Media Releases

University of Toronto partners with community museum to provide hands-on learning for students

September 19, 2011

TORONTO, ON –Doc­u­ment­ing local Abo­rig­i­nal set­tle­ment his­to­ry, design­ing exhibits and archiv­ing arte­facts are just some of the hands-on learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties that stu­dents in the Fac­ul­ty of Information’s Mas­ters of Muse­um Stud­ies pro­gram will expe­ri­ence this aca­d­e­m­ic year under a new part­ner­ship between the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to and a com­mu­ni­ty muse­um in east-end Toron­to.

The Cab­bage­town Regent Park Com­mu­ni­ty Muse­um is a grass­roots, not-for-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that col­lects, pre­serves and dis­plays the his­to­ry of Cab­bage­town and Regent Park from the late 1700s/early1900s to the present day. Found­ed by Cab­bage­town res­i­dent Car­ol Moore-Ede in 2004, the Muse­um bridges cul­tur­al and eco­nom­ic gaps of the two neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties by rais­ing aware­ness of the unique his­to­ry they share in the growth of Toron­to and Cana­da.

The Muse­um cur­rent­ly has a tem­po­rary home at Riverdale Farm’s Res­i­dence House, and has had a num­ber of satel­lite exhibits, includ­ing one at the Toron­to Police Ser­vices 51 Divi­sion build­ing on Par­lia­ment Street. In addi­tion, the Muse­um is sched­uled to move into a new per­ma­nent pur­pose-built home in the Regent Park Arts and Cul­tur­al Cen­tre in the spring of 2012.

The part­ner­ship between the Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion and the Muse­um means that stu­dents in the Mas­ters of Muse­um Stud­ies pro­gram, as part of the cur­ricu­lum, will be able to gain hands-on expe­ri­ence in help­ing a fledg­ing com­mu­ni­ty muse­um play an impor­tant role in pre­serv­ing and cel­e­brat­ing the his­to­ry of two of Toronto’s old­est com­mu­ni­ties.

“Edu­cat­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of muse­um pro­fes­sion­als ben­e­fits from the col­lab­o­ra­tion between aca­d­e­m­ic learn­ing and prac­tice expe­ri­ence,” says Sea­mus Ross, Dean of the Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion. “I am delight­ed that my col­leagues in Muse­um Stud­ies and staff at Cab­bage­town Regent Park Com­mu­ni­ty Muse­um col­lab­o­rat­ed to cre­ate this oppor­tu­ni­ty for our stu­dents.”

Moore-Ede says the U of T stu­dents, through their dai­ly activ­i­ties with the Muse­um, will gain valu­able insights into the chal­lenges and rewards of devel­op­ing an impor­tant com­mu­ni­ty asset. The stu­dents will be able to explore the museum’s exten­sive archival col­lec­tion; to put into prac­tice their knowl­edge of muse­um stan­dards of preser­va­tion and han­dling of arte­facts includ­ing tex­tiles, fur­nish­ings, doc­u­ments and pho­tographs; and to work with some of our part­ners such as the 48th High­landers and the local Mace­don­ian com­mu­ni­ty to devel­op future exhi­bi­tions for the muse­um.

“This part­ner­ship is invalu­able to both orga­ni­za­tions,” says Moore-Ede. “It is rare and excit­ing to have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to shape both young minds and an emer­gent muse­um into some­thing tan­gi­ble and long last­ing, which will grow and sig­nif­i­cant­ly con­tribute to the past and ongo­ing his­to­ry of this coun­try.”

The part­ner­ship between the Fac­ul­ty and the Muse­um will begin this fall.


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Kath­leen O’Brien
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Devel­op­ment Offi­cer
Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion

Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Media Rela­tions