WOOT!! Connections and Reflections on the Canadian Museums Youth Diversity Project

Friday, November 8 - 10:45 am to 12:00 pm


Moderator: Pailagi Pandya, Youth Lead/ Historical Interpreter, Scarborough Museum; Devon Muhic, Youth Resource Lead, Scarborough Museum; Katie Epp, Youth Mentorship Lead, Markham Museum; Lisa Terech, Co-ordinator of Youth Engagement and Programs, Oshawa Museum; Justine Maalouf, Youth Team Coordinator, McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Download the Katie Epp presentation [ PDF 3mb ]
Download the Justine Maalouf presentation [ PDF 2mb ]
Download the Devon Muhic presentation [ PDF 5.8mb ]
Download the Lisa Terech presentation [ PDF 3.5mb ] 

Devon Muhic
Devon Muhic


Session Description

Heard about it? Over the past two years, one grant, many museums, and a team of youth have been making waves across Canada! Find out how their project is literally changing the face of museums across Ontario and how it’s evolving the pro-youth movement. Join the candid conversation about how museums can connect to youth and to each other, what works, what doesn’t, and everything beyond.
Warning: Participation may cause feelings of camaraderie and inspiration.

We will explore how museums involved in the Canadian Museums Youth Diversity Project have changed and grown over the past 2 1/2 years. What started as a way to get more newcomer Canadian youth involved in their communities through volunteering at museums, has evolved into a support network for those of us in the museum field who work with youth. By connecting and sharing with each other we have been able to grow the program far beyond the initial participating museums in the original project. This has allowed for fresh ideas to be integrated into the project itself and has encouraged a safe exchange of thoughts and ideas. We hope to demonstrate that as museum institutions we can move forward as part of an exciting team and not as competitors. The panel will include representatives from smaller and larger institutions and will discuss what staff are learning about community building through youth engagement, staff experiences in ideas exchange within a team of large and small museums, the advantages of involving the 14 to 24 age bracket, how participating museums are engaging youth who are under engaged or hard to reach, and how this kind of project is instrumental in succession planning by encouraging people from diverse backgrounds to get involved in the museum field. Participation will be forcefully encouraged in the form of sharing successes, fears, myths, rumours and laughs around the topic of youth invasion of museums.


Presenter Biographies


Volunteer Coordinator and Youth Mentorship Lead, Markham Museum
Katie Epp holds a degree from York University in History and Geography; as well as a degree in Education from the University of Toronto.

She is currently the lead for the CIC grant at Markham Museum organizing a youth mentor group going by the name of MY Community. Working with Montreal, Scarborough and Surrey Museum, she strives to create successful programming for Canadian youth.

  Katie Epp


Youth Team Coordinator, McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Justine Maalouf is currently completing her Bachelor's degree in Art
History and Classical Studies at the University of Toronto. She has been
volunteering and working with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection since 2010, helping with a variety of programs and fundraising events. At
present, she assists the gallery public programs and summer camp and is responsible for the coordination of the McMichael Youth Team. Justine has been involved with MYT since its inception, October 2011, greatly enjoying working with youth. She is looking forward to expanding the program to benefit more students.

Justine Maalouf


Youth Resource Lead, Scarborough Museum
Devon works at the Scarborough Museum as the Youth Resource Lead, a job that allows her to see local youth flourish. With an outside the box approach Devon views every encounter as a new opportunity. Over the past few years she has helped to grow the volunteer youth teams, and sees endless potential in the energy youth can bring to a museum. Raised in Scarborough she sees this job as a way to give back on a grass roots level.

Devon Muhic


Youth Lead and Historical interpreter, Scarborough Museum
Pailagi Pandya joined the Scarborough Museum’s youth team in 2004. What began as a quest of self, language and space of a new comer youth has now been formulated into the driving passion of a young museum professional. Today Pandya is pursuing an M.A in Heritage Management with the University of Birmingham and hold an honors B.A in Art History from the University of Toronto.



Pailagi Pandya



Co-ordinator of Youth Engagement and Programs, Oshawa Museum
Lisa started with the Oshawa Community Museum in 2007 as a volunteer and joined the staff in October 2010. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History (Honours) and Canadian Studies (General) from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Museum Management and Curatorship Certificate from Sir Sandford Fleming College. She is the co-ordinator of Youth Engagement and Programs at the museum, responsible creating and administering youth engagement opportunities in many different facets at the Museum. Lisa also delivers tours and programs and provides administrative support to the Oshawa Historical Society.



Lisa Terech