Conference 2021 Speakers

 

          

*Program is subject to change
**Speakers are listed in alphabetical order
 

Scott Beck
Scott Beck is the President & CEO of Destination Toronto.

He’s a champion of the visitor economy and a proven leader in the destination sales and marketing industry, spending 14 years as the President and CEO of Visit Salt Lake in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served on the Executive Committee of Destinations International for six years and as the organization's International Board Chair from 2014-2015.
Before Visit Salt Lake, Scott worked in the hotel industry for 18 years, most recently with Ocean Properties Ltd. (OPL) as the General Manager of the Salt Lake Marriott City Center. While at OPL, Scott spent time in B.C. and Alberta working on a task force with OPL's Canadian affiliate, Atlific Hotels. Prior to his time with OPL, Scott served as Director of Sales and Marketing for Sundance Resort in Provo, Utah.

Scott’s a proud father to four daughters, and lives in Toronto with his wife, Angie Welling, along with their two rescue dogs. True to his roots, Scott’s an active skier, biker and outdoor enthusiast.
Session

Perspectives on Reopening, Recovery, and Reimagination 
 
Cheryl Blackman
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. 
Session

Perspectives on Reopening, Recovery, and Reimagination
 
Sean Campbell
With 8 years of experience in the heritage field, I have had a number of positions in institutions including the Imperial War Museum, the North Bay Museum, and Parks Canada. My specialization is in collections and material culture management, with a certification from Fleming College's Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management program and a Master's degree in Public History from Western University. My main focus of study is in Canadian military and social history.
Since 2019, I have been with the Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum working in Visitor Experience. I am currently the museum's Visitor Experience Manager.
Session

Talking Change, Taking Charge | Déjà Brew: Connections, Conversation, and Coffee
 
Angela Cassie
Angela Cassie began her career with Canadian Heritage prior to joining the Canadian Museum for Human Right’s inaugural leadership team for 11 years, where she worked to open and operationalize the first new Canadian national museum in 45 years. Angela was honoured at the 2017 National Black Canadians Summit for her work in the promotion of human rights.  
Ms. Cassie graduated from the University of Winnipeg and completed an executive program through McGill University’s Executive Institute.  She currently serves as Vice-President, Strategic Transformation and Inclusion for the National Gallery of Canada, leading the implementation of its first ever Strategic Plan. 
Session

Talking Change, Taking Charge: Supporting a Diverse Workforce
 
Victoria Dickenson
Victoria Dickenson is a former museum director, with over forty years' experience at senior levels in museums and cultural administration. She is particularly interested in public attitudes to museums, as well as their social and cultural history. She has published extensively in museum studies and material culture, and in cultural geography, history of natural history, and culinary history. She is currently Professor of Practice, Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill Library.
Session

Learning from the Public: Museums for Me & Reimgaine Our Museums
 
Jennifer Forsyth
Jennifer Forsyth (she/her) is an Edmonton based artist, independent curator, and museum professional. She holds an MFA from the University of Calgary, a BFA from UBC, Diploma in Visual Arts from Camosun College in Victoria, and is currently enrolled in the University of Victoria’s Cultural Resource Management Program. Forsyth has worked for the Alberta Museums Association (AMA) since 2008 in various capacities and currently 
holds the position of Interim Executive Director of Governance. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for CARFAC Alberta and represents Alberta on the Board of CARFAC National.
Session

Learning from the Public: Museums for Me & Reimagine Our Museums
 
Beth Hanna
Beth Hanna is Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Heritage Trust.  She has a wealth of experience in the design and delivery of inclusive, multi-faceted public programs and the creation of integrated approaches to the conservation and stewardship of heritage – cultural and natural, tangible and intangible.  She is passionate about giving voice to the diversity of experiences, traditions, and histories of Ontario’s peoples and communities. 
Session

Perspectives on Reopening, Recovery, and Reimagination
 
Umbereen Inayet
Umbereen Inayet is a National Award Winning, TEDx Speaker, Curator & Artistic Producer. With a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Toronto and an Undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology and Women’s Studies, Umbereen’s personal style is to bridge pop culture with contemporary art, using her roots in anthropology, culture, psychology and social work to inform her artistic producing practice. 
Great granddaughter of Hafeez Jalandhari, the infamous poet who wrote the lyrics of the National Anthem of Pakistan, Umbereen is a playwright, whose work has been shown across Toronto and India. 

Umbereen has led the creative visioning and event execution for major City of Toronto events; recently creating the new anti-colonial, anti-racist and anti-oppressive artistic intervention based platform, Awakenings for Toronto History Museums in 2020.

Umbereen has been an Artistic Producer for Nuit Blanche Toronto one of the largest free contemporary art events in North America for over a decade working on projects with multidisciplinary artists, curators and studios including Ai Weiwei, Bill Viola, John Akomfrah, Director X, Drake, Floria Sigismondi, HXOUSE, Daniel Arsham, eL Seed and JR.
Session

Perspectives on Reopening, Recovery, and Reimagination
 
Caroline Loewen
Caroline Loewen is the Project Lead for the Museums for Me project. Caroline is a curator, writer, and museum worker. She has over 10 years’ experience working in museums in collections, programming, and curatorial. Prior to joining the AMA, she was most recently Curator at Lougheed House, where she focussed on community participation and storytelling through exhibits. She is passionate about helping museums become more inclusive, accessible, and engaging spaces, where a diversity of voices and perspectives are included and valued. 
Session

Learning from the Public: Museums for Me & Reimagine Our Museums
 
Sonja Macdonald
Sonja Macdonald is co-founder and Principal with Civicplan, where she leads engagement projects of various sizes and scale. Sonja applies a strategic lens to engagement, developed over more than 20 years of experience. She is committed to a participatory planning approach, which puts people at the centre of the decision-making process. Her work bridges a diversity of sectors including inclusive economic development, cultural
and creative industries, sustainable communities, as well as public health and social services planning. Sonja holds two Bachelors degrees in Political Science and Communications, as well as a Masters of Arts in Communication, and she is a member of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Canada.
Session

Learning from the Public: Museums for Me & Reimagine Our Museums
 
Cathy Molloy
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.
Session

Keynote - Museum of Us: Reimagining the Museum with Micah Parzen
 
Heather Montgomery
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.
Session

Talking Change, Taking Charge | Déjà Brew: Connections, Conversation, and Coffee
 
Sonia Mrva
Sonia Mrva is a Cultural professional with 20 years experience in the Museum sector. She has managed cultural heritage resources for the City of Hamilton and has held Curatorial roles at Whitehern Historic House and Garden, Dundurn National Historic Site and Brant County Museum and Archive. Her most recent work includes Phase 1 of the Hamilton Civic Museum Strategy, Re-Imagine Our Museums and the Downtown Built Heritage Inventory Project.
Both projects were a departure from traditional strategic planning through the 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 play in our society. Sonia has a Bachelor of Arts, History with post graduate work in Museum Studies, Cultural Management and Leadership.
Session

Learning from the Public: Museums for Me & Reimagine Our Museums
 
Micah Parzen - Keynote Speaker
Micah Parzen is an experienced nonprofit leader, attorney, anthropologist, and agent of transformational change, who seeks to authentically partner with others in creating a ripple effect of good in the world. He currently serves as CEO of the Museum of Us (formerly the San Diego Museum of Man), a position he has held since 2010. Widely known as a thought leader in the arts & culture/non-profit sectors, Micah is regularly invited by the 
likes of BoardSource, the Smithsonian Institution, and the American Alliance of Museums to deliver keynote addresses, serve on panels, and otherwise share his perspective on the most vexing issues of our day. In the past three years alone, his team’s work has been featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the Washington Post, and the Atlantic, among other high-profile platforms. In addition to serving as a trustee at La Jolla Country Day School, Micah also currently serves as the President of the Board of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, a collaboration of 28 arts & culture institutions in Balboa Park, which sits on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Kumeyaay Nation. Micah holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University, a J.D. from UC Davis, and a B.A. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley.
Session

Keynote - Museum of Us: Reimagining the Museum with Micah Parzen
 
Sascha Priewe
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), 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.
Session

Learning from the Public: Museums for Me & Reimagine Our Museums
 
Michael Rikley-Lancaster
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.
Session

Talking Change, Taking Charge: Ontario Museum Operational Funding: Where are we going?
Talking Change, Taking Charge: Supporting a Diverse Workforce
 
 
Paul Shaker
Paul Shaker is a Principal and co-founder of Civicplan. With a background in urban planning, he has 20 years of experience in the realm of progressive placemaking. His work blends strategic thinking, planning policy, research, and public engagement into concrete plans that help citizens shape their communities. Paul’s project experience includes the design and management of award-winning participatory planning projects, economic
development policy and planning, creative and cultural industry strategies, as well as district renewal plans. Paul is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and a Registered Professional Planner in the Province of Ontario.
Session

Learning from the Public: Museums for Me & Reimagine Our Museums
 
Karen Sinotte
Karen is a Professor at George Brown College with deep industry experience and leadership in the area of data driven business strategy. She is active in research and analytics field. Karen brings her industry experiences to the non-profit sector in board roles for the longest at Rexdale Women's Centre and most recently at the Toronto Railway Museum and Waterfront Neighbour Centre.
The George Brown College and Ontario Museum Association partnership will allow the use of analytics to make evidence-based decisions to develop support programs for the digitalization transformation of Ontario museums. Karen's most recent research project, supported by Student Researchers at George Brown College, involved identifying enablers and barriers to digitalization in the Ontario Museums sector, and the creation of an Ontario Museums Digitalization Index and Digital Transformation Continuum Framework with a research grant by NSERC through the College and Community Social Innovation Fund.

Session


Talking Change, Taking Charge: Museum of the Future: Digital Transformation

 
Madeline Smolarz
Madeline Smolarz (she/her) (BA, MMst) is a mad, queer, disabled museum worker in Kingston, Ontario. She works as a Museum Assistant for the City of Kingston and serves as Chair of the Group of Ontario Emerging Museum Professionals (GOEMP) Committee and Founder / Co-Administrator of Emerging Museum Professionals Canada Collective.
Session

Talking Change, Taking Charge: Supporting a Diverse Workforce
 
Jingshu Helen Yao
Jingshu Helen Yao is a Master of Museum Studies student at the University of Toronto. Jingshu is the Communication Coordinator for the Museum Professionals of Colour, a student association aimed at addressing the lack of racial diversity and representation in the MMSt program and beyond. She has a special interest in oral storytelling and museum education. Coming from China as an international student, her research focuses on the
different perspectives across cultures, such as the relationship between immigration, food, language, and identity. She also has a background in creative writing and linguistics, which inspired her to explore multiculturalism and multilingualism in her work.
Session

Talking Change, Taking Charge: Supporting a Diverse Workforce