Canadian Museum Association invades Whitehorse

If the past is a foreign country, then the future will be a very disturbing place, according to renowned historian and Whitehorse native son, Ken Coates.

If the past is a foreign country, then the future will be a very disturbing place, according to renowned historian and Whitehorse native son, Ken Coates.

Coates was the keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Canadian Museums Association, which was held here this week. This is the second time this event has been held in the Yukon, the first being in 1998, during the centennial of the Klondike Gold Rush.

According to Coates, the future of museums presents many challenges as they look toward the future. The traditional book, music and movie industries are being turned upside down by rapid technological change. The national demographic is morphing as the many new ethnic Canadians are unlikely to travel to the North or be interested in what is up here. The aging population is becoming a huge market for cultural tourism, while the younger generations are headed toward a digital universe.

The biggest challenge will be adapting to the digital revolution embraced by the younger generations, and finding the tools to attract and engage this segment of the population. The most important person on the museum team in the future will be the social media expert, says Coates.

The Canadian Museums Association is the national organization for the museum profession in the country. The theme of this year’s conference was “Cultural Collaborations,” a topic which, according to Mary Bradshaw, the chair of the local organizing committee, was conceived locally. Working together, the Yukon Museums and Historical Association and a team of volunteers spent endless hours with the national organization developing a program for visiting museum professionals. Nearly 300 delegates and exhibitors are attending the event, which officials at the Department of Tourism state will leave nearly a half million dollars during the course of the five-day event.

Addressing the topic of “Collaboration” in The CMA Fellows Lecture on Wednesday afternoon was Rhonda Paku, acting kaihutu of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. “Te Papa,” as it is widely known, is a model of bicultural partnership and multidisciplinary partnership.

In her address, Paku related the story of the slow transition of the Maori people from a population that was objectified in the early Colonial Museum as a dying culture, to its emergence in the 1960s as a vibrant culture struggling for recognition, to a full participant in the expression of its culture today in a national museum. “Te Papa” opened in 1998 and despite growing pains, has matured as a bicultural partnership.

The underlying theme of collaboration at this year’s conference was reflected in many of the presentations in the program, which included examples of partnerships, youth exchanges and collaborative programming. Speakers included a selection from within the Yukon museum community, institutions from across the country as well as others from New Zealand and Italy.

Pre- and post-conference study tours to Kluane, Teslin and Dawson City, as well as tours on the White Pass and Yukon Route were offered to delegates, while others attended workshops on topics related to current museum issues. The evenings were filled with social events sponsored by the Old Log Church, MacBride and Copperbelt Railway and Mining museums.

Events also were offered at the Yukon Arts Centre, where, on Tuesday afternoon, the Yukon Showcase of local talent welcomed delegates to Whitehorse. The showcase performance of Kim Barlow, which included a video pre-recorded in Keno City, combined with her live accompaniment from centre stage, received rave reviews from all who saw it.

Delegates arriving from outside the territory were surprised by the unexpected warm weather. Most who came with sweaters and coats, prepared for the cold weather of the week before found themselves dashing off to local shops in search of sunglasses and sandals. Visitors attending the conference were seen shopping in many stores around Whitehorse.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Most Read