Staff & Council

 

Ontario Museum Association Secretariat

  • Christopher Shackleton, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator
  • Jennifer Lyn, Volunteer

Ontario Museum Association Council 22/23

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
Vice President: Cheryl Blackman, Director, Museums and Heritage Services, City of Toronto
Secretary: Michael Rikley-Lancaster, Executive Director/Curator, Mississippi Valley Textile Museum
Treasurer: Sonia Mrva, Manager, Museums, City of Toronto 
 
In memory of: Paul Robertson, Past President 

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 
Sascha Priewe, Director of Collections and Public Programs, Aga Khan Museum

Council Biographies

Paul Robertson        

REMEMBERING PAUL ROBERTSON, PAST PRESIDENT

Paul made contributions to the Ontario museum community for more than 30 years, working in museums and heritage since the 80s at the Official Residences of the National Capital Commission, the House of Commons, the Canadian Museum of History (Civilization), the Museum of Health Care at Kingston, and as Kingston’s first City Curator, a post he held for more than a decade.

As an active member of the OMA, Paul served the Ontario museum community on OMA Council and committees, including the Nominations Committee, Looking Ahead Task Force, Conference Committee, Modernizing Community Museum Funding Working Group, and in various Executive Positions including as OMA President from 2019-2021. He led by example, building a culture of respect and inclusion and taking an active role in supporting emerging professionals, including through Conference Connections mentorship and the Inclusive Museum Leadership Symposium. 

Whether he was recruited to offer introductory remarks, chairing meetings, or offering good advice, Paul always brought a sense of good humour and cheer along with his knowledge and wide-ranging expertise. We will remember his steadfastness, encouragement, and warm demeanour. It was an honour to work alongside him, and we will miss him dearly.

It was an honour to work closely with Paul in his many leadership roles with the OMA, including his recent term as OMA President.  The OMA benefitted greatly from his ability to bring people together—even through the unique circumstances of his term as President, Paul remained dedicated to fostering connections in our community. He was truly committed to the values and goals of the Association, and he brought a wide breadth of knowledge and experience to help strengthen the OMA. I will always appreciate his kindness, sense of humour, and inspiring joie de vivre.

-Marie Lalonde, OMA Executive Director

           
       

CATHY MOLLOY, PRESIDENT

Second 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

Second Year of a First Two-Year Term

Cheryl Blackman is Director, Museums and Heritage Services at the City of Toronto. She is 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

Second Year of a Second Two-Year Term

Sonia is the Manager of Museums for the City of Toronto.  She is responsible for the management of 10 historic house museums including Fort York National Historic Site and the Market Gallery.  Sonia has more than 20 years of experience, having most recently served as Senior Curator with the City of Hamilton before joining the City of Toronto.  Sonia believes that the inclusion of community is critical in developing a better understanding of the role Museums play 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.

nagement 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

Second 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

Second 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

Second 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

Second 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

Second 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

Second 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.”
           
           
       

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

Sascha is the Director of Collections & Public Programs at the Aga Khan Museum. Previously, Sascha was the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships, after serving as 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 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 as Vice President on the board of ICOM Canada and serves as the Chair of the Global Leadership Council of the Idaho Museum of International Diaspora. 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 should be catalysts for social cohesion, pluralism, learning/education and self-development, democratic citizenship and collective expression. They 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 trust 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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