Posts Tagged 'collaboration'

Jim Marchbank – Keynote address at MA12

19 April 2012

Jim Marchbank held senior management positions at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, starting in 1982 as Director of Development. He became Chief Executive Officer of Science North in 1987 and served in that capacity for 24 years before stepping down in May 2011. Under his direction Science North grew to be the largest tourist attraction in Northern Ontario, encompassing an internationally recognized science centre, a Special Exhibits Hall, a the F. Jean MacLeod Butterfly Gallery, a 2D/3D IMAX Theatre, and a digital dome planetarium. A separate earth sciences centre, Dynamic Earth, opened in spring 2003 and then went through two expansions with the most recent addition opening in 2009. In March 2011 Science North reopened after a short closure with the most substantial capital renewal of visitor experiences the science centre had undergone since opening in 1984. Science North is Canada’s 2nd largest science centre located in Canada’s 23rd largest metropolitan area.

Jim Marchbank – Former CEO, Science North part 1 from Museums Aotearoa on Vimeo.

Jim Marchbank – Former CEO, Science North part 2 from Museums Aotearoa on Vimeo.

Jim Marchbank – Former CEO, Science North part 3 from Museums Aotearoa on Vimeo.

Jim Marchbank held senior management positions at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, starting in 1982 as Director of Development. He became Chief Executive Officer of Science North in 1987 and served in that capacity for 24 years before stepping down in May 2011. Under his direction Science North grew to be the largest tourist attraction in Northern Ontario, encompassing an internationally recognized science centre, a Special Exhibits Hall, a the F. Jean MacLeod Butterfly Gallery, a 2D/3D IMAX Theatre, and a digital dome planetarium. A separate earth sciences centre, Dynamic Earth, opened in spring 2003 and then went through two expansions with the most recent addition opening in 2009. In March 2011 Science North reopened after a short closure with the most substantial capital renewal of visitor experiences the science centre had undergone since opening in 1984. Science North is Canada’s 2nd largest science centre located in Canada’s 23rd largest metropolitan area.

Jim Marchbank was President of the international Giant Screen Theater Association (GSTA), an association representing educational large-format or IMAX theatres, in 1999-2000. He was a member of the Board of the Association of Science and Technology Centers from 1993 to 1999, and served as a member of the Organizing Committee for the 2008 World Congress of Science Centres. He was the first President of the Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC).

Mr. Marchbank was executive producer of a large format film, Gold Fever produced by Science North and released June 1999. It was funded largely by gold mining companies. He was co-executive producer of the large format film Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees released in May 2002. It was a collaboration of three science centres with corporate and American government funding. He was Executive Producer of Wings Over the North: A 4D Bush Plane Adventure, a $2 million productionreleased in June 2004, a collaboration with a small aviation museum. Mr. Marchbank was the Executive Producer for Mysteries of the Great Lakes, a large format film directed, produced and distributed by Science North and released May 2008.

As CEO of Science North Mr. Marchbank helped develop North America’s only science centre-university joint post-graduate program in science communication with Sudbury’s Laurentian University. The program has now graduated over 60 students with post graduate Diplomas in Science Communication who are working in science communication roles around the world.

Science North added a large external sales unit under Mr. Marchbank’s leadership. This unit sold exhibits, programs and services to science centres, government agencies and corporations around the world earning resources which were invested at home in Science North. The unit led Science North into partnerships with others that helped create major travelling exhibits for Science North which have toured North America and been enjoyed by millions of science centre and museum visitors.

In March 1993, Jim was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. He was named one of 50 Distinguished Graduates recognized by Laurentian University on its 50th Anniversary in 2011. He is the recipient of an Honorourary Degree from Thorneloe University in Sudbury and a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Canadian Association of Science Centres. Upon stepping down as CEO of Science North he was made an Honourary Life Member, the centre’s highest recognition.

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Reflections on MA 12 – Ashley Mackenzie-White

Today we have an account by Ashley Mackenzie-White who left the conference full of questions.

MA12: Collaboration in Practice, 18-20 April 2012

 ‘They don’t realise they are experiencing art, but they have a feeling’ – Umberto Crenca 

It is a week since I walked out of Te Papa, acutely aware that the buzz of the MA12 conference would wear off and that soon I would find myself unable to turn to someone who just gets it. As it was said at the end of the 3 day conference; there will always be more questions than answers.  For me, these questions include:

Why didn’t I know about the amazing work of Te Kura before now and how are we, the museum sector going to help?

Why don’t we have our own version of AS220 in Aotearoa?

Why didn’t Pou Temara speak to the entire audience?

Why, in a museum filled with post it notes, was there no place to comment on what we loved, liked or disliked about MA12?

Why at a conference made up of discussions about tikanga Maori, taonga Maori, and more centrally collaboration, was there no discussion about the recently cancelled work by the Mexican artist, Teresa Margolles? Isn’t this decision relevant to all people who work in our sector as it raises questions about consultation and collaboration, censorship and cultural sensitivities, tikanga and korero?

In the three days at MA12, I heard about the exciting projects happening in the Far North.  I learnt that as beneficial as licensing trusts may be, it is the people that always come first, and that we should never take them or the time we have with them for granted. I heard many times how we should feel the fear and just do it. I heard that cooperation is about meaningful involvement, that museums are places of social commentary and that sometimes people have to put their ideals aside to enable a better community. I got excited about boosted.org.nz as well as equal pay. On Day Two, I was pleased to learn thanks to Jim Marchbank – former CEO of Science North, Sudbury, North Ontario – that there are commercial companies that want a long lasting experience that ‘emotional response’ rather than to slap us with their brand.  I was shown, thanks to the amazing people of Canterbury, the transformative power of art, the power of the human spirit, and the importance of our cultural & heritage institutions in the face of disaster.  

For those at the conference, or around Aotearoa, who were privileged to hear and meet Umberto Crenca from AS220, Providence, Rhode Island, you will have experienced that same awe, inspiration, faith and perhaps frustration that I felt during and after his keynote address on the closing day of the conference. These same emotions came to the fore when Coralie Winn from Christchurch showed us the stunning work of the Gap Filer community where all things from fridges full of books, to sculpture,  fill the spaces where buildings once stood.

Museums, galleries, archives, libraries, public spaces and government departments all have the ability to change people and their communities.  Museums, galleries, archives, libraries, public spaces and government departments survive by virtue of the values and passion that fulfil us. This was seen in the conference bags, made from exhibition advertising and lovingly reconstructed by the team at Mana Recovery. These bags are a physical manifestation of what the conference taught me; that it is the people that paint the pipes in copper colour then sprinkle them with dust that will save us from the ‘cuts’.

To the casual observer, the conference went extremely smoothly and our national museum was a gracious host. Phillipa and Sophie and their team have again pulled off a tour de force on their limited budget and tight resources, so hats off to them for a highly successful and engaging MA12.

Ashley Mackenzie-White
Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage


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