Signage, exhibits, labels, brochures, booklets, and digital media are all referred to as 'non-personal interpretation',  but we think it's time to change the way we talk about them.  Interpretation is an art – and art is personal.

Meet us online to focus on 'non-personal' interpretation. What do best practices look like in 2020?  How can we use interpretive media to help visitors make personal connections?  Should we retire the term 'non-personal interpretation'?  

Please Note:  All conference times are in Eastern time 
Registration deadline is Thursday September 17th

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Speaker Bios



Day 1 - September 22nd

Session 1 - 11:00 am

Get Digital on a Budget

Description: Digital technology provides interpretive sites with a wide range of new tools to enhance visitor experience, drive marketing and promotion and enable greater meaning making in guests. This session explores how smaller centres can make use of new technology affordably and effectively.

Speaker: Gary Page

Session 2 - 12:30 pm

Fostering Dialogue Through
Interpretive Media

Description: Join Dr. Jacquie and your colleagues to explore ways to foster dialogue through signs, exhibits, and apps. Jacquie will share 10 principles of non-personal dialogic interpretation developed from her research and conversations with interpreters. Then we’ll practice crafting questions that encourage dialogue within and between cohorts.

Speaker: Jacquie Gilson

Session 3 - 2:30 pm

Interpretive Project Management

Description: While we each have our own way of "getting things done," our organizations (and our projects) can greatly benefit when we use Project Management tools and strategies. This workshop will walk participants through a suite of scale-able tools (based on the PMBOK) that can help them to be successful in anything from a million-dollar exhibit to a small participatory installation.

Speaker: Dylan Leech

Day 2 - September 23rd

Session 1 - 11:00 am

All About that Baseline Experience

Description: Recurring interpretive approaches stick in visitors’ minds like a catchy song. Guests navigate content more easily when we provide a clear baseline experience—but maintaining cohesion can be challenging. Learn how the Canada Aviation and Space Museum is approaching exhibition hall updates, setting standards to maintain clarity for years to come.

Speaker: Erin Poulton

Session 2 - 12:30 pm

AGM & Awards

Description:  Join us for our Annual General Meeting to review our past year's activities and help us visualize what our next year will look like!

We will finish our AGM with an announcement (and virtual celebration) of the Winners from the 2019 Awards of Excellence! These awards are an opportunity to recognize phenomenal interpretive programs from coast to coast to coast. 

Session 3 - 2:30 pm

From the Windows to the Wall: Using Unconventional Surfaces to Create Engaging, Educational Content

Description: If the floors, windows, and walls could tell stories – what would they say? Want to make your non-personal interpretation much more personal? Join Christie as she showcases creative ways to actively engage visitors by using atypical surfaces to display educational content.

Speaker: Christie Brodie

Day 3 - September 24th

Session 1 - 11:00 am

Digital Media and Holocaust Museums in a Post-Survivor Era

Description: Seventy-five years after the end of WWII, Holocaust and war museums are faced with the challenge of remaining relevant in a post-survivor era. Through the examination of two case studies, this session evaluates the effectiveness of using digital media to interpret difficult history and connect with audiences.

Speaker: Julia Zungri

Session 2 - 12:30 pm

Ideas from the Edge (2 Parts)

Part 1: Robot Interpretation

Description: Robots have been used in different cultural settings to deliver interpretations and services. Usually, these are stand-alone experiments, which explore human-robot interactions. However, the current pandemic has created new interest in robot-based forms of interpretations (virtual presence through robots, robot tour, etc.). This talk explores issues and experimentations, and reflects on the future of Robot Interpretation.

Speaker: Michele Fontana

Part 2: The World's Most Northern Bird Festival

Description: In Nunavut, distance is always a consideration. COVID-19 brought the right circumstances for national parks in Nunavut to experiment with virtual events. This year, we are taking the Sirmilik National Park Festival of Birds directly to the people. The truest form of outreach.

Speaker: Natalie D'Souza

Session 3 - 2:30 pm

Evaluating Non-Personal Interpretation - A Case Study from the U.S. Botanic Garden

Description: How do we know if non-personal interpretation is effective? We can watch our visitors engage with signage and other non-personal forms but what is the impact. In this case study from the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. (USA), we’ll discuss the process of developing a survey to gauge visitor reactions to a series of signs in two exhibit areas BEFORE new signage in the entire facility was replaced.

Speaker: Chuck Lennox


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

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