Museum Accreditation

What is Accreditation? Museums will receive the new ‘Accredited Museum’ designation if they meet the necessary program requirements listed below, as well as excel in the TRACK Program. This Assessment program is now managed by ANSM, as of 2022, and replaces the former Museum Evaluation Program (MEP). The Accredited Museum designation will provide museums with proof of meeting good practices of museological standards and practices for visitors, funders, and supporters.

Museum Accreditation

A group of museum representatives from across Nova Scotia worked with ANSM on a steering committee to develop the new TRACK Program that was released in March 2022. The committee created an application and review process, and developed policy and procedural guidelines for the Accreditation process that ensure industry standards are met or exceeded for all sites that receive the designation.

Museums will be able to showcase their designation on-site, as well as on promotional materials, digital platforms, and in grant applications, and will be featured on the ANSM website.

Museums must repeat the process every 4 years in order to maintain their “Accredited Museum” status. Organizations that manage multiple sites will be required to undergo evaluation for each site, as the designation is site-specific.

This initiative is supported by and presented in partnership with Nova Scotia Gaming Support4Culture.

Eligibility

Accreditation is awarded to museums that excel in their assessment. The designation is awarded to sites, rather than to services, collections, individuals, or umbrella groups. Applications will be adjudicated by a peer Accreditation Panel. Museums are eligible to apply for Accreditation in their assessment year during the 4-year evaluation cycle. For full eligibility criteria please refer to the Accreditation Guide below.

Application Process

For specific questions about eligibility requirements or the application process please contact us at services@ansm.ns.ca and we would be happy to assist you!

Benefits of Accreditation

The TRACK Program is the professional assessment and feedback mechanism for museum operations across Nova Scotia. Accreditation is the public acknowledgement of excellence in our museums. It demonstrates a museum’s commitment to public accountability and professional standards.

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2022 Accredited Museums

ANSM is excited to announce that the following museums are to receive the new designation of “Accredited Museum.”

Age of Sail Heritage Centre

The Age of Sail Heritage Centre was incorporated in 1992 and is located in Port Greville. Its mission is to inspire an understanding and appreciation of the lumbering and seafaring history through interactive displays and discussion while fostering connections and relationships. The museum has a strong connection to the local community, hosting a weekly coffee and tea social as well as an annual live Nativity scene which raises funds for the Pastoral Charge. The Shore Drive Community Development Association recognizes the museum as a strong partner that is especially good at coordinating,  fundraising, and promoting community activities. The Centre’s Board of Directors is proud of how far the museum has come, growing from a single display building to a site with seven display buildings, a café and gift shop, which has received international attention. Accreditation, to the Board, is a symbol of accomplishment and validation that the museum has achieved a level of operation and standards that is worthy of attention from the community and public.

Media Contact

Oralee O’Byrne
Executive Director
(902)-348-2030 or (902)-254-2079
gbsmsageofsail@yahoo.com

The Army Museum

Located within the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, The Army Museum was founded in 1953. The museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation and exhibition of material related to the military history of Atlantic Canada, with a focus on Nova Scotia, and to preserving the memory of Atlantic Canada’s soldiers. The museum has become the “go to” for media interviews on matters concerning military history and in 2021 was the filming location for a two-part television show produced by Cleresy Entertainment for Eastlink Television called Militaria. They continued with their collaboration for a second season of the Militaria in 2022. The Halifax Citadel Society notes the vital working relationship with The Army Museum since 1993, jointly running the visitor experience program at the National Historic Site. Together the partners have worked together to ensure that visitors have the opportunity to engage with a large range of topics and experiences through exhibitions and programming. The Army Museum is most proud of the way that it discusses the difficult and often traumatic subject of war in an amenable and non-confrontational way. With an emphasis on the human story, the museum has focused on incorporating equity, diversity, and inclusion into its interpretation with a focus on the stories of First Nations, African Nova Scotians, and Acadian soldiers. For the museum, Accreditation honours the museum’s credibility and demonstrates that staff are implementing important peer-vetted change.

Media Contact

Corinne MacLellan
Board Member
(902) 209-3234
corinne@groupatn.ca

Colchester Historeum

Founded in 1976, the Colchester Historeum is located in Truro. The museum’s mission is to preserve and present Colchester County’s past by striving to offer an authentic and inclusive perspective of local history and culture through community and visitor engagement. Using contemporary methods of interpretation, collections management, and education, the museum encourages conversation, understanding, and meaningful connections between all individuals. The museum has become a strong ally for those in the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities through its hosting of the exhibit “Colchester Pride: The History of the Gay Community, 2SLGBTQIA+ Rights, and Truro Pride.” The museum has also proven itself an ally to the African Nova Scotian community who they worked alongside to help uncover the forgotten history of Jollytown and advocate for recognition of the No.2 Construction Battalion’s contributions to the First World War. The Downtown Truro Partnership recognizes the museum as a valuable community asset through their unique learning experiences, exhibits, and archival holdings that offer a direct connection to the region’s past. With a dedication to growth, the museum has many accomplishments to be proud of, ranging from special exhibits and public programming to the development of curriculum-based school programs. Accreditation for the museum reflects the successes and efforts made by the museum’s Board, staff and volunteers, and demonstrates its importance and value to the community.

Media Contact

Kirby Ross
Manager 
(902) 895-6284
manager@colchesterhistoreum.ca

Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum

Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum opened in 1976, within what remained of an original Cole Harbour farm. It encompasses 8 heritage buildings, gardens and green spaces, and a protected wetland with boardwalk within a three acre area. It is a rural oasis now surrounded by modern development. With a mission to actively involve the public in awareness and protection of natural and cultural resources and foster appreciation and respect for community – past, present, and future, the Museum partners with local farms and promotes sustainability, agricultural awareness, and food literacy. The Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association, which grew from the environmental arm of the Cole Harbour Rural Heritage Society, values the Museum for its  collaborative development of interpretive material on display along local trails and at the Cole Harbour Heritage Park. The Museum is very proud of its unique ability to provide meaningful connection with farming of the past and present, as well as build awareness of sustainable farming practices and the natural environment. The Museum is incredibly grateful to become accredited by the Association of Nova Scotia Museums;, Accreditation builds trust and pride within the local community and is a validation of almost 50 years of hard work and accomplishments.

Media Contacts

Janice Kirkbright 
Executive Director
(902) 434-0222
director@coleharbourfarmmuseum.ca 

 

Kings County Museum

Established in 1980, the Kings County Museum is located in the historic Devil’s Half Acre, now known as the Town of Kentville. The museum’s mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret the cultural and natural history of Kings County. The museum recently unveiled a mural by Mi’kmaq artist Alan Syliboy in a prominent exterior location of the old courthouse, is developing a new community room on-site, and is actively working to make the collection more easily accessible to the public. The Kentville Business Community is proud to have a museum in the town that understands its work is not confined to the four walls of the building. They applaud the museum for its vital role in the annual Multicultural Festival, commitment to long-term programming recognizing the importance of sharing Indigenous teachings and stories, as well as exhibits and stories relating to the historic African Nova Scotian community of Gibson Woods. The museum is most proud of its dedicated volunteer base, which is instrumental in delivering programs and services to the community. It values Accreditation as recognition that the museum has met and is upholding current museum standards.

Media Contacts

 

Ellen Lewis
Curator
(902)-678-6237
collections@kingscountymuseum.ca 

Mahone Bay Museum

The Mahone Bay Museum is run by a registered non-profit organization established in 1979. The museum opened its doors in 1988, in a c.1875 heritage property. The museum’s mission is to protect and provide on-site and online access to the history of the Mahone Bay area for the benefit of future generations. With the help of local Mi’kmaw, the museum has developed the first panel of a new Mi’kmaw history exhibit and outdoor interpretive signage for the Town of Mahone Bay with a decolonized interpretation of the local area’s history. Among the museum’s many recent accomplishments, it is especially proud of the oral local history recordings, available both online and in the museum; updated walking tour pamphlets describing the town’s history; and research aids and genealogy information on Mahone Bay’s European settler families. Behind the scenes, staff are excited to have processed most of their archival backlog and reorganized the museum’s collection storage space. Being accredited means an increase of awareness about the Mahone Bay Museum throughout the province and confirmation that the museum is prioritizing important updates and upgrades. 

Media Contacts

 

Lyne Allain
Manager and Curator
(902)-624-6263
info@mahonebaymuseum.com 

Margaret Fawcett Norrie Heritage Centre

The Margaret Fawcett Norrie Heritage Centre, located in Tatamagouche, opened in 2009 and amalgamated under one roof: The Brule Fossils, The Sunrise Trail Museum, the Anna Swan Collection and the artifacts from the Tatamagouche Creamery in which all collections mentioned are housed. The Heritage Centre’s mission is to act on behalf of the north shore of Nova Scotia in the stewardship and promotion of a diverse collection of artifacts from the prehistoric to the last millennium, and to engage in the social, economic and cultural life of the community. The museum is active in its community in a variety of ways including Village Suppers, an event that provides free meals for anyone wanting to attend. Each year the museum also provides a bursary to a graduating student from the local high school. Having worked together on a number of initiatives from events and programs to fundraisers the Grace Jollymore Joyce Arts Centre sees the museum as nothing short of committed to the community’s history, growth, and well-being. The museum is most proud of meeting provincial museum standards with a volunteer workforce. For the museum, accreditation would help validate the work that the volunteers have been doing to achieve such a high level of excellence.

 

Media Contacts

 

Phyllis Yates
Vice President
(902)-890-6785
yates1944@yahoo.com 

Memory Lane Heritage Village

Opened in 2000, Memory Lane Heritage Village is located in Lake Charlotte, one hour east of Halifax. The museum’s mission is to inspire an enduring appreciation for the heritage of the Eastern Shore in both residents and visitors. In a pandemic world the museum has continued to bring a sense of “normal” to its visitors through events like their annual Nova Scotia Forest Festival and Walk Through Christmas Past: Illuminations of a 1940s Christmas. The HRM Recreation Department in Musquodoboit Harbour praises Memory Lane for providing special opportunities for youth leaders to learn about and engage with their community’s local history and to learn valuable life skills. They also note the support the museum has given continuously by providing the environment and supplies for activities including summer camps. The museum is most proud of its volunteers who create the backbone of their organization and make everything from big projects to small tasks possible. For Memory Lane, Accreditation is about relationship building and gaining support on a broader scale. It demonstrates that the museum is committed to upholding good museological practices and continuous improvements. It also provides a sense of legitimacy to visitors.

Media Contacts

 

Thea Wilson-Hammond
Executive Director
(902)-802-4664 or (902)-845-1937
admin@visitmemorylane.ca 

Ottawa House By-The-Sea Museum

Ottawa House-By-the-Sea has been in operation since 1981 and is located in Parrsboro. The museum’s mission is to preserve, showcase and celebrate the history and heritage of the Parrsborough Shore area and to generate an enthusiasm for discovery, among both locals and visitors. The museum is involved in many collaborative initiatives and provides a venue for community groups including weekly bridge clubs and rug-hooking. The Cliffs of Fundy Global Geopark views the museum as a shining example of what a non-profit, charitable museum in the province should be. Collaborating on a regular basis, the Geopark praises the museum for its educational and social opportunities as well as its stewardship of the cultural and historical artifacts of the local area. A great source of pride for the museum is that it has been able to significantly improve, restore, and maintain the building in which it is housed. Being accredited allows the museum to communicate to the community and the public at large that it is maintaining professional standards of operation. It also serves as an increased source of pride and satisfaction for staff and volunteers who have worked hard to achieve this level of success.

Media Contacts

 

Harriet McCready
President Parrsborough Shore Historical Society
(902)-225-3499 or (902)-254-2092
harrietmccready@eastlink.ca 

 

Sean Smith
Curator/Manager
(905)-254-2376
ottawa.house@ns.sympatico.ca 

2020 Accredited Museums

ANSM is excited to announce that the following museums are the first to receive the new designation of “Accredited Museum.”

Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum (ACAM)

The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum (ACAM), founded in 1977, is operated by a dedicated group of volunteers. Located across the highway from the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, the museum has the most comprehensive collection east of Ottawa, including 25 aircraft, armaments, uniforms, engines and thousands of other aviation related artifacts.

ACAM’s mission is to be the centre of excellence for the preservation of Atlantic Canada’s aviation history, to engage with the community to celebrate that history, educate through interpretation and programming, and inspire dreams of flight for future generations.

They accomplish their mission through various means, including interactive displays, annual events for the entire family, community outreach initiatives and partnerships with community organizations. Engineers Nova Scotia, one of the museum’s many partners, applauds ACAM for serving the public, generating interest in science, technology, engineering and math, and promoting the importance of professional standards.

The museum’s Board of Directors takes great pride in the past and present efforts of its dedicated volunteers, and sees Accreditation as the benchmark of a well-run museum.

Media Contact

Dave McMahon
President
(902) 861-4460
davemc@bellaliant.net

Avon River Heritage Museum

The Avon River Heritage Museum was founded in 1994 and is located in Avondale. Its mission is to engage and inspire the community and beyond through preserving, sharing, and celebrating Avon River area stories, heritage, arts, culture, ecology, and interrelationships among all peoples of the area and their environment.

The museum hosts weekly barbecues to facilitate discussion and action on local issues, and facilitates monthly art demonstrations, among many other community initiatives. The Full Circle Festival Society applauds the museum for being its partner in bringing people together to celebrate arts and culture, while supporting the local community.

The museum’s Board of Directors is also proud of the excellent collaborations they have with cultural organizations which enable them to extend their reach into new communities of people. The Board believes that Accreditation publicly validates the museum’s accomplishments and commitment to excellence, will facilitate growth and learning, and demonstrates to the local community that its efforts have been recognized externally.

Media Contact

Tacha Reed
Facility Manager
(902) 757-2233
tacha.reed@gmail.com

DesBrisay Museum

The DesBrisay Museum can trace its roots to 1860 when a town lawyer, Mather Byles DesBrisay, began collecting artifacts. The museum has the distinction of being the oldest municipally owned collection in Nova Scotia, with the current home being completed as Bridgewater’s Centennial Project in 1967.

The museum’s mission is to celebrate the community’s heritage, arts and culture through research, preservation, interpretation and exhibits. The museum is actively engaged in its community, including providing research support to Heritage Carpentry students of the Nova Scotia Community College and holding art-related programs for young adults in cooperation with the south shore chapter of Autism Nova Scotia. The latter partner applauds the museum for being such a committed and forward-thinking organization.

The museum is excited about its new community partnerships that have expanded programming, and sees Accreditation as a celebration not only for the museum’s staff, but also for the town to have recognition of the care taken and pride felt for the roots upon which Bridgewater is built.

Media Contacts

Patrick Hirtle
Communication Manager (Town of Bridgewater)
(902) 541-4388
patrick.hirtle@bridgewater.ca

Lynette de Montreuil
Culture, Heritage, And Events Coordinator
902-298-0452
lynette.demontreuil@bridgewater.ca

Northumberland Fisheries Museum

The Northumberland Fisheries Museum opened in Pictou in 1979. The museum’s mission is to bring awareness to the public as to heritage and culture of the fishing industry, past and present, by collecting, preserving, and displaying artifacts and educating the youth of the Northumberland Strait and Gulf area.

The museum facilitates this through many initiatives, which include hosting Nova Scotia Community College fisheries training courses, working with researchers, and offering joint programming with other local heritage organizations.

Over the last ten years, the museum has made huge progress from occupying a small space to constructing a new facility on Pictou’s waterfront which has allowed an expansion of work and opened up new opportunities for further community partnerships. One of the key initiatives made possible by this move was the Lobster Stock Enhancement Project, an open-to-the-public lobster hatchery.

The Friends of the Northumberland Strait applauds the museum for always innovating and working with local partners to improve and protect the environment of the Northumberland Strait. The museum’s Board feels that being Accredited legitimizes the work that has already been done and signals to those who might not be familiar with the museum that they take its mission and operation seriously.

Media Contacts

Victoria Thompson
Curator
(902) 410-4961
info@northumberlandfisheriesmuseum.com

Darla MacKeil
Board Chair
(902) 759-2792
darlamackeil@gmail.com

Sponsors/Partners

ANSM services and programs are made possible with support from the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism & Heritage.

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Accreditation is supported by Support4Culture.

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