INNOVATION & RESILIENCE
IN CANADA’S CULTURAL SECTOR

Yukon Transportation Museum

Whitehorse, Yukon Project: Yukon Spin: A new spin on what it means to be a transportation museum
Discipline(s): heritage, museums and galleries

Pivot from in-person visits to virtual, and kicked off a process to reimagine their business model. One concept: indoor cycling videos that feature Yukon's terrain.

Source: Research

Link to website

Ontario Science Centre

Toronto, Ontario Project: Virtual educational programs
Discipline(s): heritage

Successful pivot to online provision of educational programming. Reached new clientele. WIll continue post-pandemic.

Source: Research

Link to website

Huntley Township Historical Society

Carp, Ontario Project: Zoom Meetings
Discipline(s): heritage

In the first round of quarantine or lock-down the focus changed from in-house to on-line research and then laneway drop-offs between Collection Committee members sourcing information from old Carp Reviews, actual and on-line, to facilitate the next step of transcription into our database of Deaths/Marriages in Huntley Township. Our Society has continued to assist the general public with their requests about family history research and historical information on their property or business location using information from our own files and the membership. This exchange of information has been accomplished through either e-mail or porch drop-offs. We have transitioned to Zoom meetings…for General Meetings as well as Directors’ Meetings… thanks to the skills of Roger Thomas who has also continued updating our website. As this pandemic continues, our Planning Committee has had to shift from speakers at General Meetings in the Carp Memorial Hall to online presentations via Zoom, so speakers who are comfortable with this method are being sought, and therefore our plan for 2021 has been changed.

Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

Sons of Scotland

Toronto, Ontario Project: Online Rehearsals & Retirement Home Concerts
Discipline(s): heritage

Practices went online, emails and calls were sent out, and retirement homes became our stages. We went to so many and played outside for the residents – even if they just looked out their window and waved at the end, it was so meaningful for us and them, and kept our hearts full. The pipe band has always provided music and entertainment to many, and with the year that was, proved that after 125 years, our love for it and commitment to keeping it alive has not changed, and it never will.

Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

Black History Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario Project: Online Seminars, Panel Discussion and Events
Discipline(s): heritage

At first, we delayed the annual Health and Wellness Seminar that we organize with other members of the African Caribbean Canadian Coalition (ACCC). We came close to cancelling the event but like other organizations, we pivoted to online events and looked for creative ways to continue educating the public. We ended up hosting two online health seminars, one in July and one in September. We also applied ourselves at learning to better use social media to create awareness about our work.

Special impacts:

We continue to connect with the public by doing more presentations to organizations across the country who more than ever are eager to deepen their knowledge of Canadian Black History and lived experiences.

Equity seeking: Racialized
Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

Woodland Cultural Centre

Six Nations, Ontario Project: Preserving and promoting Indigenous history, art, language, and culture through popular virtual tours
Discipline(s): heritage, museums and galleries
Read the story

Virtual tours, guest speaker, resource packages, Q&A sessions, online workshops, etc.

Equity seeking: Indigenous Peoples
Source: Research

Link to website

Diefenbunker Museum

Carp, Ontario Project: New Programming Offerings
Discipline(s): heritage

On July 8, 2020, the Diefenbunker successfully reopened its blast doors after a four-month closure. Since then, we welcomed 10,000 visitors and have received astounding accolades on our health and safety measures, protocols, and new visitor experience. Despite the challenging year, the Diefenbunker developed an eight-language audio guide, created new wayfinding and interpretative panels, and launched Artist-in-Residence exhibit by Greta Grip entitled Containment: Knit Your [p]art. We also continued crucial infrastructure upgrades to the building including a complete retrofit of our 200 level public washrooms.

Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

Ontario Heritage Trust

Ontario, Ontario Project: Doors Open Ontario
Discipline(s): heritage

Online pivot; provincial scope in 2021; many new ways of sharing heritage properties.

Source: Research

Link to website

Heritage Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario Project: Socially-Distanced Walking Tours
Discipline(s): heritage

Welcome ’Social-Distancing’ Walking Tours! A new online registration and payment tool capped the numbers to meet regulations and public health standards were strictly adhered to. Everyone donned masks and kept their distance and guides willingly added face shields. The tours sold out! To make up for cancelled and postponed events that bring members and friends of heritage together, we added a new ’Explore’ website section. Social media and other tools were used to promote the dozens of virtual tours, lectures and films on offer. Hello armchair learning!

Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

Pinhey’s Point Foundation

Dunrobin, Ontario Project: Increased Donations
Discipline(s): heritage

The Pinhey’s Point Foundation began 2020 with great expectations for marking the 200th anniversary of Hamnett Pinhey’s arrival in Canada and the 40th anniversary of the Foundation. We were helping Pinhey descendants organize a family reunion and were hard at work on special bicentenary exhibits. While the reunion was postponed, we continued to work on the exhibits. One is a joint project with our friends at City of Ottawa Archives highlighting the earliest books in our respective collections, both with a Pinhey provenance, and the lives of the ancestors who signed the flyleaves and through whose hands they passed. Lockdown time encouraged people to embark on housecleaning and sorting, resulting in an increased number of inquiries and artifact donations. Some very special heirlooms were donated by a descendant to mark the 200th, and we look forward to sharing them.

Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

Global Centre for Pluralism

Ottawa, Ontario Project: Pluralism and the Pandemic Portal & Others
Discipline(s): heritage

Our building’s stunning Dialogue Centre, featuring white oak panelling carved in a trefoil pattern, became the backdrop for over 20 virtual and hybrid events, meetings and roundtable discussions with participants from all over the world. We converted it into a production studio, with state-of-the-art A/V and lighting, from which we filmed video messages and keynote addresses. A virtual book launch with speakers from Kenya, Canada and the US attracted considerable interest, as well as other digital initiatives, including our Pluralism and the Pandemic Portal, a curated platform of commentary from leading thinkers on the inequalities surfaced by the pandemic and our Talking About Racism in the Classroom webinar, a professional development opportunity for Canadian teachers.

Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Pimadjiwowinogamig

Maniwaki, Quebec Project: Virtual Pivot Internally, Chance to Archive
Discipline(s): heritage

With the ongoing pandemic, the Cultural Centre closed, and staff worked from home until mid-August. Despite these challenges, staff managed to enter collections into the database, photograph archaeological artifacts, catch up on administrative work and keep the gift shop going through email, e-transfer and curbside pickup. Despite not having access to internet at home, one of our employees still managed to attend Zoom meetings. If the meeting was lengthy, they would sit in their vehicle, outside the Centre using its Wifi. Our dedicated staff continued to persevere despite new challenges posed by not being able to gather in-person. The Language Department entered Anishinabemowin into CAN8, an online language learning website specializing in oral production. Photographs and sounds of nature were recorded to create our own royalty free material. They also maintained translation services and created language clips posted to Facebook and Instagram.

Equity seeking: Indigenous Peoples
Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

Haunted Walks

Kingston, Ottawa & Toronto, Ontario Project: Bubble Tours, Haunted at Home & Virtual Haunted Campfires
Discipline(s): heritage

By the end of March, close to 100 Haunted Walks tour guides had been laid off as we struggled to find a path forward in uncertain times. In June, we relaunched our outdoor in-person experiences as ’Bubble Tours’, which focused on much smaller group sizes from a limited number of households. These tours were warmly embraced by locals eager to get out of the house to do something safe and fun, while also supporting local businesses. With COVID cases dropping throughout the summer, we were eventually able to conduct Bubble Tours at some indoor locations including the old Ottawa Jail, Fort Henry and Black Creek Pioneer Village. We were simultaneously developing digital experiences, particularly for the Halloween Season when we knew we could not meet local demand, and those who would normally travel to take part in a Haunted Walk event would be interested but stuck at home. In mid-September we launched ’The Haunting at Home’ an online guided audio experience that shares the interesting history of parapsychology, while giving the listeners a night of eerie fun by challenging them to perform a series of spooky experiments using household objects. In October, we held a series of ’Virtual Haunted Campfires’ which were ticketed live streamed events featuring some of the best ghost storytellers from around the world. By Leveraging Federal and Provincial support, both initiatives were great successes with participants joining from all across Canada, and far-flung locations such as Hawaii, the UK, and Australia.

Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

Ottawa Jewish Archives

Ottawa, Ontario Project: Social Media Campaign
Discipline(s): heritage

This past year, the Ottawa Jewish Archives has made it a priority to focus on our presences online. With the pandemic pushing everything online it was important that we adapted and found ways to still connect with our community regardless of location. The easiest way to achieve this goal was to increase our social media engagement. In March, the archives began posting daily stories and photos of events, places and people that the community would remember and have the ability to interact with. It wasn’t just the archives contributing, though. The archives encouraged people to submit their own photos and stories, some of which the archives did not have, to share with the public. We also regularly posted photos that were lacking identification in our database for people to help fill in the blanks. Both were really engaging ways for the public to connect with the archives while directly contributing to our collection and its history.

Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

Islamic Centre of Yellowknife

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories Project: Eid al-Fitr 2020
Discipline(s): heritage, festivals

Eid is usually a time of getting together, sharing big meals, and praying. But this year, it was celebrated in Yellowknife in a physically distant way, with organizers passing out boxes of chocolates and goodie bags for the children with sweets and toys inside. They wore protective gloves, along with masks. Hand sanitizer was also available.

Special impacts:

"Eid is a day of happiness so we wanted to celebrate, we wanted to meet with people, and we wanted people to get out of their homes," said Ullah.

Equity seeking: Racialized
Source: Research

Link to website

Historical Society of Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario Project: Virtual Presentations and Walking Tours
Discipline(s): heritage

As have our sister organizations, the HSO discovered the wonder of virtual presentations — now drawing enthusiastic audiences even larger than we had accommodated in the OPL auditorium. Walking tours have been socially distanced, and publications have been shared electronically.

Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

Société franco-ontarienne du patrimoine et de l’histoire d’Orléans

Orléans, Ontario Project: Social Media and Zoom
Discipline(s): heritage

The “Société franco-ontarienne du patrimoine et de l’histoire d’Orléans“ (SFOPHO) continued several of its activities by going digital via Zoom. We had over 40 virtual participants at our last Annual General Meeting and over 77 participants at our virtual book launch, “If our stained-glass windows could talk…”. We continue to reach our members through our historical capsules published almost every Monday on our Facebook page, as well as through our newsletters published on our website a few times a year, which reports on our activities and updates on the progress of our future projects. We also regularly publish a historical chronicle in L’Orléanais, a French-speaking community newspaper. We have participated virtually in the setting up of the “Club international francophone des Orléanais et des Orléanaises.” We have begun the conservation of our archives and we are currently planning virtual activities to celebrate our 10th anniversary. The pandemic will not stop us!

Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

City of Ottawa Archives

Ottawa, Ontario Project: COVID-19 Collection Project & other projects
Discipline(s): heritage

The city archives have engaged key audiences in emerging community-relevant projects throughout the pandemic. Projects included: The Covid-19 Collection project – also captured content from Ottawa’s Black Lives Matter content, the 9th annual Letters to Santa virtual holiday program, and ongoing support in Reference Services including reproduction services.

Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website

artsPlace

Canmore, Alberta Project: Curbside Museum: A simple idea that grew thanks to an effective collaboration
Discipline(s): heritage

Outside exhibit; artists and mental health project

Source: Research

Link to website

Watson's Mill

Ottawa, Ontario Project: 5525 Music Series, our Drive Through Trick or Treat, online Christmas Craft Market, #FarmFriday, #MakeItMonday, 3D Virtual Tour, Kids Activity Kits, Virtual Advent Calendar
Discipline(s): heritage

The challenges and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic were met head on by the staff, volunteers, and visitors of Watson’s Mill. Everyone remained committed to the Mill being accessible. We were able to safely open, providing a much needed escape for the community. We provided alternative ways to enjoy old past times through our 5525 Music Series, our Drive Through Trick or Treat and online Christmas Craft Market. When our community could not come to the site, we were able to bring the site to them through our 3D virtual tour. We broadened horizons through our #FarmFriday vlogs, provided new go-to bakes on #MakeitMondays, fun and education through our Kid’s Activity Kits and brought holiday cheer through a virtual Advent Calendar. 2020 will certainly be a part of Watson’s Mill continuing story.

Source: Capital Heritage Connexion

Link to website