Developing new exhibits
Temporary exhibits like Gagarin’s are just one example of how CMHR continues to change and offer new experiences to visitors.
“We have a capital replacement program in place to upgrade our exhibits,” says Gillam, “and in addition to temporary exhibits, we will have some that travel across the country.”
Most recently—and in time to mark the country’s 150th anniversary—CMHR introduced an exhibition called Our Canada, My Story, which uses newly acquired 1.5-m (60-in.) ultra-high-definition (UHD) ‘4K’ LCDs to showcase short films about seven Canadians’ diverse experiences with human rights issues.
“We didn’t have those types of screens in stock already, so we purchased them for this particular exhibition,” says Gillam. “We also often rent systems while we’re developing a new exhibit.”
While the museum has an in-house design team and fabrication shop, the sheer size, scope and number of its exhibits call for outside assistance.
“As a federal institution, we follow the Treasury Board’s guidelines for requests for proposals (RFPs) and requests for quotes (RFQs), which lead us to a wide variety of vendors,” Gillam says. “Gagarin answered one of our RFPs, for example, after demonstrating key expertise in exhibition development. We’ve also seen combinations of soft ware developers and design firms respond to RFPs, where they enter a strategic partnership to provide a bid, as they understand their own gaps in terms of integration. Digital signage is still a young industry. It can be a challenge for one company to handle an entire project on its own.”