Tuesday, 1 September 2015


I'm very excited to announce our inaugural Museum Crawl!

Hang out with colleague and hit up three different sorts of Toronto museums with exclusive tours including behind-the-scenes peeks.


We’ll meet at 12:15 at The Textile Museum (55 Centre Avenue). The locations are pretty close together, so if the weather is nice they’re walkable!
Lose touch with the tour? Check in with us on twitter by tagging @_hme_

TOUR AT 12:30 – 2:00
55 Centre Avenue
(Dundas St. W & University Ave., St. Patrick subway)
We will have a tour of TMC’s collections storage area in addition to our featured exhibition Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol.
30 min walk from Textile to Bata; alternatively, can take the subway up University from St Patrick station to St George Station (about a 10 min trip)

TOUR AT 2:45 – 3:45
327 Bloor Street West
NO FEE!!!!!

Want to come? Please RSVP by replying to one of the coordinators by SEPT 5. And RSVP soon, because we’re capping attendance at 15 members.

Hope to see you on the 12th!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Difficult History

A few meetings back we had the topic of teaching difficult history to docents.
Today, a very interesting article came out about delivering . Here's the link and a a couple of quotes that were particularly helpful.

On the very small scale of leading historic house tours, what helped me combat ahistorical statements was to establish trust and rapport with guests from the get-go. For me, gentleness was key: It created an environment in which people were willing to hear new views and felt less nervous asking questions. For example, guests — especially older folks — used to ask me all the time whether the people who owned the house were "good slaveowners." I would say, "Well, that's an interesting question," and suggest a couple of reasons why even the phrase good slaveowner itself is troubling. They'd nod and look reflective. We were already friends, so they didn't feel attacked by the correction. Then again, maybe they only believed me because they trusted a fellow white person as an unbiased source.
An older colleague once reminded me to "talk to people, not at them." It's a small piece of advice. But day by day as I was face to face with strangers, challenging their deeply held beliefs on race, it helped.
 Article by Margaret Biser. She gave educational tours and presentations at a historic site for more than six years. Read more stories of her experiences on Twitter @AfAmHistFail.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

An Exciting New HME

We had our annual end-of-the-year patio meeting last night, and annouced the changes that will see HME become an even more dynamic and responsive professional group.

Museum Hack
Several of our members attended the presentation by Museum Hack at KWAG last week. Did you? Please share your thoughts and ideas by responding to this post.
Want to learn more about Museum Hack? Here's a Ted talk, given by the founder of the company Nick Gray.

We have a new vision for our PLCs (peer learning circles).
We will now be holding Mini Conferences and Museum Crawls.

Mini Conferences
We will try to arrange these for September or March/April rather than May.

Museum Crawl
We're planning the first of these events for September 2015.
It will be a day spent in Toronto, visiting our colleague's institutions (museums, galleries, and historic homes) and allowing us to network, learn from each other, and spend some time socializing in a relaxed and stimulating atmosphere.
The hope is that moving forward, we will be able to have Museum Crawls in other Ontario cities/areas such as Hamilton, Brant, Halton, and Lambton

After hours sessions

We will reframe these to cafe nights from 7:00-9:00 pm, where all members will have the option to just have coffee, grab a dessert, or partake in dinner if they so choose.
The location we are looking to meet at is Williams in Burlington.
We will also forego preset topics and open the floor to whatever issues need discussing. Want to test out a new activity? Use the group as guinea pigs!
Share your ideas, thoughts, and anything new and exciting on our Facebook page!

Topics for consideration:
  • winter tours. What do you do in slow seasons?
  • Video conferencing for schools and strikes
  • "I couldn't believe it when..."
  • interpretation and the audience experience

HME may be involved in an Unconference in the spring of 2015. Stay tuned for details!

New members
Do you know any students, colleagues, or other individuals who would be interested in joining HME? Let them know about us and our exciting new schedule for next year.


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Pinterest Tips and How To

Are you considering Pinterest for your museum?
Brenda Feist, the Education Coordinator at the Kelowna Art Gallery, has put together this helpful guide to get you started.

How to Join

1. Sign Up
Go to Pinterest and join.

When you sign up, you’ll have the option to link either your Facebook or Twitter account with your Pinterest account. If you prefer to start with just your e-mail address, you can always connect your social accounts later. (I just used my email address and a password – I have the app on my ipad, so I am always signed in, but if I go to pinterest.com on my laptop, I can click on the right upper corner to get into my profile and boards).

2. Create Your Profile
Try to stick with a consistent username if you already have a Twitter orInstagram account. That will make it easier for anyone who follows you to find you via searching on Pinterest. It also helps to use the same profile photo—that way people know it’s you.

3. Check Your Settings
Once your account is active the first thing you should do is take a look at your e-mail settings. Luckily, Pinterest’s options are straightforward and easy to understand. When you first start pinning, keep all the e-mail notifications on. It’s a great way to find new people to follow by seeing who likes, comments, or repins ideas from your boards. You can turn them off later if they are clogging your inbox.

How to Pin
1. Install the Pin It Button
The easiest way to add content from any site is to add the "Pin It" button to your web browser. Visit the "Goodies" page on Pinterest to learn how to install it. You can also add pins via the Pin It button on your favorite sites. It will usually be close to the Facebookand Twitter share buttons. (I’ve never used this option but it could be useful).

2. Add a Pin
To add a pin to one of your boards, click on either the "Pin It" button in your bookmark bar or on the website you're reading. If you’re on your IPad, just click on the image, and then ‘Pin it”. Choose a board (folder) you already have started by selecting the board using the drop down menu in the window. If you want to add your pin to a new board, you can create one directly from the drop down menu as well.

3. Create a New Board
To create a new board on your account, click the "Add +" button in the upper right-hand corner of your main Pinterest page. Select the option to Create a Board (more on the other two options on the next page). Give your board a descriptive name so your followers know what types of pins they'll find on it. The category options are set by Pinterest, so select whichever is closest or choose "other" for those wildcard boards.

4. Repin from Your Feed
If someone you're following has added a pin that you like, you can save it to one of your boards as well. Simply hover over the image on Pinterest and three buttons will appear—repin, like, and comment. To add that pin to your account click repin and follow the same steps you would to add a pin.

5. Upload a Pin
If there is a photo you've taken that you want to upload to Pinterest, you can do that by using their upload feature. Go to your main Pinterest feed and click the "Add +" button in the upper right-hand corner (the same one you used to create a new board).  From the screen that pops up you'll be able to add a pin by pasting in the URL of a website or by uploading a photo from your hard drive.

Here is a picture of my homepage on my iPad…
These are what ‘boards/folders’ look like. The numbers up top mean, left to right, how many ‘images or pins’ in total, so 14,000. Lol, how many times you’ve ‘liked’ something, (which for me has only been accidentally), how many people are following you, and finally how many people/ boards you are following…

Here’s what it looks like when I log in on my computer…Your browser will save your password so you always see your profile picture in the right hand corner. When you click on it, you’re into your files.
and finally…
These are a few boards you may find things of interest in…activities, etc. They are all under Gallery. The ARTlab file is full of ideas for our open studio, then 2d, 3d, Ideas for inside the gallery, for outside, for seniors, and for events. The best piece of advice I could offer for using Pinterest is that as you use it, you’ll find yourself getting closer and closer to what you were ‘actually’ had in mind. Because of this it is essential to randomly cull your pins, as if the folders get too full, each time you scroll down to the bottom to find something, you’re bumped back to the top. A glich I’m sure will work itself out.
I’ve never actually ‘looked’ for myself but I assume it’s as easy as searching for my name…
Pinterest is a great way to daydream and brainstorm. It’s full of ‘how to”, ‘diy’ and ‘been there, done that’. In my experience, most people post their successes so anything I’ve tried has worked and been as easy as claimed.

Friday, 10 April 2015


HME invites you to present at our upcoming Peer Learning Circle (PLC)!

Topic: Attracting and Keeping Volunteers
Date:  Monday, May 11, 10:00am-3:00pm
Location:  Lambton Heritage Museum
Image result for lambton heritage museum10035 Museum Road
Grand Bend, ON N0M 1T0

We invite you to share your approaches and ideas in a presentation that will engage others in conversation and offer learning in this informal peer learning environment.
We ask that presentations be a maximum of 15-20 minutes in length, followed by 10-15 minutes discussion period.  However, new approaches are welcome and creative presentations may be longer or shorter depending on what you want to share or get out of them.  All ideas related to the topic are welcome. Step up and share!

For more information about the HME PLC, please contact one of HME’s coordinators.
We look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Interpscan International Conference

re-blogged from Interpscan...

International Conference

International Conference Home  |  Register  |  Logistics  |  Keynotes and Sessions  |  Off-site Sessions  |  Post-conference Trip Option  |   Exhibit Hall  |  FAQ  |  Testimonial  |  Contact
Join interpreters from around the world to share ideas and experiences, and yes, even share a serving of poutine!
The joint NAI/IC International Conference on Interpretation is set for May 3-7, 2015 in the beautiful city of Montreal.
Participants from 30-70 countries come to this annual international conference.
Theme: Changing Boundaries, Changing Times
Day by day, technology and social networking become more ingrained in our lives, in our careers, and in the way our sites operate. For future generations, the borders of our organizations - like our countries - will become ever more changeable, fluid, and perhaps even insignificant. Join us in Montreal as we welcome interpreters from throughout the world for a week of sharing experiences and learning new skills, reports on recent research in interpretation and discussions of the future of interpretation.
Regular Rate: USD $425
1-day Rate: USD $175
Post-conference trip optionUSD $425
Rates are equal for IC and NAI members, members and non-members, and for everyone anywhere in the world.
Deadline for discount hotel rate is Friday April 17.
Schedule at a Glance
Sunday, May 3
Registration open
Welcome General Session 
Welcome Reception
Dinner – Interpretive Showcase of Ideas
Monday, May 4
Keynote – Chris Mathieson, Chair, Interpretation Canada (IC)
Concurrent sessions
Concurrent sessions
Dinner on own in Old Montreal
Tuesday, May 5
Off site study sessions (included in registration) options:
  • Mount Royal Park
  • BioDome and Montreal Planetarium
  • Montréal Science Centre
  • Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archaeology and History
  • Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site and Lachine Canal
Dinner on own – organized “Dine Around”
Wednesday, May 6
Keynote – Stephen Espiner, Chair, Interpretation Network of New Zealand (INNZ) 
Concurrent sessions
Concurrent sessions
Dinner and scholarship auction
Thursday, May 7
General Session – International standards *
Conference adjourns at noon
Optional Post-Conference Trip
Old Quebec City & La Mauricie National Park
May 7-9, 2015
Cost: $425 (two-night, three-day trip includes transportation, lodging, and all meals except Friday night dinner.)
International Standards
Every year at the International Conference, participants address a specific topic of importance to the international interpretation community. In 2015, we'll put our heads together to discuss the development of international standards for the field of interpretation.
Registration through IC's partner for this conference, the National Association for Interpretation(NAI): www.interpnet.com
Click links at top of page for more information
Download registration package
Download a scholarship application - (applications from interpreters in developing countries are preferred)
Download auction item donation form - (this auction supports the scholarships above, and is hilarious fun)

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Meeting Monday CANCELLED

Please note that the meeting on Monday March 23 has been cancelled. Hope to see you at the next meeting in April!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Book Club: "Creativity in Museum Practice" HME Meeting Notes Feb 23, 2015

norris cover 
Creativity in Museum Practice” by Linda Morris and Rainey Tisdale

Thanks to everyone who braved the cold to join us at Mex-i-can in Hamilton this Monday!

We had a great discussion with people who'd read the book cover to cover, some who'd just skimmed it, and others who haven't gotten to it yet.

Overall, this book was deemed a valuable purchase.

You should invest in this book because:
  • Pocket guide in back
  • it's simple
  • Chapter 2 is meatier "building creative cultures", recruiting creative boards
  • Eg: opportunities for creativity in board meetings, almost like warm up exercises like the "Mystery object"
  • helps people to understand the cost of doing business eg: have people play a sort of price is right game, with board/colleagues eg: understand cost of advertising, etc...
  • Speaking with staff that aren't involved in financial undertakings
  • "Get buy in"
  • Chapter three tools for creative culture
  • suggests you observe target audience intentionally, as well as analogous environments
  • Helpful for strategic plans, training volunteers, program development
  • it suggests you read outside your discipline to gain perspective and a mental break
  • useful in workshops: the creativity inventory and mind maps were used to facilitate an interdisciplinary group of graduate students' exploration of creativity

Things to watch out for:
  • allow for the book (especially the first chapter) to appear too elementary because later chapters expand the ideas and suggestions
Other great ideas from the meeting:
  • Get staff meetings scheduled for 2 hrs before end of day, people motivated to stay on topic
  • Have specialized meetings for marketing, education, etc...

Thursday, 15 January 2015

HME January 19 Meeting CANCELLED

Just a quick post to let everyone know that the scheduled meeting on January 19th has been cancelled.