2019 MAS Awards Recipients Announced
At a luncheon at the 2019 MAS Conference on Friday, May 31, 2019, MAS presented several awards to deserving museums and individuals. MAS would like to congratulate all the award winners in the following categories:
Award of Merit – Institutional - project budget under $50,000.00
Prince Albert Historical Society - Indigenous Exhibition Revitalization/Creation Project
Following discussions with Past-Chief Dr. Leo Omani of Wahpeton Dakota Nation, in the Fall of 2017, it was decided by the Prince Albert Historical Society to create a new Indigenous space in the Historical Museum. The space focuses on the history and early interactions between Indigenous and Métis people and the settler community in the Prince Albert area. In order to develop the exhibition properly, the Historical Society recognized that conducting consultations with surrounding and Indigenous and Métis communities was key in being able to tell the full and authentic story of local Indigenous and Metis history through the exhibit. The project and consultations were supported through two Northern Lights Community Development Fund Grants.
Throughout several rounds of consultation, the Historical Society worked with First Nations and Metis Knowledge Keepers to create this important permanent exhibit of Indigenous history. As a result of this ongoing work, two smaller projects have emerged including the renovation of an existing Indigenous exhibit area and the development of a community-based mural project within the space, led by Leah Dorion, which was supported by a Saskatchewan Arts Board Artists in Communities grant. The Historical Society will continue to work on this project for the next 18 months, with the goal to complete the exhibition in 2020. Further consultations with the Knowledge Keepers and interested community members will continue until completion.
Award of Merit – Institutional - project budget over $50,000.00
Dunlop Art Galley - Roadside Attractions Project
Roadside Attractions was a network of original art commissions presented between July and August 2018 across Saskatchewan. Administrated by Dunlop Art Gallery and collaboratively curated by Dunlop Art Gallery and nine arts organizations with presentation support from various municipalities, 21 artists
from across Canada were engaged to create art works located along a 20-hour long drive that looped around the province in July and August 2018. Each artist was ultimately invited to make a work of art that would respond to, and consider, the history, geography/land, and people of the place their work
was to be exhibited.
Roadside Attractions advanced professional arts practices by supporting Saskatchewan and other Canadian artists to take greater risks and create commissioned work for the public that they might not otherwise have the support, or opportunity, to make. For many artists, Roadside Attractions was their first public art commission, allowing them to develop a project on a greater scale and scope than their usual activities.
Roadside Attractions was an ambitious project. From the geographically diffused presentation of the art works, to the number of artists creating work, to the number of organizations engaged as partners Roadside Attractions could not have happened without a large network of supporters. While Dunlop Art Gallery served as the hub for administrative and marketing activity related to the project, providing support to partners as required, each partner played a role in ensuring their presentations were professionally created and installed.
Young Professional Award
Helanna Gessner, Intern, Museum of Antiquities
Helanna’s work in the past few years has been most impressive and makes her someone who will undoubtedly play a key role in Saskatchewan museums. She has a wide range of experience gained through a variety of institutions, which has already proven to be an asset to the museums where she has worked.
In her roles with the Museum of Antiquities, and through the completion of her Masters of Museum Studies, Helanna has gained a wealth of experience in only a few short years in the areas of museum curatorship and collections management, community outreach and engagement, local heritage management, as well as museum educational programming including leading a substantial volunteer team.
The experience that Helanna has gained through several Saskatchewan museums has made her an asset to the museum community in the province. While her work at the Museum of Antiquities has been extensive over the past several years and has included everything from curatorship to community outreach and engagement, she has also made a significant impact on the Cudworth and Wakaw Museums.
While at Cudworth, Helanna served as a summer curator for three years during which time she created two exhibits, created a pilot crafternoon program for kids, and conducted travelling exhibits to seniors’ care homes in the region.
As a board member of the Wakaw Museum since 2018, she serves as the liaison between the museum and Wheatland Excursions. She has also designed and composed exhibition catalogues and other related materials that have been very well-received by museum visitors.
Award of Merit – Individual
Boyd Metzler, Whitewood Tourism and Heritage Association
Boyd was born and raised in Kipling Saskatchewan and after completing his Bachelor of Education of the University of Regina, he began his teaching career in Whitewood. He taught in Whitewood School for 30 years and was vice-principal for 7 of those years before retiring in 2001. Boyd has also been a farmer in the Whitewood area. Boyd has been an active community member from the time of his arrival in 1971.
Boyd is the local historian of Whitewood. He has an immense knowledge of the town and area and its history. His ability to remember names and dates leaves everyone in awe. His passion for history is evident in the work that has been accomplished during his time on the historical committee to preserve the story of Whitewood and area.
Boyd joined the Tourism and Heritage Association and dedicated himself to revitalizing the museum which was reopened in 2010 after being closed for a number of years. He has worked with all of their summer employees, each and every year, providing the training and daily supervision, planning of activities, building displays and coordinating the documentation and accessioning of the entire museum collection.
Boyd is the first person called when people return to Whitewood to gather family history. He is generous with his time and his knowledge. Everyone knows that they will get as much time as needed. Travelers will stop at our building for tourist information, meet Boyd and spend a couple of hours learning about our community and it’s history. Boyd has been the representative of Whitewood Tourism and Heritage for Radio Canada and television interviews, magazine and newspaper articles.
The teacher, Mr. Metzler, always comes through. Boyd always takes a lead role at Culture Days activities, school tours, open houses, historical teas and Archives Week activities. His storytelling ability keeps all age groups attentive and interested. Boyd is always a student too…. he has completed many courses and workshops and shares his knowledge with the rest of the committee.
Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award
Dean has been involved in the museum field since becoming the Curator of the Allen Sapp Gallery in North Battleford in 1988 when it was launched. In 1994 he became the Director of Galleries for the City of North Battleford. A position he held until his retirement in 2008. At the provincial level Dean was a member of the MAS Board of Directors from 1990 to 1994. Serving as Vice-President for two of those years. He also served as the Leader of the Museum and Gallery Directors Special Interest Group. This was one of five similar groups within MAS to address the needs of professional museum workers.
Nationally, Dean from 1994 to 1996 served as a member of the Canadian Museums Association’s working group tasked with Developing a Human Resource Strategy for the Canadian Museum Sector. He was later elected to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Museums Association serving from 2003 to 2007.
Dean has been active as a guest curator throughout his career. Some examples include: Head curator for the award-winning National touring exhibition “Through the Eyes of the Cree” from 2004 to 2010; Guest curator for the First Nations component of the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s “Acres of Dreams” Exhibition in 2005; In 2009/10 Dean created and curated the exhibition “Inspired by the Land” which included artist Elders, scientists, poets, writers.
Two other significant projects Dean has been involved in since his retirement were the design and implementation of Saskatchewan’s “Emerging Cultural Leaders Mentorship Program which was a pilot program in 2013/14. Dean is currently a consultant for the Wallace Stegner House renewal project in Eastend.
Dean has received the Canadian Museums Association award of excellence for the Allen Sapp Gallery’s Virtual Museum of Canada site; the Province of Saskatchewan Centennial Commemorative Metal for “significant contribution to society through the Arts”; Saskatchewan Book award for Excellence in publications; and the Queen’s Jubilee Metal for contribution to Art and Culture in Canada.
Dean continues to be a sought after an arts educator, adjudicator and speaker on the importance of culture. In his spare time he is also a practicing artist who has had several exhibitions of his work here provincially, nationally and internationally and has created several murals throughout the province.