Stephen Quick

Director General – Canadian War Museum and Vice-President – Canadian Museum of History

Stephen Quick was named Director General, Canadian War Museum and Vice-President, Canadian Museum of History on September 8, 2015. Mr. Quick has a wealth of experience in Canada’s cultural sector, serving most recently as Director General of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and Vice-President of Conservation and Collection for the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation.  Highlights of Mr. Quick’s tenure at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum include his leading role in the Museum’s acquisition of the first Canadarm and his election as the first non-European president of the International Association of Transport and Communications Museums.  Mr. Quick has also worked for the National Gallery of Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and held senior positions in the Canadian publishing industry.

Session#4, Tuesday 27th September, 14:00
Exploring History Through a Life-size Graphic Novel: The Making of Deadly Skies – Air War, 1914–1918

This session proposes to describe the process by which the Canadian War Museum changed its approach to exhibition design from a collection based process, by working with a graphic novel artist to help tell the story of the First World War air war through a life-size graphic novel.  The result is an engaging and dynamic exhibition experience which promises to attract new audience to Canada’s military history museum.

In Deadly Skies, the history of the first air war comes to life through the stories of nine people from around the world who were involved in First World War aviation as pilots, instructors, observers, and more. The exhibition explores the human experience of the First World War and shows the international dimensions of the conflict, revealing surprising aspects of the air war.

The exhibition transforms the real-life experiences of these nine people into dynamic visual stories, creating a rich and engaging visitor experience.  The use of a large-scale graphic novel is an innovative way for the museum to deliver an overarching historical narrative, where the “pages” are the backdrop to an immersive environment embedding artefacts, interactives and multi-media elements which truly trigger the imagination of a broad audience (new and existing).

The museum team worked closely with an exhibition design firm and professional graphic novel artist to translate the extensive historical research and primary source material into this graphic novel – the process was tremendously creative, while remaining methodical and particularly meticulous in order to ensure that historical integrity and accuracy are maintained throughout.  The experience has been an exercise in adaptation for museum professionals as dialogue bubbles replaced text panels and artefacts were embedded directly into the pages of the graphic novel.  But the result has been well worth this new approach!

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