Transcript: A Cultural Sleeping Giant | Aug 05, 2016

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her thirties, with shoulder-length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses, black trousers, a blue blazer, pale blue shirt and a statement necklace.

A caption on screen reads "Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine."

Then, it changes to "Cultural sleeping giants."

Nam says FAR FROM BEING THE DUSTY HOMES
TO RELICS OF ANOTHER AGE,
MUSEUMS MIGHT JUST BE URBAN
SAVIOURS FOR OUR TIME.
GAIL LORD IS CO-EDITOR AND
CO-WRITER OF
CITIES, MUSEUMS,
NOW ON THE CITY-BUILDING
POTENTIAL OF MUSEUMS.

A picture of the book appears on screen. A city skyline illustrates the cover.

Nam says WELCOME.

Gail says THANK YOU, NAM.

Gail is in her sixties, with short straight blond hair in a Bob cut. She wears glasses, a black pantsuit, a white shirt and a red necklace.

Nam says I'M SO PLEASED TO HAVE YOU HERE.

Gail says I'M DELIGHTED TO BE HERE.
IT'S ONE OF MY FAVOURITE SHOWS.

The caption changes to "Cultural sleeping giants. Origins."

Nam says AS I SAID, I LEARNED A LOT FROM
THE BOOK.

Gail says THANK YOU.

Nam says AND WE'RE GONNA TALK ABOUT THE
BOOK IN A FEW SECONDS, BUT I
WANTED TO GET TO KNOW YOU A BIT
MORE.
FIRST OF ALL, WHAT IS LORD
CULTURAL RESOURCES?

The caption changes to "Gail Lord. Co-Editor of ‘Cities, Museums and Soft Power. Lord Cultural Resources."

Gail says OK, SO THIS COMPANY WAS STARTED
BY MY HUSBAND--BARRY LORD AND
MYSELF IN 1981.
SO, THIS YEAR WE'RE CELEBRATING
OUR 35TH ANNIVERSARY.

Nam says CONGRATULATIONS.

Gail says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
AND, YOU KNOW, TWO KIDS WITH A
CRAZY IDEA AND A CRAZY DREAM IN
1981 WAS TO--WE BELIEVED THAT
THE WORLD NEEDED TO BE PLANNING
CULTURE A LOT BETTER.

Nam says MM HMM.
AND SO, WE STARTED THE COMPANY,
AND WE THOUGHT--WELL, WE WROTE
THE FIRST BOOK WHICH WAS THE
MANUAL OF MUSEUM PLANNING.
WE THOUGHT EVERYBODY IN THE
WORLD KNEW HOW TO PLAN MUSEUMS
EXCEPT--EXCEPT CANADIANS.

Nam says MM HMM.

Gail says BUT WE GOT ORDERS FOR THIS BOOK
FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, AND SO
THAT WAS REALLY THE GENESIS OF
THE COMPANY WHICH HAS--WHICH HAS
GROWN.

Nam says AND YOU MENTIONED CULTURE.
WHAT IS CULTURE?

Gail says OH, WOW.
SO, CULTURE IS HOW HUMAN BEINGS
CREATE MEANING.
WE HAVE A VERY BROAD DEFINITION
OF CULTURE.
IT'S EVERYTHING.
I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY TVONTARIO IS
PART OF THE CULTURAL WORLD.
WHAT WE'RE DOING IS CREATING
MEANING RIGHT NOW.
AND FOR CULTURAL PLANNING, WE DO
EVERYTHING:
MUSEUM, ZOOS, BOTANICAL GARDENS.
BUT WE ALSO DO CITY CULTURAL
PLANS.
WE JUST FINISHED THE CITY
CULTURAL PLAN FOR CHICAGO WHICH
IS A BIG CITY ALTHOUGH NOT AS
BIG AS TORONTO ANYMORE.
SO, THAT'S WHAT IT IS.

Nam says AND 35 YEARS.

Gail says HMM.

Nam says I MEAN, LIKE, IT'S SUCH AN
INCREDIBLE MILESTONE.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN THE
MOST DEFINING MOMENT FOR YOU IN
THOSE 35 YEARS?

Gail says OH GOD.
THAT'S A REALLY HARD QUESTION TO
ANSWER.
I THINK THAT, HMM--THE MOST
DEFINING MOMENT WAS WALKING INTO
THE MUSEUMS ASSOCIATION IN
LONDON WHICH IS THE OLDEST
MUSEUMS ASSOCIATION IN THE
WORLD.
AND I THINK THAT BARRY AND I ARE
BOTH VERY KIND OF ANGLOCENTRIC
IN A WAY.
WE GREW UP THAT WAY, OUR
GENERATION, YOU KNOW?
HALF THE WORLD WAS PINK AND ALL
THAT SORT OF THING.
AND SEEING ALL OUR BOOKS THERE
AND BEING KNOWN THERE, WE--I WAS
ASTOUNDED.

Nam says THAT'S INCREDIBLE.

Gail says AND DEEPLY MOVED.

Nam says I READ AN ARTICLE WHEN YOU FIRST
STARTED, YOU WERE LIVING IN A
LOG CABIN IN HAMILTON.

Gail says YEAH.

Nam says WHAT WERE THOSE EARLY DAYS
LIKE?

Gail says OH GOD.
ALL RIGHT, SO IT WAS A LOG CABIN
OUTSIDE HAMILTON.
OUTSIDE HAMILTON.
MY HUSBAND'S FROM HAMILTON, SO
WE KNOW IT'S AN INDUSTRIAL CITY,
AND HE ACTUALLY GREW UP THERE.

Nam says YEAH.

Gail says SO YEAH, THOSE EARLY DAYS
WERE--WERE KIND OF FUN.

Nam says MM HMM.

Gail says BARRY WAS THE CURATOR OF A
PIONEER VILLAGE, RIGHT?
AND--AND SO, YES, WE LIVED AT A
FAIRLY NICE HOUSE, BUT IT WAS ON
THE PREMISES, AND WE DID HAVE TO
DRESS UP IN THOSE KINDS OF
PIONEER CLOTHING AND OUR KIDS
DID TOO.
AND--AND IT WAS A GREAT
EXPERIENCE.
AND WE DID START THE--WE DID
START THE BUSINESS IN OUR
BEDROOM.
YES.

Nam says THAT'S FANTASTIC.
SO, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE BOOK.
I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT THIS.
SOFT POWER, WHAT IS SOFT POWER?

Gail says OK, SO SOFT POWER DEFINES ITSELF
AS THE OPPOSITE OF HARD POWER.
SO, IT'S MAYBE EASY TO SAY HARD
POWER IS USED MAINLY BY
COUNTRIES, BUT IT CAN BE USED BY
CORPORATIONS AS WELL.
IT'S A WAY OF INFLUENCING
BEHAVIOUR THROUGH WEAPONS, WAR,
MONEY.

Nam says MM HMM.

The caption changes to "Cultural sleeping giants. Soft power."

Gail says SO EMBARGOES ARE HARD POWER, YOU
KNOW?
SO, THE U.S. EMBARGO OF CUBA,
FOR EXAMPLE, WOULD BE--WHICH
HAS JUST ENDED FORTUNATELY--IS
AN EXAMPLE OF HARD POWER.
SO, SOFT POWER IS A WAY OF
CREATING INFLUENCE BY
PERSUASION, AGENDA SETTING, AND
OF COURSE CULTURE.

Nam says AND WHO WIELDS SOFT POWER?

Gail says WELL, ALL OF US.
I MEAN, ACTUALLY TVONTARIO
WIELDS A LOT OF SOFT POWER.
AND THIS IS VERY INTERESTING,
THE AGENDA
SETS AN AGENDA,
RIGHT?

Nam says AH.

Gail says IT'S ACTUALLY A PERFECT EXAMPLE
OF SOFT POWER.
THE AGENDA,
BY THIS PARTICULAR
PROGRAM BY SORT OF SETTING FORTH
AN AGENDA OF IDEAS EXERCISES A
LOT OF INFLUENCE.
THE POINT OF A BOOK THOUGH IS
THAT THE MAIN VEHICLE OF SOFT
POWER TODAY ACTUALLY IS CITIES.
AND THE REASON WHY IT'S CITIES
IS BECAUSE NOW, SINCE 2008, MORE
THAN HALF THE WORLD'S PEOPLE
LIVE IN CITIES.
AND SO AS--YOU KNOW, 50 percent OF THE
WORLD'S PEOPLE, YOU HAVE TO
THINK ABOUT IT, LIVE IN CITIES,
BUT CITIES PRODUCE 80 percent OF THE
WORLD'S GDP.
SO, CITIES HAVE TREMENDOUS
INFLUENCE, BUT THEY'RE NOT
NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS.
THEY DON'T WIELD POWER THROUGH
WAR; THEY DON'T WIELD POWER
THROUGH ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS.
THEY DON'T WIELD POWER IN THOSE
WAYS; THEY WIELD POWER THROUGH
INFLUENCE.

Nam says AND HOW CAN CITIES BE AGENTS OF
SOFT POWER, AND HOW?

Gail says WELL, THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION
AND ONE THAT REALLY INTRIGUED
NGAIRE--MY CO-AUTHOR AND I--WHEN
WE STARTED THE BOOK.
CITIES ARE GETTING TOGETHER AND
EXERCISING SOFT POWER BY SETTING
AGENDAS.
SO FOR EXAMPLE, THERE'S THE C40
GROUP OF CITIES WHICH IS 69 OF
THE WORLD'S BIGGEST CITIES
THAT--YOU KNOW, HUGE CITIES THAT
HAVE SET AN AGENDA ABOUT CLIMATE
CHANGE.
AND THEY HAVE 8,000 STEPS THAT
CITIES SHOULD TAKE IN ORDER TO
STOP THE CLIMATE CHANGE THAT'S
GOING ON THAT'S REALLY
ENDANGERING ALL OF US AND
ENDANGERING THE PLANET.
OTHER CITY--THERE LAST MARCH...

Nam says MM HMM.

Gail says THERE WAS A MEETING OF CITIES
IN TORONTO CALLED CITIES OF
MIGRATION.
AND THIS IS AN ORGANIZATION OF
ABOUT 200 CITIES THAT PROMOTE
URBAN GROWTH THROUGH MIGRATION.
WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY A HOT TOPIC
FOR US IN CANADA RIGHT NOW AND
INDEED ALL OVER THE WORLD.
SO, CITIES ARE--WHEN THE CITY OF
TORONTO SETS AN AGENDA TO END
CHILD POVERTY, FOR EXAMPLE, OR
TO HAVE A POVERTY REDUCTION
PLAN, IT IS EXERCISING SOFT
POWER.

Nam says AND CAN SMALLER CITIES DO THE
SAME?
LIKE, HAMILTON OR...

Gail says GREAT POINT.
YES, SMALLER CITIES CAN AND DO.

Nam says MM HMM.

Gail says THEY DO IT BY BANDING TOGETHER.
THEY DO IT--SMALL CITIES ARE
FLEXIBLE, AND THEY CAN PASS THE
SAME KINDS OF MOTIONS AND
ACTIVITIES THAT THE BIG CITIES
DO.

Nam says AND I WANTED TO SHIFT GEARS A
LITTLE BIT AND TALK ABOUT
MUSEUMS.

Gail says YEAH.

Nam says BUT FOR CLARIFICATION WHEN WE
TALK ABOUT MUSEUMS, WE'RE
TALKING MORE THAN JUST THE ROM
HERE, RIGHT?

The caption changes to "Cultural sleeping giants. A brief history."

Gail says YEAH.
WELL, MUSEUMS ENCOMPASS AN
ENORMOUS RANGE OF PLACES.
SO, THEY CAN BE LIKE--THE ROM IS
CONSIDERED A KIND OF UNIVERSAL
MUSEUM.

Nam says MM HMM.

Gail says THE AGO IS A MUSEUM.
SO, ART GALLERIES ARE PART OF
THIS WORLD CATEGORY CALLED
MUSEUMS.
BOTANICAL GARDENS ARE MUSEUMS,
ZOOS ARE MUSEUMS.
ANY INSTITUTION THAT KIND OF
COLLECTS STORIES, OBJECTS...

Nam says ZOOS?

Gail says YEAH.

Nam says YEAH.

Gail says--ANIMALS...

Nam says RIGHT, RIGHT.

Gail says IDEAS IS A MUSEUM.
IT'S A BROAD DEFINITION.

Nam says AND SO PEOPLE LIKE MUSEUMS,
SOME PEOPLE DON'T LIKE MUSEUMS,
I GUESS THAT CREATES A
CONVERSATION.

Gail says YEAH.

Nam says YEAH, RIGHT?

Gail says YEAH.
WELL, WE'LL FIND OUT.
MAYBE YOUR VIEWERS WILL TELL US.
A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE MUSEUMS.

Nam says YEAH.
SO, LET'S GO BACK IN TIME A
LITTLE BIT AND TALK ABOUT THE
ROLES MUSEUMS PLAYED BACK IN
HISTORY.
ORIGINALLY, WHAT PURPOSE DID
THEY SERVE?

Gail says OK.
THAT'S A REALLY INTERESTING AND
DEBATED TOPIC.
MUSEUMS HAVE THEIR ORIGIN IN THE
COLLECTIONS OF POWERFUL PEOPLE,
RIGHT?
THEY WERE--THEY START AS PRIVATE
PLACES, PLACES IN THE COURT OR
YOU CAN THINK OF RELIQUARIES AND
CHURCHES.
THEY'RE--KIND OF THE ORIGIN OF
MUSEUMS IS THERE.
BUT THE REAL ORIGIN OF MUSEUMS
WHEN YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THOSE
COLLECTIONS IS IN HARD POWER.
THEY'RE TROPHIES OF WAR.
NAPOLEON CONQUERS THE WORLD.
BRINGS BACK THE ART, BRINGS BACK
THE SCULPTURE, BRINGS BACK THE
RELICS OF--AND THAT'S THE
LOUVRE, RIGHT?
NOT THE ORIGIN OF THE LOUVRE,
BUT THAT'S CERTAINLY THE
MAJORITY OF WHAT'S IN THE LOUVRE
TODAY.
IN CANADA, THE BIGGEST SOURCE OF
OUR COLLECTIONS ACTUALLY ALL
ACROSS THE COUNTRY IS WORK THAT
WAS PLUNDERED, TAKEN,
CONFISCATED FROM ABORIGINAL
PEOPLE AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.
SO, MUSEUMS HAVE A--I WON'T SAY
UNIVERSALLY, BUT THEY HAVE A
VERY DEEP HISTORY IN HARD POWER.

Nam says AND HOW WERE THEY VIEWED BY THE
PUBLIC BACK THEN?

Gail says WELL, BACK THEN IS KIND OF A
RELATIVE TERM.
I THINK THAT MUSEUMS HAVE BEEN
PLACES OF LEARNING, PLACES OF
STUDY, PLACES OF RESEARCH.
AND PEOPLE WITH HIGH LEVELS OF
EDUCATION HAVE ALWAYS--HAVE
ALWAYS APPRECIATED MUSEUMS.
I THINK THE ISSUE IS HOW SHOULD
THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE
POPULATION FEEL ABOUT MUSEUMS?
THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE
POPULATION DOESN'T PARTICIPATE
IN MUSEUMS AS MUCH AS THEY COULD
OR THEY SHOULD.
NOW BACK THEN INCLUDES WHEN I
WAS A CHILD, BY THE WAY, AND
WHEN I WAS A CHILD, YOU COULD
GET INTO THE ROM FOR FREE AND
YOU COULD GET INTO THE SCIENCE
CENTRE FOR FREE.
SO THE COST OF MUSEUMS IS HAVING
AN ENORMOUS IMPACT ON HOW PEOPLE
FEEL ABOUT THEM.

Nam says AND IS COST ONE OF THE WAYS THAT
MUSEUMS HAVE EVOLVED?

Gail says FORTUNATELY, ONE OF THE WAYS
THAT--MUSEUMS HAVE EVOLVED IN
LOTS OF GOOD WAYS, RIGHT?

Nam says MM HMM.

Gail says SO, YOU MUSEUMS BEING CREATED IN
CITIES LIKE BILBAO WHICH ARE
BEAUTIFUL FABULOUS BUILDINGS.
THE ADDITIONS TO THE AGO AND THE
ADDITIONS TO THE ROM HAVE MADE
THEM MUCH MORE ATTRACTED
BUILDINGS.
MUSEUMS HAVE ATTRACTED PRIVATE
MONEY SO THEY CAN DO MORE
THINGS, THEY CAN BE MORE ENGAGED
WITH THE PUBLIC.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME, GOVERNMENT
FUNDING HAS DECREASED AND SO THE
COST OF GOING TO A MUSEUM HAS
BECOME VERY, VERY HIGH.

Nam says HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE
MUSEUM EXPERIENCE TODAY?

The caption changes to "Cultural sleeping giants. The value of museums."

Gail says THAT DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU ARE.

Nam says MM HMM.

Nam says I THINK THAT THE MUSEUM
EXPERIENCE FOR MANY PEOPLE IS
EXHILARATING AND WONDERFUL.
IT'S A SOCIAL PLACE.
YOU GO WITH YOUR FAMILY, YOU GO
WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
YOU CAN TALK, YOU CAN INTERACT.
IT'S A FORUM FOR IDEAS.
THEY HAVE LECTURES; THEY HAVE
FILMS, AND THAT'S TERRIFIC.
BUT FOR MANY PEOPLE, THEY'RE
PRETTY INTIMIDATING PLACES.
THEY'RE NOT TOO SURE WHERE THE
FRONT DOOR IS.
THEY'RE NOT TOO SURE WHAT TO DO
WHEN THEY GO THROUGH THE FRONT
DOOR.
MOST PEOPLE KNOW FROM WATCHING
TELEVISION WHAT TO DO WITH A
HOCKEY GAME.
I ALWAYS GIVE THAT AS AN
EXAMPLE.
I WOULDN'T HAVE A CLUE WHAT TO
DO IN A HOCKEY GAME.

Nam says NEITHER WOULD WHERE I.

Gail says OK, GOOD.

Nam says SO, WE SHARE THAT...
HOW ABOUT BASKETBALL?

Gail says OK, FINE.
WELL, ALL RIGHT BUT STILL I
WOULDN'T ACTUALLY BE TOO SURE
WHAT TO DO AT A BASKETBALL GAME,
BUT THERE'S ENOUGH WAYS OF
SEEING ON TV--LIKE I THINK
TVONTARIO SHOULD DO A LOT MORE
WITH MUSEUMS THAT WOULD MAKE
PEOPLE FEEL COMFORTABLE GOING
THERE.
I THINK THAT FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE
IT'S AN EXPENSIVE, ALIENATING
EXPERIENCE.
IT'S SOMEWHERE THEY WENT WITH A
SCHOOL GROUP.
MAYBE THEY HAD A GOOD TIME--IT
DEPENDS ON HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT
SCHOOL--MAYBE THEY DIDN'T.
BUT I THINK THAT THE DATA TELLS
US THAT SCHOOL VISITS DON'T
NECESSARILY CONVERT TO LIFELONG
HABITS OF GOING.

Nam says AND I'M INTERESTED, WHAT DO YOU
THINK TVO SHOULD DO WITH
MUSEUMS?

Gail says WELL, I WAS LOOKING AT YOUR
LINEUP FOR THE SPRING AND
SUMMER, AND I WAS THINKING THAT
ALL THOSE TOPICS LIKE SEEDS.
MUSEUMS HAVE LOTS OF SEED
COLLECTIONS, LIKE, YOU KNOW?
THAT THERE ARE--FOR ALMOST EVERY
SINGLE ONE OF YOUR--OF YOUR
SHOWS, THERE'S A MUSEUM
COMPANION STORY.
AND THAT WOULD HELP NORMALIZE
THE MUSEUM EXPERIENCE, YES.

Nam says NOW, I SAID TO YOU BEFORE WE
STARTED SHOOTING THE SHOW, THE
FIRST TIME I WENT TO A MUSEUM, I
WAS 25.
AND I WAS IN A DIFFERENT
COUNTRY.
I WAS IN SPAIN.
TO WHAT EXTENT ARE MUSEUMS STILL
SEEN AS ÉLITIST INSTITUTIONS?

Gail says WELL, I THINK THAT THE GOOD NEWS
ABOUT YOUR STORY IS DID YOU LIKE
THAT MUSEUM?

Nam says I LOVED IT.
I LOVED IT.

Gail says SO THEN WHAT HAPPENED?
DID YOU COME BACK HERE AND
THINK, "I'LL GO.
I'LL GO TO A MUSEUM?"

Nam says I DID.
AND I WENT--I LIVED IN LONDON
FOR FIVE YEARS, AND I DIDN'T
REALIZE HOW GOOD I HAD IT THERE
BECAUSE I COULD GO WHENEVER I
WANTED AND I DIDN'T HAVE TO PAY.

Gail says THIS IS IN LONDON,
ENGLAND?

Nam says IN ENGLAND.

Gail says NOT IN LONDON, ONTARIO.

Nam says NO IN LONDON, ENGLAND.

Gail says IN LONDON, ONTARIO YOU WOULD
HAVE HAD TO PAY.

Nam says YEAH.

Gail says OK, SO, THAT'S A GREAT STORY.

Nam says MM HMM.

Gail says SO, MUSEUMS ARE--BEFORE WE--THEY
ARE TOURISM ATTRACTIONS.
AND PEOPLE WHEN THEY TRAVEL GO
TO MUSEUMS.
AND THAT'S GREAT.
AND YOU'RE A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF
WHAT HAPPENS WITH LOTS OF LOTS
OF PEOPLE.
THEY'LL GO WHEN THEY'RE IN
ANOTHER CITY AS THEY WANNA LEARN
WHAT THAT CITY HAS TO
COMMUNICATE.
THEY WANNA LEARN ABOUT THE
MEANINGS GOING ON IN THAT CITY.
AND THAT'S--YOU KNOW, YOU CAN GO
TO COFFEE SHOPS, YOU CAN GO TO
BARS, AND YOU CAN GO TO MUSEUMS,
RIGHT?
SO, THAT'S FANTASTIC.
NOW, THE QUESTION IS THEN--YOU
WERE LUCKY.
YOU WENT TO LONDON WHERE THERE'S
SOME OF THE GREATEST MUSEUMS IN
THE WORLD, AND THEY'RE ALL FREE.

Nam says I WAS SHOCKED WHEN I CAME BACK
AND I WENT TO THE ROM, AND I WAS
LIKE, "WHAT NOW?"

Gail says WELL, I'M AFRAID THAT'S THE
TALE--THAT'S THE ULTIMATE TALE
OF TWO CITIES.

Nam says YEAH.

Gail says I MEAN, THAT'S EXACTLY--EXACTLY
THE ISSUE.

Nam says YEAH.

Gail says SO, THEN WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?

Nam says I THINK THAT YOU'RE A
PROTOTYPICAL CASE, FRANKLY.
WELL, NOW I HAVE--FORTUNATELY I
HAVE A MEMBERSHIP TO THE ROM BUT
I SPLIT IT WITH ANOTHER FAMILY
MEMBER BECAUSE I HAVE TWO
CHILDREN, AND I WANT TO EXPOSE
THEM TO, YOU KNOW, THINGS IN
MUSEUMS.
I LOVE THE ATMOSPHERE.
SO, THAT'S WHAT--I DECIDED THAT
I WOULD FOREGO DOING SOMETHING
ELSE TO GET A MEMBERSHIP TO THE
ROM.

Gail says SO, WE HAVE SPAIN AND ENGLAND TO
THANK FOR YOUR DEVOTION TO
MUSEUMS.
AND I THINK THAT MAYBE
THAT'S--THAT'S A KIND OF A
TYPICAL STORY.
YOU WENT TO COMPELLING MUSEUMS
OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY AND NOW YOU
APPRECIATE WHAT WE HAVE HERE.

Nam says EXACTLY.

Gail says SO, THAT'S GREAT.
THE CONTENTION OF THE BOOK
THOUGH IS THAT OUR MUSEUMS AND
MUSEUMS GENERALLY COULD BE DOING
A LOT MORE.

Nam says WELL, IN ONE OF THE ESSAYS, YOU
WRITE ABOUT--ONE OF THE POINTS
THAT YOU MAKE IS THAT MUSEUMS
ARE GOOD FOR WOMEN.
AND I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT THAT.
HOW IS THAT?

Gail says WELL, ALL RIGHT, I THINK THAT'S
A SECTION ON EMPLOYMENT.

Nam says MM HMM.

Gail says AND WE MAKE A POINT THAT MUSEUMS
TODAY ARE PART OF CIVIL SOCIETY
WHICH IS TO SAY THEY'RE NEITHER
BIG GOVERNMENT, NOR THEY'RE BIG
INDUSTRY.
THEY'RE SORT OF QUASI, IN
CANADA'S CASE,
INDEPENDENT--INDEPENDENT
ORGANIZATIONS.
MUSEUMS LIKE OTHER CIVIL SOCIETY
INSTITUTIONS ARE REALLY GREAT
PLACES FOR WOMEN TO WORK.
AND THEY'RE ALSO PLACES WHERE
WOMEN PLAY LEADERSHIP ROLES.
AND THAT'S ONE THE WAYS THAT
THEY'RE VERY GOOD FOR WOMEN.
UNFORTUNATELY, WOMEN ARE NOT YET
DIRECTORS IN THE WORLD'S MAJOR
MUSEUMS.
THEY ARE MAINLY MEN.
I'D SAY ABOUT 90 percent OF THE
DIRECTORS OF THE MAJOR MUSEUMS
IN THE WORLD ARE MEN.
SO, WE'VE JUST MADE TWO
APPOINTMENTS HERE IN TORONTO,
AND THEY WERE BOTH MEN.
HAVING SAID THAT THOUGH, TWO OF
THE MOST TALENTED MUSEUM
DIRECTORS IN CANADA ARE WOMEN.

Nam says THE LAST DIRECTOR OF THE
ROM WAS A WOMAN.

Gail says YES, THAT'S TRUE.
AND TWO OF THE MOST TALENTED
DIRECTORS IN CANADA RIGHT NOW
ARE WOMEN.
AND THAT'S THE MUSÉE DE QUÉBEC
AND THE MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE
ARTS.
AND THEY'RE REALLY MAKING A HUGE
AMOUNT OF CHANGE.
SO, I THINK THAT WOMEN ARE--FIND
GREAT PLACES TO WORK IN MUSEUMS,
BUT THEY'RE NOT YET IN ALL THE
LEADERSHIP POSITIONS THAT THEY
SHOULD BE.

Nam says AND ANOTHER PROJECT THAT YOU
WORKED ON, YOU HAD A SIGNIFICANT
ROLE IN WINNIPEG'S CANADIAN
MUSEUM FOR HUMAN RIGHTS.

Gail says YEAH.

Nam says HOW DID THAT PROJECT GET
STARTED?

A picture of the Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg appears.

The caption changes to "Cultural sleeping giants. Confronting controversy."

Gail says OK, WOW...YEAH.
IF YOU ASK ME THE QUESTION WHAT
IS THE PROUDEST THING I'VE EVER
DONE--YOU ASKED ME WHAT WAS THE
MOST AMAZING MOMENT, IT ACTUALLY
IS THE HUMAN RIGHTS MUSEUM IN
WINNIPEG.

Nam says WHY?

Gail says IT'S CANADA'S FIRST NATIONAL
MUSEUM OUTSIDE THE NATIONAL
CAPITAL REGION WHICH IS
SOMETHING I THINK IS REALLY
IMPORTANT FOR A COUNTRY AS BIG
AS CANADA AND AS DIVERSE AS
CANADA.

Nam says MM HMM.

Gail says IT'S ALSO THE WORLD'S FIRST
NATIONAL MUSEUM DEDICATED TO
HUMAN RIGHTS WHICH HUMAN RIGHTS,
CLIMATE CHANGE, THEY'RE THE TWO
BIGGEST SUBJECTS THAT CONCERN
THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY.
AND I--IT'S A TOTALLY GREAT
MUSEUM.
IT'S THE MOST
TECHNOLOGICALLY-ADVANCED MUSEUM
IN CANADA.
ONE OF THE MOST
TECHNOLOGICALLY-ADVANCED MUSEUMS
IN THE WORLD, AND IT'S A DEEPLY
MOVING PLACE.
IT DOESN'T COLLECT ARTIFACTS; IT
COLLECTS HUMAN STORIES.
AND I THINK THAT THAT'S ONE OF
THE REALLY BIG TRENDS IN MUSEUMS
TODAY, IS TO SEE THEIR
COLLECTIONS AREN'T--THEY AREN'T
JUST ABOUT OBJECTS ALTHOUGH
OBJECTS DO TELL STORIES, THEY
ARE PLACES WHERE PEOPLE'S
STORIES ARE COLLECTED AND
VALIDATED.

Nam says I LOVE THAT.
THERE WAS SOME--HOWEVER, THERE
WAS SOME CONTROVERSY OVER THE
ESTABLISHMENT WITH SOME
CRITICIZING EVERYTHING FROM THE
WAY CERTAIN GENOCIDES WERE
PORTRAYED TO THE RANKING OF
HUMAN RIGHTS.

Gail says RIGHT.

Nam says IS CONTROVERSY GOOD FOR A
MUSEUM?

Gail says CONTROVERSY IS GREAT FOR
MUSEUMS.
AND I THINK OUR MUSEUMS SHOULD
ALL HAVE MORE CONTROVERSY.
YOU CAN'T DEAL WITH A SUBJECT
LIKE HUMAN RIGHTS WITHOUT HAVING
CONTROVERSY.
I MEAN, THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT.
AFTER ALL, WHAT ARE HUMAN
RIGHTS?
IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S VERY
CULTURALLY DEFINED.
THERE ARE SOME PARTS OF THE
WORLD THAT DON'T AGREE WITH
OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD AND
THIS GOES ON, AND YOU SEE IT IN
THE PAPERS EVERY DAY.
WHAT IS A HUMAN RIGHT, OK?
AND WE CAN SEE IN THE TREATMENT
OF OUR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN
CANADA AND--AND BY THE WAY,
IT'S REALLY INTERESTING THAT THE
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
COMMISSION, OF THE 90
RECOMMENDATIONS OR ACTION ITEMS
THAT IT'S MADE, A WHOLE BUNCH OF
THEM ARE ABOUT MUSEUMS.
SO, MUSEUMS REALLY ARE PLACES OF
CONTESTED HISTORY.
THEY'RE PLACES THAT SHOULD BE
CONTESTED AND DEBATABLE.
NOW, WHEN YOU--DO YOU REALLY
WANT ME TO GO INTO THE HUMAN
RIGHT THING?

Nam says OH YES.

Gail says OK.
SO, THE HUMAN RIGHTS MUSEUM WAS
A CONTROVERSIAL IDEA.
THE QUESTION OF GENOCIDE IS AT
THE VERY CORE OF THE MUSEUM.
AND THE STAFF IS ALL NEW.
REMEMBER WHEN YOU START
SOMETHING NEW, YOU GET NEW
BUILDING, NEW IDEA, NEW
INSTITUTION, AND NEW STAFF.
AND SO IT TAKES A WHILE FOR THAT
STAFF TO FAMILIARIZE THEMSELVES.
AND YOU IMAGINE THE FOUNDING
STAFF OF TVONTARIO, IT WOULD
HAVE BEEN COMPLICATED.
ALTHOUGH AN EDUCATIONAL
TELEVISION DID EXIST BEFORE.
NOBODY EVER DID A NATIONAL HUMAN
RIGHTS MUSEUM BEFORE.
SO YEAH, THERE WERE DEBATES ON
WHICH GENOCIDE SHOULD BE IN THE
MUSEUM.
IN THE END THEY SAID, YOU KNOW,
"WE'RE A NATIONAL MUSEUM AND SO
WE WILL FEATURE THOSE GENOCIDES
THAT THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT HAS
FORMERLY RECOGNIZED AS
GENOCIDES."
AND SO THEN THERE'S A DEBATE OF
IS WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE GENOCIDE?
AND I THINK THAT THEY CAME DOWN
ON THE SIDE OF SAYING IT'S
"CULTURAL GENOCIDE."
SO, THESE ARE COMPLEX.
AND I THINK IT'S ALL
NEGOTIATION.

Nam says AND THAT'S--'CAUSE I REMEMBER IN
THE BOOK, YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT
PLACEMAKING WHERE...

Gail says YES.

Nam says IT'S A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE CAN
HAVE THESE CONVERSATIONS AND
DEBATE.

Gail says EXACTLY.

Nam says YOU KNOW, AND ALSO I GUESS PART
OF SOFT POWER.

Gail says EXACTLY.

Nam says AND HOW HAS THE CITY OF WINNIPEG
BENEFITED FROM HAVING THE MUSEUM
THERE?

Gail says OK, THAT'S--THAT'S SOMETHING I'M
REALLY PROUD OF AGAIN.
I'M FROM TORONTO, BUT MY FAMILY
WAY BACK IS FROM WINNIPEG SO,
YOU KNOW, IT KIND OF NEVER
LEAVES YOU IN A WAY.
WITH WINNIPEG, THEY
MADE--THEY'VE PROCLAIMED
THEMSELVES THE CITY OF HUMAN
RIGHTS EDUCATION.
THEY KNOW THAT THEY HAVE
PROBLEMS, MANY, MANY PROBLEMS IN
WINNIPEG.
ESPECIALLY WITH THE INDIGENOUS
POPULATION, MURDERED AND MISSING
INDIGENOUS WOMEN.
AND WE READ ABOUT THAT IN THE
PAPER EVERY DAY.
AND SO, THEY KNOW THAT THE HUMAN
RIGHTS MUSEUM--THIS IS THE CITY
COUNCIL; I'M COMING RIGHT BACK
TO THE CITY THEME--HAS REALLY
MADE A COMMITMENT THAT WINNIPEG
WILL BE A HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION
CITY.
IT--GOING ALONG WITH THAT IS THE
FACT THAT THE ARCHIVE OF THE
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
COMMISSION WILL BE HOUSED AT ONE
OF THE UNIVERSITIES IN WINNIPEG.
AND SO, THIS WAS KIND OF GONNA
CREATE A--A SCHOLARLY MASS FOR
STUDY AND RESEARCH AND ACTION.
IN ADDITION, IT'S A POWERFUL
MAGNET FOR TOURISM.
WINNIPEG WAS NAMED AS ONE OF THE
16 CITIES THAT YOU--BY
NATIONAL
GEOGRAPHIC
MAGAZINE THAT YOU
HAVE TO VISIT BEFORE YOU DIE.

Nam says WOW.

Gail says IT WAS THE ONLY CANADIAN CITY TO
MAKE THAT LIST.
WAY TO GO, WINNIPEG.
AND IT WAS ALL ON THE BASIS OF
THIS AMAZING HUMAN RIGHTS
MUSEUM.
SO, YES.

Nam says WELL, LAST YEAR WINNIPEG WAS IN
THE NEWS FOR A DIFFERENT REASON.
MACLEAN'S
MAGAZINE LABELLED IT
CANADA'S MOST RACIST CITY.

A picture of the cover of Maclean’s magazine appears. A picture of a woman illustrates the cover with the title "They call me a stupid squaw, or tell me to go back to the rez."

Gail says RIGHT.

Nam says AN IMAGINE ITS MAYOR IS
TRYING TO TAKE ACTION ON.

Gail says THAT'S RIGHT.

Nam says HOW MIGHT THE MUSEUM PLAY A
ROLE IN UNDOING THAT REPUTATION?

Gail says RIGHT.
SO I THINK IT'S--REPUTATION IS
SOMETHING BASED ON--USUALLY
HOPEFULLY REALITY.
I MEAN NOT HOPEFULLY REALITY BUT
NOT JUST WORDS BUT REALITY.
BY--ONE THING THAT THE MUSEUM
HAS DONE BY THE WAY IS IT'S MADE
ADMISSION FREE TO INDIGENOUS
PEOPLE.
AND THAT WAS SUPER CONTROVERSIAL
JUST BY THE WAY.
THEY'RE ON LAND--TREATY LAND,
AND THEY ALWAYS ACKNOWLEDGE
THAT.
THE EXHIBITIONS ON INDIGENOUS
REALITY, MURDERED AND MISSING
WOMEN, ARE VERY, VERY POWERFUL
IN THAT MUSEUM, AND THEY WORK
WITH INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES ALL
THE TIME.
ALL ACROSS CANADA, NOT ONLY IN
WINNIPEG.
SO, I THINK THAT THEY'RE ENGAGED
IN A PROCESS.
AND TIME WILL TELL HOW MUCH THEY
CONTRIBUTE TO THAT PROCESS.
BUT THEY ARE CONSCIOUSLY WORKING
WITH ABORIGINAL PEOPLE.
NOW, YOU KNOW, TORONTO ACTUALLY
HAS THE BIGGEST NUMERICAL
POPULATION OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLE
IN CANADA.
NOT AS A PROPORTION OF THE
POPULATION, BUT IT'S STRICTLY
NUMERIC.
SO, WE COULD VERY WELL ASK OUR
OWN MUSEUMS WHAT THEY'RE DOING.
AND, YOU KNOW,
MACLEAN'S
MAGAZINE COULD PROBABLY
WRITE--PRODUCE A--OR ANY
MAGAZINE,
WALRUS,
WHATEVER,
A COVER SAYING:
"TORONTO: CANADA CENTRE
OF CHILD POVERTY."
IT'S A TRUE FACT.
AND SO, THE QUESTION THAT WE ASK
IN THE BOOK IS, "WELL, WHAT ARE
OUR MUSEUMS DOING ABOUT THAT?"
AFTER ALL, WE HAVE LOTS OF
CHILDREN VISITING THEM.
WHAT ARE THEY DOING?
IT HAPPENS THAT THE ONTARIO
SCIENCE CENTRE HAS DONE A GOOD
EXHIBITION ON THAT SUBJECT.
BUT WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH
THOSE COMMUNITIES?
SO, I THINK THAT'S--I THINK THAT
THAT'S NOT JUST A QUESTION FOR
WINNIPEG, IT'S A QUESTION FOR
ALL OUR CITIES.

Nam says I WANTED TO WRAP UP OUR
CONVERSATION BY BRINGING IT BACK
TO THE BOOK.
IN THE BOOK, YOU HAVE 30--32
WAYS MUSEUMS CAN ACTIVATE THEIR
SOFT POWER.

Gail says DON'T ASK ME TO NAME THEM
ALL, PLEASE.

Nam says NO, NO, NO, I WON'T.
WE WON'T GO ALL 32, BUT WE'RE
GONNA TAKE OUT FIVE.

Gail says YEAH RIGHT.

Nam says REFLECTING THE CITY, IF YOU
COULD JUST MAKE A BRIEF COMMENT
ON REFLECTING THE CITY.

The caption changes to "Cultural sleeping giants. Reflecting the city."

Gail says OK, SO MUSEUM BOARDS SHOULD
REFLECT THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE
CITY.
MUSEUM STAFF SHOULD REFLECT THE
DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE CITY.
THE BOARDS AND THE STAFF ARE
DOING WELL ON THE WOMEN QUESTION
AS WE TALKED ABOUT, BUT
CERTAINLY NOT ON THE ETHNICITY
AND RACE ISSUES.
AND SO, THAT'S SOMETHING THAT
IS--REALLY SHOULD BE A GOAL OF
MUSEUMS TO CHANGE.

Nam says ANOTHER POINT YOU HAVE, WE'VE
TALKED ABOUT THIS BRIEFLY, FREE
ADMISSION.

The caption changes to "Cultural sleeping giants. Free admission."

Gail says FREE ADMISSION IS CRUCIAL.
THE DATA FROM THE--FROM ENGLAND
TELLS US THAT WHEN YOU HAVE FREE
ADMISSION, YOU INCREASE
ATTENDANCE BY 30 percent TO 50 percent.

Nam says WOW.
THREE, INVITING MORE...

Gail says AND YOU'RE THE LIVING EXAMPLE.

Nam says AND THE THIRD ONE I WANNA TALK
ABOUT IS INVITING MORE PEOPLE
IN.

The caption changes to "Cultural sleeping giants. Inviting more people in."

Gail says RIGHT.
SO, IF YOU'RE A BAD MUSEUM,
I.E., UNINTERESTING, DULL, OLD,
IT CAN BE FREE.
YOU CAN PAY PEOPLE, AND THEY'RE
NOT GONNA COME.
SO, I DON'T WANT VIEWERS TO
MISUNDERSTAND THE POINT.
BEING A GREAT, INTERESTING,
COMPELLING PLACE, PEOPLE WILL
WANT TO COME.
AND THEY'LL COME MORE
OFTEN--THEY'LL ENTER THOSE DOORS
IF IT'S FREE.
BUT PEOPLE ALSO NEED TO BE
INVITED IN BECAUSE IF THEY SEE,
"OH, IT'S A BUILDING I WALK PAST
EVERY DAY, THERE ARE STAIRS,
THERE ARE CLOSED DOORS," THEY
NEED TO BE INVITED IN BY
RELEVANT PROGRAMS.
MUSEUMS NEED TO DO THINGS THAT
ARE MEANINGFUL FOR PEOPLE.
SO, THE MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE
ARTS--I JUST WANNA TELL YOU WHAT
NATALIE BONDIL HAS DONE, THEY'RE
OPENING A NEW PAVILION, AND IT'S
DEDICATED TO MENTAL HEALTH.
SO, THEY'VE IDENTIFIED THAT
MUSEUMS CAN WORK WITH ALL KINDS
OF MENTAL-HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS
AND DELIVER VERY POWERFUL
SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITY.
NOW, THAT'S INVITING PEOPLE IN.

Nam says AND THE SECOND-LAST POINT IS IN
THE NEWS GETTING MORE MEDIA
EXPOSURE.

The caption changes to "Cultural sleeping giants. In the news."

Gail says RIGHT, YEAH.
WELL, CONTROVERSY IS ONE WAY.
ANOTHER WAY IS JUST SIMPLY BEING
RELEVANT.
I HAVEN'T SEEN TOO MANY--THERE
ARE THOUSANDS OF ARTICLES ABOUT
WHAT WE'RE DOING AS A COUNTRY
FOR REFUGEES.
VERY FEW OF THEM INVOLVE
MUSEUMS.
AND I THINK THAT'S KIND OF
SHAMEFUL BECAUSE THE COLLECTIONS
AT MUSEUMS CAN BE INTERPRETED BY
PEOPLE FROM SYRIA, PEOPLE FROM
THE MIDDLE EAST, PEOPLE
FROM--AND YET, OBVIOUSLY OUR
MUSEUMS DON'T FEEL THAT THEY
DON'T WANT TO PARTICULARLY
EMBRACE THAT.

Nam says AND ANOTHER ONE YOU HAVE IS
DEVELOP OUR DOLLARS, LIKE TAXING
DEVELOPERS FOR BUILDING NEWER
MUSEUMS.

The caption changes to "Cultural sleeping giants. Developer dollars."

Gail says AH, THAT'S A BIG SUBJECT.

Nam says YEAH.

Gail says ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE ROM,
THERE'S A BUILDING GOING UP, AND
THERE'S A HUGE BILLBOARD THAT
SAYS, "PEOPLE WHO BUY HERE WILL
HAVE FOREVER VIEWS."
THAT'S BECAUSE...

Nam says TORONTO.
THAT'S RIGHT.

Nam says WELL SURE, BECAUSE NO ONE'S
GONNA PUT A 50-STOREY
MUSEUM--CONDO ON TOP OF THE ROM.
AT LEAST I DON'T THINK SO.
SO THE QUESTION IS HOW CAN
PEOPLE EITHER OWNERS OR
DEVELOPERS HELP CONTRIBUTE
FINANCIALLY TO THE BENEFIT THAT
THESE BEAUTIFUL--WE CALL MUSEUMS
SLEEPING GIANTS--PLAY.
AFTER ALL, THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL
BUILDINGS; THEY ARE WELL CARED
FOR; THEY ADD SO MUCH TO THE
STREET; THEY ARE LOVELY PLACES.
THEY--BUT THE PEOPLE WHO BENEFIT
MOST DON'T CONTRIBUTE.

Nam says DO YOU THINK THE CITY
SHOULD BE PUTTING MORE MONEY
INTO THE MUSEUMS AS WELL?

Gail says I THINK CITIES CAN'T AFFORD TO,
BUT I THINK DEVELOPERS CAN
AFFORD TO.
AND WE NEED TO LOOK AT SOME
STRATEGIES WHEREBY DEVELOPERS
AND PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN
DEVELOPMENTS WHO BENEFIT
DIRECTLY--THE VALUE OF THEIR
CONDO, THE VALUE OF THEIR
APARTMENT GOES UP--CAN MAKE THAT
CONTRIBUTION.

Nam says AND FINALLY, WHAT CITIES ARE
AHEAD WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR
SUPPORT FOR MUSEUMS AND WHAT
CITIES ARE BEHIND?

The caption changes to "tvo.org/current-affairs."

Gail says OK.
WELL, TORONTO IS DOING WELL ON
SUPPORT FOR CULTURE.
YOU KNOW, THEY--WE HAD A CULTURE
PLAN, AND WE--WE GIVE OUT--I
THINK IT'S ABOUT 25 DOLLARS PER HEAD
GOES INTO CULTURE GENERALLY.
NOT VERY MUCH OF THAT GOES INTO
MUSEUMS.
I'D SAY THAT IT'S NOT ONLY ABOUT
MONEY, IT'S ABOUT WORKING WITH
MUSEUMS.
WHEN WE DID THIS BOOK AND I
INTERVIEWED PEOPLE IN SOCIAL
SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS, I
WAS--WHO HAVE--WORKING ON
ENVIRONMENT REFUGEE ISSUES AND
HOUSING AND POVERTY, ISSUES LIKE
THAT--I ASKED THEM, "DO YOU EVER
DO ANYTHING WITH MUSEUMS?"
THEY WERE STUNNED WITH THE
QUESTION.
NEVER OCCURRED TO THEM.
SO, MUSEUMS ARE KIND OF SLEEPING
GIANTS.
I DON'T THINK IT'S ABOUT MONEY.
I THINK ACTUALLY MUSEUMS HAVE A
REASONABLE AMOUNT OF MONEY.
EVERYBODY IN CULTURE NEEDS MORE
MONEY.
THE QUESTION IS HOW CAN MUSEUMS
AND CITIES WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY
TOGETHER?
AND I'D SAY THAT NEW YORK WOULD
BE A GOOD EXAMPLE, CHICAGO WOULD
BE A GOOD EXAMPLE, AND
LONDON--YOUR CITY WOULD BE A
GREAT EXAMPLE.
AND I THINK THAT OUR CANADIAN
CITIES COULD BE DOING A LOT
MORE.

Nam says GAIL, IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE
SPEAKING WITH YOU.

Gail says IT'S BEEN GREAT TALKING TO YOU.

Nam says I--NEXT TIME YOU'RE IN TOWN, WE
NEED TO GO GLASS SHOPPING.

Gail says OH, YEAH, YEAH.
OK, RIGHT.
THANK YOU.
I LIVE HERE, SO WE'LL GO GLASS
SHOPPING TOMORROW.

Nam says FANTASTIC.

The caption changes to "Producer: Colin Ellis. @ColinEllis81."

Watch: A Cultural Sleeping Giant