Past conferences

Why Travel? Travelling Exhibition Symposium 2015

Sponsored by the Canadian Museums Association

December 2nd and 3rd, 2015, Gatineau, Quebec

Click here to download the program! [PDF] 

The sustainability of our institutions is at a critical turning point. With government grants and private contributions falling, institutions are looking for alternate and innovative revenue and partnership strategies. Can one of the answers be found in travelling exhibitions?

Produced by a large cast of characters, travelling exhibitions or programs commence with the strength and depth of a collection, a curator’s idea, a director’s enthusiasm, a partnership opportunity through to the critical support of the Board of Directors and sponsors.

Travelling exhibitions can have educational value and be exquisitely designed. They need to be dynamic. They can reach a great number of visitors and introduce new audiences for the hosting institution. Or they can fall flat on their face. The value and eventual success or failure is in the concept, the integrity of the selected objects and the functionality and versatility of the design.

Through a mix of presentations, round tables, open forum discussions and networking opportunities, an extensive list of topics were addressed, including:

  • Trends and strategic positioning
  • Logistics and standards
  • Innovative partnerships

Who should attend?

The Symposium was particularly recommended for staff of both borrowers and lending institutions - curators, registrars, travelling exhibition coordinators, exhibition designers, development and marketing officers.

Special Keynote Speaker:

Myriam Springuel , Director, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

The Symposium was held at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Conference Centre in Gatineau.


April 13 – 17, 2015

Public Engagement

Banff, Alberta

Over 400 museum professionals attended the 2015 National Conference in beautiful Banff, sharing their thoughts and ideas with millions more through Twitter, with the hashtag #CMAMC2015. Delegates discussed how public engagement plays a vital role in museums and how cultural institutions make communities better places to live. We unveiled the brand new CMA Online Discussion Group with the first topic of discussion being museums and climate change.

Conference photos are available here .
Check out videos of CMA Award recipients.
Download the Conference program .




November 19 – 20, 2014

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: The Ins and Outs of Deaccessioning Symposium

Ottawa, Ontario

The sold-out Deaccessioning Symposium addressed the following questions: “Must works donated or purchased by a museum or gallery be held as public trust forever or can they be sold or given away for a variety of justifications?” How should revenues be allocated? Following the success of the Symposium, a new guide is being developed.

Download the program.



CMA2014 logo

April 7-11, 2014

Intention, Innovation, Invention – The Future of Museums

Toronto, Ontario

More than 450 museum professionals gathered in Toronto, Ont. to share their thoughts and ideas on the challenges facing museums today and how to be successful in the future. The combination of over 50 different specialized workshops, study tours, educational sessions and inspiring keynote speakers provided a unique professional development opportunity for attendees. The conference also provided valuable networking opportunities during evening events at the Royal Ontario Museum, the TIFF Bell Lightbox and the popular Masquerade Closing Banquet. The CMA was proud to celebrate exceptional projects and museum professionals by presenting a total of 15 awards.

Check out the photos!

Download the program



CMA 2013 Logo

May 27-31, 2013

Cultural Collaborations

Whitehorse, Yukon

In 2013, the CMA National Conference returned to beautiful Whitehorse, Yukon for the first time since 1998. This close-knit northern community was the perfect setting in which to celebrate the theme "Cultural Collaborations". More than 230 delegates had the golden opportunity to learn and network during a variety of study tours, workshops, lectures and events. Keynote speakers with varying backgrounds shared their valuable knowledge in dynamic (and sometimes hilarious) addresses which even included an unforgettable musical performance. The CMA was once again proud to celebrate excellence in the Canadian museum field by presenting 24 awards to deserving institutions and individuals.

Access Conference presentations on the CMA Live Learning Centre!

Check out the photos!

Check out videos of the award winners!

Download the program  


CMA 2012 thumbnail English

April 20 to 27, 2012

On the Edge!

Gatineau, Quebec

Being "on the edge" can have various meanings. It can refer to being in a precarious position, or in a state of keen excitement; showing audacity and innovativeness, or being tense and nervous. CMA's 2012 National Conference shook up usual best practices with some out-of-the-box and aggressive action, a provocative approach that brought you On the Edge!

Participants were inspired by the amazing keynote speakers, including Chantal Hébert, Robert Sirman, Michaëlle Jean, David Buckland and Olivia Chow. Several mobile bootcamps were held and, due to the previous year's success, we held a second Ignite session.

Download the program


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April 11 to 15, 2011

Evolve or Die!

London, Ontario

CMA'S 2011 National Conference took a serious look at how the museum sector has changed, the hyper-speed at which these change are taking place and how cultural organizations can be sustainable in such a setting. Participants reflected on the explosion of communications and social media, the importance of community engagement, and the evolution of museum structure. The conference featured dynamic speakers from all parts of the country and the world, cutting edge workshops and educational sessions, and introduced the first museum sector Ignite talks.

Check out the photos!

Download the program


  CMA2010 logo, 150

May 10 to 15, 2010

Evolving Boundaries: Linking People, Place & Meaning

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

 CMA 2010 featured exemplary work in human and natural history museums and art galleries that fulfill our traditional mandates. There was also a strong program stream for community museums. As a highlight of the 2010 conference, we placed a special focus on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), providing an open forum for discussion of practical approaches by which museums can creatively link people and place to collections in order to inspire meaning. We will be showcasing UNESCO's leadership in ICH and examining Canadian and international models.

Check out the photos!
Download the program


CMA2009 logo, 150

March 24-28, 2009

Toronto, Ontario

Is there a winning formula to enhance the relationship between museums and their communities?

The CMA's 62nd national conference addressed a combination of elements that represent the changing concept of citizenship, setting critical agendas that should really influence people both within and outside of our community. Contributors included recognized figures on the political and cultural scene.

Check out the photos!

Download the program


CMA2008 logo, 150

April 8-12, 2008

Victoria, British Columbia

How do you harness tomorrow's opportunities and ensure that you and your institution are adding value to your visitor experiences and to your community? By securing practical information, knowledge, cost effective solutions, and networking at the CMA's 2008 annual conference. The CMA's 61st conference challenged you to think far beyond the four walls of your institutions, to think beyond the physical spaces of your museums to reach new and non-traditional audiences.

Check out the photos!
Download the program


CMA 2007, 60th logo, 150

March 28-31, 2007

Ottawa, Ontario

60th Annual Conference

Sixty years ago, in Quebec City, a small group of dedicated professionals created the Canadian Museums Association (CMA). Today, Canada boasts a network of world-class museums and professionals. In 2007, the CMA celebrates the vision and passion of those individuals, addressing the fundamental and changing roles of the museum sector as we look toward the next 60 years.

Check out the photos!

Download the program


  Cultural Property Protection conference logo

January 16-17, 2006

Cultural Property Protection Conference

Ottawa, Ontario

In partnership with the Canadian War Museum

Click to download the conference program and presentations (PDF, 12MB)