Courses open for registration
This course provides an introduction to the principles and practices of heritage conservation. The concept of heritage has expanded to encompass historic districts, cultural landscapes and living heritage as well as buildings, structures and gardens. This expansion of the concept of heritage has had a profound impact on the principles that guide conservation actions, the types of strategies employed to safeguard historic places and the role of heritage practitioners.
This course introduces values-based conservation and the practices that flow from it. A broad range of case studies is used to illustrate key concepts, and the assignments provide the opportunity to apply ideas and concepts to real situations. Topics include:
The course explores approaches to heritage evaluation, planning, interventions, interpretation and urban revitalization, and introduces the roles of governments, organizations and citizens.
This course covers the foundations of museum practice and goes on to explore the various ways in which museums create and preserve knowledge through their curatorial and collections management functions.
This course addresses a range of functional tasks encountered in museums, with emphasis on a number of important themes in museology. As you work through these materials, you will note the recurrent attention to the following:
These themes run throughout both courses and provide a frame of reference for both your studies and your work as you translate theory into practice.
By balancing theory and practice, this course provides a foundation for your work in museums and challenges you to develop your professional philosophy, to think critically, and to recognize both the constant and the changing factors that shape museum work.
Museum Principles and Practices I: Communities, Curatorship, and Collections covered the foundations of museum practice and explored the various ways in which museums create and preserve knowledge through their curatorial and collections management functions. This offering, AHVS 486B Museum Principles and Practices II: Programming, Exhibitions, and Management, covers public programming and exhibitions and goes on to consider core management strategies and issues.
Both courses address a range of functional tasks encountered in museums, and also emphasize a number of important themes in museum studies. As you work through these materials, you will note recurrent attention to the following:
These themes are woven throughout both courses and provide a frame of reference for both your studies and your work as you translate theory into practice.
As the revitalization of historic places becomes ever more commonplace, an ever-increasing number of architects, landscape architects, engineers and planners engage in heritage conservation practice. The discipline challenges professionals and property owners to ensure that they consistently produce good conservation work that will stand the test of time.
This course addresses those challenges with instruction and training in doctrinal principles, standards of practice and contextual societal issues. It is intended is to help design professionals, and their clients, achieve best practices by providing an objective basis with which to make wise decisions about conservation strategies and interventions.
Class lectures are supplemented by student assignments, local fieldwork, and directed readings. Topics include:
The course is designed to meet the needs of heritage professionals, students, public officials and decision-makers who are involved in the management of historic places, whether in the public or the private sector. The material is appropriate for students at any level, from novice to advanced professional. This is not a general introduction to heritage conservation.
Registration Deadline: Oct.17, 2016: late registrations accepted if space permits
For information on accommodations in Victoria click here.
This course provides a safe place to undertake conversations, create new knowledge and develop workable strategies to contribute to that good society. The course is designed to provide you with new tools and perspectives for inquiry, and practical understanding so that you can work effectively within a rapidly changing world. It also gives you the opportunity to:
Strong, sustained and mutually beneficial relationships with communities are critical to cultural and heritage organizations that seek relevant, positive and socially responsible roles in society. However, while the benefits of meaningful community partnerships are generally recognized across the cultural heritage sector, the knowledge and skills associated with effective community cultural and social development activities are not widely understood or applied.
This course provides an introduction to preventive conservation. During the 14 weeks of this course, we focus on identifying and quantifying the environmental factors or agents of deterioration that affect collections, and on developing strategies that mitigate those factors. We build our understanding of the materials that make up a museum collection, both in how they degrade and in how they react to their environment and the objects around them. As well, we explore strategies for evaluating conservation requirements for the safe exhibition and storage of museum collections. Finally, we explore the role of an integrated planning and a risk management approach to collections care.
Central to the museum’s existence—from nature preserve to anthropology museum, contemporary art gallery to historical site—is the collection and use of objects and specimens: the material evidence of humans and their environment. This course addresses the roles of those collections within the framework of institutional mission and community objectives, and goes on to explore a range of management topics including:
…along with factors influencing collection development and management.
This course is intended to provide you with a thoughtful and balanced understanding of principles and practices that strengthen your ability to engage and lead the processes of collections development, registration, documentation, access, care, use, and planning. Together we will focus on the roles of collections within the institution and the community and the impact that our changing society and profession is having on managing collections for the future.
The course is all about developing our practice in creating exhibitions that connect and communicate to their audiences effectively. As a foundation, we will analyze what makes certain exhibitions successful and how to look at exhibitions with a critical eye.
While we will explore the entire planning process—from concept to fully realized design—the main focus of the course will be on the story. Mastering the art of interpretive planning is vital to the creation of exhibitions that work. We will look at the principles of powerful interpretation, the construction of a story and the ways in which content is written to best effect.
The course relies heavily on real life examples and practical exercises. You will also gain experience in planning an exhibition through collaboration as a member of a team.
This course focuses on the methods used in the survey and condition assessment of conservation projects. Through a series of practical exercises and case studies, participants will be introduced to the range of survey and assessment techniques that typically form the structure for project proposals. Participants will explore important concepts such as level of detail, accuracy, precision and tolerance, and learn techniques for creating a measured and drawn record for a building. Practical exercises will introduce participants to advanced techniques including:
The second half of the course will concentrate on the condition assessment process and apply the principles and tools used in the diagnosis of condition for timber, stone, brick and mortar. Moisture content, timber species and grading, geology, porosity, compressive strength and the effect of salts will all be touched upon in the context of the systematic condition assessment of the buildings at Cole Island. By the end of the course students will have completed a group project focused on the condition assessment of a structure of their choice at Cole Island.
This course focuses on methods and materials used in the conservation of timber and masonry structures. Focused on the Historic site of Cole Island in Esquimalt Harbour, this course emphasizes practically oriented project based learning, with students taking part in the ongoing conservation work at the site through an exercise focused on repairs to of one of the late 19th century brick and timber filled shell stores on the island. Topics covered will include methods of survey and analysis, diagnosis of threats, designing repairs, and specification materials tools and repair methods. This is a HANDS ON course that will be taught as part of ongoing conservation work on Cole Island and students will gain experience working on an active site.
The conservation of historic places is governed by well-established principles and standards. This intensive course will enhance your understanding of the practice of heritage conservation. It addresses the central topics of the discipline, focusing on the preparation of a historic structure report.
From the landscapes associated with historic buildings, industries and rural communities, to traditional use sites of First Nations peoples, cultural landscapes are tremendously diverse resources that present special conservation and management challenges. This course focuses on the complex nature of cultural landscapes and develops your ability to identify, evaluate and develop conservation strategies for landscape resources that are integral to your community.
This course is designed to meet the needs of professionals from a wide range of fields that come together in the management of cultural landscapes.
Note: as this course requires participation in written submissions, oral presentations and group collaboration, it is required that you have English language fluency.
For information on accommodations in Victoria click here.
For the past decade, the growth of cultural tourism has challenged cities and regions to capitalize on their cultural and heritage assets. Once regarded as a niche market, cultural tourism has emerged as a major market segment and a significant motivator for travel.
This course explores how to make the most of the fast-growing and lucrative market for cultural tourism. Whether you work for a destination marketing organization or economic development agency—or manage or market a museum, gallery, festival, heritage site or other cultural experience—this course offers development strategies and marketing tools that will help you to succeed. Special emphasis is placed on the theory and practice of place-based cultural tourism in the context of destination planning. Download the course outline here.
For information on accommodations in Victoria click here.
In early 19th-century English museums, a curator was the person charged with “keeping” a collection: that is, cataloging, organizing, caring for and displaying the myriad and oft-times chaotic array of objects. In the 20th century, as museums evolved from dusty buildings with monotonous displays into dynamic community- and market-oriented institutions, the curator’s role changed dramatically. Curators were typically scholars responsible for researching and acquiring objects and then working with a designer to develop scholarly and educational displays. Today, in the 21st century, the roles and responsibilities of curators far exceed the traditional “keeper” and “scholar” roles. Whether employed by an organization or working independently, today’s curators act as “cultural producers:” curators research, acquire, and care for both tangible and intangible objects and also work with diverse communities to create meaningful exhibitions and interpret meaning to the public.
This course is designed to familiarize students with both the theory and practice of curating in art, history, anthropology, science and interdisciplinary museums. The first five weeks will focus on theory, history and ethics. Through reading, analysis and online discussion, students will explore and debate the evolving definitions of what is involved in curating. The remainder of the course will focus on practice. In addition to continued reading and online discussion, students will select one public site in their community and engage in a series of exercises that encourage them to explore best practices in curating. Each student will critique two exhibitions at their case study site, propose the accessioning of an object into that site’s permanent collection, communicate intellectual content for that object public through a blog post or tweet, and create a concept and plan for a new exhibition that incorporates that objects for their chosen case study site.
Curatorship: Contemporary Perspectives reflects our growing understanding of the important relationships that exist between museums and their constituents. Museums and other public exhibition sites of all disciplines, sizes and settings are not only mirrors of society but also play influential roles. As societies change, these sites become zones of contestation in which notions of popular and high culture, old and new technologies, science and art, race and gender, individuals and communities interact. They can develop into arenas for important public debates about the definition and creation of a good society.
Museums are no longer expected simply to be civilizing sites of knowledge where the information flows in one direction; they are now places of dialogue where the visiting public and community partners are invited to bring their own perspectives and expertise into the learning and sharing process. Within the museum arena, these perspectives, beliefs and ways of doing things can either collide or fracture apart or they can become new hybrids: fresh sources of greater understanding and collaborative ventures.
Determining Significance of Heritage Resources
This course guides you through the process of determining significance of heritage resources, mainly historic places. It guides you through methods to identify values that are associated with historic places and synthesize them into an argument of significance in other words the reason to preserve them.
Historic places are understood as “A structure, building, group of buildings, district, landscape, archaeological site or other place in Canada that has been formally recognized for its heritage value” (Glossary, Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada). It begins by exploring the context of heritage to focus on those influences that frame the exercise of determining significance. You are then guided to apply methods to determine the significance of heritage resources.
Heritage is a cultural construct that emerged from a variety of collective interests and needs. Science, politics, social and economic concerns have all influenced the definition and conservation of heritage resources at various degrees. The legacy of these influences is a rich ‘collection’ of places administered by government authorities and private owners.
Determining the significance of heritage resources is also a means to articulate the importance of a place in the landscape and for the people associated with it. While Western views of heritage have dominated the field until later in the 20th century, various professional principles, charters, and guidelines have provided the means to respect the diversity of cultural interpretations of what constitutes heritage.
In order to determine the significance of heritage resources, it is essential to recognize and work with the biases that influenced past designations (i.e. places officially recognized by an authority as having significance) as well as integrate the multiple perspectives that come into play in current definitions of heritage.
Since exhibitions are the public face of your museum, they should inspire powerful visitor experiences that convey your institution's mission and philosophy. This intensive course examines the entire exhibition planning sequence: creating interpretive exhibitions that encourage museum visitors’ understanding, participation and emotional engagement. It will address the following topics:
Fieldwork, team development and presentation of an exhibition design proposal provide you with opportunities to build exhibition planning and design skills.
For information on accommodations in Victoria click here.
Gain financial management skills specific to the cultural sector that will contribute to the success of your organization.
While museums and other heritage and arts organizations exist to contribute to the cultural, artistic and creative quality of community life, they rely on thoughtful business planning and effective financial management to achieve their goals. This course is suitable for anyone involved in planning and management within a cultural organization. Through this course, participants will build their understanding of the complex economic and legal contexts in which organizations operate. They’ll also strengthen their knowledge, skills, and confidence in business and financial planning, management and performance assessment. Participants are encouraged to consider their own organizations (or ones that they are familiar with) as a case study to explore:
The course is designed to provide you with a set of planning and analysis documents that you will be able to integrate into your organization. We will address the challenges faced in developing mission-led, financially sustainable cultural organizations and explore the opportunities for advancing new business practices and funding sources.
Increasingly, museums and heritage sites are being asked to generate operating revenue through philanthropy, sponsorship, private-public partnerships, in-kind gifts and other various fundraising activities.
This course will build your knowledge and understanding of the range of tools and strategies to engage communities, staff, board members and private sector resources in co-creating sustainable museum and heritage programs. Through this course, you will consider donors as investors in the community-building capacity of your organization. New trends in private sector philanthropy will be explored in relation to the strategic vision and management of heritage and museum organizations.
This course introduces students to the fundamental and interrelated dynamics of place, ritual, memory and history as these apply to heritage conservation.
The course units chart a path from the philosophical and historical roots of conservation to the contemporary issues and challenges facing professional practitioners. Along the way the legal, regulatory and policy frameworks through which heritage conservation operates in Canada are explored.
The philosophical underpinnings of conservation are revealed, compared and challenged. Finally, emerging issues in the conservation sector an affecting the conservation sector are presented, and discussed through case studies and assignments.
This course provides an overview of heritage planning, the field within heritage conservation that addresses interventions to historic places in the context of urban (and rural) planning and development. The objective of heritage planning is to manage change wisely. The course will use a pragmatic approach to consider individual and collective historic places (e.g., buildings, historic districts, cultural landscapes, archaeological sites) in a wide variety of geographical and physical contexts. Heritage planning will be addressed within the larger framework of sustainability.
This course will increase your capacity to interact with, lead and develop museum, heritage and other cultural workers. It will also allow you to strengthen your relationship with Boards and other governance institutions.
During the 14 weeks of this course, you will undertake an intensive examination of the ways in which staff and volunteers are managed in cultural organizations, with particular emphasis on museum and heritage institutions.
The material in the course is anchored in the conviction that strategic human resource management is vital in the creation of positive and supportive working environments in which the dedicated, creative professionals who animate the cultural sector can thrive. Throughout the course, you are encouraged to use resources and issues in your workplace as the context for reviewing the application of the literature and as the basis for activities and assignments.
Today the concept and future of museums is under intense scrutiny. Lively debates about the audience experience, emerging social media/technologies, inter-disciplinarity, authenticity and community(s)—to name a few—are challenging the notion of the museum itself. In Canada, a fundamental critique comes from Aboriginal peoples, who have had a contested relationship with museums. We will examine the connections between the worlds of “Indigeneity” and “Museum”, explore how Aboriginal worldview elaborates the meaning of Indigenous cultural practices and ultimately how museums are understood within that worldview. This understanding can radically shift the outlook of museum professionals.
Respectful of Indigenous methodologies, talking circles value the different perspectives of each participant around the circle, facilitating an exchange of knowledge. Equal emphasis is placed on the oral (spoken word) and the documented (written word). Participants visit two Aboriginal cultural exhibitions for talks by Aboriginal curators.
Industrial plants can bring with them a whole series of challenges, both from a technical and philosophical perspective. This course will use the Medalta Pottery Site at the Medicine Hat Historic Clay District as a premier case study to analyze a series of approaches to industrial heritage site conservation. Through this course you will develop techniques for examining and understanding the processes and products of industrial plants in order to determine and establish their values and significance. This immersive six-day course will examine the issues surrounding industrial sites through first-hand experience within the context of a functioning site undergoing conservation.
This course provides up to 36 hours towards CAHP's self-reporting Continuing Professional Development program.
While museums and other heritage agencies are skilled at preserving the tangible evidence of our past and present, they are less adept at also preserving the intangible items that reflect and perpetuate peoples' cultural heritage, including:
This course explores the nature and value of intangible cultural heritage, along with the significant challenges associated with documenting, preserving, and interpreting, these resources in meaningful ways.
Heritage interpretation is about raising public awareness and understanding of a cultural heritage place, and effectively communicating its potential range of values and significances to different audiences. In this course you will explore the concept of memory, and investigate what should be remembered—and why—and from whose points of views should such interpretations be made. Particularly problematic is the concept of dark heritage—remembering and interpreting sites of injustice, conflict and atrocity—which are threaded throughout the course.
A wide variety of interpretive techniques are explored, including:
Many case studies will be presented and discussed. The course will be delivered through lectures, discussions, working in small groups and participant presentations.
Topics will include:
Many museums hold archival materials—including documents, maps, photographs and other documentary evidence—that require specialized care and management. This course focuses on archives as an important component of museum collections and develops your understanding of ways in which archival materials should be organized, managed, preserved and shared.
This course strengthens your understanding of:
While there is common ground between the management of artifacts and the management of archives, recognizing the distinctions is important to caring effectively for documentary materials and increasing their role in the museum environment.
This course provides an overview of current management theory, practice and issues in cultural organizations. It takes a leadership perspective to managing cultural organizations and assumes that leadership is required from all levels and aspects of an organization.
The course explores the role of cultural organizations in society and the complex legal, ethical and social values that shape organizations and the people that lead them. We’ll discuss various issues, including:
The course is designed to provide participants with new tools and perspectives and the opportunity to apply some of them in practice. By sharing your insights with fellow learners, you will build upon your experience, skills and knowledge, and critically and creatively meet the challenges facing cultural organizations sectors.
Today's museums and cultural institutions are strengthened by their creative use of the wealth of digital information/media they collect, manage, preserve and share. Explore the dimensions, value and potential uses of this diverse range of digital resources and learn how to strategically harness these resources to improve the effectiveness of your cultural institution and its internal and online information assets.
This course provides you with the opportunity to examine your institution’s information opportunities and develop a project plan to act on one or more of them. Whether you work with education, collections, research, programming, marketing and audience development, or management within a museum or heritage setting, this course will be an asset to your career.
In this course, you will examine the role of museums, galleries, interpretive centres and other related organizations as effective informal learning environments. Topics include:
The central roles of planning in project development and/or organizational management and change are explored, along with a range of planning principles and methodologies suited to the museum, heritage and cultural sectors.
Application of cultural resource management theories to field-based practice through placement with an organization.
In this course, you will examine the critical role of interpretation and public programming in helping museums and heritage organizations engage their communities in meaningful and long-term ways. You’ll explore how organizations can create memorable learning experiences for visitors by understanding their needs, motivations, learning preferences, and contextual influences.
This course also examines:
You will learn about some powerful interpretive strategies that use the senses, material culture, multiple perspectives, stories and memory. You will look at planning, delivery, staffing, management and evaluation issues for a range of public programming approaches that occur on-site at museums and heritage organizations.
This course will also explore community outreach approaches—including the new realm of web-based public programs—and consider how museums and heritage organizations can embrace learning as a valued outcome for internal and external stakeholders and develop effective, long-term community partnerships.
Museums and other cultural heritage organizations have the capacity to serve as dynamic social spaces for community engagement and action. This graduate course explores the profound social changes that are reshaping the nature and purposes of museums in a pluralistic society and considers the implications for all aspects of their specialized functions. During the first half of the course participants utilize a group of core resources to assist their learning about how the museum and cultural field has evolved, why social and community engagement is a critical foundation for all other professional practices, and how other organizations have begun their journeys towards engagement. The second half of the course introduces participants to a series of skills and practices to initiate, facilitate, and support community engagement and embed them in organizational life. Participants complete either a research paper on a topic relevant to the course, including a proposal, literature / resources review and essay, or a community engagement plan, with components on strategy, participants, proposed engagement process / steps, and follow up activities to embed community engagement into ongoing practice.
This course will develop your knowledge of the historical contexts of building materials and your ability to assess conservation techniques. Identify various historic building materials and their properties.
While this course will build participants’ understanding of typical building material properties such as wood and stone, special consideration will be given to native, local materials. You will be asked to consider the historical sensibility of building material choice and how to best address material conservation in light of pure preservation versus material renewal, and traditional techniques versus modern intervention.
This course is aimed at heritage conservation professionals and practitioners and is intended to equip participants with a strong practical foundation in the discipline. Through case studies, lectures and practical exercises, this introductory course presents a range of subjects relating to fieldwork on conservation projects. It begins with founding principles behind understanding material, structure, defects and threats, followed by diagnosis and assessment and ultimately focuses on different approaches to the practical methods of repair for different materials and construction types.
The course will be delivered on site at the historic Naval Depot of Cole Island in the inner harbour of Esquimalt, and will have a strong emphasis on hands-on learning. It will culminate with participants applying their new knowledge in the preparation of a detailed specification of repair of one of the two impressive shell stores at the site. Topics will include:
· understanding the structure: materials, construction, defects and threats
· introduction to practical assessment and documentation
· conservation planning: identifying a course of action, designing methodologies, programming repairs
· specifying repairs: importance of appropriate material materials, repair techniques
· introduction to common repair techniques in timber
· introduction to practical repairs in masonry consecution
· practical group project: repair specification
This course explores the evolving concept and implications of an holistic approach to visitor engagement in museums and other cultural heritage institutions. Topics include:
Volunteer programs in non-profit organizations are shifting to keep pace with changing demographics, increased organizational needs during a time of sustained economic scarcity and new expectations from volunteers and communities of practice. This course will help you enhance your skills and competencies to recruit, manage and retain volunteers in museum and cultural heritage settings.