PhD Candidate, Public History, Carleton University, Ottawa Ontario

My research examines how The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 (CMIP21) and The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), are engaging and making more visible the intangible heritage of the different communities they represent. UNESCO defines intangible heritage as “the practices, representations, expressions, as well as the knowledge and skills, that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage.” These two museums were chosen in particular due to the fact that they are not object based museums, but a museum based on stories and ideas respectively. I will be using case studies from these two national museums to prove that if museums are more aware of the intangible culture embodied in their source communities, including but not limited to oral histories, storytelling, performances, rituals, that the institution can become a platform for change, participation and a social actor within the community.