Panel Discussions

Taming the Intangible: Techniques for Interpreting Hidden Systems
Host: Erin Poulton (she/her); Panelists: Nadine Dagenais-Dessaint (she/her), Carolyn Holland (she/her), Erin Poulton (she/her) 
Many exhibition topics are intrinsically hidden or obtuse—putting our skills to the test. From air traffic management, to the “superheroes” in our soil, discover Ingenium’s recent strategies for taming the intangible.

Nadine Dagenais-Dessaint, Carolyn Holland, and Erin Poulton are interpretive planners with Ingenium: Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation. They have each been working in the museum field for over twenty years, with experience creating a wide range educational programs, resources, and exhibitions.

Métis Crossing: Revealing Truths and Redefining Relationships
Host: Juanita Marois (she/her); Panelists: Krista Leddy (she/her), Mike Mayer (he/him), Bill Reynolds (he/him)
Culture, world views and relationships cannot be seen but need to be experienced. Open hearts and minds facilitated telling the Métis human experience story by using the Experiential Interpretive Design (EID) planning framework. A successful collaboration between Métis Crossing, a Métis Nation of Alberta cultural heritage site, and EID, an international design team, was a journey of discovery that supported decolonizing the usual “consulting” approach. Empathic coaching and honest communication meant walking in each other’s footsteps.
We’ll share our path to achieving an interpretive and professional safe space that brought to light unseen cultural trappings, invisible viewpoints, and intrinsic cultural habits that we carry.

Krista Leddy: Experience Development Coordinator at Métis Crossing, Krista is a proud Métis woman, artist, educator, and Knowledge Holder who shares her beautiful culture through an Indigenous interpretive lens using dynamic storytelling and traditional arts.

Mike Mayer: Co-founder of Experiential Interpretive Design, Mike’s professional experiences include interpretation, environmental learning, public education and earth education. He loves helping others get in touch with the natural and cultural wonders that surround us.

Bill Reynolds: Co-founder of EID, Bill has facilitated the growth, expansion, and enhancement of marketable ag-tourism, ecotourism, and heritage tourism facilities over 40 years. A curiosity catalyst , he loves planning, designing, and coaching visitor/place engagement.

Science, Emotions, and Inspiration in Climate Change Exhibit Design
Panelists: Kirsti Kivinen (she/her), Olathe Macintyre (she/her), Jason Armstrong (he/him), Yuluo Wei (she/her)
Climate change has been called the greatest threat of our times. How can you create interpretive exhibits that help audiences understand climate change and become inspired to take meaningful action against this threat? This panel will discuss how two science centres and an art gallery tackled designing interpretive climate change exhibits.

In her 15+ years with Science North, Kirsti has worked on the development of over a dozen internationally touring exhibits plus many other science communication projects, which are often infused with her passion for climate science and action.

Olathe has been a Staff Scientist with Science North for five years. She was on the content team for a multimedia Climate Action Show that has just opened at Science North and will soon open in Singapore and Hong Kong. Currently, she is on the team for a large (600 m2) and small (100 m2) travelling exhibition on climate action, funded by the Government of Canada through the Environmental Damages Fund, that will travel across Canada. 

Jason Armstrong is the Manager of Science Communication at Ingenium where he has worked as an educator, interpretative planner, and exhibition manager.  Outside work, he can be found in a canoe or around a board game.

Yuluo Wei is an independent curator based in Toronto. She believes art is a transformative medium for human connection and belonging. In her research, she is interested in overlooked narratives embedded in myths, legends, and fairytales in a cross-cultural context. Yuluo holds the MVS Curatorial Studies degree from the University of Toronto.


Inspiring Visitors to Non-Actions
Jacquie Gilson, InterpActive Planning and Training
Explore ways we could inspire visitors to non-actions, i.e., slowing down and just being. We’ll look at examples of reflection, mindfulness, Shinrin Yoku, Seton sitting and others. Bring your ideas.

Jacquie has been involved in interpretation for more than 40 years. After studying the concept of inspiration in interpretation, she received her Doctor of Social Sciences degree from Royal Roads University. Jacquie recently retired from Parks Canada and now runs her own company, InterpActive. Her specialty is online training on dialogic and participatory interpretation. Check out her current offer here Look for her book Inspired to Inspire: Holistic Inspirational Interpretation on

Invisible Fact through Invisible Fiction
Maxine Bennett, Banff Canmore Ghost Walks
Come explore how Banff Canmore Ghost Walks uses folklore and storytelling to traverse the intangibles of historical interpretation.

Maxine is a folklore fanatic who runs a ghost walk but doesn’t believe in ghosts. She combines a love of theatre and storytelling with a passion for the myths that emerge from history.

Culture, Guiding Principles and Me: My Journey as a Haida Interpreter
Hannah Fregin (she/her), 
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site
Gwaii Haanas’ guiding principles, based on ethics and values from Haida law, are not something you can touch but they guide our work and are woven into all visitor programs.

Hannah Fregin comes from the Tsiits gitanee eagle clan, from Old Masset. She has been a part of the Gwaii Haanas Visitor Experience team since 2017. She received a degree in Tourism Management from Thompson Rivers University in 2019. She now lives on Haida Gwaii year round.

The Future of History
Ross Hiebert, On This Spot Enterprises
New digital technologies are revolutionizing the way we learn about the world around us. Join On This Spot as we discover these technologies and how they are the future of history.

Macdonald's Ghost
Don Enright (he/him), Don Enright Consulting

Our first prime minister's legacy is painful, complex, and very much alive. In the last two years I have worked on three high-profile projects that interpret Macdonald; this is what I have learned.

Don Enright has been an interpretation professional for 39 years. He has worked as an interpreter, writer, manager, and planner in heritage venues that span the private sector, the nonprofit world, and four levels of government. Don is an independent interpretive consultant based out of coastal British Columbia.

Engaging Youth in Virtual Reality-based Storytelling Using Digital Museum Assets
Amina Chergui (she/her), University of British Columbia
This session explores the possibilities of virtual reality-based storytelling using digital museum resources for teen learners, considering how museum educators might facilitate such endeavours.

Amina is a settler of Kabyle and Azorean descent and a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Master of Museum Education program. She is currently working as an Education Assistant at the Museum of Anthropology. Savannah is a student at the University of Victoria with a passion for community service. She has volunteered at the Royal BC Museum for four years, supporting camps and family events. Elise is a high school student and has volunteered at the Royal BC Museum since 2018, contributing to camps and public programming. She is very interested in making positive changes in the world.

Forest Bathing with the Interpretive Guides Association

Ronna Shoenberger
During this health break, a master interpreter with the Interpretive Guides Association will introduce you to the newest health and wellness trend in ecotourism - Forest bathing. This practice has received a lot of attention recently in Canada, in the health and wellness sector. When you are able to slow down to nature’s time, wellness has shown to take hold. Forest bathing has been shown to calm the nervous system, reduce stress, boost the body’s immune function and lower the risk of developing a host of conditions from heart disease to diabetes, obesity, depression and anxiety. Forest bathing can even be facilitated through a virtual platform. 

For the past 25 years Ronna has worked as a guide, naturalist, storyteller, yoga and meditation teaching in Banff National Park. She is a certified Master Interpreter with the Interpretive Guides Association, a professional hiking guide, and a certified forest therapy guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy. Her experiences and training have helped her explore how best to use nature to calm your mind and body so you can step away from all the things you carry and find a sense of ease. Nature therapy and the guided practices that go with it can help you see your life, work, and relationships from a bigger perspective and know what you need to do next.

Rapid Fires

Tackling the taboo in museums
Emily Scott (she/her), Conservation Officer Service 

Lauren Livesay, Curatours 

Underwater Museum
Liam Griffin and Marleine Gelineau, Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area

Seeing the Invisible Augmented Reality Contemporary Art Exhibit
Christie Brodie (she/her) and Jennifer Dick (she/her), Royal Botanical Gardens

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

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