Category Archives: In the News

Civilization, on your own terms

*Caveat: I’m late on the uptake with this, but…

The Canadian Museum of Civilization recently announced the launch of it’s mobile application for the Blackberry (an iPhone & iPod touch app was already launched in December 2009). Their app is the first museum application built for Blackberry in Canada.

Now anyone from around the world can plan their trip to the museum in Gatineau, Quebec, from their smartphones. The apps feature museum hours, special events, interactive floor maps, and public services.

While visitors are at the museum, they can also take personal tours through Canada Hall and First People’s Hall – two of Civilization’s most popular exhibits.

For instructions on downloading the app for either Blackberry or iPhone, visit:

http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/plan-your-visit/planning-your-visit/mobile-application

Personally, I’d like to congratulate the Museum of Civilization on 1) being my favourite museum in the Ottawa region, and 2) for their extraordinary efforts in taking their museum to the next digital level.

Museum marketing and interactive exhibits from around the world have undergone a lot of innovation in recent years, but bringing this type of museum accessibility to BOTH iPhone and Blackberry is definitely a milestone in achievement for all Canadian museums. I would imagine that since both the Canadian War Museum and the Museum of Civilization are under the same corporation, the War Museum will probably have an application like this in the near future. Congratulations!

If you haven’t checked out the Museum of Civilization lately, go now! From Sept 2009 – Sept 2010, they have an interesting looking exhibit about the fur traders (or you can preview their virtual exhibit online).

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KickstArt 2010

I’ll admit – I’ve recently become a Vancouver 2010 junkie. I went for a trip to Vancouver/Whistler about a month ago, and since then I’ve been caught up in all things Olympics. The torch relay, the completition, the tourism proponents and opponents, and the fuzzy red mittens have all captured my attention more than I thought they could.

In reading about Vancouver (and remembering my trip), I found out about KickstArt, which is:

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Kickstart (formerly the Society for Disability Arts and Culture) presents and produces works by artists with disabilities and promotes artistic excellence among artists with disabilities working in a  variety of disciplines.
One of their big events this year is the Cultural Olympiad – a 60 day series of cultural showcases and events in and around Vancouver and other parts of BC. The series runs from January 22nd to March 21st, 2010 and promises to showcase some amazing talent.

I couldn’t find much information about the individual events for the Cultural Olympiad, but here is the blurb I found at DeafBC.ca.  It showcases only some of the events for KickstArt’s Cultural Olympiad (note: these events are focused on the hearing-impaired and are all ASL interpreted).

KickstArt, UBC, Ryerson University and the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad present Out From Under: Disability History and Things to Remember at UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson St., March 9-21, 8:00 am-10:00 pm daily. Curated by Kathryn Church, Catherine Frazee and Melanie Panitch, this show premiered in summer 2008 at the Royal Ontario Museum. It is a groundbreaking and artful exhibit that pays tribute to the resilience, creativity, and the civic and cultural contributions of Canadians with disabilities. Recipient of the 2008 Access Award for Disability Issues, and jury-selected for Design at Work 2008. Free.

KickstArt and the Pendulum Gallery present Heroes at the Pendulum Gallery, HSBC Bldg, 885 W. Georgia, March 8 – 27. Co-curated by Elizabeth Shefrin and Bernadine Fox, 20 participating artists from across the country have been asked to engage with notions of The Heroic, as it applies to the disability community. It’s hoped the exhibition will invite visual meditation or commentary within the context of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Mon-Wed 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Thurs/Fri 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Free.

KickstArt and UBC present She Laughed! She Cried! at Telus Studio Theatre at the UBC Chan Centre For the Performing Arts, 6265 Cresent Rd, UBC, March 12. A double-header, beginning with Sara Marreiros, a Victoria-based fado artist, with her band. Funny in the Head is the rollicking story of a bipolar comedian’s fight to stay funny, written and performed by Jan Derbyshire. Tickets $22/$16 at ticketmaster.ca, 604-280-3311.

KickstArt, Vancouver International Dance Festival and the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad present Configurations at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, March 20 and 21, 8:00 pm. Geometry of the Circle, performed by Alison Denham and Mark Brose, is a remount of the critically acclaimed duet choreographed by Canadian modern dance legend Peggy Baker. Bill Shannon, influenced by house and hip hop dance forms, silent film acting and skateboard culture, performs Spatial Theory, a multi-media show in four acts integrating Shannon’s unique hybrid movement on crutches. Tickets $25-35 on March 20; $75 on March 21. Gala also includes Peggy Baker performing Earthling. Tickets at www.vidf.ca.

Pretty cool, eh? Definitely makes me want to go back to Vancouver…