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Engaging 30,000 Students in Canadian Art and Culture? There's an App for That

McMichael Canadian Art Connection and Explore150 partner to offer visitors interactive mobile experience

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 5, 2014, KLEINBURG ON - TakingITGlobal and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection are pleased to announce their collaboration on the Explore150 project, an interactive mobile app that has reached over 20,000 Canadians since November, and that features over 500 sites of cultural, natural, and historic significance. The partnership is kicking off with a high school group joined by the Explore150 team on-site in Kleinburg, to celebrate the occasion and to meet the new members of the Explore150 community.

Explore150 is a mobile app inspiring Canadians to visit and learn about public places of importance to Canada’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage by engaging youth through digital media. The project encourages young Canadians from across the country to share and explore their favourite sites and reflect on how these places have helped to shape their identity as Canadians through personal narratives. This ongoing conversation is serving to understand how individual, diverse experiences derived from a deliberate focus on history from the ground up fit into a collective view of what it can mean to be Canadian as we approach the 150th Anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

“We are delighted to be able to showcase the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, which has incorporated the in-app experience into guided tours with high school students,” shared Jennifer Corriero, Executive Director of TakingITGlobal. “In addition to being able to Check-In to earn points, students will have the opportunity to learn about the McMichael gallery’s unique history and collection, while sharing their personal reactions through in-app activities like Photo Spot and Guestbook entries.”

“Technology plays such a significant role in the lives of young learners, therefore, providing new, interactive media opportunities that encourage creative interaction with the gallery, the art, and the surrounding landscape is an important way for us to cultivate a new generation of art enthusiasts,” explained Anna Sabina Stanisz, Associate Director of Creative Learning and Programs at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

On average, 30,000 students and educators from more than forty school boards and private schools visit the McMichael during the school year. “While school groups and young people have always made up a significant part of the McMichael’s visitor demographic, a growing challenge is how to engage today’s youth in a way that makes learning about art and nature exciting and inspiring,” continued Stanisz. Explore150 was designed to bridge that gap by encouraging individual contributions to the Canadian dialogue which foster an understanding of our shared heritage.

The in-app content showcases the McMichael Canadian Art Collection through a twenty-eight question trivia challenge (known as Discovery Quests) that highlights the gallery’s history and renowned collection of Canadian art. The McMichael permanent collection consists of over 6,000 artworks by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, their contemporaries, and First Nations, Métis, Inuit and other artists who have made a contribution to the development of Canadian art.

“Cultural institutions understand the importance of engaging youth in creative ways through mobile technologies and Explore150 is an ideal way to accomplish this,” says John McAvity, Executive Director of the Canadian Museums Association, an institutional partner with Explore150. With a focus on creative learning, it is through partnerships that Explore150 intends to reach Canadian youth from all regions and corners of Canada, from coast to coast to coast.

Explore150 was developed in partnership with Get To Know, based in Vancouver, and is supported by Canadian Heritage, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and the Canadian Museums Association. It is available for free download in the App Store and on Google Play.

About the McMichael Canadian Art Collection
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is the foremost venue in the country showcasing the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. In addition to touring exhibitions, its permanent collection consists of almost 6,000 artworks by Canadian artists, including paintings by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists. The gallery is located on 100 acres of northern landscape and hiking trails at 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in the City of Vaughan. For more information: mcmichael.com   

About TakingITGlobal
TakingITGlobal is a global online community that empowers young people to understand and act on the world's greatest challenges. Often described as a "social network for social good," the award-winning www.tigweb.org is available in 13 languages and offers a diverse set of educational resources and action tools intended give young people the tools they need to succeed.

 

For media inquiries: 


Wendy Campbell
Manager, Media Relations and Online Presence   
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
905.893.1121 ext. 2201
wcampbell@mcmichael.com

Rachel Weiner
Media Relations and Communications Coordinator
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
905.893.1121 ext. 2210
rweiner@mcmichael.com


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