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Museum Studies students show off their work

Submitted on Thursday, March 14, 2024

The Master of Museum Studies (MMSt) is delighted to celebrate the opening of the Museum Studies Capstone Projects 2023/2024 season!  

In the full year Capstone Projects course, teams of MMSt and CDP students collaborate with partners from the cultural and heritage sectors on a variety of exciting and innovative projects. The partners propose the project idea and outcomes and the teams manage, design and develop the projects, from the ground up to implementation. The teams are mentored by Professors Maggie Hutcheson and Irina D. Mihalache.  

This year, we celebrate 14 student teams who:

  • conceptualized and designed physical, pop up, and digital exhibitions on topics including Toronto foodways past and present, film fandom, Canadian prisoner of war experiences, and care for Mississauga parks
  • developed programming on 19th century 2SLGBTQI+ experiences in Toronto
  • researched accessibility at a historic site 
  • created digital management plans for living archives
  • organized and digitized materials for museums and cultural centres, and more

We are grateful to our partner organizations: Association of Nova Scotia Museums, Aurora Museum & Archives, Bradley Museum-Museums of Mississauga, Campbell House Museum, Canadian Language Museum, Etobicoke Historical Society, Marie Dressler Foundation, Museum Strathroy-Caradoc, National Air Force Museum of Canada, Ontario Heritage Trust, TIFF Film Reference Library, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Toronto Post Office Museum and Woodland Cultural Centre.

The MMSt program extends its appreciation to colleagues in Careers, Business and Finances, Communications and the EDIU for their support throughout the year.  

Stay tuned for more information on each of the capstone projects here and in the monthly Informed newsletter.


Fandemonium: Communities of Cinematic Imagination

Poster for Fandemonium, exhibition in partnership with TIFF Film Reference Library

Designed to ignite the fan that lives in all of us, this exhibition celebrates communities of film fans in Canada and beyond. Presented in partnership with TIFF, it is a testament to all types of fans whose love for film makes them integral to cinema.

Co-curated by MMSt students Emma Bernardo, Feaven Abera and Panni Ajtony, Fandemonium will be featured in the TIFF Lightbox Film Reference Library from March 21 – August 1.

Visit the exhibition website


Powerful Words: Calligraphy Today

Powerful Words: Calligraphy Today celebrates the multilingual culture of Toronto and Canada, featuring videos of Canadian and international artists and culturally diverse calligraphy practices and traditions. Created by MMSt and CDP students Ana Ghookassian, Patricia Gnadt and Moyu Chen in partnership with the Canadian Language Museum.

Join us for the opening reception on Thursday April 4, 2024, from 10-11am in room BL 538. Remarks are scheduled for 10:15. The team will offer calligraphy handouts and hands-on activities, allowing you to try this beautiful form of writing.


Place Settings: Exploring Food and Status in 1820s York

Presented in partnership with the Master of Museum Studies at the University of Toronto, Campbell House Museum invites you to dig into the upcoming exhibition, Place Settings: Exploring Food and Status in 1820s York.

See historic Toronto’s ways of growing, hunting, fishing, preparing ingredients, serving and hosting dinner parties. Learn about all the people and work it took to create a meal for the Campbell Family.

Curated by MMSt students Lydia Treidlinger, Abby Norman and Jamie Mathien.

The exhibition is open April 2 – June 1, 2024 at 160 Queen Street W, Toronto.

Join us for a demonstration of cooking on the kitchen hearth on Saturday, April 6 from 12 – 4pm.


Dear Visitor, it’s me, the Alder Tree.  

I’ve stood witness to how humans have interacted with this land over the ages. Now I’m ready to share my story with you. 

Join me on a journey curated by Natasha Fares, Dorian Buchanan, and Emma Hollett, students from the Faculty of Information Master of Museum Studies program. Together, they have crafted an exhibition that delves deep into the rich tapestry of Etobicoke’s past, exploring how its landscape has shaped and been shaped by its inhabitants.  

From north Etobicoke to its south, I’ll unravel the intricate layers of history that have shaped this vibrant community. Mark your calendars for April 21 and dive into my virtual exhibit, Where the Alders Grew: What Roots Us to the Land at etobicokehistorical.com.  

Thank you to the Faculty of Information for funding and mentorship, to Philip Enros, Neil Park and Karen Travers from the Etobicoke Historical Society for their help and knowledge. A major thank you to all of the artists who offered time and resources for this exhibition. Finally, a huge thank you to Darin Wybenga, Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Coordinator of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.  


The National Airforce Museum of Canada’s newest exhibit, Captured: Airmen in German Prisoner of War Camps, was curated by Museum Studies students Anna Benko, Joseph Freedberg, Katherine Parker and Clemency Robinson under the mentorship of NAFMC Curator, Laura Imrie, an alumna of the program.

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the team and their process: 

  • “For the exhibit, I produced a series of interviews with the family members of POWs. Hearing their stories and thoughts and seeing their emotions was an amazing experience. These interviews really brings the exhibit’s stories and artefacts to life.” – Clemency Robinson
  • “One of the objects in our exhibit is a unique hand-sewn backpack used during the forced marches. It was such an honour to care for this object as I could feel the intense emotional weight with every touch.” – Katherine Parker
  • “While researching the collection I read the Wartime Logs of Canadian POWs. Reading these logs was an amazing experience as it showed me the true resilience and courage that these young Canadians had.” – Joseph Freedberg
  • “One of the aspects of the exhibit I created was a digital kiosk that allows visitors to flip through the Wartime Logs of eight different POWs digitally. Working with such amazing primary documents and designing an interface that will allow visitors to explore them has definitely been a project highlight for me.” – Anna Benko

Captured: Airmen in German Prisoner of War Camps opens on April 15 at the National Airforce Museum of Canada in Trenton, Ontario.


The Museum Strathroy-Caradoc, in partnership with MMSt students Brianna Davies, Mackenzie Glachan and Vanessa Sebastião, has developed a new permanent display of local history. It will be installed in the entrance foyer and will feature an interactive digital monitor experience.

Through extensive research, the team has explored the museum and its collection and immersed themselves in the history of Strathroy-Caradoc. To enrich the content for the new display, a “Community Voices” survey invited locals to share their cherished stories and memories, enhancing the narrative tapestry. Additionally, collaboration with the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation honoured and incorporated Indigenous history. 

Beyond research and writing, the team has been working on the design of the digital monitor’s aesthetic and ambiance. Collaboration throughout this project has been paramount, with shared mock-ups and prototypes ensuring alignment of vision. The new permanent display at the museum will be opening in summer 2024!  


MMSt students Avory Capes, Miaochun Chen and Maggie Nevison partnered with Ontario Heritage Trust (OHT) to review the accessibility barriers at Fool’s Paradise. They developed a comprehensive report outlining the barriers and proposed actionable recommendations for OHT to implement in the future.

Fool’s Paradise, the charming house named by Doris McCarthy, was designed to accommodate the artist’s unique needs. However, its architecture inadvertently poses significant accessibility barriers to individuals with disabilities wishing to visit the site and participate in the Doris McCarthy Artist in Residency (DMAiR) program. The report not only sheds light on these barriers but also offers suggestions to make Fool’s Paradise and the DMAiR program accessible to a wider audience.

To write this report, the students conducted numerous visits to Fool’s Paradise in Scarborough. Collaborating closely with experts at OHT, they also learned about the heritage aspects of the property, gaining invaluable insights into its significance. They reviewed provincial accessibility standards and relevant literature, seeking inspiration and best practices to inform their suggestions. Engaging with community members and institutions provided them with diverse perspectives and invaluable input, enriching their understanding of the issues at hand.

Avory, Mia and Maggie extend their heartfelt gratitude to OHT for their unwavering support and collaboration throughout this MMSt capstone project. They are immensely thankful to the community members and organizations whose insight guided our research and informed the report. Special thanks are also due to their project partner, Erin Mander, whose expertise and guidance have been instrumental throughout this project.