Shelagh Barrington, NDSC Director for Canada; Gallery Guide, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (September 2020)
As you are aware, the biennial National Docent Symposium in Kansas City has been postponed until the fall of 2022. Atlanta NDS will take place in 2024 and the Council is currently recruiting a host site for NDS 2026. Canada has been represented in the past; the Art Gallery of Ontario hosted in 2009 and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2017.
Presently, I am the sole Regional Director responsible for Canada. In the past there have been two Directors for Eastern Canada and two for Western Canada, with a four-year commitment spanning two symposia. However, with the decline of Docent/ Gallery Guide volunteers in a number of museums, shrinking museum budgets and the cost of attending our annual Council meetings, there seem to be fewer Canadian volunteers who have resources and/or time to participate on the National Docent Symposium Council.
That is the tough stuff but...the good news is the NDS Council is a great group of educated and dedicated individuals from all over the United States who love what they do. Because of Covid-19 the Council is becoming well versed in digital connecting, which offers great potential for bringing docents/guides together despite geographic distance.