Many interpretation programs work to establish connections between the things our visitors can see, smell, and touch (such as a tree, or a historic artefact)… and the forces that shaped those things or bind them together.

Interpretation Canada’s 2021 Conference explores how we effectively interpret the imperceptible and the invisible.

How do we help our audience experience slow changes (such as tide, tectonics, or time itself)? How do we bring to life something we can’t easily see (like personal bias, climate change, a sense of identity, or empathy)? What about the difficult, the microscopic, the emotional, the underwater, the imaginary?

 Check out our Sessions and Presenters  

$135  members  $185 non-members
Membership is $24 / year. 
Save $26 by becoming a member before you register.

Additional team members from the same site are $50 per person. 
A 'site' means you work at (or out of) the same physical location. 

Registration extended until September 8


Register Now 

Recordings of the sessions will be available to all registrants following the conference. 

Thank you to our sponsors:





 Conference Schedule

  All times are Eastern timezone.  Schedule is subject to change. 

Tuesday September 14th  

10:30 Chat and Coffee 
Say hello to your colleagues from around the country. An unmoderated chat session. 

11:00 Taming the Intangible: Techniques for Interpreting Hidden Systems - Erin Poulton, Nadine Dagenais, Carolyn Holland
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.

12:30 
Invisible Fact Through Invisible Fiction - Maxine Bennett
Come explore how Banff Canmore Ghost Walks uses folklore and storytelling to traverse the intangibles of historical interpretation.



13:15 Exploration Culture, Guiding Principles and Me: My Journey as a Haida Interpreter - Hannah Fregin
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.


14:00 World Café

Connect with fellow interpreters from coast to coast to coast to discuss your work, similar to meeting up around a lunch or dinner table at an in-person conference. There will be two rounds of conversation, with one question per round. Each round will be 20 minutes, with time to report out in between the two discussions.  

Question 1: What’s an exciting project you’re working on right now?

Question 2: What’s your experience with “interpreting the invisible”?

15:30–17:00  Virtual Tours with Curatours
Due to launch in November 2021, Curatours is a new platform for social, cultural, virtual tours, which can be accessed via your computer or tablet, or in a VR headset for full immersion. Join members of the Curatours team for an exclusive, pre-release look around the platform, showcasing content created by our developers and our museum partners, and to find out more about ways to showcase your stories and collections in the digital realm.
Duration approx. 25 mins. each (multiple timeslots) Pre-booking essential. Windows PC required.

17:00 Trivia Night

Test your knowledge with a virtual trivia night hosted by Royal Botanical Gardens interpreters for a chance to win one of two $50 gift cards from the Outdoor Learning Store or an Interpretation Canada prize. This fun social event will be hosted live using the Zoom and Kahoot! platforms. Please ensure you have both platforms downloaded prior to the start of the game. We recommend installing Zoom on a laptop/tablet and installing Kahoot! on your mobile device. 

Wednesday September 15th 
10:30 Chat and Coffee 
Say hello to your colleagues from around the country. An unmoderated chat session. 

11:00 Métis Crossing: Revealing Truths and Redefining Relationships - Krista Leddy, Juanita Marois, Bill Reynolds, Mike Meyer
The Power of Listening while Planning! A successful collaboration story with an Alberta Métis cultural site team and an interpretive design group – nurturing and bridging two world views.
 
12:30 Macdonald's Ghost - Don Enright
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.

13:15 Engaging Youth in Virtual Reality-based Storytelling Using Digital Museum Assets - Amina Cherguin, Savannah Dam, Elise Croteau
This session explores the pedagogical possibilities of virtual reality-based storytelling using digital museum resources for teen learners, considering how museum educators might facilitate such endeavours.

14:00 Annual General Meeting and Elections
Learn more about Interpretation Canada, what we've up to the past year, and how to get involved! Want to meet our current board members? We promise we're not boring! Check out our About Us page.

15:30 Rapid Fire Presentations
Join your colleagues for Rapid Fire presentations from the field. The timer is on for 5 minutes. Ready, set, go!

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

CuratoursLauren Livesay, Curatours 

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

Seeing the Invisible Augmented Reality Contemporary Art ExhibitChristie Brodie (she/her) and

Jennifer Dick (she/her), Royal Botanical Gardens

17:00 IC Bake Along - Steph Kveton, Nanaimo Museum 
They say you eat with your eyes and that flavour is even more important than presentation, but the food we eat also has invisible, intangible values baked right in. Join the bake-along to make cookie bars (vegan and gluten-free options available) to enjoy through the rest of your conference week, and chat with peers about including food culture in interpretation. Get ready now by checking out the ingredient and equipment list!

Thursday September 16th 

9:30 Virtual Tours
Due to launch in November 2021, Curatours is a new platform for social, cultural, virtual tours, which can be accessed via your computer or tablet, or in a VR headset for full immersion. Join members of the Curatours team for an exclusive, pre-release look around the platform, showcasing content created by our developers and our museum partners, and to find out more about ways to showcase your stories and collections in the digital realm.
Duration approx. 25 mins. each (multiple timeslots) 
Pre-booking essential - information will be provided to registrants before the conference. Windows PC required.

10:30 Chat and Coffee
Say hello to your colleagues from around the country. An unmoderated chat session.

11:00 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.

12:30 The Future of History - Ross Hiebert
Almost all Canadians now carry a smartphone and this gives them access to tools that can transform and enhance the way they interpret the world around them. There are relatively few apps that use these tools, but their potential is enormous. Join On This Spot as we show you the new technologies bringing to life the history that surrounds you.

13:15 Inspiring Visitors to Non-Actions - Jacquie Gilson
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.

14:00 Forest Bathing with the Interpretive Guides Association - Ronna Shoenberger
During this health break sponsored by the Interpretive Guides Association, a Master Interpreter 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.

17:00 Awards of Excellence Celebration

It's time to celebrate! Join us to Toast the Winners of the 2020 Awards of Excellence as we close out the 2021 National Conference. We will start off the evening with a demonstration of how to make an interpretation inspired drink to toast the winners. Then, see a sneak peak of the behind the scenes of this years greatest programs! Come out and celebrate the excellence in interpretation happening across the country!



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

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