Summer 2012

by admin on Sep.05, 2012, under Newsletter

Summer 2012  

Au Courant


Our two Museum Volunteer Award recipients for 2012!

Left: Dr. Sean Murphy
© Canadian Museum Association, 2012

Right: Mike Sterling
© Saugeen Times, 2012

The Museum Volunteer Award recognizes individuals or groups who generously volunteer their time and commitment to a museum or related heritage institution for several years. This award is a collaboration between the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) and the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums (CFFM).

The CFFM was delighted to present this year’s award to two outstanding volunteers.

Dr. Sean B. Murphy
was the recipient of this award firstly, for his long-standing impressive work in the service of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and, secondly, for his distinguished role in the museum field on provincial, national and international levels.

Associated with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts since 1959, Sean B. Murphy was the long-time President of its Board of Directors and is still active on its acquisition committees. In addition to his inestimable support and his sustained engagement with this institution, Dr. Murphy was involved in many other museum organisations such as the Board of directors of the National Museums of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums and the World Federation of Friends of Museums.

Dr. Murphy pioneered the MMFA Drawing Initiative – encouraging visitors to draw in the galleries and blazing the trail for thousands in Canada. The initiative was such a resounding success that it grew from a local activity to the country-wide project “Drawing in the Museum”/«Dessiner au Musée» officially established in 2000.

In 2008, Sean Murphy published “Dare to Draw: La passion du dessin”, a book on what he calls his “second career” as an artist. Similar to the initiative he spearheaded at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, his book encourages the reader to pick up the pencil or paintbrush with enthusiasm and to enter into the world of drawing and painting. This particular project and many others – too numerous to mention – have had a significant impact on the learning opportunities and artistic appreciation of many people.

On the world stage Sean has made his mark as Vice President for North America of the World Federation of Friends of Museum and in Canada as President of the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museum.

Doctor Sean B. Murphy has played, and continues to play, a primordial role in the Museum domain. His exceptional devotion, his philanthropic activities and his service to the community demonstrate his desire and will to share his passion for art with as many people as possible, and make his a meritorious recipient of the CFFM-CMA Museum Volunteer Award.

The second outstanding volunteer award recipient is Mike Sterling.

Mike Sterling’s contributions to his community museum and marine heritage has made Southampton and Saugeen Shores a must see destination for visitors to Bruce County. His passion and enthusiasm for the area’s heritage has made a lasting positive difference to those who live in Saugeen Shores.

Through Mike Sterling’s leadership, a wide number of projects have been initiated and completed. These projects range from the restoration of the Chantry Island lighthouse and the saving of the Stokes Bay lighthouse as well the organization of an international lighthouse conference. The design and installation of the Helix sculpture from the anchor chains of an 1866 schooner found in the excavation of the British warship HMS General Hunter was Mike’s vision. Mike has organized volunteers to work with international archaeologists in the excavation of the General Hunter shipwreck in Lake Huron.

He has assisted in developing exhibits such as ‘Ghostly Guardians of the Bruce Coast’ where he was instrumental in acquiring the loan of the Fresnel Lens and documenting its scientific significance and history. He is also a founding member of the Marine Heritage Society.

Mike Sterling’s rare combination of vision, energy, leadership and tenacity has allowed these projects to come to completion and be a source of education and enjoyment for thousands of visitors to the museum to the area.

Both these outstanding volunteers and friends of museums deserve our warmest congratulations!

Sylvie Morel
National Director, CFFM


In April the CFFM was pleased to conduct a Webinar on ‘Fundraising Fundamentals for Museums’. Board member, Susan Brophy Down used her experience and expertise to design the educational seminar. The speaker was Marnie Hill, manager of Gifts Planning with the Canadian Red Cross in Victoria B.C. Marnie Hill has worked in the non-profit sector since 1980. The Webinar was about an hour long with 17 attendees. We received many positive comments noting that it was an extremely valuable seminar. The Webinar has been posted here.

 The CFFM board feels that the Webinar format has great value in connecting the museum community of friends across Canada. It is the perfect format for providing education as well as allowing members to share ideas and concerns. We would like to provide 3 webinars in the fall of 2012 and 2013. If there are issues that our membership would like discussed, please forward any topics to

Finally, I would like to thank Susan Brophy Down, first for her idea and offer to organize the first CFFM Webinar and second, for her hard work in conducting a professional and very educational presentation.

Tony Bowland
First Vice President and incoming President, CFFM


The CMA honoured 37 museum professionals on april 25, 2012 with the presentation of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals. Among the award recipients, six are members of the FCCM.

Dr. Jann L M Bailey, Member – For her enthusiasm and lifelong conviction that art and culture add to the quality of life and her leadership during her Presidencies of the Canadian Museums Association and the Canadian Art Museum’s Director’s Organization.

Yves Dagenais, Treasurer – For his unwavering engagement with the museums of Quebec and Canada, and for his encouragement of museum volunteers.

Joan Goldfarb, Outgoing President – For her exceptional devotion for over 25 years to museums and galleries as a trustee, a donor and a champion of friends of museums.

Our national director receives the diamond jubilee medal

Sylvie Morel, National Director – For her brilliant 35-year career during which she has represented the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Canada and abroad, and for her volunteer work to promote Canadian museums.

Pauline Rafferty, Outgoing Board member - For her leadership in museums in British Columbia and her national role on various boards, including as President of the Alliance of Natural History Museums

Doris Smith, Past Board member – For her voluntarism with the National Gallery Volunteers Circle and her work nationally on behalf of friends of museums everywhere.


The CFFM AGM was held on the same day at the Hilton Hotel in Gatineau, Quebec.  The slate of nominees proposed was approved.  The board of the CFFM is composed of:

Tony Bowland, Susan Brophy Down, Yves Dagenais, Peter Homulos, Marilyn Job, Paul McDonald, Dennis Moulding, Marie Senécal-Tremblay.

It is with sadness that the FCCM notes the passing of Roger Heeler, spirited member of the Board, on July 4th 2012. Professor of marketing at York University, he is survived by his wife Joan, children Tasha and Mark, and grandchildren Evan, Ella and Atticus. Donations can be made in his memory to the Kensington Hospice.

On behalf of the Board I would like to thank departing members William Barkley and Pauline Rafferty for their greatly appreciated contributions, warmly welcome two new members, Marilyn Job and Dennis Moulding, and offer our most sincere congratulations to all the FCCM members who received the diamond jubilee medal!

Marie Senécal-Tremblay
President, FCCM



Dennis Moulding

Dennis Moulding brings to the CFFM Board extensive and varied experience in resource, risk and change management, planning, auditing and financial consulting gained in a career within and around the federal government.  He negotiated and managed the administrative transition of the National Gallery of Canada to an arms-length Crown Corporation and served for 10 years as its Comptroller. 

Interests outside the museum world include travel, instructing and coaching curling at a senior level and Taoist Tai Chi. International travel itineraries always seem to have visits to a wide variety of museums.

Marilyn Job

Marilyn Job has worked in the non-profit for 30 years with most of that time happily spent in the fundraising field.  Ms. Job is currently working for the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation Foundation and has also raised funds for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights as well as charities in the arts, environmental and social service sectors.  Marilyn has a special warmth in her heart for museums!


The magnificent entrance of the FADAM’s offices

The Federacion Argentina de Amigos de Museos (FADAM) is a non-profit organisation founded in Buenos Aires in 1982. Situated in beautiful San Telmo, FADAM is the proud owner of a historic "chorizo" house, donated in 2010 by Nelly A de Blaquier, great donor to FADAM!

In the spring of 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting the directors of FADAM in Buenos Aires during a trip in the context of my studies with the McGill-HEC EMBA programme. A vibrant organisation, it was a real pleasure to exchange with the FADAM team, in particular Sussy de Bary and Sofia Speroni, on the programmes and activities of the Canadian and Argentine federations of friends of museums.

FADAM’s mission is to promote the creation of associations of friends of museums and to collaborate with them to help realize their mission; to promote and enhance the cultural and natural heritage of the country; and to reinforce the links between the international and national associations of friends of museums. Their widely popular artistic contest for schoolchildren and their restoration workshop are particularly noteworthy for their originality, utility, and the important service they provide for Argentinian heritage.

It was in a spirit of collaboration and friendship that FADAM’s members warmly welcomed me for a visit of their magnificent workshop and office. They extend an invitation to any of our members who are passing through Argentina to come and visit them in Buenos Aires!

Mercedes  Cornejo. Delegate of the Museo Pajcha, Salta; Fernanda Galli, Founding member of FADAM; Marie Senécal-Tremblay, President, CFFM; Afredo Corti, Delegate of the Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo; Sofia Weil de Speroni, Vice-President for South America, FADAM; Susana de Bary, President, FADAM

Cecilia Mazza and Cecilia Oviedo Bustos in FADAM’s restoration workshop













Muchas gracias amigas y amigos!

Marie Senécal-Tremblay
President, CFFM



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Été 2012  

Au Courant


Les récipiendaires du prix du bénévolat muséal 2012

Gauche: Dr. Sean Murphy
© Association des musées canadiens, 2012

Droite: Mike Sterling
© Saugeen Times, 2012

Le Prix du bénévolat muséal rend hommage à des personnes ou à des groupes qui ont généreusement consacré leur temps et leur énergie à un musée ou à un établissement du patrimoine pendant plusieurs années, en qualité de bénévole. Le Prix du bénévolat muséal est le fruit d’une collaboration entre l’Association des musées canadiens (AMC) et la Fédération canadienne des Amis de musées (FCAM).

Cette année, la FCAM est fière de présenter le prix à deux bénévoles remarquables.

Le Docteur Sean B. Murphy a été choisi comme lauréat pour son engagement impressionnant au service du Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal ainsi que pour son rôle distingué des musées au niveau provincial, national et international.

Associé au Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal depuis 1959, il fut longtemps président du Conseil d’administration et est toujours actif sur le Comité d’acquisition. En plus de son apport inestimable et de son engagement soutenu à cette institution, le docteur Murphy fut impliqué au sein de plusieurs organisations telles que le Conseil d’administration des Musées nationaux du Canada, le Conseil des arts du Canada, la Fédération canadienne des amis des musées et la Fédération mondiale des amis des musées.

Le docteur Murphy a développé le programme de dessin du MBAM, un programme pionnier qui encourage les visiteurs au musée de dessiner dans les galeries. Cette initiative a connu un si grand succès qu’elle a grandi jusqu’à un programme national établi en 2000, « Drawing in the Museum/Dessiner au Musée ».

En 2008, Sean Murphy a publié Dare to Draw: La passion du dessin, un livre portant sur ce qu’il dénomme sa «deuxième carrière», c’est-à-dire celle d’artiste. Tout comme l’initiative qu’il a mené au Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, son livre encourage le lecteur à prendre avec enthousiasme le crayon ou le pinceau pour entrer dans le monde du dessin et de la peinture. Ce projet et plusieurs autres – trop nombreux pour les énumérer ici – ont eu un impact majeur sur les opportunités d’apprentissage et d’appréciation artistique de plusieurs personnes.

Au niveau international, Sean s’est démarqué comme Vice-président pour l’Amérique du Nord de la Fédération mondiale des amis de musées et au Canada en tant que Président de la Fédération canadienne des amis de musées.

Le docteur Sean B. Murphy a joué et continue de jouer un rôle primordial dans le milieu muséal. Son dévouement exceptionnel, ses activités philanthropiques et son service communautaire démontrent son désir et sa volonté de partager sa passion pour l’art avec le plus de gens possible et font de lui un récipient fort méritant du prix du bénévolat muséal AMC.

Le deuxième bénévole remarquable est Mike Sterling.

C’est grâce à la contribution de Mike Sterling auprès de son musée communautaire et envers le patrimoine maritime que les rives de Southampton et Saugeen dans le comté de Bruce sont devenues une destination touristique à ne pas manquer. Sa passion et son enthousiasme pour le patrimoine de cette région ont fait une différence marquée pour ceux qui habitent les rives de Saugeen.

Grâce au leadership de Mike Sterling, plusieurs projets ont été initiés et complétés. Ceux-ci vont de la restauration du phare de l’île Chantry et la sauvegarde du phare de Stokes Bay jusqu’à l’organisation d’une conférence internationale sur les phares. Le design et l’installation de la sculpture Helix, faite de chaines provenant de l’ancre d’un schooner datant de 1866, trouvée lors de l’excavation du bateau de guerre HMS General Hunter, a vu le jour grâce à la vision de Mike. Il a également organisé des groupes de bénévoles pour travailler aux côtés d’ archéologues venus de l’étranger sur l’excavation de l’épave du General Hunter au Lac Huron.

Durant son travail sur des expositions telles que “Ghostly Guardians of the Bruce Coast”, il a fait beaucoup pour  l’acquisition de la Lentille de Fresnel ainsi la documentation de son histoire et son importance scientifique. Mike est également membre fondateur de la Société d’histoire maritime.

Cette  combinaison rare de vision, énergie, leadership et ténacité que possède Mike ont permis à ces projets d’être complétés et d’être une source d’éducation et de plaisir pour des milliers de visiteurs au Musée ainsi qu’à la région de Bruce County.

Ces deux bénévoles et amis de musées exceptionnels méritent toutes nos félicitations !

Sylvie Morel
Directrice Nationale, FCAM


En avril 2012, la FCAM a eu le plaisir d’organiser un Webinar sur les « fondamentaux de la levée de fonds pour les musées » . Susan Brophy Down, administratrice de la FCAM, a utilisé son expérience et expertise pour organiser cette séance éducative. Nous avons accueilli Marnie Hill, directrice des dons planifiés de la Croix rouge à Victoria, C.B. Marnie Hill travaille dans le secteur des organismes à but non-lucratif depuis 1980. 17 personnes ont participé à la séance d’une heure. Nous avons reçu plusieurs commentaires positifs nous indiquant que la session à été très appréciée et utile. Vous pouvez l’y accéder ici.

Le Conseil d’administration de la FCAM est de l’opinion que le format “Webinar” est d’une grande valeur, puisqu’elle permet à la communauté d’amis de musées de se rejoindre partout au Canada. C’est le format parfait pour offrir des opportunités éducatives à nos membres ainsi qu’un espace où ceux-ci peuvent partager leurs questions et commentaires. Nous voulons donc organiser 3 « webinars » en automne 2012 et 2013. S’il y a des questions ou commentaires de la part de nos membres, veuillez nous en  faire part en écrivant à

Finalement, j’aimerais remercier Susan Brophy Down pour avoir proposé cette idée, pour son organisation du premier «Webinar» de la FCAM, ainsi que pour son travail acharné dans l’organisation et le déroulement d’une présentation professionnelle et très éducative.

Tony Bowland
Première Vice-Présidente et Présidente désignée, FCAM


L’association des musées canadiens a fait honneur à 37 professionnels du secteur muséal avec la présentation de médailles du jubilé de diamant de la reine Elizabeth II le 25 avril 2012. Nous sommes très fiers de souligner parmi ces récipiendaires six membres de la FCAM.

Dr. Jann L M Bailey, Membre – Pour son enthousiasme et sa conviction que les arts et la culture ajoutent à la qualité de vie, ainsi que pour son leadership durant sa présidence de l’Association des musées canadiens et l’Organisation des directeurs des musées d’art du Canada.

Yves Dagenais, Trésorier – Pour son engagement inébranlable envers les musées du Québec et du Canada, ainsi que pour son encouragement à l’égard des bénévoles.

Joan Goldfarb, Présidente sortante - Pour son dévouement exceptionnel envers les musées et galleries en tant que qu’administratrice, donatrice et championne des amis des musées. pendant plus de 25 ans

Notre directrice nationale accepte la médaille du jubilé

Sylvie Morel, Directrice nationale – Pour sa brillante carrière de 35 années au cours de laquelle elle a représenté le Musée canadien des civilisations à l’étranger et au Canada, et pour son travail bénévole de promotion des musées du Canada.

Pauline Rafferty, membre du conseil d’administration sortante- Pour son leadership auprès des musées en Colombie Britannique et son role national sur plusieurs conseils d’administration, y inclus comme présidente de l’Alliance des musées d’histoire naturelle du Canada.

Doris Smith, ancienne membre du conseil d’administration- Pour son bénévolat avec le cercle bénévole de la Galerie Nationale et son travail au nom des amis des musées partout au Canada et à l’international.

L’assemblée générale annuelle de la FCAM a eu lieu à l’hotel Hilton à Gatineau lors de la conférence annuelle de l’AMC. Les administrateurs du conseil ont été approuvées, et notre conseil d’administration pour 2012-2013 est composé de :

Tony Bowland, Susan Brophy Down, Yves Dagenais, Joan Goldfarb, Peter Homulos, Marilyn Job, Paul McDonald, Dennis Moulding, Marie Senécal-Tremblay.

C’est avec tristesse que la FCAM note le décès de Roger Heeler, membre du conseil d’administration dévoué, le 4 juillet 2012. Professeur en marketing à l’université York, il laisse dans le deuil son épouse Joan, ses enfants Tasha et Mark, et ses trois petits-enfants Evan, Ella et Atticus. Les dons peuvent être faits en sa mémoire à l‘hospice Kensington.

Au nom du conseil, je tiens a sincèrement remercier les membres sortants, William Barkley et Pauline Rafferty, pour leur contribution fortement appréciée, d’ accueillir avec grand plaisir nos deux nouveaux membres, Marilyn Job et Dennis Moulding, et d’offrir nos félicitations les plus sincères à tout les membres FCAM récipiendaires des médailles de jubilé de diamant de la Reine!

Marie Senécal-Tremblay
Présidente, FCAM



Dennis Moulding

Dennis Moulding apporte à la FCAM une expérience vaste et variée en gestion de ressources, risque et changement, ainsi que dans la planification, de la vérification et de la consultation financière dans le cadre d’une carrière au gouvernement fédéral. Il a négocié et géré la transition administrative du Musée des beaux-arts du Canada en société d’État, et a servi pendant 10 ans comme son contrôleur.

Ses intérêts en dehors du monde muséal incluent le voyage, l’instruction et l’entrainement du curling au niveau sénior, et du Tai Chi Taoiste. Ses itinéraires de voyage à l’international comptent toujours plusieurs visites à une grande variété de musées.

Marilyn Job

Marilyn Job travaille dans le secteur non-lucratif depuis 30 ans – la meilleure partie de ce temps-là en levée de fonds. Mme. Job travaille présentement pour la Fondation de la Société des musées de sciences et technologies du Canada, et a déjà travaillé pour le Musée canadien des droits de la personne ainsi que plusieurs organismes à but non-lucratif dans les secteurs artistiques, environnementaux, et de service social. Marilyn garde une place spéciale dans son coeur pour les musées !

Bienvenue à nos deux nouveaux membres du conseil!


La magnifique entrée des bureaux de la FADAM
à Buenos Aires, Argentine

La Federacion Argentina de Amigos de Museos (FADAM) est un organisme à but non-lucratif fondée en 1982 à Buenos Aires. FADAM est situé dans le quartier pittoresque de San Telmo, dans un maison historique «chorizo», donné par la grande donatrice Nelly A de Blaquier.

Au printemps 2012, j’ai eu l’opportunité de rencontrer les directeurs de la FADAM à Buenos Aires lors d’un voyage dans le contexte de mon programme EMBA des universités McGill et HEC.

Ce fut un grand plaisir pour moi d’échanger avec l’équipe de FADAM, en particulier avec Sussy de Bary et Sofia Speroni, sur les programmes et activités des fédérations canadiennes et argentines des amis de musées.

La mission de la FADAM est très semblable à la nôtre: de promouvoir la formation des associations d’amis des petits musées régionaux et de collaborer avec ceux-ci pour les aider à réaliser leurs missions; de diffuser et mettre en valeur le patrimoine naturel et culturel du pays; et de renforcer les liens entre les associations des amis de musées dans le pays et à l’étranger. Un concours artistique pour les écoliers très populaire ainsi que leur atelier de restauration reconnu sont à noter pour leur originalité, leur utilité, et le service important qu’ils rendent au patrimoine Argentin.

C’est dans un esprit de collaboration et d’amitié que les membres du conseil de la FADAM m’ont chaleureusement accueilli pour faire une visite de leur magnifique atelier et bureau. Ils ont lancé une invitation à tous nos membres de venir chez eux la prochaine fois qu’ils passent en Argentine!

Mercedes  Cornejo. déléguée du Museo Pajcha, Salta; Fernanda Galli, membre fondatrice de la FADAM; Marie Senécal-Tremblay, Presidente, CFFM; Afredo Corti, délégué du Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo; Sofia Weil de Speroni, Vice-President pour l’amérique du Sud, FADAM; Susana de Bary, Présidente, FADAM

Cecilia Mazza et Cecilia Oviedo Bustos dans l’atelier de restauration de la FADAM.













Muchas gracias amigas y amigos!

Marie Senécal-Tremblay
Présidente, FCAM


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Spring 2011

by dmsmith on Apr.30, 2011, under Newsletter

Click here to download the Spring 2011 au courant in colourful PDF format.

Volunteers and Donors: Vital to Arts and Culture Organizations

By Kelly Hill, President, Hill Strategies Research

Piechart Hill Strategies Research recently published two reports on volunteers and donors in arts and culture organizations, based on a broad Statistics Canada survey of the charitable activities of individual Canadians in 2007. Unfortunately, the dataset cannot provide specific information about museum volunteers and donors, only volunteers and donors in any type of cultural organization. The donor data includes financial donations only, not gifts of art or other objects.

Canadian arts and culture organizations rely on volunteers to fulfill many roles, including serving on boards of directors, organizing events, fundraising, teaching or mentoring others, and performing various administrative tasks. Without volunteer support, many arts and culture organizations would be unable to achieve their mandates. In fact, a 2003 survey of non-profit organizations found that almost two-thirds of arts and culture organizations are run entirely by volunteers.

In 2007, the 698,000 Canadians age 15 or older who volunteered in arts and culture organizations worked a total of 73.5 million hours, which is equivalent to about 38,000 full-time, full-year jobs, valued at about $1.1 billion.

Cultural organizations also rely on funding support from a broad range of sources. The roughly 14,000 arts and culture organizations in Canada have total revenues of $3.4 billion, or 3.1% of all non-profit organizations in Canada. Compared with other non-profit organizations, arts and culture organizations receive much lower funding from government (28% for arts and culture vs. 49% for all nonprofits), much higher revenues from earned sources (50% for arts and culture vs. 35% for all nonprofits), slightly higher revenues from gifts and donations (17% for arts and culture vs. 13% for all nonprofits) and roughly similar revenues from other sources (5% for arts and culture organizations vs. 3% for all nonprofits).

While volunteers and donors are vital to cultural organizations, the reports highlight the very strong competition for volunteers and donors from other non-profit sectors. As shown in the accompanying chart, the 73.5 million in volunteer hours in arts and culture organizations represents 4% of total hours volunteered in all types of non-profit organizations, ranking seventh out of 11 types of non-profit organizations. Religious organizations, sports and recreation organizations and social service organizations each received between 16% and 18% of all volunteer hours in 2007 (376, 353 and 332 million hours, respectively). Education and research organizations received 218 million hours (11%), and development and housing organizations received 114 million hours in 2007 (5%). Volunteers contributed 86 million hours to health organizations (4% of all hours), slightly higher than contributions to arts and culture organizations (74 million hours, also 4%). Hospitals received slightly fewer volunteer hours (70 million hours, 3%). Other key findings of the reports include:

  • 759,000 cultural donors gave money to arts and culture organizations in 2007.
  • The $101 million in donations to arts and culture organizations represent 1% of total donations to all types of non-profit organizations. Religious organizations receive nearly half of all donations ($4.6 billion, or 47%), followed by health organizations ($1.5 billion, or 15%) and social service organizations ($915 million, or 9%).
  • 1.3 million Canadians volunteered in arts and culture organizations, donated money to them, or did both in 2007. This represents 5% of all Canadians 15 years of age or older.
  • The most common reason for volunteering in arts and culture organizations is a desire to make a contribution to one’s community (chosen by 92% of volunteers).

The reports examine data from custom tabulations that Hill Strategies Research commissioned from Statistics Canada based on the 2007 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (CSGVP). Between September and December 2007, Statistics Canada surveyed a statistically representative sample of Canadians 15 and older (20,510 people) about their volunteer work in all types of not-for-profit organizations in the 12 months preceding the survey. The full reports, including many more details about arts and culture volunteers and donors, are available for free at

Cultural Change and Canada’s Museums

By Barry Lord, Co-President, Lord Cultural Resources

‘Friends in times of need are friends indeed.’ Friends of Museums in Canada have had to be friends indeed for as long as I have been involved in the museum field – which is now just over 50 years, since I started as a summer student employee at the National Gallery of Canada while still an undergraduate at McMaster University. The half-century has been a period of constant cultural change – and the next half-century looks likely to be even more so.

My wife and co-President Gail Dexter Lord and I last year finished writing our latest book, Artists, Patrons and the Public: Why Culture Changes (AltaMira Press, Lanham, Maryland, 2010). We wrote it because we realized that the 30-year practice of our company, Lord Cultural Resources, has really been about our participation in cultural change around the world. Through over 1,800 planning and management projects for museums and related institutions in some 48 countries our firm’s professionals, now over 60 strong, have been working with cultural workers at all levels and in many situations, who have been struggling with or responding to cultural change.

Barry Lord and Gail Dexter Lord

Museums seem to be about objects, but are really about people. They seem to be buildings with things in them, but they are actually part of the communication process between people – people of the past as well as the present and the future, and in many cases people who don’t speak the same language, practice the same religion or dress the same way. Globalization and the corresponding increase in diversity have been among the cultural changes that have affected museums as means of communication.

This is equally true of Canada’s museums. Our company’s work that Gail has led for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg – Canada’s first national museum outside Ottawa – is one clear indication of the direction of this cultural change. It is an ‘idea museum’ – it will have collections, but it is essentially formed around the idea of human rights, and the title is significant – it is not of, but for Human Rights. Its nation-wide education program, bringing students from across the country to Winnipeg, will heighten young Canadians’ consciousness of human rights, including an awareness of past and present violations in our own country, as well as around the world.

In the coming years cultural change should affect the governance of our museums, and the Friends of Museums may be positioned to play a role in that change. Particularly where government cut-backs have affected staffing and programs, museums need to become civil society institutions, more than ever. This means science centres that participate in innovation programs, art museums that stimulate creativity in our schools, and natural or cultural history museums that are courageous enough to present exhibitions on controversial topics.

This greater degree of social engagement reflects the changing position of Canada’s museums as resources in the ‘knowledge economy’ as well as in cultural tourism. Museums can be instrumental to urban regeneration, and can contribute to social cohesion in our many communities with highly diverse populations. With a decreasing proportion of their expenses covered by government, museums must reach out to private/public partnerships, foundations and educational institutions, individuals and groups representing all aspects of our society as they combine self-generated with contributed earnings, grants and subsidies from all levels of government, and individual donations.

These changes should be reflected in the governance of our museums. Civil society should have a greater say in the governance of civil society institutions. Friends of Museums may be one conduit for that change in governance, especially if your Friends organizations reflect the diversity of your communities. All of us may then hold our shared heritage – scientific, artistic or historic – in trust.

2010 CMA/CFFM Museum Volunteer Award

The Jury of CFFM members met on January 27th and selected the winner of this year’s award. As always, the choice is difficult among some very deserving candidates. However, only one winner can be chosen. If your museum’s candidate did not win this time, why not resubmit the application next year? The winner will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony on April 13th at the CMA National Conference.


CFFM is honoured to report that His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General of Canada has accepted our invitation to become our Patron.


Canadian Museums Association

April 12 – 17, 2011 in London, Ontario. This year’s theme will be “Evolve or Die”. CFFM is again sponsoring the Carol Sprachman Lecture. The speaker will be Simon Brault., who will give the opening keynote address at 4:30 pm on April 12th. His topic will be “No Culture, No Future”.

American Association of Museums

May 22 – 25, 2011 in Houston, Texas

World Federation of Friends of Museums

The XIV World Congress of WFFM will be held in Genoa 18-22 September 2011. All CFFM members are entitled to attend. See our web site for details.

Next WFFM Council and General Assembly Meeting Copenhagen, Denmark 28-29 April, 2011 Hosted by the Danish Federation of Friends of Museums (DFFM)

Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums Annual General Meeting

At 3:00 pm on Tuesday, April 12 at the Hilton Hotel in London, Ontario. The CFFM is looking for candidates who are interested in joining the Board of Directors. Please forward your suggestions to Sylvie Morel at, to be submitted to the Nominating Committee.

Post Script: After last fall’s successful public lecture on “No Culture, No Future” by Simon Brault, the CFFM in Ottawa, in collaboration with several organizations, is planning another public event – a panel discussion on cultural diversity and its effect on our cultural institutions. How are cultural changes affecting your museum and how are Friends dealing with such changes? We welcome articles of 400-600 words on that subject. Please get in touch with our editor.

CFFM now has two Facebook pages: Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums (CFFM) and Fédération canadienne des amis de musées (FCAM) If you’re a Facebook user, please go to the pages to see what we’ve included.

If you have some news that you would like to share with our readers, do get in touch with the editor at Deadline for submission of copy for the Summer 2011 issue is May 1st. Articles and news items for our web site can be submitted at any time for consideration.

It is CFFM policy to respect and protect personal information and an individual’s right to privacy in compliance with current legal requirements.

CFFM does not lend or sell its membership information.

CFFM is a charitable organization registered under # BN 11883 0876 RR 0001

au courant is the newsletter published by Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums

400 – 280 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7

Telephone: 613-567-0099 ext. 260; Fax 613-233-5438

e-mail: web site:

Editor: Doris M. Smith, e-mail:

Editorial Advisory Board: Michel Cheff and Gerald Glavin

Translation: Michel Joanis

Technical support: Alexander G.M. Smith



Winter 2011

by dmsmith on Apr.30, 2011, under Newsletter

Click here to download the Winter 2011 au courant in colourful PDF format.

No Culture, No Future: A Lecture by SIMON BRAULT in Ottawa

Simon Brault is a visionary with a passionate argument for the preservation of the arts in our cities. In a swiftly changing world where we can no longer trust economic growth, he feels that we must turn to culture in all its forms to live full and enriched lives and that all of us – the common citizenry – must take action to see that culture becomes the bedrock of our communities. “We live in interesting times,” he says. “We need artists to be the anchor in new ways to see the world.”

Vice-Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts and Director General of the National Theatre School, he accepted an invitation to speak about these ideas and his book No Culture, No Future, (Le Facteur “C”), in a public forum and reception at the magnificent newly renovated Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

This free meeting on October 21 was an innovation in itself as it was sponsored by groups of volunteers who came together in a common cause for the first time: the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums, the Volunteers’ Circle of the National Gallery of Canada, the Friends of Library and Archives Canada, the Friends of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Great Canadian Theatre Company.

“I was touched that such an invitation would come from groups of volunteers,” he said. “In so many cases, if you don’t have volunteers to act as mediators between the artists and the public it is impossible to do anything significant. They are needed to fill gaps in knowledge, to bring people to a realization of the culture before them and how they can participate in it.”

He referred to his book as a “handbook” of ideas that can work and have been put in place by “cities who are poor in economic resources but rich in the arts. They have been through challenging times; they have found the need to imagine the future differently. People are starting to see that the artists are ahead of their time.”

He went on to make the point that artists are convinced of their role but they are working in isolation. Communities need to come together to get across the ideas that culture defines cities. The bureaucrats need to be convinced. The individual can play an important role, says Mr. Brault. “We need net-working, people speaking to each other and in that way we can have convincing and profound arguments so that change can take place.” Civic pride in the rich diversity of culture can bring economic advantages.

He returns to the idea of concrete action with the example of the environmentalists. Children who talk about the need for change in the environment in schools have pressured their parents to use the recycling bins at the side of the road. They may not have changed the world but they have done something positive for their own communities and lives.

Mr. Brault was the driving force behind the project to restore the Monument-National in Montreal and spearheaded the creation of the Journées de la culture which caught the public imagination and continues to grow as Culture Days in other Canadian cities as well. He is also a founding member and Chairman of Culture Montreal which champions the key role played by the arts and culture in defining and developing the city.

Perhaps he has a distinct message for organizations like ours. The Ottawa members of the CFFM played the organizing role in this unique merging of volunteer groups in this city. It resulted in a surge of enthusiasm that we were working together in making the meeting a success: an example of concrete action. It would be interesting to see what the results would be if we all did this in our region or community. Members of the CFFM will be able to hear Mr. Brault themselves when he delivers the Carol Sprachman lecture (sponsored by the CFFM) on April 12 during the CMA conference.

Jean Seasons

About 250 people attended the lecture which was unanimously declared a success and worth making into an annual event. Everyone worked well together. The following report by Lise Broadbent, our volunteer coordinator, can serve as an example of how to involve volunteers.

I offered to recruit and coordinate the volunteers needed for the event. I enjoyed the whole experience: it was enriching and pleasant in many ways.

What I did:

  • sent the first call for volunteers one month ahead of the event
  • responded in general terms about acceptance (or not) to each offer
  • kept informed of the exact needs and conditions anticipated at the event (this enables me to evaluate the qualifications required)
  • obtained input from Doris Smith about other volunteers in other organizations
  • evaluated if the response was sufficient for the needs anticipated (it was). Some screening is necessary to ensure the volunteers meet minimum qualifications
  • created a chart to show the times, tasks and location for each volunteer, using information collected and my knowledge of each volunteer for the best possible match
  • one week prior to event, shared this chart (by e-mail) with all the volunteers registered: this makes them feel wanted and gives them information about their exact role
  • requested arrival one hour prior to the event, for a brief training on the spot
  • received additional comments and made necessary adjustments to the chart
  • planned to have name tags for all volunteers
  • informed them about parking conditions (location and possible reimbursement)
  • assured volunteers that seats would be reserved for them when they arrived from their volunteer posts
  • sent a “last-minute” reminder the day before the event
  • prepared for myself a list of points to be covered when meeting volunteers for “training”

The day of the event:

  • arrived early to survey the situation
  • met with the volunteers (all of them showed up) as planned. The meeting spot was busy and loud. This is where the volunteers showed much-appreciated initiative, cooperation, creativity and commitment. They contributed to finding best options. The greeters at the main entrance were superb. For example, they gathered a few (blue) programs and held them in front of them to draw the crowd’s attention. This made up for the limited signage in the Museum. At the elevators and in the reception/lecture halls, volunteers also evaluated best ways to help the public and did a wonderful job.

After the event:

  • surveyed a few volunteers for their feedback. All were positive and pleased with their evening.
  • sent a thank you note to all volunteers

Lise Broadbent, Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Volunteers’ Circle of the NGC

CFFM Celebrates Canadian Museums Day on Parliament Hill!

Museum professionals and friends from across Canada met with over 75 members of Parliament and senators to make the case that Canada’s museums require more substantial and stable federal support. CFFM board members Joan Goldfarb, Marie Senécal-Tremblay, Doris Smith, Yves Dagenais and Sylvie Morel each met with
several MPs.
Participants presented one key message at this second annual event: the creation of a Canadians
Supporting their Museums Fund
to stimulate an increase in private sector (individual and corporate) support to Canada’s museums and public art galleries. This innovative federal program would match private sector donations—dollar-for-dollar, to a ceiling—for both operational purposes and long-term endowments.
The day culminated with a reception hosted by the Honourable Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of

Organized by the Canadian Museums Association (CMA), the Canadian Art Museums Directors’ Organization (CAMDO), and the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums (CFFM), Canadian Museums Day recognizes the enormous contributions that museums make to our communities and to the economy.

Canada is home to over 2,500 museums that engage several hundred thousand friends and volunteers, employ over 24,000 Canadians and contribute $650 million in direct salaries and wages. Museums educate 7.5 million school children annually and receive over 59 million visits per year. Tourist visits to museums contribute an estimated $17 billion to Canada’s economy.

The Museum Volunteer Award: an Update

This year’s jury members are:

  • Jo Breyfogle (Toronto). Jo is currently Treasurer of the Honorary Trustees of the Royal Ontario Museum and a member of the CFFM Advisory Committee;
  • Yves Dagenais (Montreal). Yves is a Fellow of the Canadian Museums Association and a member of the CMA Insurance Committee as well as a Board member of CFFM;
  • Sylvie Morel (Ottawa), President of ICOM Canada and National Director of CFFM;
  • Marie Senécal-Tremblay (Montreal), Board member of the Stewart Museum and Executive Director of Heritage Montreal as well as co-president of CFFM;
  • Doris Smith (Ottawa), editor of au courant.

The deadline for receipt of applications has been extended to December 15th.

For information please contact Sylvie Morel at

News from the World Federation of Friends of Museums (WFFM)

Extracts from a letter received from Daniel Ben-Natan, President of the WFFM:

Dear Friends:

Having just returned from the ICOM General Conference in Shanghai, China, I wanted to share with you the very good news relating to the WFFM’s enhanced visibility both throughout ICOM, our natural partners, and in China.

Having been invited to bring greetings before the Conference, I was able to introduce the WFFM to the ICOM Advisory Committee and membership. With some 3,360 participants from 120 countries this was the ICOM’s largest General Conference ever… In partnership with the Chinese, we held a first ever Open Forum on museum volunteers within the ICOM General Conference which was well attended with a large group of Chinese volunteers very visible and welcome. .. I gave an overview on the subject and used this opportunity to focus on the centrality of the WFFM and its member Federations in the museum world.

…Of special interest to me was the ceremony of awarding of prizes to the top ten volunteers in China, from the several million (!) museum volunteers, and your President was given the honor of being part of the presentations. The forum and ceremony were held with simultaneous English/Chinese translation.


Canadian Museums Association

April 12 – 17, 2011 in London, Ontario. This year’s theme will be “Evolve or Die”.
The CFFM is again sponsoring the Carol Sprachman Lecture. The speaker will be Simon Brault., who will give the opening keynote address at 4:30 pm on April 12th. His topic will be “No Culture, No Future”.

World Federation of Friends of Museums

The XIV World Congress of WFFM will be held in Genoa 18-22 September 2011. All CFFM members are entitled to attend. See our web site for details.

American Association of Museums

May 22 – 25, 2011 in Houston, Texas

Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums Annual General Meeting

At 3:00 pm on Tuesday, April 12 at the Hilton Hotel in London, Ontario.
The CFFM is looking for candidates who are interested in joining the Board of Directors. Please forward your suggestions to Sylvie Morel at, to be forwarded to the Nominating Committee.

Post Script: The United Arab Emirates have big plans – three enormous museums are being built in Abu Dhabi: a branch of the Guggenheim that is 12 times the size of the original in New York, a branch of the Louvre that will cost $500,000,000 to build, also a deal has been struck with the British Museum to design exhibitions for a National Museum to be built on a similar scale.

We have two Facebook pages: Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums (CFFM) and Fédération canadienne des amis de musées (FCAM). If you’re a Facebook user, please go to the pages to see what we’ve included.

If you have some news that you would like to share with our readers, do get in touch with the editor at Deadline for submission of copy for the Spring 2011 issue is February 1st.. Articles and news items for our web site can be submitted at any time for consideration.


Starting with this issue, our newsletter, au courant will be published electronically. Printed copies will only be mailed out on request. Please let us know if you prefer to receive printed copies by mail.

It is CFFM policy to respect and protect personal information and an individual’s right to privacy in compliance with current legal requirements. CFFM does not lend or sell its membership information.
CFFM is a charitable organization registered under # BN 11883 0876 RR 0001

au courant is the newsletter published by Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums
400 – 280 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7
Telephone: 613-567-0099 ext. 260; Fax 613-233-5438
e-mail:  web site:
Editor: Doris M. Smith, e-mail:
Editorial Advisory Board: Michel Cheff and Gerald Glavin
Translation: Michel Joanis
Technical support: Alexander G.M. Smith


Autumn 2010

by dmsmith on Apr.30, 2011, under Newsletter

Click here to download the Autumn 2010 au courant in colourful PDF format.

CANADIAN MUSEUMS DAY 2010: speak up for museums on Parliament Hill!

If you are passionate about museums, you are invited to a special event on Parliament Hill. An event where you can turn the ears of politicians in Ottawa on Canadian Museums Day! Mark your calendar and register now for November 22nd and 23rd.

Last September, the Canadian museum community made its voice heard on Parliament Hill as it gathered in our nation’s capital for the first-ever Canadian Museums Day. The day and a half event, organized by the Canadian Museums Association, with the support of the Canadian Art Museums Directors’ Organization, drew 100 museum directors, trustees, curators, etc from museums and galleries across the country who spent the day meeting with Members of Parliament, Senators and other key influencers on the Hill.

At these meetings they carried articulate and carefully-crafted messages calling for increased funding for museums, as well as a new initiative to match private donations to museums—such a program which received a lot of attention and would help museums become more self sufficient by garnering greater private sector support.
The day was capped off by a wonderful reception attended by numerous MPs, Senators and Cabinet Ministers.

Over 50 meetings and 100 participants later, the CMA and CAMDO realized we had a successful event on our hands, and plans for the second annual Canadian Museums Day are underway this time to include CFFM as a key partner. We invite members of the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums to join us this November 22nd and 23rd in Ottawa. Your presence will help make Canadian Museums Day better than ever. The voice of Friends needs to be heard and will carry great weight with our politicians.

You might wonder, given these turbulent political and economic times, what benefit can be had by travelling all the way to Ottawa to spend a day on the Hill. Is anyone listening? In fact, time spent highlighting issues of importance to the museum community to Members of Parliament and other decision-makers on Parliament Hill is always time well spent.

The 2010 event includes a briefing session on messages and how the political system works in Ottawa on Monday Nov 22 with some former politicians who know the ropes, followed by a reception. On Tuesday November 23, we will set up meetings for you and others in small teams with key decision makers on Parliament Hill, to be followed by a gala reception to be hosted by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Hon. Peter Milliken.

By speaking up, we participate in the process of crafting good public policy that not only serves the art and heritage community, but serves Canadians at large. We hope many members of the CFFM will join us this November in Ottawa to do just that.
Politicians need to hear from the friends and supporters of museums! We are delighted that CFFM has joined us for this important event.

For more information on Canadian Museums Day, including hotel accommodations, locations of meetings etc, please contact Melanie Rutledge, Director of Government Relations at the CMA: email: or telephone 613-567-0099 extension 263.

John G. McAvity
Executive Director
Canadian Museums Association

A New Board Member joined CFFM this Summer:

Paul McDonald is a lawyer with Cox & Palmer in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He is a Former President of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and an Adjunct Professor (Humanities) in the Faculty of Medicine of Memorial University. He is past Chair of the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and formerly Director and Chair of St. Michael’s Artist-Printmakers Association. He presently serves on the Board of Kids Eat Smart Foundation.

He is interested and involved in the cultural community of St. John’s.

Recognition for Museum Volunteers

This year, the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) and the CFFM are again offering a joint award that recognizes outstanding volunteers and volunteer groups across the country. This award is available to all members of CMA and CFFM. You will find a description of the award and a printable nomination form on the CMA web site at in the About Us section, under Awards.

A jury of museum volunteers and professionals will select the award winner from among nominations received.

The deadline for nominations is November 15th. The recipient of the Museum Volunteer Award will receive his or her award certificate at the next CMA national conference held in London, Ontario in April 2011.

Co-presidents’ report to the Board on July 9th

Marie Senécal -Tremblay and Joan Goldfarb shared the presentation of the report as follows:
Very pleased to have Sylvie (Morel) on board and have her expertise to help us plan a future for the CFFM. (Note: Sylvie Morel is the President of ICOM Canada after retiring as a Vice-President of the Canadian Museum of Civilization.)

Peter (Homulos) has done an amazing job for us as volunteer National Director. He signed on for a few months and we were able to keep him for several years and hopefully for many more as a board member. His hard work is well appreciated.

… As you know CFFM has been struggling for a long time. With the permission of the board… Marie and Joan had a meeting with the CMA on April 20th. The CMA was very supportive and offered to let us use their offices and facilities for a trial year to see if we could become effective as a voice to speak for museums and to advocate for more public support. It was recognized at that meeting that there were many resources available on line and otherwise for the training of volunteers and perhaps there was a coordination role that we could eventually play – but first and foremost we needed members. The CMA and CFFM have shared interests and mutual ways to help each other. The CMA is very interested in our ability to create a mass of support for museums…

We agreed to hire a National Director and set a job description at first on an honorarium basis. We plan to take all our resources and concentrate them to make possible a National Director. The CMA agreed to provide support and access and help to grow membership.

CFFM with Sylvie at the helm would concentrate on membership as the #1 priority. We would strip down our programming for the first year and try to be successful at the following activities:

  1. Hill Day
  2. CMA conference and the Sprachman speaker
  3. The Volunteer Award

… We will try to increase our profile in the community and build on any successes we do have.

News from the World Federation of Friends of Museums

The Council and General Assembly of the World Federation of Friends of Museums (WFFM) meetings held recently in Lisbon, Portugal were hosted by the Portuguese Federation of Friends of Museums.

A record participation of 91 friends from 22 countries enjoyed a very well balanced program of meetings, museum and palace visits, great meals, lovely country side and especially a very warm and family type environment.

Allissandra Cummins, the President of ICOM, attended the first Council meeting where she brought greetings on behalf of the International Council of Museums which represents all the museum professionals worldwide.
On Friday she and I signed a Memorandum of Understanding between ICOM and the WFFM intended to promote cooperation and joint undertakings between the two main components of museums.

We approved the Financial Report for 2009 and the budget for 2010 presented by Treasurer Murray Tarnapoll and I am gratified to be able to report that once again we finished the year with a small surplus, maintaining the WFFM in a strong financial position.

The Executive Committee approved the application of the Friends of the Estonian Museum of Fine Arts to join the WFFM as an Associate Member, and in the Council we discussed how to deal with applications for Associate membership from countries with National Federations as Active Members. The decision taken was that such applications would be channeled through the Federations who would forward the application with their recommendation and comments in a timely fashion.

We discussed ways and means of increasing the benefits for our members, including new membership cards to be introduced for 2011 and a data base of contacts in different cities and expertise to be made available to our members.

The membership of the Council consists of the Officers, representatives of all the Active Members (the Federation of Friends from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK, USA) and four representatives of the Associate Members who are friends of specific Museums. The Council elected the following three Associations for the period 2011-2013 and a fourth will be elected in 2011.

  • The Friends of the National Museum of Korea
  • The Friends of the Fine Arts Museum of Budapest
  • Comision de Amigos del Museo Zorrila, Montevideo, Uruguay

The 2011 World Congress of the WFFM will be taking place in Genoa, Italy, September 18 to 23, 2011. Mauro del Corso, President of the Italian Federation presented the theme of the Congress which will be: “Spatium Artis – Museums and their Friends in the Future,” and the format of the Congress which will have sessions concentrated in the mornings to allow ample time for visits to the wonderful museums and cultural heritage of Genoa.

The next Council and General Assembly meetings will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, April 28 and 29, 2011 but given that this is a ” Congress year” this will be a working meeting only and to keep costs down will be without a social program.

The 2012 Council and General Assembly will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil hosted by FEAMBRA, the Brazilian Federation of Friends of Museums. The representatives of FEAMBRA presented their plans for the Council program, which sound most exciting, so please already note the dates of April 19-22, 2012.

Developments since the meeting in Lisbon include plans for our participation in the ICOM Triennial General Conference in Shanghai, China with our co-producing with our Chinese hosts an Open Forum on the opening day of the Conference (8.11.2010) on: “Innovation, Communication, Advancement – Museum Volunteers: Culture and Spirit in the 21st Century”.

Daniel Ben-Natan President,
World Federation of Friends of Museums

The Mexican delegation was led by their President, Elias Sacal Cababie, the American by their President John Barnum and the Canadian by CFFM Board Members, Martha Wilder and Cynthia Armour. There were twenty-five delegates in all. The fabulous itinerary was organized by Nancy Barnum and Enid Hyde while John Barnum took charge of the interesting meeting agenda.

L to R: John Barnum (President USFFM), Martha Wilder (CFFM Board Member), Elias Sacal Cababie (President, Mexican Friends)

An opening cocktail reception at the Barnum’s apartment provided the opportunity to meet the American delegation, as well as fellow museum enthusiasts. On Monday we gathered at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian for a special guided tour, followed by lunch featuring Native American food. That afternoon we toured the 7th floor of the US. State Department, where the best of 18th Century American furniture, decorative art and paintings are displayed. In the evening we were invited to USFFM Board Member, Pam Peabody’s charming home in Washington for a light supper.

Tuesday was devoted to meetings. John Barnum delivered welcoming remarks from WFFM President, Danny Ben Natan, these were followed by reports from the respective countries. For a full report on the proceedings, go to our web site at


  • Creation of two new regional chapters
  • Second National Congress was held in Monterrey
  • Working on developing an agreement with Mexican culture authorities concerning the rules that should govern the relationship between museums and boards of trustees.
  • Developed program of guided tours designed specifically for young people and children

United States:

In October 2008, the USFFM held a strategic planning retreat to identify ways to expand US Board, increase membership and strengthen programs. Several ways on how to achieve goals were discussed, among them:

  • Identify and consult with colleges teaching museum education to reach young people entering the museum field to learn important role of volunteers
  • Create programs to train volunteers to interface with museum staff and volunteers
  • USFFM will award grants to museums of $1,000 each to support existing or new educational initiatives designed for students from K through 12


The Canadian delegates gave an update on recent developments within CFFM.
Following the formal reports there was a lively discussion on the role of volunteerism – an opportunity to compare experiences in the different counties.

Lunch featuring speaker: Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator of the American University Katzen Arts Center on “The Future of Museums”

A Panel Discussion “What can we do to attract young people to museums” generated many ideas:

  • Young people want to interact and engage in free choice learning
  • Free admission for all under 18
  • “touch me” aspect for the young
  • Have tours for the handicapped
  • Use video-conferencing in order to allow remote access
  • Plan and pre-post tour questions and answers
  • Encourage feedback

A Round Table Discussion to brainstorm common challenges faced by CFFM and USFFM and strategies to deal with them was facilitated by Cynthia Armour.
It was an interesting, fun and productive two days on behalf of museums and volunteers

Submitted by Martha Wilder

The Royal Museum Shop – Volunteers who make a Difference

The Royal Museum Shop, located at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, is a unique and inviting store. It is a place that truly reflects British Columbia in the products available, but also in the people who are there to greet and assist you.

Begun in 1970 by a small group of volunteers, the Friends of the Royal BC Museum operated the first, very tiny, Royal Museum Shop. Since then, the Shop has grown into a 4,000 square foot space with over 50 volunteers and annual sales of over two million dollars. Working with a small support staff, the volunteers are integral to the success of the Royal Museum Shop. Their support, enthusiasm and dedication are second to none, and they bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience from many different backgrounds.

Within the Royal Museum Shop, the model for volunteer involvement is unique. Volunteers are often the first person a visitor to the Royal BC Museum meets. They are eager to share information and provide superb customer service. A volunteer can choose to work on the floor, assisting customers and packing purchases, or also perform cash duties. As well, our shipping and receiving volunteers help unpack, sort and price merchandise coming in to the Shop. This merchandise is then stocked by a group of volunteers dedicated to that task. During major exhibitions, The Royal Museum Shop operates a Gallery Shop, where volunteers fill the same multitude of roles, many of them doing double-time, taking on additional shifts.

Their commitment is staggering – they contribute over 700 hours of their time each month – that’s over 8,400 hours a year! In addition to their regular shifts, volunteers also commit to ongoing training in customer service and product knowledge. Many have been volunteers for five, ten and fifteen years – one of the Shop’s volunteers recently retired after twenty-seven years of service! With their incredible contribution of time, the volunteers share in the accomplishments of the Royal Museum Shop, where revenues generated go directly towards supporting the Royal BC Museum’s programs and exhibits.

The Friends of the Royal BC Museum Foundation believes strongly in the value of volunteers. They are a vital component to the Royal Museum Shop’s success and their contributions are significant. Their generous gift of time allows the Royal Museum Shop to enrich the vision of the Royal BC Museum, as well as enhance the experience of thousands of museum visitors each year.

Royal Museum Shop Volunteers – true ambassadors of British Columbia.

“I volunteer at the museum because I am a BC native and it represents BC history. I volunteer in the shop because I get the opportunity to meet international visitors. They bring to me their culture and history, and I can give them a sense of our culture and history through the products we sell.” — Kathy, long term volunteer

CFFM Expands its Virtual Presence

Over the past month, CFFM’s website has been updated and improved. The navigation bar has been rearranged to facilitate quick, intuitive access to our material, and new events and pages have been added. The newly-revised website also features social sharing icons which allow you to easily share content via email, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Development is still ongoing, and we welcome your comments. You can find our website at:
In addition, CFFM has recently launched English and French Facebook pages. These pages are open to all, even those who are not members of Facebook. You can access these pages by clicking the “Find us on Facebook” banner at the bottom of the CFFM website. Members of Facebook can become a fan of our page by clicking the “Like” button next to our name. By becoming a fan, you will be able to post comments, use the discussion forum and automatically receive the latest updates from CFFM whenever you log in to your Facebook account.
Has your group started interesting project, accomplished something, or solved a problem? We’d love to feature you on our website! Let us know, and we hope to see you online soon!

Brent Cameron, Development Officer


October 21 lecture in Ottawa
7 pm, 4th floor, Canadian Museum of Nature

CFFM is presenting a free public lecture by Mr. Simon Brault on “No Culture, No Future: the urgency of renewing public engagement with arts and culture in Canada.” The event is organized jointly with Friends of Library and Archives Canada, Friends of National Arts Centre Orchestra, Volunteers’ Circle of the National Gallery of Canada and the Great Canadian Theatre Company. M. Brault will sign books during a reception following the lecture. For more details, go to our web site.

November 22 and 23 Canadian Museums Day on Parliament Hill

See article by John McAvity for details.


Canadian Museums Association

April 12 – 17, 2011 in London, Ontario. This year’s theme will be “Evolve or Die”.
CFFM is again sponsoring the Carol Sprachman Lecture, to be held on April 12 at 4 pm. The speaker will be Simon Brault.

World Federation of Friends of Museums

The 2011 World Congress of WFFM will be held in Genoa in late September 2011. All CFFM members are entitled to attend. See Daniel Ben-Natan’s article for details.

American Association of Museums

May 22 – 25, 2011 in Houston, Texas


  • Fédération française des sociétés d’amis de musées

  • British Association of Friends of Museums

  • Australian Federation of Friends of Museums

  • U.S. Federation of Friends of Museums

  • World Federation of Friends of Museums

Please note that in order to accommodate our bilingual requirements, we have changed our Facebook site. If you have ‘liked’ our previous site, please ‘like’ our new ones. We now have two Facebook pages:


If you’re a Facebook user, please go to the pages to see what we’ve included.

If you have some news that you would like to share with our readers, do get in touch with the editor at Deadline for submission of copy for the Winter 2011 issue is November 15. Articles and news items for our web site can be submitted at any time for consideration.


Starting with the Winter 2011 issue, our newsletter, au courant will be published electronically. Printed copies will only be mailed out on request. Please let us know if you prefer to receive printed copies by mail.

It is CFFM policy to respect and protect personal information and an individual’s right to privacy in compliance with current legal requirements. CFFM does not lend or sell its membership information.
CFFM is a charitable organization registered under # BN 11883 0876 RR 0001

au courant is the newsletter published by Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums
400 – 280 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7
Telephone: 613-567-0099 ext. 260; Fax 613-233-5438
e-mail: web site:
Editor: Doris M. Smith, e-mail:
Editorial Advisory Board: Michel Cheff and Gerald Glavin
Translation: Michel Joanis
Technical support: Alexander G.M. Smith


Summer 2010

by dmsmith on May.30, 2010, under Newsletter

Click here to download the Summer 2010 au courant in colourful PDF format.

Linda Kane – Winner of this year’s CMA/CFFM Museum Volunteer Award

At the Awards Dinner held in St. John’s on May 12th during the National Conference of the Canadian Museums Association, Linda Kane received the CMA/CFFM Museum Volunteer Award as outstanding museum volunteer for her work at the Cupids Museum and within her community.

The opening of the Museum in 1995 under her leadership was a pivotal event. The museum started with no money, no staff, no artefacts… in two empty classrooms. Under her guidance the Museum has grown to an award-winning community museum that this year has become the primary focus of the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first English settlement in Canada by John Guy in 1610.

Linda Kane has upgraded her skills (always at her own expense) by attending training in museum studies provided by the Museum Association of NL. She has participated in many workshops and seminars to remain current in the latest developments in museum management. She has designed exhibits and helped with construction and set-up. In 2001 she received the Manning Award from the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador for her exhibition on outport schooling, “Present Miss”.

She has trained and supervised dozens of volunteers and summer students to work as interpreters. Linda is truly the driving force behind every aspect of running a successful community museum. Her example has inspired heritage groups from other Newfoundland communities to consult her for advice on establishing their own museums.

Linda Kane has made Cupids a tourist attraction. Linda’s service has had a significant impact on heritage appreciation of people in Cupids and visitors from near and far. For that reason, the Mayor and Council of the Town of Cupids supported her nomination for this Award.

Among the many museum outreach programs initiated by Linda, we’ll just mention one example: a school-based stamp design contest that has grown from a local activity to a province-wide project this year to mark the 400th anniversary of Cupids.

Through her work as a member of the Board of Directors of Cupids 400 Inc. she will see the culmination of her 15 years as a museum volunteer result in the creation of the new Cupids Legacy Centre – a new interpretation centre that is the core project of the Cupids 400th anniversary celebration.

The recipient of the annual CMA/CFFM Museum Volunteer Award is selected based on the following criteria:

  • Value: Nominee contributed a valued service to the museum and the community;
  • Innovation: Nominee initiated new programs or activities and used new methods to solve problems;
  • Achievement: Nominee accomplished desired results;
  • Impact: The activity or service produced positive changes and provides examples for other groups;
  • Time: Amount of time devoted to the activity or service was significant;
  • Dedication: The nominee demonstrated ongoing dedication and commitment to volunteerism and to the cultural and heritage field.

Linda Kane embodies all these qualities to the fullest. We wish her many more years of happy volunteering – Linda has made a difference and continues to do so!

The Cultural Access Pass

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) in partnership with the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) have announced the expansion of the Cultural Access Pass (CAP) program to 12 galleries and museums in the National Capital Region.

The Cultural Access Pass was launched in April 2008 in the Greater Toronto Area with six galleries and museums. Twenty-three museums and galleries in the GTA are now participating in the program, along with nine museums and galleries in the Kitchener and Waterloo region and four in Montreal. The program allows new citizens free admission for a full year from the date they are sworn in as Canadians.

The ICC is a national, non-profit organization founded and co-chaired by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul dedicated to engaging Canadians about citizenship.

The CMA is the national organization for the advancement of the Canadian museum sector, representing Canadian museum professionals both within Canada and internationally.

CFFM Annual General Meeting

The AGM was held on March 22 at the Art Gallery of Toronto. Your new Board of Directors for 2010-11:

Cynthia Armour

William Barkley

Barbara Bloor (Treasurer)

Tony Bowland

Yves Dagenais

Susan Down

Joan Goldfarb (Co-President)

Peter Homulos (National Director)

Marie Tremblay-McNiven (Co-President)

Pauline Rafferty

Doris Smith

Martha Wilder

Members of the Nominating Committee:

Martha Wilder, Bill Barkley,

Marie Tremblay-McNiven and Jean Read.

The following members of the Advisory Council were reconfirmed:

Flora Agnew, Richard Alward, Jo Breyfogle, Louis Dussault, Morris Flewwelling, Sean Murphy, Bill Peters, Jean Read, Margot Magee Sackett, Jocelyn Shaw, Suzanne Stohn.

Two New Board Members

Yves Dagenais began his involvement in museums in 1982 as Director of Administration and Finance for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, where he achieved very positive results in the areas of fundraising and self-generated revenues as well as overall resource management. In 1988, he joined the National Gallery of Canada as Deputy Director and later Vice Director, principally responsible for operations.

After retiring from the Gallery in 2000, Mr. Dagenais became a part-time Advisor in Museum Management, sharing his experience with a medium-sized Montreal Museum on issues such as Board Governance, Performance Management, Strategic Planning, Budgets and Policies.

He has been a regular panelist or chairman of discussions for the Canadian Museums Association on key issues such as fundraising, sponsorship and performance and has animated workshops and seminars for the Société des Musées Québecois.

In 2002, in recognition of his contributions to the museum community in Canada, he was named a Fellow of the Canadian Museums Association (FCMA), the highest distinction bestowed by the CMA upon one of its members and is currently the secretary of the group of Fellows. He is still involved in some of the important issues of the CMA, part icularly that of group insurance.

Susan Down is managing director at the Canadian Newspaper Association, based in Toronto. She has had a long newspaper career both as a marketing manager and as a feature writer whose work has appeared in The Toronto Star, National Post and numerous Canwest papers and magazines. She holds degrees from Carleton and Royal Roads and has taken museum studies courses at the University of Victoria. She served an internship at the Royal BC Museum and worked for the Maritime Museum of BC, later serving on its board of directors.

REBORN AT 100: A new face for the Canadian Museum of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa – Canada’s national natural history museum – has undergone an extensive make-over. Its 100-year-old public exhibitions building has been completely renovated. It now boasts entirely new galleries, special exhibition spaces, modern amenities, beautifully restored heritage elements, and a handsome glass “lantern” atop its main entrance.

An integral part of the renewal project has been the 186 museum volunteers whose dedication and support – in such areas as collections, educational programmes and Grand Reopening festivities – have undeniably contributed to the successful rebirth of this venerable historic museum. Volunteers will continue to play an active role, as they have for more than 30 years, as the Museum presents its new face to Canadians. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Katherine Day, Volunteer Coordinator at or by telephone at 613-566-4261.

Rich with history, the building is a designated national historic site and has been home to many of our national museums at some point. Prime ministers have addressed audiences within its walls, and one (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) lay in state there in 1919.

Carved in stone above the doors is the name, Victoria Memorial Museum. Constructed from 1905-10, the museum was a tribute to Queen Victoria who died in 1901. Its castle-like design is a combination of Tudor Gothic (turrets and crenellations) and the symmetrical École des Beaux-Arts. Originally an imposing stone tower rose above the main entrance. Unfortunately, it had to be removed by 1915 as the Leda clay upon which the museum was built could not support its heavy weight.

In 2004, work began on rehabilitating the aging building, which would include major mechanical, electrical and structural upgrades to bring it into the 21st century. New galleries would be installed, and a glass lantern with enclosed “butterfly” staircase would be erected. Heritage elements would be fully restored, from the marble staircase to the stained glass windows to the mosaic tile floor.

On May 22, 2010, the Canadian Museum of Nature’s Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers will proudly unveil the completed building. Opening that day are the new Water Gallery, with a 19-metre blue whale skeleton, only one of two in Canada; a new Earth Gallery, with 1,000 dazzling minerals from the Museum’s collections as well as a two-metre high HD globe; a live specimen exhibition, Animalium; a new HD theatre, renovated Salon, and two special shows, AQUA and Frogs – A Chorus of Colours. These join the other galleries that have been opened since 2006 – the Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery, Mammal Gallery, Bird Gallery and Discovery Zone.

For more information about the Canadian Museum of Nature’s history, renovation and programmes, visit

Dan Smythe

Web sites of interest:

About Culture Days

Culture Days is a collaborative pan-Canadian volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. A national Steering Committee, together with provincial committees (known as Provincial Task Forces) are self-mobilizing at the grassroots level to implement concurrent annual province-wide public participation events each September beginning in 2010. The annual, concurrent Culture Days events across Canada will feature free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate “behind the scenes,” to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers… in their community.

In support of these annual provincial events, Culture Days will drive a major annual national communications and public relations campaign designed to help inspire and catalyze greater public participation in the arts and cultural life of our communities.

Culture Days is a collaborative movement that relies on your participation. Everyone has a role they can play, as a citizen, as a business person, as a cultural professional, on behalf of an organization, or in any other way you can imagine. You can be among the first to join this exciting new cross-country network by first subscribing to Culture Days e-bulletins, and inviting your friends, family and colleagues to join the movement.

Hill Strategies Research

On March 30, Hill Strategies Research published Volunteers in Arts and Culture Organizations in Canada in 2007. The report contains details about arts and culture volunteers, volunteer hours, volunteer activities, reasons for volunteering demographic characteristics of volunteers, changes in volunteering, and provincial data. The full report is available for free at their web site.

Meetings and Conferences

This spring the Canadian Museums Association invited members of CFFM to join them in a special visit to the 2010 World’s Fair in Shanghai China from June 20-24. Information about participating in this event was published in timely fashion on our web site,

We invite you to check out our web site regularly for breaking news.

Regional Events

On October 21st, CFFM in Ottawa will present a free public lecture by Simon Brault: “No Culture, No Future: the urgency of renewing public engagement with arts and culture in Canada”.

The lecture will take place at 7 pm in the Canadian Museum of Nature and is a joint project of CFFM, Friends of Library and Archives Canada, the Volunteers’ Circle of the National Gallery and others. CFFM has the support of the City of Ottawa and the Council for the Arts in Ottawa. For details, contact the editor at

On Heritage Day, February 16th, CFFM was represented at Ottawa City Hall by Peter Homulos, our National Director, Doris Smith, your editor and Gerry Glavin of our Editorial Advisory Board. Over 1,000 visitors toured the displays.

If you have some news that you would like to share with our readers, do get in touch with the editor at

Deadline for submission of copy for the Autumn 2010 issue is August 15th. Articles and news items for our web site can be submitted at any time for consideration. Check out the web site for new links and articles! Especially Arts and Minds which deals with the situation in Ottawa but will have relevance to other cities as well.

It is CFFM policy to respect and protect personal information and an individual’s right to privacy in compliance with current legal requirements. CFFM does not lend or sell its membership information.

CFFM is a charitable organization registered under # BN 11883 0876 RR 0001

au courant is the newsletter published by Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums

400 – 280 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7

Telephone: 613-567-0099 ext. 260; Fax 613-233-5438

e-mail: web site:

Editor: Doris M. Smith, e-mail:

Editorial Advisory Board: Michel Cheff and Gerald Glavin

Translation: Michel Joanis


Spring 2010

by dmsmith on Feb.15, 2010, under Newsletter

Click here to download the Spring 2010 au courant in colourful PDF format.

Arts and Minds

Paul Dewar

A new parliamentary arts caucus made up of MPs and senators from all parties has come together to serve as a forum for dialogue with Canada’s arts and culture community.

Despite the importance of arts to our cultural identity and economic viability, political debates and decisions regarding arts and culture have often been out of touch with the real importance of arts to our communities. The all-party arts caucus aims to provide a forum for artists and people working in the culture sector to speak directly with parliamentarians from all parties.

The idea of the caucus was developed at a meeting I had with Nancy Oakley, general manager at the Ottawa-based Great Canadian Theatre Company. She said artists want to reach MPs on a more regular and informal basis to help us better understand the arts sector. Together we thought of a solution which may prove much more effective than usual lobbying.

Our hope is to bridge the huge chasm between decision-makers and artists. We hope there will be a lot less ignorance among decision-makers.

An impressive group of MPs and Senators have been involved in the first stages of developing the group. We have elected Denise Savoie, New Democrat MP for Victoria, as the chair of the group and she’s already undertaken organizing further meetings and opportunities for dialogue between the group and the arts community.

We have begun with the basics. At its first meeting, the group took a wide view of the arts scene in our country and the larger challenges that the community faces.

Meanwhile, I have engaged with the arts community in Ottawa through a series of consultations to identify solutions that will support and improve arts and culture. Community members offered their ideas to address the economic challenges of artists: from restructuring tax systems including income averaging, to increasing demands for arts products through tax incentives. They emphasized the importance of education and developing our community’s arts and culture reputation.

These ideas will be reported to the arts caucus once the House is back in session.

The economic viability of our cultural sector creates thousands of jobs in every region of the country. I hope discussions in this arts caucus will improve the quality of debate and decision-making in our country when it comes to arts and culture.

Paul Dewar is a New Democrat Member of Parliament representing Ottawa Centre.

Heritage and Museum Networks — Making an impact in Ottawa

CHOO/COPO is the Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa/ le Conseil des organismes du patrimoine d’Ottawa — a heritage service organization representing the interests of over 60 local heritage groups in the Ottawa area. This includes museums, archives, historical and genealogical societies, friends of groups, and a host of other heritage-related organizations. Through these member organizations CHOO/COPO represents approximately 7,500 individuals.

Formed in 1992 as a not-for-profit and registered charity run by volunteers, CHOO/COPO has grown into a professionally run organization with two full-time staff. CHOO/COPO is a grassroots organization that encourages partnerships and communication throughout Ottawa’s diverse heritage community. The staff and Board of Directors believe that by sharing experiences, resources and best practices amongst local heritage organizations we are strengthening the entire sector. As a united and strong voice we are able to mobilize heritage supporters quickly to respond to issues and concerns. CHOO/COPO was originally formed to address municipal heritage issues but over the last few years has also become a voice at both the provincial and federal levels.

Since their inception in 2007, the Ottawa Museum Network has worked on initiatives involving the 11 museums funded by the City of Ottawa. These museums include 3 city-owned and operated sites – Billings Estate Museum Historic Site, Pinhey’s Point Historic Site and the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, as well as 8 community museums — Bytown Museum, Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, Goulbourn Museum, Nepean Museum, Osgoode Township Historical Society & Museum, Vanier Museoparc, Watson’s Mill and Workers’ Heritage Centre. The OMN develops centralized marketing and advertising campaigns to provide a level of exposure that would be impossible for each of the 11 sites to accomplish on their own. A pilot project organized and administered by the OMN to share the services of a professional conservator to assess collections and undertake artefact treatments is currently underway. Funded in part by MAP and the Ontario Trillium Foundation — the project is another example of how sharing resources across a network of museums can provide each site with services that are out of reach of individual sites working in isolation.

For more information about CHOO/COPO or

For more information about OMN or

A New Museum

We welcome the new Art Gallery of Alberta: a new and daring look without and a commitment to excellence within.

News from Parliament

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance has tabled its report on the pre-budget consultations and has recommended significant investments in arts and culture. The report includes a recommendation that the federal government develop funding strategies for long-term sustainability of non-national museums.

A New CFFM Board Member: Pauline RaffertyPauline Rafferty brings an ideal mix of knowledge, skills and experience to the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Royal BC Museum. A trained archaeologist, her work first centered on archaeology, then on heritage interpretation, from supervising survey crews and managing grant processes for heritage-project proponents to meeting the marketing and financial needs at provincial sites such as Fort Steele and Barkerville. In 1990, Pauline was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Women’s Equality. She joined the Royal BC Museum to help the institution develop a new business focus and held responsibilities for finance, marketing, human resources and information systems.

With her appointment as CEO in 2001, Pauline set out to achieve several objectives. Among the successes so far: transforming the RBCM to a Crown corporation; seeing a new Museum Act implemented; having title for Cultural Precinct lands transferred to the RBCM Corporation; and achieving greater financial self-sufficiency. Still on Pauline’s list of things to accomplish: bringing to fruition the RBCM’s master redevelopment plan, with new state-of-the-art collections facility; putting in place stable, multi-year plans for programs and exhibits; and advancing the work already begun on the RBCM’s strategic research and collection plans.

Pauline has been honoured for her work at the RBCM with awards from the Canadian Museum Association, Tourism BC and other organizations. She serves on the boards of the National Capital Commission’s marketing and programming advisory board, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Victoria and Advisory Committee for the University of Victoria Cultural Resource Management Program. Pauline is currently the President of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada.

CFFM Board Nominations Request

The CFFM Board is looking for Board Directors with experience and expertise in the areas of government relations and advocacy, business and/or association experience and volunteer management. As well we are looking for the next generation of young people.

We are always looking for individuals who have a passion for museums and galleries.

It is an exciting time to join CFFM, as we are about to embark on an ambitious project – a National Museum Volunteer Survey.

The Board meets about six times a year in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. Those unable to attend in person can participate by teleconference. We are a Governance/Hands-on Working Board where directors are encouraged to “roll up their sleeves” and get involved. Committees include Nominations, Fundraising, Advocacy, Communications and Membership.

Please forward your suggestions to Zehra Mawani in the CFFM office at: by March 12th to be included in the 2010 Nominations Slate for a three-year term.

This year’s Annual General Meeting of CFFM will be held on March 22 in Toronto, at the Art Gallery of Ontario. All members will receive detailed information ahead of time and are invited to attend.

Heritage Day 2010

Your Ottawa office will be represented at the Heritage Day celebrations on February 16th in Ottawa City Hall. We will have a table with information and handouts about CFFM and hope to spread the word among the hundreds of visitors who attend this yearly event. We shall also be handing out brochures and information sheets about our member organizations in the Capital Region.

How will you be celebrating Heritage Day? If you wish to share your experiences with our readers, send information to and we will include it in our Summer 2010 issue.

Recognizing Volunteers

The five members of the jury to select the winner of the joint CMA/CFFM Museum Volunteer Award met on January 22nd. The decision was not easy — all 15 applications had great merit. However, one winner emerged and will be recognized during the CMA Awards Dinner in St. John’s on May 12th.

For a somewhat different way of recognizing out-standing contributions, consider what the Alberta Museums Association does. They recognize out-standing service in four categories: Innovation, Leadership, Sustainability and Outreach.

Awards were won by members of staff, a committee, an institution and an individual volunteer.


Membership has its privileges! As a member of CFFM you are invited to attend two upcoming

WFFM Meetings:

North American Regional Meeting in Washington April 19 and 20.

Council Meeting in Lisbon, May 20 – 23. You will find details on both meetings on our web site.

Canadian Museums Association

May 10 – 15, 2010 in St. John’s, Nfld. and Labrador

This year’s theme will be “Evolving Boundaries: Linking People, Place and Meaning.”

CFFM is again sponsoring the Carol Sprachman Memorial Lecture. This year’s speaker will be Jeffrey Simpson, National affairs columnist at The Globe and Mail who will present a sweeping perspective on the geo-political trends affecting museums from politics to tourism.

Members of CFFM are entitled to attend the CMA conference at CMA members’ rates.

Alberta Museums Association

September 23 – 25, 2010 in Edmonton, AB.

This year’s them is Place-Making: Museums and Building Community. Place-making can be defined as “the art of creating public places of the soul” that uplift and help us connect to each other.” It is about design of public space, experiences within public space, and empowering those that engage within that space.

If you have some news that you would like to share with our readers, do get in touch with the editor at

Deadline for submission of copy for the Summer 2010 issue is May 23rd. Articles and news items for our web site can be submitted at any time for consideration. Check out the web site for new links and articles! Especially Arts and Minds which deals with the situation in Ottawa but will have relevance to other cities as well.

It is CFFM policy to respect and protect personal information and an individual’s right to privacy in compliance with current legal requirements. CFFM does not lend or sell its membership information.

CFFM is a charitable organization registered under # BN 11883 0876 RR 0001

au courant is the newsletter published by Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums

400 – 280 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7

Telephone: 613-567-0099 ext. 260; Fax 613-233-5438

e-mail: web site:

Editor: Doris M. Smith, e-mail:

Editorial Advisory Board: Michel Cheff and Gerald Glavin

Translation: Michel Joanis


Winter 2010

by admin on Dec.02, 2009, under Newsletter

Download the Winter 2010 Newsletter.

 The CFFM — Quo vadis?

CFFM should be the national voice to promote museums for the benefit of all Canadians. We have existed in Canada for over thirty years. Our hope is to continue to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas among Canadian and international Friends. We would also like to be able to promote and enhance the volunteer component of our museum community. Our mission is to provide resources for Friends of museums whether they are trustees, docents, ‘operational’ volunteers or simply individuals who are passionate about the preservation of our heritage.

At a recent meeting of the Ontario Museums Association, Peter Homulos, our National Director, lead a session to discuss the traditional relationship between volunteers and staff in the museum setting. He explored some of the tensions that have existed over the years. Many institutions in this country were run by volunteers. Sometimes the evolution to institutions run by paid staff was not easy. Fears have existed on both sides but mostly volunteers are valued by their institutions and the value of volunteer work is recognized and appreciated.

There are estimated to be over 300,000 volunteers in Canada. Volunteers can do what institutions cannot. They have a voice that can be heard and that should be effective to bring about change and support. They are a most valued asset. They are our most passionate advocates and link institutions to the communities they serve.

Our path forward

CFFM now wants to understand the needs of our museums and their volunteers in a much deeper way than we have been able to in the past. We are hoping to survey museums and volunteers and through the information gathered create a strategy to strengthen the volunteer experience and help our volunteers become better advocates for the museum community. Based on your response our goal will be to develop programmes to meet your expressed need.

To accomplish any of this we need your support and renewed membership. We also need you to go to your institutions and friends and help us make the case for wider membership. There is so much that can be accomplished. The need is real. But the need cannot be met without your participation.

We are always open and receptive to your responses. Please feel free to share your ideas and opinions re CFFM either by participating in our survey or simply by letting us know what you are doing in your museums or community.

Our path ahead is not easy, but it is important and together much can be accomplished.

Joan Goldfarb

Co-President, CFFM


What is this World Federation of Friends of Museums?

By Daniel Ben-Natan, President of WFFM

When I was first elected Treasurer of the WFFM (Bruges, 2002), my friends and colleagues asked me: “What is this World Federation of Friends of Museums?” Since then I have learned that it is too much of a well-kept secret to most people.

So, what is the World Federation of Friends of Museums?

The purpose of the WFFM (formed in Brussels June 15, 1975) as defined in its By Laws is: “… to foster international cooperation between Associations of Friends of Museums in order to promote mutual understanding, to exchange information and to pool the experience acquired with the purpose of intensifying the life and developing the function of such associations to benefit the museums and the public.”

Or, as defined on our web site ( “the aim of the WFFM is to promote and spread the idea of friends of museums worldwide. The enrichment of museums and the safeguard of our cultural heritage are central to all the activities carried out by the Federation.”

Lofty and worthy goals, undoubtedly.

The next step in my education was to understand that there are tens of thousands of museums worldwide of very differing size and content. Coming from a world-class encyclopaedic museum of Art, Ethnography, Archeology, etc. (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem) with a collection of some 500,000 artifacts, I began to realize that there are museums of every possible subject (truly — every possible content) and size ranging from major museums to one room installations in very remote places.

Seven years later, I have grown to better know the museum world in its wonderful richness and diversity, to respect the WFFM and its members and all the hundreds of thousands of men and women of every race, religion, age, etc. who volunteer their talent, time and passion in supporting their museums in every way possible.

So, what is the WFFM after all?

It is first and foremost composed of National Federations of Friends in 18 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA.

It has 27 Associate Members (Associations of Friends of specific museums) in 21 countries in Chile, Columbia, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Luxemburg, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, USA and Uruguay, as well as individual members all over the world.

This is truly a World Federation!

The WFFM is governed by a General Assembly and Council which meet once a year and an

Executive Committee composed of the seven officers of the Federation.

The 2009 Council and General Assembly were held April 30 – May 3, 2009 in Glasgow, while the next Council and General Assembly will be held in Lisbon, May 20-23, 2010. For non-Council friends this is a wonderful opportunity to experience Lisbon with an emphasis on Museums with like-minded friends from all over the world (Editorial Note: you will find detailed information on the Lisbon meeting on the CFFM web site at

We also hold a World Congress every three years. The last Congress was held in Jerusalem in September 2009 and the next one will be held in Genoa in the Spring of 2011.

In Glasgow I was elected by secret ballot as President of the WFFM for a three-year term.

A bit on who I am:

I am Canadian born (from Winnipeg) and still regard myself as a Canadian Israeli or Israeli Canadian. I am an active professional serving as Vice President for Development and International Relations of the Israel Museum of Jerusalem.


The WFFM — Quo vadis?

We intend to make the WFFM much more visible and relevant to the cultural and museum world. We hope to better serve our members by improving internal communications, by establishing a “data bank” of knowledge and expertise to be made available to our membership in particular but also to all museum friends and volunteers worldwide.

We hope to increase the membership of the WFFM and to offer our members relevant benefits. We will act to increase co-operation with UNESCO and ICOM, the organization of museum professionals, who are our natural partners in supporting our museums. Thus there is already a very productive partnership with ICOM in the areas of Sustainable Tourism and International Museums Day.

To you, the individual friend, supporting your beloved museum, our message is one of admiration, support and friendship. Perhaps you can derive encouragement in the knowledge that you are not alone, but rather part of an ever growing group of friends (what a wonderful concept!) worldwide, making their mark in supporting and strengthening culture, art and education.


Honoring Dr. Sean Murphy, C.M., M.D.

At the September 25th CFFM Board Meeting, held in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Dr. Sean Murphy was nominated our first Companion Trustee. Dr. Murphy played a notable role in his many years as Chair of CFFM, during which time we had an increase of both museum and individual members, plus the important publication of “Significant Treasures”. He kept in touch weekly with the National Director in Toronto, first Carol Sprachmann, latterly Suzie Stohn.

Of equal note he was also highly regarded by all in the World Federation of Friends of Museums, serving as Chair of the North American Region. A quote from Jocelyn Shaw’s words of appreciation prior to the nomination: “Sean brought to every meeting a seriousness of purpose, which was tempered by flashes of humour. Sean never hesitated to speak out for something he thought could be done better, or to press for concrete action when he felt matters were lagging.”

In latter years Dr. Murphy stressed his particular interest – drawing in museums. His dream has been accomplished, for his lovely book “Dare to Draw / La passion du dessin” attests to how deep this interest lay. We congratulate him for such an achievement!

Dr. Murphy is a graduate of Harvard and the McGill Medical School. Later he was Professor of Ophthalmology at McGill for more than 30 years, where he is currently Professor Emeritus. He established the Sean Murphy Fellowship IFOS/ICO for Ophthalmology for future research into

interocular tumours at McGill. He has headed numerous professional organizations including the Quebec Association of Ophtalmologists; is A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; was President of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from 1968-1978; and a director of numerous arts organizations including the Canada Council and the National Gallery of Canada. For these achievements, his philanthropy and dedicated service to so many areas of Canadian life, Dr. Murphy was made a member of the Order of Canada and is a Queen’s Jubilee Medal recipient. Little wonder we are proud to be able to appoint him as CFFM’s first Companion Trustee.

Jocelyn Shaw

CFFM Advisory Committee



Membership has its privileges! As a member of CFFM you are invited to attend two upcoming

WFFM Meetings:

• North American Regional Meeting in Washington April 19 and 20.

• Council Meeting in Lisbon, May 20 – 23. You will find details on both meetings on our web site.

Canadian Museums Association

• May 10 – 15, 2010 in St. John’s, Nfld. and Labrador

This year’s theme will be “Evolving Boundaries: Linking People, Place and Meaning.” CFFM is again sponsoring the Carol Sprachman Lecture. This year’s speaker will be Jeffrey Simpson.


In preparation for an Arts and Culture Summit organized by Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar, your Editor held a “kitchen table” discussion on November 1st at which 18 persons participated. It was decided that our priority #1 is keeping alive the dream of one day having an accessible and relevant Portrait Gallery of Canada.

Read more on the web.


Tony Bowland has been nominated to serve as interim member of the Board to fill a vacancy until the next Annual General Meeting.

Autumn 2009

by admin on Oct.14, 2009, under Newsletter

Download the Autumn 2009 Newsletter.

Recognition for Museum Volunteers

All Canadian museums, galleries and heritage sites rely on their volunteers — be it their Board members, donors, or the many individuals who give tours, raise funds, cut the grass and bring added value to the work of the museum. Volunteers everywhere help to provide a bridge to the community.

This year, the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) and the CFFM have put into place a new, joint award that recognizes outstanding volunteers and volunteer groups across the country. This award is available to all members of CMA and CFFM. You will find a description of the award and a printable nomination form on our web site at

A jury of museum volunteers and professionals will select the award winner from among nominations received. Members of the jury are:

  • Michel V. Cheff began his career at the National Gallery of Canada and worked at the Musée du Québec and at the Winnipeg Art Gallery before coming to the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
  • Susan Rome, has been Program Coordinator for Schools and Youth at the Vancouver Art Gallery for the past 20 years. Susan works with docents and school volunteers and oversees an internship program for teens.
  • Margot Magee Sackett, director of the Ross Memorial Museum in St. Andrews. Margot is a member of the CFFM Advisory Council.
  • Doris M. Smith is the editor of au courant. She was President of the Friends of the National Gallery of Canada and the Founding President of the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage.
  • Yvonne Zacios is the immediate Past President of the Association des bénévoles du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal and now its Treasurer.

The deadline for nominations is November 15th. The recipient of the first Museum Volunteer Award will receive his or her award certificate at the next CMA national conference held in St. John’s in May, 2010.

If you agree that the work done by museum volunteers is important, do promote this special Award by encouraging your museum or gallery to nominate an outstanding volunteer or team of  volunteers.


To: Peter Homulos

Subject: Re: ICOM & CFFM

I am pleased to welcome CFFM as institutional member of ICOM Canada. ICOM Canada is the national committee of ICOM. Although one of the benefits of ICOM is the ICOM card which gives access to museums in 139 countries ICOM does much more. It is the international organisation of museums and museum professionals which is committed to the conservation, continuation and communication to society of the world’s natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible. It carries out part of UNESCO’s programme for museums. To find out more about ICOM, I encourage you to go to the web site at

Sylvie Morel, President, ICOM Canada

Throughout the summer, CFFM has been working and updating its website. The redesigned website is now up and running and can be visited at The site features more content, is regularly updated and gives members the opportunity for direct feedback. Not to mention, it is far more visually stimulating than its precursor! We expect it to be a lively and informative site where museum volunteers and supporters can find the information they need.

The new website is blog-friendly and much more interactive, as CFFM members and supporters are encouraged to leave comments and contribute to online discussions and debates on relevant topics. Also, part of the growing and changing information available on the site will consist of articles dealing with museum-related topics – such as fund- raising, relationships between volunteers and paid staff, management of meetings, board development, volunteer recruitment, training, et cetera – posted by our members and supporters. We invite you to contribute to the body of material available on the web by submitting an article or essay, or referring us to a book that you feel should be included. We are also prepared to include links to interesting sites and resources, as well as post individual articles. If you wish to contribute some material, please contact us at write to the Editor at

We would like to thank Nick Frenette from the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) for his invaluable help and expertise in website building. It was most appreciated!

Ariane Belisle

Development Officer for CFFM


The Travel Section, as marvellous example of museum outreach organized by volunteers, is composed of three sections: ROMwalk which ―walks the streets of Toronto‖ pointing out architectural detail and relating anecdotes that tell Toronto’s story; ROMbus which conducts a variety of day tours in or out of the city; and ROMtravel which offers international travel to exciting destinations.

For the purposes of this article, I will focus on ROMtravel. In 2009-2010, we offer the following destinations: Barcelona: Style Capital; Intriguing Indochina: Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam; Sicily: Journey Through the Ages; A Berlin Kaleidoscope, With Dresden and Leipzig; Arctic Expedition: Churchill, Manitoba; and Jordan/Israel: An Archaeological Adventure.

These varied and tempting destinations focusing on World Culture and/or Natural History reflect the dual mandate of the ROM.

Repeatedly, our travellers compliment us on the seamless nature of the arrangements, the camaraderie and the opportunity to learn.

What makes a ROM trip so special? The answer is simple and common to all successful endeavours, just plain hard work! A great deal of care is taken in choosing our destinations. We have a feasibility committee that contacts travel agents to keep up to date on the latest trends in the travel industry and then conducts independent research on the destination’s potential to attract ROM travellers. We look to see if there is a ROM connection? Once the destination is approved, equal care is taken in choosing the coordinator of the trip.

In planning the detailed itinerary and liaising with the chosen travel agency, the coordinator strives for a balanced and varied tour. We assure potential travellers that not all their time will be spent going from one museum to another and that they will have the opportunity to visit local markets, historical sites, hike or just explore on their own. Prior to departure, the coordinator sends out a variety of useful information relevant to that destination, including a reading/ movie list. Questions relating to health, climate, clothing requirements, currency, packing suggestions and so on are answered. Are there particular web sites that would be of interest? In addition to an orientation meeting, we try to arrange opportunities for the travellers to learn, meet and mingle before the trip. Following lectures, travellers to India dined in an Indian restaurant and those going to China shared a Chinese meal. The coordinator also writes a handbook for participants to bring on the trip which outlines the daily itinerary and provides additional background information.

During the trip, the coordinator will have arranged extra perks not available to the independent tourist. Greeted by museum curators, they will have the opportunity to ‘go behind the scenes’. Canadian government representatives are invited to meet our travellers and where possible, visits are arranged with local inhabitants. Unlike the typical commercial tour, we have the flexibility to cater to special interests. For example, if several of the travellers are teachers, the itinerary may include a visit to a local rural school. If someone is interested in classical Indian dance, the coordinator arranges a private performance to the delight of everyone.

What makes a ROM trip so special? Not only is it careful research and detailed planning but also constant vigilance to make certain that each of our participants is enjoying the best possible trip.

Ethel Kellen

Co-chair, ROMtravel

You will find ROMtravel on-line at click on Quick Links, select ROMtravel.

Two Notable Events: News from Diane Dyer and Jean Griffiths of the Volunteer Committee of the Gardiner Museum (GVC)

What do you do when you are celebrating 25 years? Have a party! While the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art in Toronto marked this special anniversary in May, we volunteers had our party late one afternoon in June……

The second great excitement of the year lies with the coming to Toronto of the National Docent Symposium which is being held for the very first time outside the United States. The morning of October 16, our Gardiner volunteers will welcome delegates from across North America

(See and click on “National Docent Symposium Council” for more information on this organization. Jean Griffiths is Director of the Council for Eastern Canada – Manitoba to Newfoundland.)

For the complete article News from the Gardiner, please go to our web site at


CFFM owes a tremendous vote of thanks to the Art Gallery of Ontario. For over 30 years your organization has sustained us by ensuring that we always had adequate office space free of charge, as well as the use of your computer and telephone systems. Help and advice were readily available, whether from the technical support staff or the Volunteer and Marketing Departments. This made it possible for CFFM to continue its mandate to represent museum volunteers and friend’s groups throughout Canada. We look forward to keeping up contact with you from our new office in Ottawa and again thank you so very much for all you have done for us over these many years.

Suzie Stohn, Past CFFM Executive Director

Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage: Dream to Reality

Excerpts from an article by Dr. Kay Li

The dream of a space to highlight the unique cultural heritage and contributions of Asian Canadians became a reality in June 2009 with the official launch of the Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage (VMACCH) at York University. Senator Vivienne Poy, the Patron of Asian Heritage Month Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc. And Honorary Chair of the Board of Advisors, Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage (VMACCH), announced the VMACCH literally with a bang, beating on a Japanese Taiko Drum…..

Partnership between Volunteers and Museums

VMACCH is spearheaded by the Toronto voluntary organization Asian Heritage Month — Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc., which provides opportunities for

Asian Canadians to share their heritage and to promote a better understanding of Asian heritage by focusing annually on the month of May, designated as Asian Heritage Month.

The virtual museum is a prime example of how volunteers can team up with museums not only to create new online teaching resources for teachers and students in schools, but also make museum exhibits accessible to the general public free of charge in Canada, and introduce Asia-Canadian cultural heritage to people all over the world. …..

The project is made possible by partnerships with museums: the Bata Shoe Museum and theGardiner Museum. …..

… and with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy. …

VMACCH not only allows for the preservation and online showcasing of one of Canada’s most  culturally diverse communities, but it also provides a meeting place for Asian-Canadians and other Canadians to come together and share in cultural experiences. By creating an easy to navigate, accessible meeting place, it opens the barriers often encountered in cultural exchanges.

… ―The experiences of Asian Canadians nationwide are an important part of Canada’s past, present and future. We want this museum to reflect and celebrate these contributions, said the organizing committee of the project.

Submissions and queries can be e-mailed to Visit or for further details.

Read the complete article on our website at www.cffm-fcam.

Volunteers and Transformation AGO

Transformation presented a unique and unprecedented opportunity for the Art Gallery of Ontario to not only expand our building and collections, but also the ways in which we engage with each other; our staff, our volunteers, and our public.

Transformation AGO provided us with a rare and exceptional opportunity to reframe the work we do, hallmarked by new collections, new interpretive strategies, and a new orientation program for all staff and volunteers. We called it ―unleashing excellence – a branding of sorts, that encapsulates our creative, welcoming and respectful AGO.

Volunteers have always played a vital role at the Gallery, and through transformation we continued the tradition. Our volunteer recruitment office, staffed by a (volunteer!) team of ten, interviewed and placed over 450 volunteers in meaningful roles that both support our mission of bringing art and people together, enlivening many departments of the gallery, including: Education, Visitor Services, Prints and Drawings, the Grange, Membership and Art Rental (to name but a few). But we haven’t rested on our laurels. A successful model, where volunteers work side-by-side with staff, has created new areas for volunteerism. With acurrent volunteer compliment of over 700, our team, happily, continues to grow.

By Diana Goliss and Holly Procktor, Staff and Volunteer Resources

Be the First to see King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs

November 24, 2009 to April 18, 2010

Get to the front of the line for tickets! Visit and pre-register before September 10, 2009, to win two VIP tickets to see King Tut: The Golden King and The Great Pharaohs exhibit! For full rules and regulations, go to

Thirty years after the wonders of Tutankhamun had their celebrated Canadian debut at the Art Gallery of Ontario, an even bigger exhibition – King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs – will make its sole Canadian appearance at the AGO.

With an almost entirely different selection of treasures and more than twice the number of artifacts as were displayed in the 1979 exhibition, King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs features more than 100 remarkable pieces from the tomb of King Tut and ancient sites representing some of the most important rulers throughout 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history. Derived from royal and private tombs and temples from 2600 B.C to 660 B.C., most of these artifacts had never before been seen in North America prior to this exhibition, which is currently breaking venue attendance records in Indianapolis.

Don’t miss out on this must see event!


Ontario Museums Association

Oct. 21 – 23, 2009 in Hamilton

CFFM is participating by organizing a session, on October 22, from 2:15 to 3:30 pm to be chaired by Joan Goldfarb, CFFM Co-President, on ―Fostering a Close Relationship between your Museum, your Volunteers and the Community. In this session we will discuss the evolving relationships among museums, their volunteers and their communities. Through a facilitated interactive session with the audience we will explore then needs of each part of this multi-faceted partnership.

Canadian Museums Association

May 10 – 15, 2010 in St. John’s, Nfld. and Labrador

This year’s theme will be ―Evolving Boundaries: Linking People, Place and Meaning. CFFM is again sponsoring the Carol Sprachman Lecture.

Summer 2009

by admin on Jun.01, 2009, under Newsletter

Download the Summer 2009 Newsletter.

New! The Museum Volunteer Award

The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) and the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums (CFFM) have paired up to launch a new award honouring outstanding volunteers. The Museum Volunteer Award recognizes exceptional individuals or groups who have dedicated their time and energy to a Canadian museum or heritage institution for at least four years.

Museum volunteers contribute to their communities by preserving its history and heritage for Canadians today and in the future. A testimony of their relentless enthusiasm and passion, these volunteers are involved in all aspects of museum life: from restoration to conservation, they have allowed museums to enhance their programming, collections and visitor experiences.

It’s not surprising that Canadian museums enjoy the help of many thousands of volunteers across the nation. Volunteers’ involvement in museums positively impacts not only the institution, but also its staff and visitors. In exchange, volunteers partake in the preservation of our heritage; learn new skills and experiences; and have fun and a strong sense of satisfaction when connecting to their local communities. CMA and CFFM have long valued, and been inspired by, the impact volunteers have on museums and their communities. As part of its Awards for Outstanding Achievement, in the volunteerism category, CMA has honoured Doris Smith for her 30 years of outstanding volunteering commitment to Canada’s museums and Joan McKim for her 25 years as a volunteer at the McCord Museum of Canadian History. Today, the Museum Volunteer Award stands in its own category to celebrate these outstanding contributions and commitments.

The nominee for this award is an individual or a group that has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to a public, non-profit museum or related heritage or cultural institution in a volunteer capacity. This contribution can be as a member of a volunteer committee, a board of trustees, as a special event coordinator or in another significant way.

Eligibility criteria, selection criteria and application instruction and process, as well as other details will be available shortly. The recipient of the first Museum Volunteer Award will receive his or her award certificate at the next CMA national conference held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, on May 10-15, 2010.

Anyone with an individual or institutional membership at the CMA or CFFM can nominate a volunteer (or group of volunteers) for this award. The deadline for nominations is November 15, 2009.

More information and details will be made available by end of May 2009 on

Sanita Fejzic

Communications Manager, Canadian

Museums Association



“Not in his goals but in his transitions is man great” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The past years have been marked by major transitions for the CFFM. The partnership agreement entered into with the Canadian Museums Association and our administrative move from Toronto to Ottawa were major organizational and physical undertakings that have been successfully launched.

Both Joan and I are pleased to contribute to this ongoing transition and repositioning process with our nomination and election, at the March AGM, Co-Chairs of the CFFM (in full) for the 2009-2010 term. To this role, we both bring extensive backgrounds in volunteer and board museum experience in Ontario and Quebec, over 45 years combined! It is our aim to use these shared reference points as a template on which to consolidate and rebuild the regional representative network that will give CFFM a strong nation-wide voice. This will allow it to fully fulfill its important advocacy role as a spokesperson for our stakeholders, the volunteers who contribute so much to the cultural sector all across Canada.

Our developing CMA alliance will provide ongoing opportunities to build and actively exercise this role. An excellent example of this positive symbiosis is the recent invitation extended by the CMA to CFFM to play a leadership role in the jury selection process of the Museum Volunteer Award and we are already enthusiastically at work on embracing this new role.


 On the international level, we are both convinced of the important value-added benefits of information sharing, dialoguing and connecting in this age of globalization with national volunteer organizations in Europe and farther afield. Our attendance at the recent World Congress of the World Federation of Friends of Museums in Jerusalem, Israel in September 2008 reaffirmed the value of participating and building on our role as a major North American voice in this process.

What will be our chief tool in this quest to meet the quintessential Canadian challenge of spanning our nation from coast to coast? Communication! There is more than a verbal tie between the words common, community and communication. By survey, website, mail and teleconference we will be in touch to involve you as we continue to reposition and build CFFM for the 21st century.

We look forward to connecting with our community over the months ahead!

Joan Goldfarb

Marie Tremblay McNiven




The RQABM (1989 – 2008)

The Quebec Association of Friends and Volunteers of Museums (RQABM) terminated its activities in May of 2008. During its relatively short existence, this Association has brought some significant contributions to the life of Quebec Museums; it has moreover also left its heritage on the international scale. Its decision to give up its labours may appear somewhat surprising, especially considering that in some 500 museum institutions in the Province of Quebec, voluntary work is flourishing; thousands of friends and volunteers contribute to these institutions’ functioning, promotion and growth.

Since its founding in 1989, the primary objective of the RQABM was to bring together the associations of friends and volunteers of Museums and to promote their members’ spheres of activities with a view to enhancing these institutions’ image and popular support.

Since its creation, the RQABM has carried out many training and informative activities, such as organizing seminars to define the role and responsibilities of Museum friends and volunteers, on the financing of these associations, etc., it has also published a periodic newsletter (RQABM info), as well as various texts and studies, it has participated in the work of the Administrative Council of the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums and in the World Federation of Friends of Museums; it has welcomed, in Montreal, in May 2005, the Annual General Assembly of the World Federation of Friends of Museums.

The RQABM has also pursued the objective of representation at Museum and associative bodies such as La Société des musées québécois (Association of Quebec Museums), the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums, the World Federation of Friends of Museums, the ICOM, as well as on other governmental bodies.

During the l990’s, the administrators of the RQABM began the task of writing the Code of Ethics for Friends and Volunteers of Museums. This work done at the request of the World Federation of Friends and Volunteers of Museums was adopted by the Federation at their 9th Congress, held in Oaxaca (Mexico), in October 1996. Under its official title of ‘Code d’éthique des amis et bénévoles de Musées’, it was published in a trilingual version, in French, English and Spanish; it is also available on the internet site of the Federation: or

In the spring of 2007, the RQABM published the Guide de gestion des associations d’amis et de bénévoles de musées, Management guidelines for Friends and Volunteers of Museums.

The support of the Ministry of Culture and Communications of the Province of Quebec enabled the RQABM to offer this document free of charge to all the Associations of Friends and Volunteers as well as to all the Museums in the Province of Quebec. Together with the Code of Ethics, this Management Guidelines represents the fruit of our thoughts, and our deliberations based on experience and knowledge. It constitutes our main legacy to Quebec society and to the community of friends and volunteers of Museums wherever they might be.

Thus, the RQABM’s balance sheet is very positive and the members of its administrative Council believe that its existence is still valid and the objectives that define it are still pertinent and worth pursuing. Associative bodies of this kind bring so much to the quality of life of a society. It will be appreciated that the decision to disband the Regroupement was the culmination of a long and arduous process of soul and brain searching. This decision was submitted by the Administrative Council as an official proposal to the Special General Assembly on 22 May 2008 and it was accepted by its members.

This difficult decision was taken in light of several factors: the dwindling membership, the difficulty in recruiting new administrators, etc. The heavy burden assumed voluntarily by the President has led to the realization, after two years of futile efforts, that it became impossible to find a successor to this post, especially in view of the fact that it became increasingly difficult to recruit new administrators. We believe that these difficulties are due to several factors. It should be noted that in Quebec there is a preponderance of small museums, managed by minuscule administrative teams, perhaps assisted by a few volunteers. The new generation of volunteers seems to have different expectations, its efforts seem more sporadic than in the past and divided up among several fields of activities (museums, libraries, music, sports, …).

We believe that the mission of RQABM is still valid. Perhaps one day it could be reinstated on new bases? This is what we wish.

Danielle Lecours, President 2002-2008

Léo Paré, Treasurer, 2003-2008

Éva Zietkiewicz, Member of the Board of Directors, 1998-2008

Le Regroupement québécois des amis et bénévoles de musées.

21st March 2009.


Please note that a few copies of the 2007 RQABM publication: Guide de gestion des associations d’amis et de bénévoles de musées. 162 pages, in French,. are still available. Contact:



Schools Outreach Program

All of us know the warm feeling that goes with volunteer endeavours that are just right. Probably nowhere is that feeling more evident than it is in the Volunteers’ Circle of the National Gallery of Canada where two programs, “Looking at Pictures” and “Vive les arts !” are reaching out to schools in the area to give the students a rich background in art.

Situated deep in the inner offices of the Gallery and the Volunteers’ Circle hub, their headquarters is lined with more than 1,000 dry mounted or laminated reproductions stored in wooden bins. These reproductions cover art from pre-history through

Classical, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Impressionism, Modern and Surrealism. In fact examples of art from around the world. From there, 70 active volunteers in the two programs (one for English speaking schools, one for French) fan out to carry them in their big portfolios to more than 200 area schools – and 40,000 students annually.

The programs have proven to be a tremendous success right from their beginnings in 1966 – 68 when Jacqueline Southam spearheaded some experimental art programs in

Ottawa area high schools. The aim then, as it is now, was to give students a lively interest in art – to provide them with specific observation skills and to help them articulate their thoughts. The program trained its volunteers to carry out these important aims and eventually found its focus in the elementary schools. “Looking at Pictures” (for the English-speaking schools) received its name early on, “Vive les arts !” (for the French) came into being in 1986.

This is the way the programs work:               

1. Training:

a) Many volunteers are former teachers or art history graduates, but they all are interested in talking to children. They attend monthly enrichment seminars – talks about or by artists and tours of galleries. These meetings allow them to share ideas on how to present the paintings and artists to students.

b) Each volunteer has a handbook as a guide line and is expected to know the Ministry of Education’s art curriculum for elementary schools. A mentor will go along with a new volunteer to make him/her more comfortable in the class-room situation.

c) Every summer the volunteers spend several days choosing a suitable portfolio (6 – 10 pictures) – often based on a theme. They then conduct their own research through the use of the Volunteers’ Circle library, the Gallery’s resources, their own private collections – and of course, the internet. This year, both groups have implemented a new PC data-based software system to catalogue their complete inventories. This base stores images of the reproductions as well as data on the art work, artist, theme and other pertinent information. The presenters can select their material and check out their choices. At the end of the school year the pictures are checked back in – much like a library system. This has proved to be a great boon to efficiency.

2. School Participation:

a) Request forms are e-mailed individually to the schools or by the Boards of Education in Ontario and Quebec who endorse the program.

b) When the requests are returned to the Volunteers’ Circle, the convenors of “Looking at Pictures” and “Vive les arts !” assign schools and volunteers. Every class from Grade 1 to Grade 6 has a presentation.

c) The volunteers make their own arrangements with the school and look after their own transportation.

d) Each school is asked to fill out an evaluation sheet, assessing the program. Evaluations are often discussed at monthly meetings.

e) Each volunteer is expected to visit a minimum of two schools a year, many do four or five.

3. Finances:

The two groups receive a small amount of money each year from the Volunteers’ Circle budget. They have been fortunate to receive generous grants from Bell, Imperial Oil, and a gift of money from an art gallery that was closing. A garden party (a good opportunity for everyone to see each other) was another fund raiser. These funds allowed Looking at Pictures and Vive les arts ! to rent buses to bring certain classes from the schools to come to the Gallery to see the real paintings and sculpture and to enjoy the beautiful Gallery building.

4. Relations with the National Gallery:

The Education Department of the Gallery very much appreciates its volunteers. The days that school boards had budgets for buses to transport a legion of students to the

Gallery are shrinking and the responses of the schools – and parents – is a ready indicator of the need for such free programs. There is no way of tabulating how many

children (bringing their parents) come to the Gallery as a result of the school visits but the Volunteers’ Circle know that they do from the enthusiasm they generate in the classroom. If ever the goals of these two programs should be in doubt, the drawings and letters tacked on the office bulletin-board from schools all over the area clearly show how important they are. One twelve-year old wrote:

“I am so pleased you came to our school. I really enjoyed it. I have always loved art but I learned many more things at your presentation like how Monet painted in the fog. It’s hard to say which painting is my favourite because I liked each one for a different reason. I think it will have to be between Mary Pratt, Vincentvan Gogh or Canaletto. I like how in the Mary Pratt it looks very realistic with the different shades, how in Canaletto’s it is cheerful and has lots of detail, and how in Van Gogh’s he put a lot of thick paint so it looks 3D. I just don’t like the flag in his painting. I think it distracts people.”

Now there is an art lover – and critic – in the making.

For more information on these two programs, contact the Volunteers’ Circle of the National Gallery of Canada:

P.O Box 333, Station A,

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1N 8V3.

e-mail: volunteers’

by Jean Seasons

Secretary, Volunteers’ Circle of the

National Gallery of Canada




Dr. Sean Murphy, member of the CFFM Advisory Council, has published a book, Dare to Draw. The author recounts with a contagious passion his personal adventures as a self-confessed amateur. A book for anyone who has ever had the urge to draw.

Publisher: McClure Gallery/Visual Arts Centre, 350 Victoria Ave., Westmount,Que., and also available at the National Gallery of Canada and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

120 pages, price $24.95.



Ontario Museums Association

Oct. 21 – 23, 2009 in Hamilton

CFFM is participating by organizing a round table on “Fostering a Close Relationship between your Museum, your Volunteers and the Community.”


Canadian Museums Association

May 10 – 15, 2010 in St. John’s, Nfld. and Labrador

This year’s theme will be “Evolving Boundaries: Linking People, Place and Meaning.”


If you have some news that you would like to share with our readers, do get in touch with the editor at Perhaps on how you celebrated International Museum Day on May 18th or what special recognition was shown to volunteers during Volunteer Week April 19 – 25? Deadline for submission of copy for the Autumn 2009 issue is August 15.

Spring 2009

by admin on Apr.01, 2009, under Newsletter

Download the Spring 2009 Newsletter.


With experts in Canada and around the world projecting tough economic times for the foreseeable future, it is pertinent to ask questions about the role of our museums and other heritage organizations. How can we — both those responsible for managing the institutions and their many workers and volunteers — ensure that the institutions not only survive a severe economic downturn but emerge as strong, healthy organizations prepared to continue to serve Canadians.

And there is an important supplementary question. To what degree can these institutions support the government’s objectives of maintaining employment and reinvigorating the economy.

One set of answers is to be found in the recent CMA submission to the 2009 budget consultations; it contains a recipe for a renewed federal program to be carried out in partnership with museums across the country aimed at creating jobs, ensuring that collections are preserved and made accessible, and strengthening the Young Canada Works program. The recommendations are tailored to form part of the government’s economic stimulus program in a manner that is strategic and targeted, balancing shorter-term economic recovery goals with those longer-term goals that speak to improved Canadian productivity, innovation and competitiveness.

The submission forcefully reminds federal politicians about the role of museums in our society:
Whether they are national or community-based, serving Canadians in urban or rural areas, Canada’s museums are fundamental to our society. Canada’s 2500 museums attract over 59 million visitors each year; 7.5 million of whom are students. Museums enjoy an incredible reach: they are popular and accessible among Canadians as well as international visitors to Canada. Museums help build stronger communities, locally and nationally. More than repositories to preserve past achievements, Canada’s museums are forums for engagement, interaction and pride.

Key components of the recommended programs are: – A Heritage Sector Employment Program – A Collections Access Program – Enhanced support for the Young Canada Works Program

These recommendations are based on the reality that museums in 2007 generated real value-added output of $46 billion. Taking into account direct, indirect and induced contributions, the sector had an “economic footprint” of $84.6 billion, some 7.4% of Canada’s GDP — while contributing 1.1 million jobs.

It is up to all of us in the sector to ensure that our parliamentarians and the decision makers at other levels of government are fully aware of these realities.

Bill Peters



It is unlike any museum I have been associated with in my 31 years in museums. It is an ideas museum, a museum of conscience and a museum dedicated to the important social issue of human rights in Canada and globally.

The museum is very purposely called the Canadian Museum for Human Rights as a positioning statement to imply that each and every person who comes through the Museum will be moved to do something positive for the human rights locally or internationally. Exhibits will deal with human rights issues from the past such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that celebrated its 60th anniversary on December 10th, 2008 authored by a Canadian. It will also deal with current present day issues as they emerge, and will speculate on issues that may emerge in the future as advances in medicine and technology create human rights dilemmas.

The exhibitions are being developed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates who have put together a conceptual outline of the exhibitions which was presented by Ralph Appelbaum and his staff at our first meeting on September 3, 2008. The concept is to engage visitors with the topics in extremely creative ways using some ‘high tech’ methodology and some tried and true methods that have been used in museums for generations. Ralph Appelbaum’s firm has proposed an electronic method called a ‘key’ that allows visitors to take home electronically parts of the story in the exhibits that touched the visitor deeply or information they want to think more about.

The building has been carefully thought out. A presentation from the architect, Antoine Predock, demonstrates that he has used a great deal of symbolism in the design: for instance the glass façade represents the wings of a dove with the attendant symbolism. The berms emerging from where the building meets the ground represent roots and which to me at least suggests that human rights are a natural extension of being human.

There is a great deal of work to do between now and the opening of the Museum in 2012. The Board and staff are charged with creating an iconic building that functions well as a museum, hire a CEO, hire 170- 180 staff, continue the fund-raising, reach out to Canadians in all parts of Canada as we build the museum with an effective outreach program, consult with Canadians on the creation of the topics for the exhibits, and build and install the exhibits. It is a daunting task for the board and the staff but one that they are excited about and committed to doing the best job possible.

The board is made up of interesting and talented people from diverse backgrounds. The staff now numbers 11 people, the interim Chief Operating Officer who leads the staff has been seconded from the federal government. The construction of the building is being overseen by the former Director of the Canadian War Museum, Joe Geurts.


  • First new National Museum in 40 years
  • First National Museum outside the National Capital Region
  • The only museum in the world focussed totally on the broad spectrum of human rights
  • Building – 270,000 square feet
  • Current staffing level of 11 will increase by 2012 to 170-180
  • Chief Executive Officer/Director to be hired early in 2009
  • Board currently 8 Trustees but full complement is 11
  • Website is
  • Collecting will be limited – this is an ideas museum not a collecting institution

Bill Barkley

NOTE: Prime Minister Stephen Harper assisted at the Museum’s ground-breaking ceremony on December 19, 2008.



During a plenary session on Saturday morning March 28th Jennifer Corriero will address delegates to the CMA National Conference on the topic “Fully Wired…Fully Mobile: Generation Y”. Expert on Youth Culture and Demographics, Jennifer Corriero is a dynamic young individual who has developed and implemented many programs and initiatives around the world that engage students in learning experiences which utilize technology in meaningful ways. She has been a consultant for numerous clients including the Ontario Science Centre, VanCity Credit Union, HP and Microsoft.

In 1999, Jennifer co-founded TakingITGlobal, a non-profit organization that utilizes technology to foster cross-cultural understanding, collaboration and awareness of global issues among youth around the world. The website currently receives over 1 million hits each day and has grown to include over 30,000 members from over 200 countries and territories. Jennifer has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of the Global Leaders for Tomorrow in 2002 and has been featured in TIME Magazine as one of the leaders for Canada’s Next Generation.

Ms. Corriero will provide insight on how cultural institutions can engage and connect with a younger and more “wired” demographic as visitors, employees and stakeholders.

Ms. Corriero’s lecture is being sponsored by CFFM as a memorial to Carol Sprachman, guiding spirit of our organization for many years.

For those wanting to attend, please check with the CMA Registration Desk at the Fairmont Hotel prior to the 9:00 am lecture.



March 26, 2009 in Toronto

4:30 pm The Fairmont Royal York

The following slate, with suggested portfolios, is recommended by the Nominating Committee to serve on the Board of Directors of CFFM for the coming year, 2009- 2010:

Cynthia J. Armour (Development) is a certified fundraising executive and has done work for the Museums Association of Saskatchewan, the Ontario Museum Association, the Trans Canada Trail Foundation and the Museum of Childhood among others.

William Barkley is an independent consultant focusing on the planning, management and teaching for museums and related institutions.

Barbara Bloor (Treasurer) is a chartered accountant in Ontario and works as a consultant. Her areas of expertise include program, financial and organizational reviews.

Joan Goldfarb (co-President) received her B.A. for fine arts at the University of Toronto. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Art Gallery of York University.

Marion Haunton – 26 years with Legal Services of the Department of Justice, in the departments of Fisheries and oceans, Canadian Heritage, Communications, and Indian and Northern Affairs.

Peter Homulos (National Director) is retired from the department of Canadian Heritage. Before that he was the Director General of the Canadian Heritage Information Network. He is now an independent consultant with a strong interest in mediation and resolution of Aboriginal issues in Canada.

Marie Tremblay-McNiven (co-President) is a member of the Board Advisory Committee for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. She is involved with management consulting with the Fondation Héritage Montréal.

Wally Kozar (Secretary) has held management positions with the National Museum of Man, the Museums Assistance Program and the Canadian Conservation Institute.

Doris M. Smith (Public Relations and Communications) is a long-time museum volunteer at the National Gallery of Canada and founded the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage. She is a retired certified fund-raising executive.

Martha Wilder (Development) is currently employed as the Program Expansion Manager for Windfall. Through her interest in Canadian heritage, she has worked for the Newfoundland Heritage Trust, developed heritage products such as the Trailblazer board game and volunteered at the Royal Ontario Museum.



Au courant has received an account from Carla Bossi- Comelli, President of the WFFM, of the organization’s activities during the past year. Some extracts from her report:

“For the first time in our history a WFFM Congress (Ed. the XIII International Congress in September) was hosted by a museum, the Israel Museum of Jerusalem. The International Council of the Israel Museum organized the event with a special appointed team chaired by its Vice-President for International Relationships Daniel Ben-Natan.

The objective was to bring together friends, volunteers and museum professionals for a stimulating and practical debate on the subject chosen for the Congress: “The Relationships between Museums, Friends and Volunteers”. The programme resulted in a success both in terms of the themes proposed for discussion as well as of the large attendance from 28 different countries.

This past year the WFFM Council Meeting and General Assembly was held in Paris from the 24th to the 27th of April. The next WFFM Council and General Assembly Meeting will be held in Glasgow April 30th to May 3rd. It will be hosted by the British Association of Friends of Museums and organized by the Friends of Glasgow Museums.



The Board of Directors of CFFM has proposed the following changes to the schedule of membership fees for individual supporters and organizations. In accordance with by-laws, these changes will be presented to membership for approval at the Annual General Meeting on Thursday, March 26, 2009.



  • Individual   –   $40+
  • Associates   –   $100+
  • Benefactors   –   $250+
  • Patrons   –   $1,000+ 


  • Under 100 members   –   $25+
  • 100 – 1,000 members   –   $50+
  • 1,000 – 5,000 members   –   $100+
  • Over 5,000 members   –   $1,500+




  • Student   –   $25+
  • Friend   –   $40+
  • Supporter   –   $100+
  • Associate   –   $250+
  • Patrons   –   $500+
  • Benefactor   –   $1,000+


  •  Under100 members   –   $50+
  • 100 – 500 members   –   $75+
  • 500 – 1,000 members   –   $100+
  • 1,000 – 5,000 members   –   $150+
  • Over 5,000 members   –   $200+

A Membership Benefit available to you this year: send us your brochures and handouts for display at the CMA Conference. For information contact



The National Docent Symposium to be held in Toronto from October 14 – 17 is slowly but surely coming together. The Registration Brochure will be mailed on April 2nd. Any institution interested in receiving the Registration Brochure should e-mail with the institution’s mailing address and the name of the contact person.

On-line registration will begin on April 15th. Symposium information may be found at and anyone interested in receiving updates should sign up at that site.

If you have some news that you would like to share with our readers, do get in touch with the editor at Letters may be edited to fit the space available. Deadline for submission of copy for the Summer 2009 issue is April 30th.