Thursday, 23 November 2017

Mini Conference Evaluation RESULTS

Following is a collation of the Mini Conference evaluations. Here at HME we use your input to guide our future meeting and Mini Conference topics, and improve all our offerings!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Mini Conference: Technology in Museums Notes and Resources

We had a wonderful group of participants and presenters at this fall's HME Mini Conference on Technology in Museums.

Below are notes are resources on each of the presentations.
Have notes or resources you'd like to share? You can comment on this post, or take the conversation over to HME's Facebook page!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Mini Conference: Technology in Museums Schedule

We've had a wonderful response to this mini conference topic! Thank you to everyone who registered.

Below, find the schedule outline for the day.
If you have any questions, please email one of the HME coordinators.

HME Mini Conference
Technology in Museums
November 20, 2017
Royal Botanical Gardens
Room 1 / 2 (upstairs on Mezzanine level)


10:00 - 10:15
Welcome, intro, housekeeping

10:15 - 10:30
Unconference "prep" with Meredith and Julie

10:30 - 11:00
Ryan Dodge; Digital Visitors are Visitors Too

11:00 - 11:30
Dr. Amy Hetherington; 101 Ways to Do It Right (and 1001 ways to do it wrong)

11:30 - 12:00
Karin Davidson-Taylor; Reaching Beyond the Museum Walls

12:00 - 1:00
Tour of RBG Library limit 10 people per tour
tours at 12:00, 12:15, 12:30, 12:45

1:00 - 1:30
Liza Barney; Connecting students to birds and nature…with technology?

1:30 - 2:00
Meredith Leonard and Julie Sutton-Yardley; Getting Technical with Topical Challenges

2:00 - 2:30
Dave Potts; Collaborative Learning

2:30 - 3:00

Space generously provided by the RBG
Coffee, tea, and light refreshments sponsored by Carr McLean

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Mini Conference: Technology in Museums

The Hamilton Area Museum Educators (HME) invite you to attend our next Mini Conference!

Topic: Technology in Museums
Date:  Monday, November 20, 10:00am-3:00pm
680 Plains Road West, Burlington, ON Canada

spaces are limited and registration closes November 13

Presenters include:
Ryan Dodge (ROM's Digital Engagement Coordinator)
"Digital Visitors are Visitors Too"
How digital engagement impacts your museum's bottom line

Julie Sutton-Yardley (Heritage Network Coordinator for Halton Region - Heritage Services) and
Meredith Leonard (Education and Community Coordinator at Halton Heritage Services)
“Getting Technical with Topical Challenges”
Technology offers incredible opportunities for museums, but also poses substantial challenges. Work through some of the challenges at your institution with Halton Heritage Services staff in an “un-conference” session inspired by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History’s Museum Camp!

Dr Amy Hetherington 
"101 Ways to Do It Right (and 1001 ways to do it wrong)"
Technology can be a huge boon for heritage sites, but it can also be fraught with problems. Considering the expenditure and resources, museums and galleries can’t really afford to get it wrong. But what are the right ways (and what are the pitfalls to avoid)? How can your small institution implement new technologies to engage your visitors in an entertaining, but more importantly – educational – way? This presentation will focus on smaller institutions that often struggle the most with this issue, and show some of the ways digital can be adapted to support educational programming.

Teresa Gregorio (Education Officer, McMaster Museum of Art)
"Social Media: Why channeling Miss Frizzle makes lighthearted+fun education"
A case study in choosing and using the strengths of different social media apps to create a fun and interactive exhibition-related program that supports the Museum's mission, vision, and strategic plan.

Questions? Please email one of the HME coordinators.

HME wouid like to thank the RBG for their support and generosity in hosting this Mini Conference.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Cafe Night: Monday September 25, 2017

What a fantastic turn out we had for the first cafe night of 2017-2018! Thanks to everyone who joined us.

Our topic was Professional associations, conferences, courses, and networking: 
What do you belong to? What options are out there?

Folks suggested all sorts of courses, networking options, and conferences. Listed below with links.

Also of note:
  • Don't forget about the call for presentations for our Nov 20 Mini Conference on Technology in Museums!
  • We're looking for suggestions for cafe night locations. Do you know of a quiet cafe/restaurant with a variety of food+drink options, good parking, open Mondays, and (ideally) located near to a major highway? Please let one of your coordinators know!


  • AAM: American Alliance of Museums
  • OMA: Ontario Museums Associaton
  • OAAG: Ontario Association of Art Galleries (used to have courses, not anymore?)
  • CAGE: Canadian Art Gallery Educators (yearly conference, usually in April or May)
  • INTERPSCAN: Interpretation Canada (online and in person conference, online ones are affordable)
  • Parks and Rec Ontario: (has classes and conferences)
  • CMA: Canadian Museums Association
  • MAGEC-D: Museum and Art Gallery Educators Collective of Durham (an HME-like group for the Durham area)
  • GOEMP: Group of Ontario Emerging Museum Professionals
  • HNCA: Haldimand Norfolk Cultural Association (cultural professionals, heritage,marts, Haldimand and norfolk museums, professional development, small membership fee
  • EON: Elgin Oxford Norfolk Association of Curators, Archivists, and Directors
  • PAONE: Professional Arts Organization Network for Education 
  • MONA: Museums of Niagara Association (does joint events like Friday Night Live)
  • UAAC: Universities Art Association of Canada
  • ALHFAM: American Association for Living History, Farm, and Agricultural Museums (send out a hardcopy newsletter, most recent one about historic cooking)
  • ICOM: International Council of Museums
  • BMGA: Brant Museum and Gallery Association (like the HNCA in Brant county)
  • Museums Association in the UK

Courses/Online Conferences

Other Helpful Resources

QUESTION: What value do you get from belonging to a professional association?
QUESTION:  Does anyone just become a member because they want to support or find an organization interesting? What about the benefit of thinking you are supporting something?
QUESTION: Are there any non-museum conferences or courses? (Libraries? Tourism?)

Tuesday, 5 September 2017


The Hamilton Area Museum Educators (HME) invite you to present at our next Mini Conference!

Topic: Technology in Museums
Date:  Monday, November 20, 10:00am-3:00pm
680 Plains Road West, Burlington, ON Canada

What exciting ways are you using technology in your institution? What have been your successes and challenges? From tried-and-true devices to the newest and shiniest program or app, we’d love to hear about your experiences!

We invite you to share your ideas in a presentation of 15-20 minutes in length; presentations will be 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.  All ideas related to the topic are welcome.

For more information about the HME Mini Conference and a copy of the application form, please contact one of HME’s coordinators.


We look forward to hearing from you!

HME Coordinators


HME wouid like to thank the RBG for their support and generosity in hosting this Mini Conference.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

HME Cafe Night Meeting Notes 2017-2018 Planning Session

We met at the Collins Brewhouse - the on-off rain kept us inside and off the patio. But that didn't ruin the fantastic conversation, eats, and ideas for 2017-2018!

Mini Conferences

Institutions offering spaces

  • do NOT hold in May, try half day, with supper, maybe April

Topics for Mini Conferences

  • Climate change mini conference (might be great to have at RBG in Oct or Nov) Museums for Climate Justice. Approach sustainability, conservation parks
  • Technology in Museums (maybe at Museums of Mississauga)
    RBG has location based games, tale blazer, all the things google can do for you! Google 360, geo fencing, apple maps, google maps)
    John Piccone, director of education using ipad, grade 3-5, present at and evening meeting 

Behind-the-Scenes tour

Café Night


  • Keep in Burlington at Williams?

Café Night Topics 

  • Professional associations/conferences/courses
  • Networking
  • Tourism tie ins/partnerships (how do you work out how you're partnering, policies, making sure it's mutually beneficial)
  • how people work with libraries
  • travelling exhibits
  • Makerspaces (city of Hamilton libraries), two rivers galleries
  • Book Club: Engaging your community toolkit (Museums of Mississauga, created survey for museum workers using this tool kit, and will present at the OMA conference this fall)

Projects that HME can pursue

  • Inter-museum equipment co-op (work with sustainability)
  • Resources list (“We have” or “We wish we had…” similar to freecycle or Kijiji)

Museum Crawl 

  • thematic, not city based?
  • Do during summer 
  • Bring students
  • Connect with YCW
  • DO IN JUNE 2018, summer camps haven't started yet, end of June, networking for students

Other Fun Stuff!

  • We’re looking for people to add to the HME Co-ordinating team. Interested? Contact us!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Halton Heritage Services needs your feedback!

Halton Heritage Services is considering offering professional development workshops on the topics of exhibit fabrication and design and are looking for feedback as to whether or not this would be of interest to the HME group.

Halton Heritage Services are in the very early planning stages, but are hoping to offer these workshops towards the end of 2017 or the beginning of 2018.  The workshops are definitely hands-on and would likely be offered over two weekends (one weekend would cover exhibit production and fabrication and the second exhibition design) and be held at Heritage Services’ offices in Milton, where there is a full workshop and design studio for course participants use. Registration would be limited to 6-8 people and fees (inclusive of all materials) would be in the neighbourhood of $300-$350.

Topics to be covered include:
-exhibit panel design
-large format printing
-cold laminating and finishing
-substrates and materials
-hand tools and power tools
-related health and safety

In addition to the level of interest, Halton Heritage Services are interested in feedback on pricing (would the amount be within your budget?) along with any other topics members of the group might like to see in this type of workshop (we’ve constructed many of our own program pieces as well, so the skills are definitely transferable!)

Interested in providing feedback? 

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Museum Crawl: GUELPH

This year, the HME Museum Crawl will visit the lovely city of Guelph!

Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Time: 10:00 - 4:00 (detailed itinerary below)
Cost: FREE (dinner not included)
LocationsArt Gallery of GuelphMcCrae HouseGuelph Civic Museum

HME Museum Crawls are designed for professional development of museum education folks. We visit fellow institutions and gain behind-the-scenes access, get a chance to ask questions, compare notes, network, and gain knowledge in a relaxed atmosphere.


10:00 - arrive at Art Gallery of Guelph
11:30 - lunch (location TBD)
1:00 - arrive at McCrae House.
2:00 - arrive at Guelph Civic Museum. McCrae House and Civic Museum are approximately a 5 min drive apart.
3:00 - recap session in meeting room at Guelph Civic Museum

Please note:
Cost of lunch is not included in your registration for the Museum Crawl.

You must register to attend. Registration is open til Friday, April 21.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

HME visits the AGB!

Yesterday was HME's first behind-the-scenes visit to a member's institution.

The AGB kindly hosted a 1.5 hour tour of its building. We got to see various spaces, learn about the history of their use and discuss some successes and challenges:

  • Exhibition space with newly added education program space and uncarpeted flooring
  • Loading dock / Storage space: practicalities of movable shelving with very fragile pieces
  • Did you know: the AGB has been collecting ceramics for 35 years, from functional to decorative?
  • Programming spaces 
  • City owns land, but AGB owns the building
  • Every Sunday is open studio: Space at the back has entrance to park; beautiful in summer time, inviting for visitors and new visitors
  • Beautiful big windows bring in lots of light!
  • Shop: represents all guilds, members can rent art
Victor Cicansky. "Delectable Dish of Strawberries". 1988.

  • Community gallery: used to be a cafe. Didn't get a lot of traffic. Now, it's for emerging artists, community themes, community groups
  • Rental space: large open room, windows, facing lakefront
  • Greenhouse: with plants to purchase!

  • Guilds: become a gallery member, then a guild fee. Get to use the space, bring your own tools and material. Can be a newbie or an expert
  • There are kiln techs at the AGB
  • Sculptors and woodcarvers space: it's packed Tuesday and Thursday mornings!
  • Photography space: have a full dark room
  • Challenge: new use for traditional spaces
  • Challenge: what systems do you use to coordinate space usage?
  • Successes: AGB partnered with RBG for summer camps. Don't have space for kids to run and jump, but RBG does
  • In conjunction with Canada 150, they're holding a Canadian Craft Biennial
Mary Philpott. "Crow". 2016

It was such a beautiful day, we all decided to walk over to the restaurant for dinner; there, we had a great space to speak and expand on some of the topics that arose from our tour.

THANK YOU to everyone who came; and many thanks to our generous hosts at the AGB!

If you are an HME member and would like to host a behind-the-scenes visit, please contact one of the HME coordinators here.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Canterbury Arts Conference (CArtsCon) 2017

Interested in attending conferences with colleagues in England this summer? Check out the details below for the Canterbury Arts Conference!

Canterbury Arts Conference (CArtsCon) 2017
18—21 July 2017
Canterbury, England (UK)

The annual Canterbury Arts Conference (CArtsCon) brings visitors from around Britain and the world to beautiful Canterbury, UK to share knowledge/experience, network and make lifelong friends. It will take place at venues such as the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury Baptist Church and Warnborough College, from 18—21 July 2017.

Now in our fifth year, the definition of ‘arts’ has grown with each conference. Studio art, an art exhibit, art history, film & TV studies, a film festival, music, theatre, a book reading, culinary arts, naturopathy—and more—are addressed at this international annual event.

This year’s broad theme—“Art for Change” is a conundrum. “Change” is typically seen as making something different, developing it, and/or moving it from one place or state to another. But “change” can also refer to loose coins — the few pennies we have left over — or to money in general. Therefore, the topic for CArtsCon 2017 will fuse these concepts into a lively debate.

The deadline for initial proposals is 31 March 2017. Please read the Entry Guidelines for each category and make your submissions ASAP. Fees are reasonable and excitement is building. Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity!

Relevant Links: (conference website home) (Dr. Jill Kiefer – Director, CArtsCon 2017) (entry guidelines)

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

HME visits the AGB

Learn more about the strengths and challenges your HME colleagues face in their home museum/gallery! The first of these events will be held at the Art Gallery of Burlington.
Come to this event to:
  • Get a FREE behind-the-scenes tour, given by fellow museum educators
  • Cultivate ideas and resources for your own institution
  • Network with colleagues
  • Enrich HME discussions

A one hour tour of the Art Gallery of Burlington will be followed by dinner at Saigon on Brant where you can connect with colleagues in a relaxed setting. Please note: dinner is optional and paid for by attendees.

Interested in joining us? Registration is limited!

Please register by: Wednesday March 22, 2017

Free parking will be provided for all attendees by the Art Gallery of Burlington.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Feb 27 Meeting Cancelled

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to let you know we've cancelled the Feb 27 meeting due to low RSVP.

There's some fun news and events happening in the coming months - watch your email for announcements soon!
Make sure you're on the mailing list here.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

CAGE Conference 2017 Invitation

Hi HME members! Ever consider attending a Canadian Art Gallery Educators conference? This year's is now open for registration! 

Dear Colleagues & Friends,

I am delighted to share with you news about the next Canadian Art Gallery Educators Conference. For April 20-23, 2017, we are headed to historic Halifax, hosted by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, to explore the themes of accessibility and advocacy in the context of art gallery and museum education.

Highlights of the conference include: A kick-off and a special keynote presentation by Amanda Cachia, an independent curator & critic specializing in bridging the arenas of contemporary art practice, politics and disability studies; a panel discussion moderated by Visual Artist & Disability Art Professional Elizabeth Sweeney, and hands-on art-making at artist studio & community hub Wonderneath. All this and more alongside stimulating conversations, AGNS programming and networking opportunities!

Do you have a recent program or project that relates to our topic? We would love to hear all about it! Please consider presenting a case study during the conference. All accepted case study participants will receive a discount on registration and the gratification of sharing your unique program with colleagues from across the country!

Full Conference Details:

Dara Armsden

Senior Chair, CAGE
Head of Education & Learning, Art Gallery of Alberta

Travel Grant Opportunities:

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Letter from a New Member

Hi everyone! A new HME member, Amy Hetherington, has a message for us all. Please read below!

Dear Hamilton Museum Educator Group Members,

A few months ago you had an evening session all about social media.
Unfortunately, this was about two days after I joined the group and I
already had plans for the night and was unable to attend! However, it
left me thinking and certainly encouraged me to come out to an evening
gathering in November. It was wonderful to meet the people who were able
to attend.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dr Amy Hetherington and I’m a
Burlington-based freelance heritage consultant. I’ve recently moved back
to Canada from the UK and have decided to continue my freelancing over
here, and naturally that means I’d like to network with more museum
people, especially in Ontario.

My speciality is in audience research and visitor studies, aspects of
museum work that often fall by the wayside during projects or programs
and that most museums never quite get around to (the same thing happens
in Europe). However, as an extension of this, I have also become heavily
involved in social media over the years (going on 7 years now that I
have been doing social media assistance and marketing for non-profits
and for conference/event organisers). I know many of you are probably
struggling with one or both of these issues in your organisation
(museum, gallery, cultural centre, arts organisation, etc.).

Getting in touch with a consultant can seem daunting, and many people
have the assumption that we’re very expensive! We’re really not,
especially those of us who work in the cultural sector. And we are
generally happy to talk with you upfront, for free, to see how we could
help. I certainly am.

If anyone would like to get in touch to talk about social media issues
in your organisation, or you are wondering about doing visitor research
or want to revisit your audience (or the audience you aren’t getting!)
then please feel free to drop me a line.

My email is and my website is You can see all my services listed, projects
I’ve completed, and testimonials from previous clients. Don’t hesitate
to get in touch, even if you aren’t sure what you’re asking for!