At its annual conference this October, the BCMA introduced Erica Mattson as its new executive director, and presented awards recognizing two cultural significant projects, an Abbotsford museum, and the curator of a Prince George art gallery.
Mattson joined the organization in September, bringing a wealth of experience in the cultural sector. She has held roles with with Calgary Arts Development, Victoria Symphony, the City of Vancouver and, most recently, the Province of British Columbia.
Mattson replaces Theresa Mackay, who had led the BCMA since 2014 and left the organization in July for a position as assistant professor at Royal Roads University.
In addition to introducing its new executive director at the conference, the BCMA presented its annual awards in recognition of institutions and individuals who have exemplified excellence in creativity, community engagement and innovation within British Columbia's museums, galleries and history community.
Awards of Merit were presented for outstanding, innovative and creative achievements to the following:
- The Sikh Heritage Museum in Abbotsford, for its innovative programming and exhibits recognizing and raising awareness of Sikh heritage and history in BC and Canada at the Gur Sikh Temple National Historic Site.
- Chinese Canadian Artifacts Project, a public database of Chinese Canadian artifacts held by BC museums compiled by Dr. John Price, Project Director at the University of Victoria, and a UVic research team in partnership with 16 museums across the province; and
- The Residential and Indian Day School Art Research (RIDSAR) Project, a research and curatorial collective led by UVic Associate Professor of Anthropology Andrea Walsh to understand the status of children's artwork created in residential schools, in Canadian museum collections. As part of their research, the collective worked with survivors from the Alberni Indian Residential School on a multi-year exhibition project that focused on paintings from the school which had been repatriated to the survivors who created them as children.
George Harris, curator at Prince George's Two Rivers Gallery, was also recognized with a Distinguished Service Award for his many years of dedication to the development of the arts in Northern BC.
The BC Museums Association serves BC museums, galleries and related communities through networking, advocacy, innovation, and professional development. The organization celebrates its 60th anniversary year in 2017.