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.

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For more information, please contact:

Kathleen O’Brien
Communications and Development Officer
Faculty of Information
416-978-7184
kathleen.obrien@utoronto.ca

University of Toronto Media Relations
416-978-0100
media.relations@utoronto.ca