Tag Archives: visitors

Visitor Evaluation: Follow Your Art

8 Jul

Over the past month, the MIA has been conducting visitor evaluations on the ‘Follow Your Art’ program. We want to find out how well the program is working to enhance the visitor experience, and through the administration of surveys, we are getting closer to this goal.

The ‘Follow Your Art’ program is a self-guided option within the museum which seeks to enable visitors to appreciate the stylistic elements of the pieces and gain a deeper understanding of Inuit art.

To gauge the efficacy of this program, we have created a short survey for guests to complete toward the end of their visit. In order to keep answers as accurate as possible, the surveys have been independently filled out by visitors without interference by administrators.

So far, the findings have been interesting! Of all the participants to date, 98.0% of visitors who experienced ‘Follow Your Art’ reported feeling a deeper connection to the art, with 70.0% of that group feeling a personal connection. In addition, 94.1% of respondents experienced an increase in understanding after experiencing ‘Follow Your Art’.

When the data collection is complete, we will be conducting a thorough analysis of the responses, with more detailed findings available. Until then, drop by the museum to experience the evaluation process first-hand!

 Posted by: Serena Ypelaar, MIA’s Visitor Services Officer

Explore the Realities of Living in the Modern Arctic this March Break at MIA

3 Mar
Inuit community of Pangnirtung

Inuit community of Pangnirtung

This March Break the Museum of Inuit Art is exploring the realities of living in the modern Canadian Arctic through four interactive stations (one to represent each Inuit land claim area in Canada) located throughout the museum.

Every family will be issued a passport to explore the Museum of Inuit Art in new, multi-sensory ways while challenging perceptions of the Arctic.

Activities to enjoy:

  • Get hands on with our teaching collection at our feel-box station. Learn about properties of the materials being used by Inuit artists and how this impacts the art being produced in the Arctic today.
  • Can you dance like a polar bear or run like a muskox? Show us your moves while learning animal names in Inuktitut in the Museum of Inuit Art’s version of ‘Simon Says’.
  • Learn about the differences in food costs and diets in the Arctic and Southern Canada at the MIA land claim grocery store.
  • What makes your neighbourhood unique? Make comparisons between your community and those in the Arctic. Through exploration of prints and postcards, learn about population size, temperature, and infrastructure available in Inuit communities.

As you complete the activities, be sure to get your passport stamped! If you have your passport stamped at all four interactive stations, you are eligible for a $5 discount on a family membership. Your name will also be entered into a raffle to win a $50 gift certificate from Loblaws-Queens Quay!

DATES: March 9 to March 17
TIME: 12 PM to 4 PM
PRICE: Free with Museum Admission (Adults $5, Students/Seniors $3, Children 12 and under FREE)

We are still looking for volunteers for this event. If you are interested in lending a helping hand, please email volunteer@miamuseum.ca.

Lindsay Bontoft, MIA’s Public Programming and Development Coordinator

Surveys and Suggestions

2 Sep

If you’ve visited the museum during the last few weeks, you may have been approached by some very inquisitive MIA volunteers. We always love hearing from visitors about their trips to the Arctic, pieces of art they’ve collected, or which work was their favourite piece on display, our volunteers had some specific topics in mind as they distributed this years Visitor Evaluation.

A Visitor Evaluation is a simple questionnaire or survey that helps the museum answer specific questions in order to  improve the museum experience. Surveys can be targeted to a particular exhibition, program, or tour, but they could also be broader in scope to get the “big picture”. For the purposes of our latest evaluation, we looked at: who visits, why they visit, and what they both expected to see that day and would like to see in the future. By asking these questions, we’ll be able to tailor our museum to create the ultimate museum visit and offer you more of what you like.

Just as there are different types of questions that can be asked, how you deliver the survey can also vary. I think we’ve all been prompted by messages online to complete a customer survey, or received a phone call asking for feedback. When we created our evaluation, we wanted to be as unobtrusive as possible so we chose the face-to-face interview method. This less formal style keeps the interactions light and friendly, with the added bonus of being able to share those great stories of your Arctic/Inuit art experiences.

We’ve just about wrapped up our summer round of evaluations but there are still plenty of ways to have your voice heard if you have a comment or suggestion to make. Inside the museum we have a visitor comment board where you can leave a question (or fun drawing like on this board).

The visitor comment board can be found at the entrance to the M. and G. Thiel Audio-Visual Centre.

We’re also on Facebook and Twitter if you wanted to leave us a message online.

To everyone who has already participated, a GIANT “thank you!” for spending some time with our volunteers and answering their questions. And keep an eye out during our next exhibition or program – you might just see some of your suggestions in action!

– Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA Visitor Services Officer

Behind the Scenes Installations

13 Aug

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged about what’s been going on behind the scenes at the museum, but we have been very busy with some very exciting things in in the works. I’m happy to be back on the blog, though, and that I get to update you on some of what’s been happening here.

Recently, we added special labels for families to our exhibition spaces and will continue to add more over the coming weeks. These offer additional information and pose questions. As a museum, we are very serious about making our museum as family friendly as possible and I think these labels will go along way towards achieving that goal. They are also fun for older or individual visitors, too!

Volunteer Coordinator Jessica Cappuccitti and I placing the new labels inside exhibition cases.

Also in the interest of improving visitor experience, we installed panels over our exhibition cases explaining in both English and French the contents of the case. This is part of our long-term plans to incorporate more French into the museum, so for those of you who have been asking please know that we hear you!

MIA Director David Harris installing one of our new panels.


Finally, we mounted a visitor comment board at the rear entrance to the museum. We wanted to give visitors a way to express themselves, tell us what they think and ask us any questions they may have but for one reason or another do not want to ask in person. We are posting images of the comment boards on our Flickr stream and Facebook page and responding to suggestions and comments made there. If you have a comment, feel free to tell us!

Our comment board on July 23.

If you have a suggestion for something you’d like to see inside the museum,  please feel free to let us know. We hope that these improvements help all of our visitors get more out of their experiences here. In the next few weeks, we will be installing new exhibitions and objects, as well as implementing some other exciting projects we’ve been working on. Keep your eyes on the blog for more!

Posted by: Alysa Procida, MIA’s Educational Coordinator

Alternate Ways To Spend Your Time At MIA

5 Apr

Working at MIA, I get to see a lot of people come through the museum and what always strikes me is how incredibly different they all are. Obviously, our visitors differ in their age, background and in a million other ways. But what really amazes me are all the reasons they come here and all the ways they use the museum.

There really are an amazing amount of different ways to spend your time at the museum. I’ve compiled some of my favorites here:

  • Looking at architecture: MIA is housed in the historic Queen’s Quay Terminal and our museum has won its own architectural awards. The museum was specifically designed by Pat Hanson of gh3, inc. to reflect the varied landscapes of the Arctic so that the art could be admired in a space with some sense of the environment in which it was created. Architectural buffs really can get a lot of a visit.
  • Taking a self-guided, focused tour: MIA offers pre-booked, guided tours, but it’s easy (and fun) to make up your own. With over 500 objects on display, it’s sometimes hard to look at everything at once so some of our visitors choose to focus on certain themes: take a tour of our small objects, or our big objects, or our objects that show families. It’s a great way of really looking at the pieces and seeing connections between them.
  • Taking a break: The museum is a beautiful, quiet space on the harbor: what better place to take a breather? We have comfortable chairs and beautiful objects to look at.
  • Learning about subjects other than art: While we focus on art, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn about other subjects. I often get a chance to talk to visitors about the geography of the Arctic or the political history surrounding the creation of Nunavut. I have learned a lot of geology, myself, since there are so many different kinds of stones on display. There’s lots to talk about.
  • Spend time with friends: Museums are great places to go with friends and MIA is no exception. There are plenty of things to see and talk about, plus it’s nice to experience new things with friends. This is closely related to another favorite visitor activity, going on a date at the museum.
  • Make some art of your own: Bring a sketch pad (or borrow some of our drawing sheets!) and get drawing. Sketching from art is a great way to hone artistic skills. MIA also runs a monthly drawing contest visitors can participate in to get featured in our monthly newsletter and we sponsor family craft activities every weekend. Create clay animals to take home!

These are just a few of the things our visitors do that you might not think of immediately. There are many, many more things to do at the museum. If you have any other suggestions or ideas, leave them in the comments – I’d love to hear them!

Posted by: Alysa Procida, MIA’s Educational Coordinator