentices on the Pien ashtunu canoe component; Nympha Byrne, interpreter; and CHIN’s Danielle Boily
Tipatshimuna collaborators: Allister Pone and Melvin Penashue, apprentices on the Pien ashtunu canoe component; Nympha Byrne, interpreter; and CHIN’s Danielle Boily.

VMC INVESTMENT PROGRAMS

The VMC Investment Programs continued to help CHIN members develop dynamic online content that engages Canadians in their heritage.

VIRTUAL EXHIBITS

CHIN issued a call for proposals for the production of innovative virtual exhibits and interactive games on January 20, 2006. The editorial board charged with reviewing proposals – a cross-section of distinguished heritage, new media and educational leaders from across Canada – was composed as follows:

COMMUNITY MEMORIES

CHIN issued its annual call for proposals for the development of online local history exhibits on October 26, 2005. This year, eligibility was expanded to include CHIN member institutions with up to five (from the original two) full-time staff. Eligibility continues to include volunteer-run museums. In addition, we also introduced new Community Memories software. In response to your feedback, the new software features Windows-style menu commands, offers more intuitive navigation, and gives users greater control over how their content is organized.

Engaging Students and Teachers

In 2005, CHIN announced a pilot initiative to connect museums, teachers and students through an online learning space that is supported by reusable online resources created by Canadian museums.

Over the past year, CHIN has been studying, testing, and adapting the latest online learning technologies. A number of Network member institutions from across Canada, as well as museum educators, teachers and youth, have been involved in the initiative, exploring the ways in which Canada’s heritage can be brought to life through a dynamic and participatory learning experience.

2005-2006 TIMELINE FOR CHIN’S PILOT INITIATIVE

Spring 2005 Summer 2005
  • Consultations with educational community begin
  • Review of provincial curricula undertaken
  • First round of usability testing starts
Fall 2005 Winter 2006
  • CHIN organizes CHIN Roundtable on e-learning in museums

CHIN ROUNDTABLE EXPLORES E-LEARNING IN MUSEUMS

Sixty museum educators and other heritage professionals, academics from across Canada, as well as distinguished representatives from France and the United States, were invited to gather in Ottawa in early 2006 to explore the subject of e-learning in museums. Titled the CHIN Roundtable, this event was organized as part of CHIN’s ongoing research, outreach and capacity building activities in preparation for the launch of the pilot, online museum learning space.

The event took place March 9-10 at Library and Archives Canada, and was ably animated by Hélène Nadeau of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Speakers included Bernadette Goldstein, Project Leader at the Direction des musées de France; Gilbert Paquette, Ph. D, Director of the LORNET research network; George Siemens, Instructor at Red River College; and Jim Spadaccini, Creative Director and Founder of Ideum.

Participants examined the issues and challenges associated with giving museums a greater role in the electronic delivery of educational programming.

During the first part of the event, attendees took a closer look at how heritage institutions can be present on the Web, how they can provide meaningful online experiences to their audiences, and how they can better interact with the public in ways that are authentic, experimental and adaptive.

The second part focused on defining priorities and creating a strategic plan for long-term development, acquiring know-how, and establishing standards. The working groups concluded by defining an overall vision of e-learning in heritage institutions, and the steps that must be taken to achieve the desired results.

A full report of the discussions and conclusions to emerge from the CHIN Roundtable on e-learning in museums is posted online. The full agenda, the presenters’ biographies and their presentations can also be accessed in the Knowledge Exchange.

While this was the first CHIN Roundtable, it will certainly not be the last. In future years, CHIN Roundtable sessions on other subjects will continue to offer experts from within and outside the Network with an opportunity to connect, debate and exchange information.

CHIN Roundtable, Journée de réflexion du RCIP

MUSEUMS, DESIGNERS AND SCHOOLS ENGAGED IN ‘MASSIVE CHANGE’

CHIN joined forces with Bruce Mau Design and the Institute without Boundaries to explore the relationship between the virtual and the physical, and our capacity to extend the reach and use of heritage content within a community setting.

The partners created an online educational component for the Massive Change initiative, which explores people’s ability to change the world through the power and promise of design. The Massive Change family of products includes a traveling physical exhibit commissioned by the Vancouver Art Gallery, a book, and a Web site.

Other partners in the online project included George Brown College, educators at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), and Toronto-area teachers and students at Marshall McLuhan C.S.S., Stephen Leacock C.I. and Western Tech. C.S. Artists, volunteers and a Young Canada Works intern were also involved.

“Its collaborative nature made it a complex project,” says CHIN’s Martin Lajoie, who managed the production. “But that was also its strength, and ultimately what made it a success.”

The online result is titled Massive Change in Action, and it can be viewed at www.massivechangeinaction.virtualmuseum.ca. While it speaks to a general audience, it offers tools for high school teachers and students. This online component features stories drawn from the Massive Change exhibition and allows students to take action by posting their own creations after experiencing the physical exhibit.

The students’ works were exhibited at the AGO, providing visitors with a tangible example of how the virtual and the physical can be harnessed to engage audiences. In addition to an opportunity to experiment with the development of learning objects, the initiative provided lessons that are helping to shape CHIN’s pilot educational initiative.

An important outcome of the project is a report titled Liberating Heritage Content to Classrooms Via the Web (no longer available). This document can be viewed in the Creating and Managing Digital Content section at www.rcip-chin.gc.ca.

Reaching Out

Photograph of the 2005-2006 Director’s Management Committee: Namir Anani, Jean-Marc Blais, Martha King, Gérard Degrève and Eric Poirier.

The 2005-2006 Director’s Management Committee: Namir Anani, Director General and Chief Operating Officer; Jean-Marc Blais, Associate Director and Director General of Program Development; Martha King, Senior Policy Advisor; Gérard Degrève, Director of Services and Administration; and Eric Poirier, Director of IM/IT Solutions.

THE DIRECTOR’S MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

The focus for CHIN’s management is twofold: museums learning from CHIN and each other; Canadians, especially youth, learning with museums.

2005-2006 OUTREACH ACTIVITIES: CANADA’S HERITAGE COMMUNITY

COLUMN IN MUSE MAGAZINE

The Canadian Museum Association (CMA) graciously invited CHIN into the pages of MUSE magazine, providing Technology Analyst Suhas Deshpande with a regular Technology column through which he can share CHIN’s expertise in the use of information and communications technologies by museums.

Photograph of information booths at conferences

INFORMATION BOOTHS AT CONFERENCES

CHIN NEWSLETTER

CHIN launched a newly designed newsletter in May of 2005. In response to the results of an online Reader Survey, the newsletter continues to focus on CHIN products and services, but also gives more space to projects and experiences at heritage institutions.

ARTICLES IN ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTERS

Canada’s provincial museum associations kindly published two series of customized articles that CHIN commissioned for each province and the Yukon. Each article illustrated the ways in which nearby museums are successfully using information technology to help reach their goals. The first series looks at the adoption of collections management software, while the second explores the ways in which museums are tackling Community Memories projects.

MULTIMEDIA CORPORATE PRESENTATION

An engaging multimedia corporate presentation was added to the About CHIN section at www.rcip-chin.gc.ca. It was originally developed as an introduction to CHIN for international delegates at the CHIN colloquium at EXPO 2005 in Aichi, Japan. Employing Macromedia Director, the presentation draws on original and dynamic imagery to explain CHIN’s role, mission, and four priorities.

Photograph of information booths at conferences

2005-2006 OUTREACH ACTIVITIES: GENERAL PUBLIC AND TEACHERS

INFORMATION BOOTHS AT CONFERENCES

May

Avancement pédagogique des technologies de l’information et de la communication en Atlantique (APTICA)
Educational Technology Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ETCATA)
Ontario Museum Association’s, May is Museum Month Launch

October

Association for Canadian Studies (ACS)
Association des cadres scolaires du Québec (ACSQ)
New Frontiers in our History: 100 Years of Alberta and Saskatchewan in Confederation

December

United Nations Climate Change Conference

VMC FRIENDS AND TEACHERS’ NEWSLETTERS

Through the VMC’s newsletters, the VMC keeps its loyal visitors up to date on the latest online content produced by CHIN member institutions. Approximately 4,000 teachers and 1,000 members of the general public received the VMC’s newsletters this year

LYCOS.CA PILOT

At the beginning of 2006, the VMC initiated a six-month pilot initiative with Lycos.ca, serving as a content provider for this portal. VMC exhibits and promotional images were featured on the portal’s cultural channel, thereby driving audiences to specific VMC pages.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION STRATEGIES

As part of its overall efforts to increase the visibility of online museum content through search engines, the VMC significantly increased the frequency with which it rotated and updated content on the VMC’s main section pages. Not only did this increase the number of museums and the diversity of museum content being showcased throughout the year, it also increased visits by almost 50% since such activity boosts search engine rankings.

The CHIN Team ­ Dedicated to enabling Canadian museums to engage Canadian and worldwide audiences through the use of innovative technologies.

Photograph of the CHIN Team

CHIN Logo

We are always pleased to hear from you!

15 Eddy Street, 7th Floor (15-7-A)
Gatineau, Quebec
Canada  K1A 0M5

Phone: (819) 994-1200
Toll free number: 1 800 520-2446
Fax: (819) 994-9555
Email: service@rcip-chin.gc.ca

© Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2006
ISSN 1910-2518
ISBN 0-662-49519-5
Catalogue No.: CH56-2006

Special thanks to our members and partners for the beautiful images: Allen Sapp Gallery, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Bruce Mau Design, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Corner Brook Museum and Archives, Crowsnest Museum, Maison Saint-Gabriel, Montréal Science Centre, Musée acadien de l'Université de Moncton, Musée de société des Deux-Rives, Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia Museum, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Royal BC Museum, The Canadian Clock Museum, Transcona Historical Museum, Workers Arts and Heritage Centre.

Photo Credits:
Paul Collins by davidellingsen.com
Michel Vallée by Jacques Smith
Montreal Science Centre by © Marie-Reine Mattera