Staff & Council

 

Ontario Museum Association Secretariat


Ontario Museum Association Council 21/22

The Ontario Museum Association's governing body is its Council, whose 12 members are elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. Council gives strategic policy direction to the Secretariat. It also works to strengthen the Ontario museum community by representing the interests of members to government, the public and private sectors, the media, to public and other related institutions, and to citizens all across the province. 

Executive Council
 
President: Cathy Molloy, Director, Markham Museum
Past President: Paul Robertson, City Curator, Cultural Services, City of Kingston
Vice President: Cheryl Blackman, Interim General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, City of Toronto
Secretary: Michael Rikley-Lancaster, Executive Director/Curator, Mississippi Valley Textile Museum
Treasurer: Sonia Mrva 

Councillors
 
Joe Corrigan, Volunteer, former Museum Manager, Lang Pioneer Village Museum
Kathy Fisher, Curator / Supervisor, Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site
Cara Krmpotich, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto 
Heather Montgomery, Education and Evaluation Specialist, Bank of Canada Museum
Janis Monture, Executive Director, Woodland Cultural Centre 
Jonathan Paquette, President, Museoparc Vanier
Sascha Priewe, Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships, Royal Ontario Museum

Council Biographies

Paul Robertson        

PAUL ROBERTSON, PAST PRESIDENT

First Year of a First Two-Year Term

Paul Robertson became the City of Kingston’s first City Curator in 2011. He holds degrees in journalism and Canadian history. A material history specialist and social historian for 30 years, Paul learned his trade working in federal institutions in Ottawa, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History) and community museums in Kingston. Paul’s currently leads the curatorial team interpreting community history at Kingston’s two municipal museums and historic City Hall. Paul seeks to build stronger working connections between museums and governments that help all institutions to meet their mandates and the needs of our communities more effectively.

“Ontario has a rich tapestry of museums and historic sites – without them, we would be significantly diminished. Museums today face a growing opportunity to reflect and respond to the changing face of Ontario in a way that is diverse and inclusive of all residents. I am excited to have an opportunity to play a role in fulfilling the vision in Ontario’s Museums 2025 plan as it becomes a reality. As a member of OMA Council, I hope my experience working in the cultural heritage sector at the national, provincial and local levels can continue to benefit the Ontario museum community as we work together to build a sustainable and responsive museum sector.”

           
       

CATHY MOLLOY, PRESIDENT

First Year of a First Two-Year Term

Cathy Molloy is the Director of Markham Museum.  Working in the most demographically diverse city in Canada, Markham Museum has developed a program direction where the entire community feels welcome. Through the examination of basic human technologies that we have in common, Markham Museum creates a shared understanding of our past and present day. Cathy’s educational background is a mix of archaeology and accounting, with work experience in both the corporate and museum world.

“Although we have come a very long way, Museums still struggle to validate their relevance to their community. Many government and business leaders recognize the benefits that Museums bring to quality of life and economic development. However, we need to continue to work with our stakeholders to ensure we stay connected to our communities. The OMA is a venue to help all Ontario museums learn and develop, and help us continue the good work that we all do. I look forward to working with the OMA and the larger Museum community.”

           
       

CHERYL BLACKMAN, VICE PRESIDENT

First Year of a First Two-Year Term

Cheryl Blackman is the Interim General Manager, Economic Development and Culture with the City of Toronto. She is responsible for leading Toronto's efforts to create arts and culture plans, roadmaps for cultural vitality, strengthening arts spending and for launching a new era of collaboration among arts and culture groups across the City. She is also playing a key role in efforts to attract international film and television productions and studio investments to Toronto. Prior to her role as Acting General Manager at the City she was Director of Museums and Heritage Services where she was responsible for the ten city-owned and operated historical museums, the City collection of historical objects, archaeological specimens, moveable fine art and an extensive portfolio of heritage buildings. Cheryl also served as the Assistant Vice-President of Audience Development at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), and is a Fellow of Inclusion and Philanthropy from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). She is the Past Chair of the Board at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery.
 
“Museums are essential parts of Ontario’s culture. It is this belief that grounds me in my commitment to fulfilling the mission, vision, and values of the OMA. I have seen how the work of the OMA is strengthening the voices of museum professionals across Ontario, and I look forward to supporting OMA members and the OMA in continued efforts to make museums vital and vibrant in Ontario.”
           
Sonia Mrva        

SONIA MRVA, TREASURER

First Year of a Second Two-Year Term

Sonia's most recent work includes the Downtown Built Heritage Inventory Project, a cross departmental initiative between the Heritage Resource Management section and Cultural Heritage Planning for the City of Hamilton.  This project was a departure from traditional built heritage inventories through its inclusion of the community in developing an understanding of the value placed on heritage resources.  Sonia believes that the inclusion of community is critical in developing a better understanding of the role Museums plays in our society.  Prior to her current position, Sonia held Curatorial positions at both Whitehern Historic House and Garden and Dundurn National Historic Site.  Sonia has a Bachelor of Arts, History with post graduate work in Museum Studies, Cultural Management and Leadership.

“Increasingly, communities are recognising heritage as having both social and cultural capital.  Our Museums enhance communities by providing a tangible connection to the past and emphasizing a community’s identity and sense of self while encouraging community cohesion.  By better understanding the role which museums play in society and the value derived from a “visit”, we can better position our institutions for the future.  The OMA is a venue which encourages these ideas of sustainability and encourages development in our field through shared learning.  I look forward to connecting with colleagues across the Province through the OMA Council.”

           
       

MICHAEL RIKLEY-LANCASTER, SECRETARY

First Year of a Second Two-Year Term

Born and raised in Chatham, Ontario, Michael has been Executive Director/Curator of the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum since July 1, 2007. He studied Fine Arts at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, before receiving a diploma in Applied Museum Studies from Algonquin College in Ottawa. He was employed as Assistant Curator at the Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum, and then Program Coordinator for Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations with the Canadian Museums Association. He has served on the Council of Heritage Organizations Ottawa, as well as the Lanark County Tourism Association board of directors and the Municipality of Mississippi Mills Downtown Almonte Heritage District Study Committee and the Community Heritage Ontario Board of Directors. He currently sits on the Heritage Advisory Committee, and the River Walk Working Group for the Municipality of Mississippi Mills and is part of the Lanark County Museum Network. Michael also sits on the Ontario Historical Societies, Museums Advisory Committee. Michael is the 2014 Cultural Achievement Award winner for the Young Award within the Municipality of Mississippi Mills.
 
“From my experience of being on the OMA’s “Looking Ahead” Steering Committee and the 2017 Conference Planning Committee, I have gained insight into the way forward for Ontario museums. With 20 years of experience working in the field, mostly in a small-town museum setting, I would like to give insight into the challenges of small museums. A primary interest is to work on a committee to assess operational funding for small museums in Ontario, specifically to reassess (increase) CMOG funding for museums that meet CMOG standards, and to explore a renewed definition of museums.”
           
       

JOE CORRIGAN, COUNCILLOR

First Year of a Second Two-Year Term

Joe Corrigan holds an Hons. B.A. in Economics and History from Glendon College of York University, a post diploma certificate in Museum Management and Curatorship from Fleming College and a certificate in Managing and Leading in a Municipal Environment from Loyalist College. Trained as a business systems analyst, Joe had a 24-year career in Branch, Regional and Head Office Management appointments with the National Trust Company and Scotiabank. Joe served as Museum Manager of Lang Pioneer Village Museum from 2003 to 2018. During his time at Lang, Joe also served as Chair of both the Board of the Kawarthas Northumberland Regional Tourism Organization (RTO8) and the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development Corporation’s Tourism Advisory Committee among a number of other volunteer commitments.
 
“I have worked in a variety of roles in the private, public and not-for–profit sectors over my 40-plus-year career. Many of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had have come since I joined the museum profession as Manager of Lang Pioneer Village Museum. I have had the opportunity to be involved in a number of rewarding initiatives which have had a lasting impact on the community and this has inspired me to continue to take an active role in supporting the museum profession. I look forward to, once again, working with my colleagues on the OMA Council to support the industry in recovering from the challenges of the current pandemic.”
           
       

KATHY FISHER, COUNCILLOR

First Year of a Second Two-Year Term

Kathy has been the Curator / Supervisor at the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site for seventeen years, and was the Curator / Director at the Sault Ste. Marie Museum prior for seven years.  Being in Northern Ontario within an attraction based museum has lead Kathy to become well versed in the tourism industry, specifically RTO 13.  Her role oversees the day to day operations of the Site, gift shop, revenue generating programming, user groups, venue rentals and historic cultural festival and events.  Currently, she is involved in the Cultural Plan Steering Committee for the City of Sault Ste. Marie and FutureSSM, Culture Days Sault Ste. Marie in conjunction with Ontario Culture Days, Festival and Events Network (an Algoma region network of FEO) and 4Culture – a museum and art gallery partnership program within Sault Ste. Marie.  In 2017 -2018, Kathy was one of the museum advisors in the OMA’s diversity and inclusion program and symposium.

“I look forward to being a resource and voice in the Northern Ontario museum community on the OMA Council.  As a Curator /Director of small to mid-sized museum(s), I understand the diversity of needs of our sector. I would like to provide my experience to Council and our community, as well as to become more versed in today’s museum field through the other Council members, OMA staff, and affiliations.”

           
       

CARA KRMPOTICH, COUNCILLOR

First Year of a First Two-Year Term

Cara Krmpotich is an associate professor in the Museum Studies Program at the University of Toronto who teaches and researches in the areas of critical collections management, Indigenous museology, cultural property and repatriation, and material culture studies. She is an alumna of Fleming College’s Museum Management and Curatorship program, and has served with the OMA’s Indigenous Collections Working Group and Museum Inclusive Leadership initiatives. She has worked in collections management positions with art and ethnographic collections in Canada and the United Kingdom, and has facilitated multi-year community engagement projects with collections in both countries. She is currently co-director of the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures, and is co-editing a volume titled Collections Management: A Critical Museum Practice. Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Cara is a mother, dog-lover, and an avid crossworder and baker.
 
“Being an OMA member has been rewarding as a practitioner, researcher and teacher. While I have served the OMA in specific endeavours in the past, becoming a Councillor will enable me to contribute to the OMA’s mission, activities, advocacy and accountability in a more sustained way. I have particular interests in professional development and EMP activities, as well as supporting policy and advocacy relating to collections management; digital heritage; equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility; and reconciliation. I bring leadership and Board experience from the Council for Museum Anthropology, Council of Ontario Universities, and the Great Lakes Research Alliance.”
           
       

HEATHER MONTGOMERY, COUNCILLOR

First Year of a Second Two-Year Term

Heather Montgomery is the Education and Evaluation Specialist at the Bank of Canada Museum. She has worked in education, visitor experience, evaluation, and management in museums in Ottawa and Gatineau for the past decade. She was the Education and Visitor Experience Manager at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, during which time she developed a school program on conflict resolution which won the 2015 Ontario Museum Association Award of Excellence in Programs with a WOW! Distinction. She was a Learning Specialist at the Canadian Museum of History and also worked for four years as a part-time instructor in the Applied Museum Studies program at Algonquin College. She has an MA in Archaeology from Newcastle University and a Graduate Professional Certificate in Cultural Heritage Studies from the University of Victoria.

“Over the past ten years I have had the opportunity to work at a variety of museums in Ontario, and I am very passionate about the work that the OMA does in advocating for small, medium, and larger institutions in this province. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to support the work of the OMA, especially as it relates to diversity and inclusion, supporting emerging professionals and museum studies education, and advocating for reliable funding for museums in Ontario.”

 

           
       

JANIS MONTURE, COUNCILLOR

First Year of a First Two-Year Term

Janis Kahentóktha Monture is Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River. Janis returned as the Executive Director of Woodland Cultural Centre in May 2020. Previously, Janis was appointed the Director of Tourism and Cultural Initiatives for the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation from 2017 - 2020. From 2003 – early 2017 Janis was the Executive Director of the Woodland Cultural Centre, one of the largest First Nations- run cultural centres/museums in the country. In her capacity with Woodland, Janis was a steering committee member for the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures. A committee member for the Arts & Culture Advisory Council for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan American Games. For two brief 18-month periods Janis was on secondment to Harbourfront Centre as the Guest Artistic Director of Planet IndigenUS in 2009 and 2015. Janis attended the University of Western Ontario where she attained a Bachelor of Arts in History and received a Museum Studies diploma from Algonquin College. Janis continues to volunteer in her community at Six Nations and in Brantford with various organizations such as Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Brant Community Foundation and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation.

 

“As a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) person working in the arts and cultural sector it is so incredibly important that my Onkwehon:we people’s voice is heard and seen in museums. For the last 18 years I have worked tirelessly to amplify our narratives within not only our spaces, but in mainstream museum spaces as well. It is so important to understand the way in which Indigenous people present our culture to the rest of the world. The way in which we don’t necessarily view our cultural items as artifacts but as part of our everyday. I hope that the work I continue to do will bring light to a new way of working with Indigenous museums, collections and communities.”
           
       

JONATHAN PAQUETTE, COUNCILLOR

First Year of a First Two-Year Term

Jonathan Paquette is president of the Museoparc Vanier in Ottawa. He also served on the board of the Regroupement des organismes du patrimoine franco-ontarien, and is currently co-chair of the Committee for commemoration policies at the City of Ottawa. Jonathan Paquette is professor at the University of Ottawa where he is director of the Cultural Policy Research Network at the Centre on Governance. He is also chairholder of the Global Francophonie Research Chair on Heritage Policy. Over the years, Jonathan Paquette has been visiting scholar at the School for Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, and he contributed to many international research projects. He is also involved in the diffusion of scholarship on museums and cultural policies as Executive-editor of the Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis, and is the founding editor of Culture and Local Governance/Culture et gouvernance locale, a bilingual journal on cultural affairs.

“Service organizations play an important part in sustaining the vitality and sustainability of the museum sector. Ontarians deserve strong and sustainable cultural organizations. As a voice for the museum sector in Ontario, the OMA is well-positioned to offer innovative strategies for a robust and sustainable provincial museum policy.”
           
       

SASCHA PRIEWE, COUNCILLOR
SECOND YEAR OF A FIRST TWO-YEAR TERM

Sascha is the Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto, Canada. Previously, Sascha was the ROM’s Managing Director – Culture Centres. Before joining the ROM, he was the Curator of Chinese and Korean collections at the British Museum and prior to that served as a diplomat in the German Foreign Office, including as a cultural attaché at the German Embassy in Beijing. Sascha co-founded the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative (NACDI; http://culturaldiplomacyinitiative.com), a think tank that has created a transdisciplinary partnership, including academics, policymakers and practitioners from North America and beyond, to establish cultural diplomacy as a critical practice. He is a Research Fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, a Senior Fellow of Massey College, Toronto, and an Associate Member of the Posthumanism Research Institute at Brock University. Sascha is also cross-appointed as an Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Toronto, and is an Affiliated Associate Professor in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. He also serves on the board of ICOM Canada and as Vice-President of the Society for East Asian Archaeology. Sascha holds a PhD in archaeology from the University of Oxford, an MA in art history and archaeology from SOAS University of London, and an MA in culture and media management from the Hamburg University of Music and Theatre. He completed his undergraduate degree in public administration at the German Foreign Office.
 
“For me, museums have a striking claim to increased relevance in the world today. Thrown into relief by the pandemic, museums can be a catalyst for social cohesion, learning/education and self-development, democratic citizenship and collective expression. They can also connect global trends and their local manifestations. The OMA is a crucial forum to advance an ambitious agenda for Ontario’s museums. As a member of the OMA council, I hope that my global experience as a museum professional and a practicing museum diplomat will be of benefit to and support our museum community.”
           

 


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