By Tyler Dubreuil
Algonquin’s applied museum studies program in the School of Hospitality and Tourism reached its fortieth anniversary last month.
The milestone was celebrated with an event in the ACCE buildings Minto Hallway, Nov. 16, and was highlighted by keynote speakers Mark O’Neil; chief executive officer at the Museum of Civilization, city councillor Rick Chiarelli, and Barb Foulds, Dean of Health Public Safety and Community Studies.
Students created displays showcasing some of the achievements in the program, and how the program has changed over the years.
Program Coordinator Mike Wheatley, a graduate of the program now heads the department.
“What we’re preparing people to do is work in technical positions that support curatorial or conservation jobs in a museum,” Wheatley said, explaining the careers students are qualified for after completing the program.
As for why the program has enjoyed such longevity?
“The approach is really sound,” Wheatley said. “You get a good theoretical framework, then we have practical elements that make it real, we try to do things in concert with local partners.”
The anniversary was a chance for students, alumni and faculty to meet all in one place and celebrate the achievements and changes.
“We had a pretty good representation out; about 95 of our 130 current students came out. I think about 60 alumni from all different ranges, some going all the way back to the ’77 class,” Wheatley added. “We certainly turned it up a notch from the 30th anniversary event.”