From April 29 - May 20, 2020 the Group of Ontario Emerging Museum Professionals (GOEMP) Committee ran a survey for Ontario’s emerging museum professional (EMP) community focused on identifying the experiences and needs of EMPs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the preliminary results, the Committee immediately created a two-pronged approach to addressing EMP needs at this time centred on Advocacy and Professional Development (PD). One such PD initiative is a “Ask Me Anything” webinar series digitally connecting EMPs at home with a highly experienced museum professional who is enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge and expertise. Our first session on July 7, 2020 with Sarah Beam-Borg was a resounding hit, and we're excited to bring you a second edition, this time with Irene Chalmers.
This session will consist of 3 key components in the style of “Ask Me Anything” format popularized on social media in recent years. “Ask” refers to questions posed by emerging museum professionals in the Ontario community - whether to the OMA during registration for the webinar, to the GOEMP Committee via the blog post announcing this webinar, or directly to our guest in real time during the webinar. “Me” refers to Irene Chalmers, who came forward to generously volunteer her time to make her rich experience in interpretive planning and as a freelancer accessible through this platform. “Anything” references any topic that intersects with the museum sector, museum jobs, museum networking, etc… anything that may be of interest to EMPs who would benefit from this information at this stage in their careers!
GOEMP Committee Chair Madeline Smolarz will join Irene as moderator to keep track of and pose incoming questions on behalf of the EMP community.
Read the GOEMP Blog Post and submit a question here: https://goemp.wordpress.com/2020/09/02/ask-a-museum-professional-anything-2-0-on-tuesday-september-22-2020/
Irene Chalmers is an interpretive planner with over twenty-five years of experience in the museum and heritage field. As a freelancer, Irene has planned a wide range of museums and exhibitions for diverse clients including the Manitoba Museum, Parks Canada, Massey Hall, and the Royal Ontario Museum. She partners regularly with exhibit design firms including Reich + Petch and Holman Exhibits, as well as working directly with museum clients. She has worked as a costumed interpreter at the City of Toronto Museums, in the ROM’s Discovery Gallery, and was Manager of Public Relations at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. As an educator, Irene has developed Exhibit Planning curricula for both the Museums Association of Saskatchewan and the Ontario Museum Association and currently teaches post-degree students in the Museum & Cultural Management program at Centennial College, where she also led an overhaul of the program in 2017. She holds a BA in Anthropology and History from the University of Toronto and a Master of Education from OISE at the University of Toronto. She completed the OMA Certificate in Museum Studies as well as a Certificate in Public Relations at Ryerson University and a Certificate in Creative Writing at Humber College.
Madeline Smolarz is a museum professional with a strong interest in the experiences of diverse populations in cultural spaces, particularly through the accessible and inclusive management of programs, human resources, communications, and operations. She is currently the Chair of the Group of Ontario Emerging Museum Professionals (GOEMP) Committee. Madeline is a graduate of both the University of Ottawa (Honours BA, Classical Studies) and the University of Toronto (Master of Museum Studies). Having volunteered and worked in Ontario museums in and around Hamilton, Collingwood, Toronto, Ottawa, and her hometown of Brantford over the past several years, she is now based in Kingston, Ontario as a Museum Assistant for the City of Kingston's Cultural Services department. Connect with her on Twitter @MadelineSmolarz and LinkedIn.