Posts Tagged 'Canterbury Museum'

News Update 16 July

It has been good to hear about exciting Matariki events in museums around the country to brighten up the stormy winter. There are also some great school holiday programmes coming up – see the postings on our Facebook page, and please add more.

Museums Aotearoa Meetings in Hawke’s Bay/Canterbury
Last week the MA Board spent a day in Napier. We arrived to a very soggy morning, and got most of the Board business completed before we were joined for lunch by staff, volunteers and committee members from around the region. A total of about 20 people from as far away as Waipawa and Onga Onga, as well as Hastings and Napier, caught up informally before work-shopping key topics with MA Board and staff. We heard from Michelle Sim of the Air Force Museum about the new ’emerging professionals’ group she is establishing with others around the country. We really appreciated the opportunity to meet more of our members ‘on the ground’, and their willingness to share issues and ideas – and the sun even came out so we could sit outside.

Douglas Lloyd Jenkins (R) shows MA visitors around the new spaces at MTG Hawke's Bay

Douglas Lloyd Jenkins (R) shows MA visitors around the not-yet-open MTG Hawke’s Bay redevelopment, 11 July 2013

We also had a good planning session for the MA14 conference being hosted by MTG Hawke’s Bay, 2-4 April 2014. We’ll be outlining the theme and calling for contributions in the next few weeks. While in Napier, we enjoyed a sneak preview of the former Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery which will re-open as the greatly expanded MTG Hawke’s Bay this September.

This was the first in a series of regional meetings over the next few months. The next will be at Canterbury Museum on the afternoon of Thursday 15 August. That meeting will start with afternoon tea, and is followed by a presentation by Sarah Davy of the NZ Film Archive with a screening of Temple, Prison, Restaurant, the compilation of museum representations which was shown at MA13. More details will be sent to museums in the Canterbury region later this week, and we’ll put it out on our blog and Facebook as well.

We’re planning more meetings around the country, including Dunedin, Nelson, Rotorua, Whanganui/Palmerston North, Dargaville, Auckland and Wellington. If you’re interested in hosting one of these meetings, please contact the office.

MA Board – advocacy
Your Board and staff are using these meetings to inform our work and our planning. One of our key activities is advocacy. We do this in a wide range of ways – by research and data such as the sector survey, supporting members in policy and advice, working with you on our Code of Ethics, and promoting the positive impact that museums have in our communities. In coming months we expect to work with NSTP to review museum standards, with ServiceIQ to improve training frameworks, and to engage more actively in tourism as well as continue our current conference and awards programmes.

An international example of advocacy tools which museums can use locally is the UK Museums Association’s new report and web resource Museums Change Lives, which highlights the social role of museums. This campaign builds on last year’s Museums 2020 consultation which looked to the future of museums and their impact, and drew input from around the world, including NZ and Australia. The aim of Museums Change Lives is to “enthuse people in museums to increase their impact, encourage funders to support museums in becoming more relevant to their audiences and communities, and show organisations the potential partnerships they could have with museums, to change people’s lives.” Check it out if you’re looking for some inspiration.

New Members’ Forum Coming Soon
The MA office is thrilled to have a new database and website, scheduled to launch next week. Though the general look of the website will remain the same the new ‘back end’ will bring some exciting new features, especially in the members’ only section of the site.

At launch you will be asked to login and update your contact details and communications preferences. The new development enables us to better target emails. Those of you who love our News & Notices, but would prefer not to get our job vacancies, will be able to select which of our communications you would like to receive. Additionally, when you login you will find new features such as a new private members’ forum and online directory to make it easier to keep the conversations going with your MA colleagues.

Blog, MAQ and more
We have been having such great responses to our calls for contributions to the MAQ that we have decided to start publishing regular guest blog posts including profiles of some of our members and more case studies of projects. Please contact the MA office if you are interested in being a contributor to any of our publications.

Ngā mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

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NZ Museum Awards finalists

3 April 2012

New museum developments, innovative projects and excellent exhibitions will be recognised in the 2012 New Zealand Museum Awards.  Winners will be named from among 15 finalists at a gala dinner in Wellington on 19 April celebrating the fifth annual national museum awards. 

The selection panel, including guest judges Jock Phillips and Heather Galbraith, had a hard job selecting from the record number of entries. ‘The panel had some robust debate about which entries were most deserving, which is why we have such a large number of finalists’, says Phillipa Tocker, Executive Director of Museums Aotearoa. ‘We are delighted at the quality and quantity of these projects.’

A new feature this year is the category of ‘museum and gallery development’, which recognises some major capital projects completed recently.  While the scale of the finalists ranges from the Auckland Art Gallery rebuild and MOTAT Aviation Display Hall to more modest developments at Te Manawa and Whangarei Art Museum, each was a significant challenge which has exceeded expectations. 

In the innovation and new technology category, the judges have recognised mobile phone and online projects at Auckland Museum and Christchurch Art Gallery, and Waikato Museum’s innovative temporary wall system that addresses the issue of waste and sustainability for changing exhibitions.

The exhibition category drew the most entries, and the judges were attracted to those which stretched both the institution and the audience.  Challenging subjects were explored by Museums Wellington with Death and Diversity, and Dunedin Public Art Gallery in Still Life: The Art of Anatomy.  Other challenges were logistical, with Aratoi working with iwi to borrow a significant waka from Te Papa for Wairarapa Moana, and Luit Bieringa successfully encompassing 125 years of design in a free-standing exhibition Old School New School for Massey University in Wellington.

Christchurch museums were back in the awards this year with exhibitions from Canterbury Museum and Christchurch Art Gallery.  Both affected by and developed as a result of the earthquakes, Canterbury Quakes and De-Building offered visitors exciting ways of exploring and learning from their effects.

The other major national event of 2011 was recognised in Red, Yellow and (All) Black developed by Waikato Museum.  Among so many rugby-related offerings, the judges agreed that this exhibition stood out as engaging and user-friendly for all kinds of visitors. 

The award judges, Jock Phillips, Heather Galbraith, Greg McManus and Jane Legget, said that the entries exercised and impressed them.  ‘It is rewarding to see so many creative and exciting projects being produced despite – or in spite of – the financial and other challenges facing our public museums and galleries,’ said Phillipa Tocker, ‘the announcement of the winners on 19 April will be a wonderful celebration of their achievements.’

The New Zealand Museum Awards dinner at City Gallery Wellington is part of Museums Aotearoa’s MA12 conference, Collaboration in practice.  The awards programme is proudly sponsored by Story Inc, New Zealand’s leading creator of visitor experiences.

New Zealand Museum Awards 2012 Finalists 

Finalist                Project
Aratoi exhibition: Wairarapa Moana
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki project: gallery redevelopment
Auckland War Memorial Museum project: AQUA mobile trail
Canterbury Museum exhibition: Canterbury Quakes
Christchurch Art Gallery
Te Puna o Waiwhetu
online project: MyGallery
Christchurch Art Gallery
Te Puna o Waiwhetu
exhibition: De-Building
Dunedin Public Art Gallery exhibition: Still Life: The Art of Anatomy
Luit Bieringa exhibition: Old School New School
Museum of Transport
and Technology
project: Aviation Display Hall development
Museum of Wellington
City & Sea
exhibition: Death and Diversity
New Zealand Historic Places Trust project: Pompallier Mission
& Fyffe House interpretation
Te Manawa Museums Trust project: Te Manawa development
Waikato Museum project: temporary exhibition wall fabrication system
Waikato Museum exhibition: Red, Yellow, (All) Black
Whangarei Art Museum
Te Manawa Toi
project: Whangarei Art Museum
Relocation/Rebrand

News Update 4 April 2012

Following media coverage of their staff structure late last year, Canterbury Museum has been working on re-defining staff roles, which has included some redundancies and several new positions which were advertised by MA earlier this year. Three key appointments have recently been announced. Lesley Colsell, previously General Manager Museum Programmes and former Chair of MA, is now Canterbury’s first Museum Best Practice Manager. Sarah Gordon will begin as Communications Manager after Easter, and Carmen Marsh will take up a fixed term position as Projects Office Manager later in April.

There are many exciting opportunities coming up for professional development, promoting your museum or gallery, and being involved in wider networks. These include our own MA12 conference as well as lectures and workshops with visiting speakers and other experts on subjects such as medallic management, arts access, exhibition lighting and audience engagement. Detailed listings and links follow below.

MA12 conference – REGISTRATION CLOSES 10 APRIL
We’re looking forward to seeing many of you in Wellington for MA12 and the Awards during the week 17-20 April. You can still register up until 10 April. For those who aren’t able to come to MA12, there will be reports on our website and a bumper conference/awards issue of MAQuarterly in early May.

Inaugural TelstraClear Museums Aotearoa Lecture – Tuesday 17 April
The first of this new annual lecture series will be presented with support from TelstraClear. Jock Philips is well known to many through his work with Te Papa, Te Ara and most recently for his ‘Insider’ blogs during the RWC 2011 ‘Real NZ’ festival. The lecture is at 6pm on Tuesday 17 April at Te Papa. This public event is free to attend, please RSVP to secure your seat, contact Museums Aotearoa by email or telephone (04) 499 1313.

AGM – Thursday 19 April
Reminder – the 2012 Annual General Meeting of Museums Aotearoa will be held at Te Papa, at 12 noon on Thursday 19 April. There will be a Board vacancy for one Individual member: Jenny Harper will complete her first term on the Board, and is standing for re-election. The notice of meeting, draft agenda and voting information are in the members area of our website here, and hard copies have been posted to Individual members. If you wish to appoint a proxy for voting at the AGM, please download and print the proxy form, or contact the MA office.

2012 Museum Awards
Congratulations to all finalists in the 2012 New Zealand Museum Awards. The judges had a hard time deciding the most deserving among all the outstanding achievements in the record number of entries received this year. Finalists will be celebrated and winners announced at a gala dinner at City Gallery Wellington on 19 April, now fully booked. See the finalists media release here and watch this space for the winners. The New Zealand Museum Awards programme is generously supported by Story Inc.

New membership benefits
MA membership invoices for 2012 fees have been sent out to all Museums, Individuals and Associates – thank you to those who have already responded. As we develop our services, the MA Board has been working on making membership benefits more accessible. A major change this year is that, as part of the entitlement of Museum membership, all staff will be able to receive direct communication and information by email from MA. Staff or volunteers at member museums who choose to take up the discounted $50 Individual membership will receive additional benefits: a personal MA membership card giving free entry and discounts at member museums, and hard copies of MA publications. These benefits are available to all current Individual and Associate members. For full details of membership entitlements, please visit the membership pages of our website.

We wish you a very happy Easter season. Now, back to all the last-minute conference details…

Nga mihi,
Phillipa and Sophie


News Update 26 July 2011

Last week I visited Christchurch for the first time since January – and since the most devastating earthquakes. Walking around the barriers around unstable buildings and outside the central city cordon, I was just one of a number of onlookers. Some like me were seeing things for the first time, others were locals, all trying to get a sense of the scale of the disaster and what is happening in the recovery efforts. It was very sad to see so much damage, shops and businesses, museums and galleries closed to the public, and the city so quiet.

However, there are encouraging signs of new energy and momentum. Despite continuing aftershocks, teams of people are repairing, planning and rebuilding all over the city. Cafes are re-opening, parking fees reinstated, and there was even a busker outside Canterbury Museum playing to the trickle of workers and tourists walking past. His recorder music – ranging from ‘La vie en Rose’ to ‘Favourite Things’ – was hauntingly appropriate in the grey winter afternoon.

Canterbury Museum – fenced in (July 2011)

While many museums and galleries are still closed lots is happening. Canterbury Museum is planning to re-open on 1 September. They are working hard on sorting out collections, installing exhibitions and dusting off the galleries to welcome the public back with several new shows.

Christchurch Art Gallery will have to wait until the council and CERA staff move out, an unstable neighbouring apartment block is demolished and various repairs are made to the building, all of which is likely to take until the end of the year. In the mean time they are very busy with collection work and off-site projects. CAG staff post regular news updates online, and their ‘Bunker Notes’ blog is both whimsical and informative http://christchurchartgallery.org.nz/news/

current ‘exhibitions’ at Christchurch Art Gallery (July 2011)

The second annual museum sector Remuneration Survey is now underway. Strategic Pay’s survey team has been contacting museums and galleries to invite you to particpate – which also qualifies you for a discount on the price of the report. Following feedback from 2010, some minor adjustments were made to the list of museum-specific positions. Strategic Pay will also be liaising with local councils where appropriate, as all councils now subscribe to their biannual Local Government Survey. The first museum sector survey provided excellent data as well as an overview of remuneration practices in the sector. With more participants and cumulative data, this will become an even more useful tool for museums and for our advocacy on behalf of the sector – I encourage every museum and gallery to take part. You can contact Strategic Pay on 09 303 3045 or surveys@strategicpay.co.nz

While UK textile historian Annabel Westman was here for the MA11 conference earlier this year, she recorded an interview with Radio NZ. It was broadcast on The Arts on Sunday on 24 July, and you can listen to it here.

In the UK, the latest round of funding cuts is biting deeply. The Museums Association has conducted a survey, The Impact Of Cuts On UK Museums, which reveals that one-fifth of UK museums have had cuts of 25% or more. Of those:

•over 60% have cut back their public events
•half have reduced opening hours
•over 85% have cut staff
The MA also reports that over 40% of local authority museums have cut paid staff by 10% or more in the last year. The report can be downloaded here.

I hope to see many of you at the museums and galleries session which is part of the Diversity Forum in Hamilton on 22 August. This promises to be an inspiring and interactive forum exploring diversity in programming and audiences, with a focus on engaging youth. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet and talk with colleagues from other museums and galleries. You can download the flyer and registration information here.

Nga mihi,

Phillipa

News Update 18 March 2011

Earthquake news still dominates our media – now in Japan as well as Christchurch. Today’s national memorial service in Hagley Park will have been seen or heard by many thousands around the country.

There was a minor press furore as it seemed a Christchurch antique shop might be demolished without any attempt to retrieve items from it – but this seems now to have been done. A small group of people protested yesterday about the apparent demolition of some buildings without the owners or occupiers knowing or being given a chance to salvage anything. Authorities are gradually allowing access where possible and clearing vehicles from the CBD. As well as the mainstream news media, there is lots of activity on blogs, local websites and Facebook.

Much of the Christchurch CBD still has a closed ‘red zone’, staff have not yet been able to return to Christchurch Art Gallery or Canterbury Museum, and COCA trustees have made the decision to close indefinitely – and have made all the staff redundant. Sumner and Lyttelton museum collections have been removed prior to probable demolition of both buildings. The future restoration of other heritage buildings is as yet unknown, including the Arts Centre. In the mean time, the Air Force Museum is open, and helping fellow museums as well as several other displaced organisations.

We have had numerous offers of help, mostly expertise, person power, fundraising ideas, or respite from CHCH. At this stage there is limited scope for extra people to help on the ground. Judith Taylor and Ian Wards of National Services Te Paerangi will be helping COCA to pack up its collection and prepare for an ‘indeterminate period’ of closure. There is little more that can be done from outside Christchurch until Canterbury Museum and Christchurch Art Gallery staff get back into their buildings to undertake a careful assessment and plan for recovery. Until that time, we thank all those who have made generous offers, and we know that many have already been able to help their friends and colleagues personally as well.

There is other news of course. In the UK, some simmering disquiet about the fate of gifted items held in the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum has resulted in the dismissal of its director and a pending police investigation, read about it here. This collection includes items presented to Britain by New Zealand, and raises important questions which align with the planned collection ethics discussion at MA11 in Nelson.

Canterbury Earthquake Museum Update

Updated 31/3

Offers of help – We have had many offers of help from around the country.  Please email us and we’ll keep a register of offers for when those on the ground are ready for your support.

The latest from Christchurch is very grim, however, we have not heard of anyone being hurt in museums or galleries there. We have received a number of messages of support, and these are in the ‘Messages for Canterbury’ Discussion Board on our Facebook page here. Please add your own messages, either on our facebook page, or in the comments below, and hopefully our colleagues in Christchurch will be able to access these when their power and communications are restored.

We understand that most of the damage this time is confined to the city and Lyttelton areas. Here is what we have heard about Christchurch institutions so far.

Air Force Museum
Updated 24/2 Message from Director Thérèse Angelo:

Firstly, and most importantly all of the Museum staff and their families are safe and uninjured. As far as we have been able to ascertain, our volunteers are also OK. Some staff have damage to their homes but many live on the west side of Christchurch or in rural locations and have no damage to report at all.

The Museum itself is in good shape with only minor damage such as ceiling tiles down and fluorescent lights falling. A structural survey yesterday has given the buildings the green light to re-open when we wish. I understand we still have all services to the site but this may change over the next couple of days.

However, given the significant damage to local infrastructure, water, sewer and roading problems, along with petrol shortages, the Museum will remain closed until Monday at least. This also gives staff time to try and start processing the enormity of what has happened to Christchurch. Some staff have also headed out of town for a few days to settle jangled nerves.

Akaroa Museum
Is unaffected this time, all are OK.

Arts Centre of Christchurch
No direct word, but news and internet photos show significant damage.

Canterbury Museum
Staff are all OK. The sprinklers were activated and lots of loose things moved around in the staff areas. The situation in the public and storage areas is unknown but presumed to be ‘a mess’ and some bits have fallen off the building. With the whole central city cordoned off, they do not expect to get back in until after the weekend. The museum server is completely out of action so no staff will be able to access their work e-mails, even from outside the museum.
Updated 25/2: Director Anthony Wright will be releasing a media statement shortly, check their site. Anthony has confirmed that all staff are OK, but some have had their homes completely destroyed. He was able to enter the museum today with structural engineers, who inspected all spaces from the basement to the roof in both the main museum building and the Robert McDougall building. Both have been declared structurally sound, which is great news. Otherwise, there is loose masonry on the building, and the exhibits look to be 95% ok upon initial inspection (although by torchlight). It is not known about collection damage in the collection areas, however the water damage from activated sprinklers is reportedly only in a small area. It will be several weeks before staff can be admitted back into the building.

Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA)
Updated 25/2:
The building is still standing, but everything has come off the walls. They will be postponing the Anthony Harper Award dates, as well as their planned recruitment for a new position.

Christchurch Art Gallery
Updated 24/2: Gallery staff are all accounted for and safe, apparently no structural damage – ‘we’re in good shape considering all that has happened’. CAG is once again starring on TV news as the Civil Defence HQ, and will be closed until further notice while they support Civil Defence. They have sustained a small amount of damage to the collection. 10-15 works are affected & they are assessing condition & repair options.
Updated: 25/2: Experiences of CAG Senior Curator Justin Paton reported in the guardian here.

Lyttelton Museum
Has been closed since the September earthquake, and apparently suffered additional damage on Boxing Day. We have no information as yet, but fear it is now even worse.

Okains Bay Museum
Is unaffected this time, all are OK.

Our City O-Tautahi
Updated 31/3:
This was in the Municipal Chambers building which suffered damage last September and was still closed to the public. It is within the restricted ‘red zone’ and the current situation is not yet known.

Sound Archives
We’ve had unconfirmed reports that the archive has flooded. Will update when we learn more.

The Physics Room
All staff are safe, don’t expect to get back to their building to assess it for some while.

Timeball Station (NZHPT)
Is severely damaged, but thankfully both staff members there at the time of the quake got out safely. No news yet about the collection items which have been stored offsite since the September earthquake.

We have also heard that Lincoln Entomology Museum, Landcare Herbarium, Ashburton area museums, as well as South Canterbury Museum are ok.

We know that this information is only about the public face of these museums, and many staff will have huge challenges ahead with their own homes and families. Our thoughts and best wishes go to all our colleagues.

Kia kaha,

Phillipa and Sophie

Special Update 22 February 2011

Oh no, not another one. As I put aside conference planning to write about the latest news, I felt our 8th floor office gently swaying. Little did I know that the effects in Canterbury were far worse. Unlike last September’s quake, this one struck in the middle of a busy day. It has caused even more damage in the city area, including in the Canterbury Museum and the Cathedral. However even that is overshadowed by the as yet uncounted human cost.

Like the rest of the country, we are watching and listening to news, and will bring you details about museums and galleries in Canterbury as they come to hand. We send all our aroha to friends and colleagues who have been affected.

We will distribute the last fortnight’s news stories and regular notice updates tomorrow. Meanwhile, we would like to announce an extension of the deadlines for earlybird registration for MA11, until 7 March. Application deadline for the helping hands grants to attend has also been extended until 28 February. And a reminder that New Zealand Museum Awards 2011 applications are due by 5pm this Thursday, 24 February. We will extend all these deadlines for earthquake-affected colleagues – please just let us know you are intending to apply.

 


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