The Disaster Management Session at the Canadian Association for Conservation Conference

The 41st Annual Canadian Association for Conservation Conference was held in Edmonton, Alberta from May 28-30, 2015. The Lead Conservator attended the entire conference and the Lead Archivist attended the final day of the conference.

Amanda Oliver, Lead Archivist, presenting at the CAC conference. Photo Credit: Yesan Ham

Amanda Oliver, Lead Archivist, presenting at the CAC conference. Photo Credit: Yesan Ham

On May 30, the conference hosted a session entitled ‘Disaster Management’. The session began with a paper by Sue Warren called, ‘Canada Science and Technology Museum – Crisis Management’. She discussed the difficulties she experienced with her institution’s facility, where high levels of airborne mould were found as a result of multiple leaks in their roof. Warren shared her experience dealing with an abrupt closure and mass conservation treatments of artefacts from the museum.

Next, Sarah Little, Rebecca Delorme and Sarah Storck presented a paper entitled, ‘Staying Afloat: The Challengers of Recovering from a Major Flood at a Small Museum”. The speakers shared their experience recovering museum artefacts from the June 2013 in southern Alberta. They went into great detail discussing the time and organizational skills required to complete recovery work.

Emily Turgeon-Brunet, Lead Conservator, presenting at the CAC conference. Photo Credit: Yesan Ham

Emily Turgeon-Brunet, Lead Conservator, presenting at the CAC conference. Photo Credit: Yesan Ham

In addition to this presentation about Museum of the Highwood, Gail Niinimaa and Irene Karsten presented a paper called, ‘Salvage and Recovery at Museum of the Highwood Artifacts after Major Flooding’. The presenters discussed their experience salvaging material immediately after the flooding, with a particular focus on the museum’s textile collection. It was wonderful to hear these presentations about an ASA institutional member, especially considering ASA has been working exclusively on the Museum of the Highwood’s archival material. It was interesting to learn more about their recovery work with the museum’s artefacts.

The Lead Team presented the final paper of the session entitled, ‘Worst Case Scenario: Preparing Alberta’s Archives for Future Disasters’. This presentation summarized the ASA’s Flood Advisory Programme – our work so far and our plans for the future. We used specific examples for our members that were negatively affected by the flood and how our program has assisted in their recovery work.

The Lead Team learnt a great deal throughout the conference and especially during the Disaster Management Session. We would like to thank the Canadian Association for Conservation for inviting us to present at the conference. It was a wonderful experience!

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