BC MUSEUMS ASSOCIATION: SUPPORTING MEMBER INSTITUTIONS
Situated in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is the BC Museums Association (BCMA). The secretariat is located on the traditional land of Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations, living in peace and harmony along with appreciation and mutual respect. It is the respect for tradition and education that guides the association working with its members.
The association was founded on a powerful belief, a belief which states that the transformative power of museums is much more than we account for. Realizing the true value of a museum as an indispensable source of knowledge, influence, leadership, and dialogue, the BCMA laid its vision back in 1957 to promote just that.
THE MISSION OF THE BCMA
The mission of the BCMA is quite simple. To lead by empowering, supporting, and advocating for the museum community of British Columbia. The association is directed towards creating a bright and prospering future for British Columbia’s galleries, museums, and heritage communities.
It achieves all of this by innovating, networking, advocating, and most importantly, by conducting professional development. The BCMA has attained the responsibility of delivering services and programs for the benefit of its members, and collectively, the entire sector. It acts as the industry and cultural information hub for the entire province of British Columbia along with acting as the source of a unified voice for all of its members, trustees, institutions, volunteers, and professional staff.
WHAT DOES BCMA DO?
BCMA is governed by a council that is elected by all of its members. It is the responsibility of the council members to set policies for the entire association across the duration of their term. These services are enacted by the council and delivered by volunteer committees and professional staff. Acting as a voice for associated institutions, the BCMA is tasked to ensure that all the associated institutions (museums, galleries, and heritage communities) are represented and provided the means to continue their operations to ensure they act in the best interest of the public. Strong museum community means each can engage their visitors better to help foster a deep understanding of culture and natural heritage and promote the joy and happiness that comes along with such knowledge.
The BCMA offers different levels of membership to interested institutions, individuals, and affiliates working in the industry. Each receives unique benefits to allow them to become part of a vibrant cultural community. There are often industry webinars and other learning events, which The VR Voyage has even been a presenter at. This allows members access to unique resources to support their work. Additionally, they have a broad and inclusive definition of associate institutions that are found with the intention of public interest to engage their visitors. This includes sharing of authentic natural and cultural heritage as well as the efforts of the institutions towards fostering a curiosity that results in a desire for deeper understanding.
The memberships offered by BCMA consist of the following:
- Institutional Membership
- Affiliate – Institutional Membership
- Affiliate – Individual Membership
- Individual Membership
- Student Membership
- Volunteer Membership
THE GLAM SECTOR PARTNERSHIP
The GLAM Sector Partnership is based on a memorandum signed between the BC Museums Association, The BC Library, and The Archives Association of the BC. It is a unique and beautiful partnership that offers a lot of prospects to the community and creates an opportunity for the members to explore opportunities along with mounting and exploring joint initiatives, advocacy, and opportunities to start new programs for the interest of the general public.
BCMA & THE VR VOYAGE
Due to the current situation of COVID-19 and a stern lockdown in many cities around the world, museums and associated institutes remain shut to prevent the spread of the virus. In these times, the partnership between BCMA and The VR Voyage has set out to revolutionize the BCMA’s member experiences between their collections and the general public. Now, The VR Voyage is working with the BCMA across British Columbia to create virtual tours with many of its members as a way to open the sector up to a wider audience. Participants can enjoy their favourite museums and new ones while staying within the confines of their homes.