Announcing OMA Awards of Excellence 2017 Recipients!
As the OMA moves towards a future in which Ontario’s museums have achieved their full potential as organizations that enrich people’s lives and help build vibrant and engaged communities, the Awards of Excellence are an opportunity for the sector to recognize institutions and individuals who are leading the way in making this vision a reality.
Congratulations to the following OMA Awards of Excellence Recipients!
Promising Leadership Award of Excellence: Lisa Terech Oshawa Museum and GOEMP Committee Chair
Lisa was a founding member of the GOEMP Committee from a project begun by the OMA and continues the work to connect and engage with young museum professionals. She is currently Chair of the Committee. The Awards Committee found both this and her commitment to leadership in the museum community, mentoring the next generation of heritage professionals to be impressive. The agility, energy and enthusiasm in her present performance is an antidote against future hardening of the corporate arteries and should be encouraged. Her example encourages a focus on reward over risk.
Volunteer Service Award of Excellence: WOW Distinction Senta Ross Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
Joining the Gallery in 2013, Senta has since given countless hours of her own time to help develop the Gallery on a number of projects. A retired school teacher and a Kitchener local, her passion for the visual arts and the Gallery is expressed in everything she does on a daily basis.
Whereas museums often have different departments that handle floor interaction, collections research, community development, promotion, and strategic communications, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery has this all in one person: Senta.
Excellence in Community Engagement: Revealing the Regalia: Honouring Anishinaabe culture through dance
Atikokan Centennial Museum
The exhibition celebrates a local man’s culture and performance on the world stage. Jaret Veran, the Healing and Wellness Coordinator at the Native Friendship Centre, represented the Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. The focus of Revealing the Regalia was on Veran’s experience and displayed his traditional regalia and several local Indigenous objects.
Excellence in Exhibitions: Family Ties: Ontario Turns 150 Archives of Ontario
Launching in 2016, this flagship project allowed the Archives to create the various modules that contributed to its success, ranging from a series of virtual exhibitions and physical displays, to a travelling version of the exhibition, and new educational programming and teaching resources available to the public. Family Ties examines the lives of four distinct family groups as represented in the Archives’ collections: the Browns of Toronto, the Wolvertons of Oxford County, the McCurdys of Amherstburg, and the Families of Shingwauk from Garden River First Nation.
Excellence in Exhibitions, Honourable Mention City on Edge Waterloo Region Museum
Intended to commemorate the 100th anniversary city name change of Berlin, Ontario to Kitchener on September 1, 1916, the Waterloo Region Museum launched City on Edge which told the story of how and why this change occurred, addressing difficult themes of political propaganda, WWI tensions and cultural discrimination in Canada.
Excellence in Special Projects BEATLES 50 T.O - featuring When the Beatles Rocked Toronto: Metropolitan Life & Music in the Mid-60's Museums and Heritage Services, City of Toronto
With over 23,000 visitors to the exhibition, the Market Gallery and Heritage Services had to coordinate a large but diligent team of volunteers, security and related professionals to manage their various events in and outside of the exhibition space. In addition to providing a welcome and orientation to the exhibit, the Gallery offered a Beatles trivia quiz for all ages, with retro 60s-style candies as prizes. They created Beatles face masks for visitors' selfies to share on social media, conducted surveys, and even used iPads to record visitors' stories about the Beatles and Toronto in the 1960s to deepen visitor involvement.
Excellence in Programs Escape the Diefenbunker Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum
The Diefenbunker overcame the challenge of complementing this kind of commercial entertainment experience with the conflict resolution training that the museum delivers to local schools (which received an Award of Excellence in 2015). By re-purposing space, and by careful selection of content, they were able to create a successful enterprise that has engaged their community and shifted perceptions of what museums can provide as experience.