Evolving for the Future

September 11-15, 2017

Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology 

Drumheller, Alberta

In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary and Interpretation Canada’s 40th year, heritage interpreters from across Canada  are invited to our national conference at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta.

Inspired by both our location and the anniversaries of both Canada and IC, our theme of “Interpretation: Evolving for the Future” will celebrate how interpretation has adapted over the years,  showcase new and innovative ideas, and address current challenges in our profession.  Help us dig up and learn from the past, and adapt for the future!

Monday, September 11th

Our host site, the Royal Tyrrell Museum, will be offering an afternoon of pre-conference activities. All activities are included with conference registration.

2pm - Choose one of the following:
Dinosite Hike
-  Search for fossils, see real dinosaur remains still in the ground, and learn about ancient Alberta on this 90-minute adventure through the badlands.
The Dig Experience - Using the tools and techniques of palaeontology, you will uncover fossil replicas in our simulated dig site, unearth their unique stories, and hold real fossils. Experience the thrill of excavation on this 90-minute realistic dinosaur dig.
Fossil Casting - Make your own fossil replica, learn the differences between fossils and casts, and discover why casts are important to the Museum during this 60-minute indoor workshop. Allergy alert: latex molds are used.

Distance Learning Workshop
New to distance learning or curious about how we connect to an audience half a world away? In this session, we will showcase some of our interactive, innovative, and award-winning programs. 

As a Canadian leader, the Royal Tyrrell Museum Distance Learning Program has been reaching audiences for over a decade, teaching the science of palaeontology, dinosaurs and the ancient history of Alberta. The award-winning programs are all designed to reach enthusiastic learners of all ages, all around the globe. From Calgary to Qatar, Australia to Alaska, video conference software technology has enabled the Royal Tyrrell Museum to connect with school students from kindergarten to university levels, home schoolers, library guests, fair attendees and even correctional facility residents.

5:30 - 8:00pm
Interpretation Showcase

Grab some refreshments, meet other conference participants, and enjoy a showcase of projects and ideas from interpreters across Canada.

Tuesday, September 12th

8:30 - Welcome
9am - John Acorn - Interpretation and Fate 

What determined the fate of the dinosaurs, and the myriad other species now extinct for all time?  And what determines the fate of living species, including humanity itself?  These themes are appealing for public communication, since they are clearly meaningful, and meaningfulness has been the cornerstone of interpretation since the days of Freeman Tilden.  But what have we learned about communication, learning, meaning, and motivation in the intervening decades?  Here, John Acorn shares his own attempt to integrate recent findings in cognitive science with the ongoing development of interpretation and science communication in a contemporary context.

John is perhaps best known as the writer and host of the television series Acorn, The Nature Nut, a family-oriented, how-to-be-a-naturalist show.  These days, John teaches at the University of Alberta.  He is the recipient of NSERC’s Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion, the University of Alberta’s Distinguished Alumni Award, two “Rosies” (as Best Host, in the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Awards), and two nominations for Canada’s national television award, the Gemini.  The Royal Society of Canada, the Entomological Foundation, and the Canadian Society of Zoologists have all recognized his contributions to public education.

10am - 4pm 
Concurrent Sessions

Click here for complete list of presenters

5pm - Barbeque Dinner at the Last Chance Saloon

Wednesday, September 13th
9am - 4pm 
Valley Tour 

The conference goes on the road for the day.  We'll tour a variety of local historic sites and natural areas to see examples of interpretation in action. Transportation, site entry fees, and a bag lunch are included with registration.

Sites visited will include Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site
East Coulee School Museum, and more.

Dine-Around in Drumheller
 Join a group of colleagues and head out to a local restaurant, or have a quiet night to yourself - it's up to you!
*Note - the cost of Wednesday night dinner is *not* included in your conference fees.

Thursday, September 14th
9am - Sandra Corbeil -  Interpretation in an Evolving World

Digital, virtual reality, augmented reality, AI … so much new tech is available to interpretation centres!  As approaches change to include new tech it’s vital to consider the role of the people who work in these spaces.  The role played by interpreters must adapt but to what extent?  Do interpreters have more or less value in this brave new world?  Explore inspiring examples of how interpreters can continue to play a vital, valuable and relevant role.

Sandra Corbeil is a self-described “science nerd. She uses her 20+ years of working in science centres and museums to contribute to exciting new directions and approaches for three national museums – the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. 
Sandra is a leader in building collaboration and a passionate activist for the integration of social, dynamic, participatory experiences into cultural institutions. She started her interpretation career at Science North before heading to the Biodome in Montreal and the Ontario Science Centre, and eventually the national museums in Ottawa. 

10am - 12:30 pm 
Concurrent Sessions

Click here for complete list of presenters

2pm - Panel Presentation on Indigenous Interpretation
Confirmed presenters include:

Blair First Rider, Aboriginal Consultation Adviser, Alberta Culture and Tourism.

Quinton Crowshoe, Site Marketing and Special Events, Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site

Desmund Mentuck, Cultural Interpreter, Riding Mountain National Park

Jesse Francis, Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Mi'kmaq Confederacy of PEI

This panel discussion will explore ideas on improving how indigenous stories and cultures are shared in programs, exhibits, and other interpretive products. We have invited a number of speakers who advise and/or present indigenous stories at interpretive sites. Some of the questions we will discuss in the session include:

1. What are best practices for indigenous interpretation in an institutional or bureaucratic context?

2. What are appropriate ways to create indigenous experiences for non-indigenous participants?

3. Who should have the authority to share indigenous stories?

4. What, if anything, is different about indigenous interpretation, as compared to interpretation of other cultures?

5. How can you represent different indigenous cultures/languages equitably, at sites with multiple cultures?

6. What are best practices in engaging indigenous communities for creating content for interpretive programs and exhibits?

7. Can interpretation and storytelling contribute to reconciliation?

5:30 pm - Banquet, Auction and Awards of Excellence

We'll be rolling out the red carpet* and recognizing the winners of our 2016 Awards of Excellence, while enjoying a meal and our traditional fundraising auction.   
Bring an auction item to donate.  Dress code is casual, but feel free to wear your finest frock if you're feeling fancy!

*metaphorically speaking.  We don't actually have a red carpet.  But feel free to lend us one if you do.

Friday, September 15th

Post-Conference Field Trip
Not ready to say goodbye quite yet?  We're offering an optional day trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park.  An additional fee of $90 is required, which includes transportation, all activities, and a bag lunch.

Early Bird Registration (April 1st - June 30th)
$400 + GST for members $465 + GST for non-members (includes 1 year membership)

Registration after June 30th
$450 + GST for members $515 + GST for non-members (includes 1 year membership)

Optional Field Trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park
$90 + GST 

Our partner hotel is the Quality Hotel located in Drumheller. Rates start at $109 / night.
To book a room, call the hotel: 403.856.4444 Deadline to receive conference rate is Monday, August 21st.
Bookings must be made by phone.  Let them know you are attending the 2017 Interpretation Canada Conference.

How To Get There
Click here for travel information.  A shuttle from the Quality Hotel to the Royal Tyrrell Museum will be available for conference participants.

Registration is now closed.  

Interpretation Canada c/o Kerry Wood Nature Centre 6300 45th Ave Red Deer, AB, Canada  T4N 3M4

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