2018 50th Anniversary MAS Conference & AGM

The Museums Association of Saskatchewan (MAS) and the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society (SHFS) invite you to attend our 2018 joint conference, Authentic Storytelling for Future Narratives, June 8 & 9 at the Humboldt Uniplex Convention Centre in Humboldt, Saskatchewan (619 17 St.)  

Storytelling is the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatrics, or embellishment. Every culture has its own stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and/or instilling moral values. As museums move forward in shifting focus from "stuff" to "stories”, placing less value on the objects themselves and more on the unique cultural value and stories they represent, it is important to consider how storytelling can shape our understanding of the past, present and future. As cultural organizations, we must consider whose stories are being told, whose stories are missing, and how do we define and develop more inclusive stories.   

How can museums help their communities tell their stories?  How can museums use storytelling to shape past and future narratives? At the MAS 50th Anniversary Conference, a variety of speakers, presenters and professionals will explore the topic of authentic storytelling and how it relates to museums and cultural institutions today.

Register here for the conference and/or the Museum Hack (MORNING ONLY IS LEFT) Workshop!

Download a PDF of the full conference schedule below.


Schedule Summary:


Thursday, June 7, 2018:


Friday, June 8, 2018:


Saturday, June 9, 2018:


Museum Hack Storytelling Workshop

$50 - with full conference registration
$75  - without conference registration

In this half-day workshop focused on storytelling, Museum Hack will introduce you to their Audience Engagement Mini-Strategies that will help spark innovative and creative thinking about how to attract and engage audiences of all ages, while investing in your attendees and reconnecting them to your collections and mission. Attendees will receive tools and  techniques for high-level audience engagement, “hack-style” tours, and playful activities in museum spaces.

They’ll approach museum spaces from a narrative perspective and dig for the non-traditional, and truly human, elements of spaces and objects in order to tell fascinating, passion-based stories and create stronger connections between your audiences and institution.

*Please Note: Spots for the Museum Hack workshop are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a limit of two attendees per institution for the workshop.

Museum Hack Keynote Address

If you’ve not heard of them, Museum Hack is an organization that encourages museums to re-think how they approach programming and audience development. 

Museum Hack pushes through traditional thinking and works with museums to get them to rethink “…the traditional museum experience. (They) work with museums to create new content, strengthen existing programs, build social media prowess, reach new audiences, and increase relevance and engagement.”

They take an entertainment-first, audience-focused, passion-based storytelling approach, packed with “reverent irreverence”, and museum fatigue-fighting games & activities. Their keynote presentation promises to be high-energy, interactive, chock-full of amazing stories, and maybe even a little scandalous. Regardless of your museum or job description, you’re sure to walk away reinvigorated with a new set of methodologies to ensure that your guests truly believe your museum is "f***ing awesome".


Concurrent Session Presenters:

Story Shaping Workshop with Danica Lorer, Professional Storyteller

Danica will engage participants as they dig into the stories they carry in their memories, imaginations, history, and research. She will encourage comfort in the use of words and voice. Oral stories grow out of sharing and listening, Danica will share some of her tricks for tapping into the odd and familiar to create engaging narratives that connect to audiences on a variety of levels.


Large Questions in Small Places: Using Microhistory to Tell Saskatchewan Stories with Elizabeth Scott, Curator, Western Development Museum

Dr. Elizabeth Scott is the new Curator of the WDM and is an historian of Canadian immigration policy. She will share her expertise in historical methodology, using practical examples that you can apply in your museums. In particular, she will make a case for using microhistory to tell stories in Saskatchewan museums. Using microhistory can help us understand more deeply the local experience of the people represented in our museums while making broader connections to our shared experiences of provincehood, nationhood and our place in the world. Essentially, microhistory helps us grapple with larger questions through smaller stories. The session will also explore how to use traditionally genealogical sources to tell richer stories about the artifacts in our collections. A case study of the history of the East London Artizans’ Colony at Moosomin in 1884 will show these methodologies in action.


Bringing Life to Intangible Cultural Heritage with Barb Parchman, Art Gallery of Swift Current

Barb Parchman, local Metis historian will share her experiences of turning personal oral history and intangible cultural heritage into tangible projects that the public can connect with, using video storytelling, exhibition displays, personal artifacts and stories.


Prairie Trails: Footsteps to Connect Past, Present & Future with Hugh Henry, SHFS

In August, 2017, SHFS organized an eighteen day walk along the historic Swift Current – Battleford Trail. The session will give a visual overview of the walk and look at how Metis culture, communities along the trail and a First Nations reserve were connected to a shared history and geography.


Cultural Competence and Storytelling with Christine van der Merwe, Education Coordinator, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan 

Saskatchewan is seeing increasingly diverse population growth largely due to labour market demands. Any intercultural work, including those undertaken inside organizations, should involve Indigenous groups, established immigrants, newcomers, youth and those who do not see themselves belonging in these groups. We will offer strategies for enhancing curiosity and responding to differences.


Storytelling on the Web with Debra Rohac, Program Officer, Virtual Museum of Canada, Canadian Museum of History   

Storytelling – in words, pictures, movement - is one of the oldest forms of human communication. With their rich collections, community networks, and focus on research and visitors, museums are uniquely positioned to share stories of all kinds. Digital technologies are a powerful part of the storytelling toolset. For more than 15 years, the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) has supported museums and heritage organizations in sharing their stories online through virtual exhibits, virtual tours, games and other digital resources. Join Virtual Museum of Canada staff for some tips, best practices, and hands-on activities in online storytelling, and learn how the web can support storytelling that helps reach and engage audiences.

Register Now!

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