The Galápagos Travelling Exhibition

galapagos faunaThese scraggy islands, with their fascinating and sometimes bizarre biodiversity, were an important foundation of support for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by means of natural selection. To this day, the islands continue to be a paradise for biologists and nature enthusiasts. Though protected as a UNESCO world heritage site, invasive plants and animals threaten the unique biodiversity of these islands. Research, conservation programs, and public interest are crucial to the successful protection of Galápagos.

The Zoological Museum of the University of Zurich has produced this travelling exhibition, now in North America, to raise awareness for the unique biodiversity of Galápagos. With specimens, special films and interactive experiences produced especially for this exhibition, “The Galápagos” awakens curiosity and enthusiasm for this extraordinary environment.

Languages: English & German (French translation may be arranged.)

Costs: $6500 (CDN) for a  5 month rental + shipping, insurance, and installation/deinstallation.

Size: requires approx. 1000 sq. ft. with flexible layout

Availability: September 2017 and beyond

For more information please contact:
Michelle Watson
705-930-7757
mwatson@culturetrove.com

OR

Rachel Brechbühler
Email: rachel.brechbuehler@zm.uzh.ch

UPDATE: “Decoding E-Money” Exhibition Available Now!

emoneyIt’s in gift cards, possibly your transit pass, and starting to appear on your phone. How far is it going to go? Come take a look at the recent past and near future of e-money in this dynamic new exhibition by the Bank of Canada Museum. Expect cutting-edge interactives and eye-opening descriptive graphics that explore the voyage of your dollars from purchase to deposit through various payment systems.

This brand new exhibit is available immediately, from June 1st 2016 through to December of 2019. Please contact Louise-Anne Laroche for more information on the introductory deal they can offer.

The exhibition also features several interactive modules:
• Mining Bitcoin Game
• Interactive timeline
• Small animated video on Bitcoin, the First Cryptocurrency
• Payment Card System with interactive map
• An interactive quiz

The exhibit will require a gallery space of 1400 to 2000 sq. ft. with a flexible layout that can adapt to a variety of spaces and is designed for quick and easy set-up. Also provided are marketing materials; and two education programs for high school students that connect to Canadian math and Social Studies curricula.

To inquire about this exhibit, or secure a booking, contact:
Bank of Canada Museum
Louse-Anne Laroche, Project Manager
Tel: 613-782-8050
travellingexhibits(at)bankofcanada.ca

Worlds of the Night

WorldsNight-218x130While most sleep at night, many creatures are stirring. We dare you to enter the night maze to wander and meet nocturnal animals from all around the world. Let them astound you with their surprising adaptation skills. Feel observed. See strange shadows. Touch unexpected surfaces. Hear bizarre noises. Let yourself be transported to the polar darkness. The WORLDS OF THE NIGHT are full of mystery. Will require approximately 1300 sq. ft. of gallery space.

To inquire about this exhibit, or secure a booking, contact:

Sherbrooke Nature & Science Museum of History/Musée nature sciences Sherbrooke
Exhibition Tour Coordinator
suzan.taylor@naturesciences.qc.ca
1 877 434-3200 ext. 226

Getting Your Docs in Order: Developing a Three Year Exhibit Plan (Part One)

Three Year Exhibit Plan / Schiller Monument, Berlin

Our friends and colleagues applying for the Community Museums Operating Grant (CMOG) in Ontario will find that a three year exhibit plan is a new requirement for 2016. Yet having an exhibit plan is important regardless of whether it is required of your institution or not. How might travelling exhibitions fit into that overall plan? 

Taming the Paper Tiger

Where to start? Review those key documents used to guide decision-making about exhibitions. Any temporary exhibits being considered as part of a three year plan need to align with the museum’s mandate, policies and educational programming.

One pitfall can be a mandate that is too specific, in that it may limit the type of travelling exhibitions a museum can justify hosting. I can recall a specific example where I was contacted by a living history site regarding an exhibit about Vaudeville entertainment I was coordinating. They had repurposed a building to accommodate travelling exhibits, and were keen to rent the show.

After completing the paperwork and paying a deposit, they also applied for some funding to offset the costs of transportation. Everything seemed to be going along swimmingly…until their funding application was turned down.

As it happens, the living history site had a mandate stating that their purpose was to present and educate about life in the early to mid 1800s. This definitive timeframe did not match up with the exhibition they were planning to rent, since the Vaudeville era spanned the late 1800s and turn of the century. Unfortunately, without the funding piece, they had to abandon the idea and cancel their booking.

Reflect and Revise

As you seek out exhibitions to compliment your museum’s mission, it may become apparent that adjusting the guiding documentation is necessary to allow greater freedom in choosing exhibits appropriate to the museum and its objectives. At this point, involvement from staff, the board, volunteers and the community will be key.

On the other hand, travelling exhibitions may not be a good fit, regardless of how you word your mission statement! Conducting a survey to find out more about your audience’s needs will help decide if time and resources spent on other kinds of exhibitions would be more appropriate.

Finally, a good search through our exhibit listings here on the Culture Trove website can also help! The exhibitions database has been established to help museums get a clear sense of what is available to them. Many travelling exhibitions are designed to reach a wide audience with subjects that will have mass appeal (e.g. dinosaurs, sports, cutting-edge science etc.) or otherwise tie into the provincial education curricula.

There may be lots of choices suitable to your site that will help flesh out your exhibition plan; or you may quickly realize that the choices are more limited than you anticipated.  Forewarned is forearmed: with these resources, you’ll be better equipped to develop a three year exhibit plan that reflects what is achievable. MW

Check back soon for the second instalment in the series on developing your three year exhibit plan.

Hockey in Canada: More Than Just a Game

Maurice RichardFor Canadians, hockey is more than just sport, leisure, or business. It is identity, history and secular religion.

The exhibition will take visitors beyond the game, through a personal and participatory approach. They will have the opportunity to encounter some prized hockey artifacts and re-live some of the most memorable hockey moments of the last 100 years.

LES 100 ANS DE LA LNH – PLUS QU’UN SIMPLE JEU
Pour les Canadiens, le hockey n’est pas simplement un sport, un loisir ou une aff aire commerciale. C’est une identité, une histoire, une religion séculière.

L’exposition emportera les visiteurs au-delà du jeu. Fondée sur une approche personnelle et participative, elle fournira l’occasion aux visiteurs de voir certains des plus précieux objets de l’histoire du hockey et de revivre les moments les plus mémorables des 100 dernières années.

To inquire about this exhibit, or secure a booking, contact:

Canadian Museum of History/Musée canadien de l’histoire
Local: 819 776 7081
Toll Free: 1 800 555 5621
travelling@historymuseum.ca

Game Changers

Though the Canadian Science and Technology Museum is closed as it undergoes a major renovation, it is nevertheless developing an travelling exhibition that is all about video games.

Game Changers will officially open in the Fall of 2016 at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario, and then tour nationally to several other cities. Upon completion of their renewal project in the Fall of 2017, Game Changers will conclude its tour and be presented as part of the the Canadian Science and Technology Museum’s grand reopening.

To inquire about this exhibit, contact:

Outreach Officer
Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation
Telephone: 613-404-6426
outreach-rayonnement@techno-science.ca

CMA Travelling Exhibition Symposium 2015

Travelling Exhibition Symposium 2015With the first day of the symposium behind us, many great questions were asked and a vast range of experience was shared by both presenters and delegates. An interesting question asked early in the day was: “Are we selling our souls to get souls through the doors?” Perhaps the upcoming round table sessions on Day 2 will attempt to tackle that one.

Also, a recurring theme was the ongoing need to develop relationships with potential partners, for one never knows what opportunities may arise. Casting a wide net, and remaining aware of what others are doing is important; for when the time comes to assemble collaborative teams required to make any travelling exhibition a reality, one needs to select partners that are best suited to address the challenges of a particular project.

I was pleased to share the podium yesterday with several talented people: Kerry-Leigh Burchill, Christine Dufresne and Daniele Goulet to discuss innovative partnerships. Many thanks as well to our moderator Dany Brown for his encouragement and coordination behind the scenes. Our presentations touched on quite a range of subject matter: exhibits about the ancient Greeks, the science of food and the Vaudeville entertainment industry! I hope delegates found the presentation helpful, and I intend to post the slides from my part of the presentation here within the next few weeks. CT

Redefining Borders: OMA 2015 Conference

OMA_2015_conference_Catalog-712
The Ontario Museum Association’s annual conference is nearly upon us, taking place in Windsor this year from Nov. 4th to 6th. I’ll be in attendance, and eager to check out the following sessions:

  • Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • How to create a 3-year Exhibit Plan for Your Museum
  • A Bird Lost in Time Helps Stats Climb: How to Stretch the Reach & Impact of Your Small Traveling Exhibit
  • How to Create a Social Media Plan
  • Ontario’s Museums 2025: Looking Ahead Towards a Strategic Vision and Action Plan
  • Plenary Speaker Nick Gray, Founder & CEO of Museum Hack

While there, I’m looking forward to mingling with fellow museum folk, sharing information about Culture Trove and listening to feedback about our website. MW

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to tour we go…so don’t forget the pick ax.

Tool kits to assist with your exhibit add overall value.

Well, maybe not a pick ax. However, a good practice for exhibit providers is the inclusion of a tool kit for borrowers. It will make life for the hosting venue’s staff so much easier.

1. Assess the Components

Certain components in any exhibit may have some potential issues whenever they are moved, setup, taken down or generally come into contact with people. Adjustable panels, display cases, knobs and drawers may all need the occasional tweak. Talk to the fabricator(s) of the exhibit’s components to identify which areas receive the most wear and tear and how these can be repaired if needed; then get extras of required tools (e.g. Allen keys, Robertson screwdrivers) especially if a certain size or type is required.

picframespring
Flexible picture frame spring

What about hardware replacements? One panel system, for instance, may use flexible “springs” to help hold the panel in its frame. These can pop out from time to time. Along with clear instructions on how to put them back in place, extra springs should also be included in the tool kit. If a spring were lost or broken, the borrower is spared the trouble of arranging to have more supplied or having to go source the replacements themselves.

2. Assemble the Kit

Once you’ve identified the parts of the exhibit that will likely require adjustments or even the occasional repair while on the road, it’s time to assemble the goods. Ensure all the tools are of the right kind and in working order. Label each tool so that they can be identified as belonging to the tool kit. A piece of tape in a specific bright colour could do the trick; or print up some labels for the task. Bag up any surplus hardware components and be sure to label them with the name and size so there’s no confusion as to what is what.

3. Contain It and Record It

Select a sturdy tool box to store the tools and supplies. Label it appropriately, with perhaps a logo or an acronym. Make a list of all the items included in the kit, or take a photo of all the items laid out in a neat arrangement for quick visual reference. Keep a copy on file and provide a copy with the tool kit so it can be easy to determine when something goes missing or gets used up.

Finally…

Pack the tool kit in with a logical part of the exhibit, such as in a crate that is to be opened first, or with the components that the tool kit is likely to be used with most.

Have the tool kit reviewed regularly, i.e. towards the end of each loan period. Contact borrowers to get their feedback. Then replace any tools or supplies as required, before the exhibit heads out to its next destination.

The addition of a well supplied and well thought out tool kit can significantly improve the user friendliness of an exhibition for a hosting institution. It also frees support staff from “sweating the small stuff” so they may focus their energies on other matters. CT