From the 10th to the 13th, co-worker Laurie Wing and myself had the opportunity to attend the Association of Canadian Archivists Conference in the exotic locale of Regina, Saskatchewan.
Over the next several days you, dear readers, will be regaled with tales of our adventures in that far and distant land and (more importantly) will be made privy to some of the professional insights shared by the conference presenters.
For now, Day 1:
June 10, 2015
I arose early this morning to a blue sky and the sound of birds singing their morning aubades to the heavens (well, crows cawing, anyway). All had been put (frenetically) into readiness the evening before, and so I loaded my suitcase and purse and non-laptop sized laptop bag into my trusty blue RAV and puttered out in quest of my traveling companion.
My traveling companion, it quickly became apparent, lived in a complex labyrinth of new developments where Google maps was hesitant to guide me and the four way stop was King. After a few wrong turns and a couple of meditative pull-over stops I was greeted with Laurie’s smiling face and we were ready to hit the road.
And hit the road we did, pulling into Regina around noon with (I thought) plenty of time to get to the Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists Annual General Meeting downtown at 1:00. The impenetrable fortress-like nature of the building the AGM was being held in slowed us down somewhat, but we arrived just as a representative from Sask Culture was starting his talk on some of the incredible cultural initiatives they have going on (with the potential for funding for archives and other heritage institutions). One major Sask Culture initiative in which the SCAA is becoming involved is the Multicultural Inclusiveness Strategy which aims at engaging emerging demographics in Saskatchewan’s population, with a particular focus on its rapidly growing aboriginal population.
In many ways, the existence of the SCAA is largely made possible through the support of Sask Culture, and Saskatchewan Lotteries. The mission of the SCAA is to foster the development, cooperation and advancement of Saskatchewan’s archives and archivists through leadership, support, education and promotion. It is an invaluable resource for “developing a cooperative and successful archival network in Saskatchewan, encouraging the establishment of new archives in Saskatchewan, promoting and developing standard archival policies and practices, and promoting public understanding and use of archives and historical resources in Saskatchewan.” Under the guidance of the SCAA board and the indefatigable efforts of the province’s archival adviser Cameron Hart, the SCAA provides advice and assistance to archives, sponsors outreach events, and maintains the Saskatchewan Archival Information Network, a network of information about archival holdings in Saskatchewan, including a photo database.
After the Sask Culture talk there was a brief intermission during which Laurie and I filled our plates with cabbage rolls, perogie, salad, and watermelon (a true Saskatchewan spread), and we likewise filled our stomachs while listening in on the meeting. As a new-ish member, this was my first opportunity to exercise my right to vote, which was exciting. Also, my efforts in helping to revive the SCAA newsletter were applauded, and I was voted in as Member-At-Large (1 year term). They even gave me a nifty “Director” pin. Which makes me sound much more important than I am (but I won’t complain). I am looking forward to becoming further involved in the SCAA as the year unfolds.
Following the meeting Laurie and I were able to check-in to our rooms at the Hotel Sask (where the conference was being held), and also registered for the conference–receiving our swag bags, which included the typical array of writing implements, along with a USB car adapter (surprise! not a jump drive!), and this cute stylus and notepad from the SCAA and the SAB.
After a delicious dinner in downtown Regina (pulled pork and vegetable poutine, anyone?) we put our road-weary and food-heavy bodies to bed in preparation for the first full day of conference presentations.