New year, new projects underway

Welcome back to my blog, . I hope you’ve enjoyed the Holidays, spent quality time with your loved ones, and maybe even managed to get some rest to get ready for the exciting New Year ahead!

Here at the CSTMC as the year begins, we’re roaring ahead with a raft of new projects already underway, let me give you a sneak peek at some of them. You’ll have read about them here first!

You can’t say our assistant curators lack a sense of humour. Emily Gann is currently working on a pilot project to have comedians showcase some of the – ahem, shall we say… “unusual?” – artefacts in the collection. If you were a stand-up comic, I bet you could come up with a fresh way to look at some of the artefacts in the collection. We’ll be sure to share the videos with you when the comedians are done pretending to be museum curators (or is it the other way around?).

We’re also looking forward to beginning to shoot our new series of short films about contemporary Canadian innovators. If all goes according to plan, we should be able to share with you the first in what hopefully will be a long and fascinating series. This first instalment will focus on Dr. Francis Plummer, who was until recently the head of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, and one of the world’s foremost experts on HIV. This is part of the new focus of our museums, where we increasingly want to become the bridge between great Canadian innovations of the past, and the innovations of the future, which are being conceived right now. If you know, or are part of, organizations where innovation is in the making, we want to hear about you, and see how together we can showcase current Canadian ingenuity at work.

In the longer term, we’ve been busy defining what our contribution will be for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017. We’ve begun work on some aspects of that ambitious project, and we are looking forward sharing the first fruits of that labour on the Google Cultural Institute. Coming soon!

In the meantime, you can browse through the collection using an app that was developed following the release of our entire catalogue’s data on the Government of Canada’s Open Data portal.

There is a common denominator to all these activities, and it has to do with our stated goal to increase our museum’s digital footprint, and digitize as much of our content as we can. Making our national museums’ content more accessible to all Canadians across the country, and not only to those who have the opportunity to visit the Canada’s Capital region, is a firm commitment towards which we will continue to devote every effort.

As for the renewal of the Canada Science and Technology Museum, with the announcement of the Government of Canada’s support, things are beginning to take shape: the request for proposals for a project manager closed last week, and we expect to hold the start-up meeting with the supplier that will be selected in mid-February. As for the choice of a prime consultant, the request for proposals period will end in early February, and the selected supplier should begin work by early March. Moreover, this week we began moving into the collection reserve warehouses some of the artefacts that were still in the Museum. All the artefacts that will have to be moved out of the Museum should be moved by about the month of April.

I will update you on these important projectsin the next blog entry. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum.