Museum Dance Off Champions!

Sir Sam Funk Selfies

The Orillia Museum of Art & History is the Museum Dance Off 'Thunderdome' Champion!!

After four rounds of intense competition OMAH's "Sir Sam Funk" gained the most popular vote in the friendly competition hosted by the blog, When You Work at a Museum. A total of 28 museums from around the world - including USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Mongolia - submitted videos of their museums showing off their dancing skills. Five museums from Canada took part: Oshawa Community Museum, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Tourism & Culture Division for City of Hamilton, Galloway Station Museum, and OMAH. The Canadian entries became a force to be reckoned with as three made it to the Semi-Finals, and two to the Final 'Thunderdome'. On May 8th OMAH and Pier 21 faced off in a battle for this history books, keeping each other on our toes up until the last second of voting. The final count:

Orillina Museum of Art & History, Orillia, ON: 31,635 votes (51.38%)
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax, NS: 29,940 votes (48.62%)

This was OMAH's first year participating and was notably one of the smaller community museums in the competition. But, with a passionate and dedicated group of support that grew with every round, "Sir Sam Funk" continued to boogie its way to the top. Not only did OMAH's membership and local community join in - special thanks to Orillia Packet & Times, Sunshine 89, & Kool FM Barrie - but we made friends from all over Canada & the world who joined in on the fun. Through Facebook, Twitter & YouTube we received messages of support and congratulations from all walks of life. Our #SirSamFunk hashtag on Twitter became a flurry of activity as users posted Selfies (see above), hosted Late Night Voting Parties, and interacted with our museum. People laughed, smiled and danced along with us through the virtual tour of the Sir Sam Steele Building vowing to pop by our museum on their next visit to Orillia. Really, what more could we ask for?

Social Media and digital culture are part of every day life, especially for the next generation, and it is imperative for museums to evolve along with it. OMAH's Youth are helping us embark on this journey, showing that there is interest in art & history in our younger members - you just have to tap into it under their means. We hope to continue exploring local art & history through a series of YouTube videos this up coming summer, creating educational content and accessibility to our archival Collection. Keep your eyes on OMAH's YouTube channel for more videos in the future!

On a personal note, I want to thank every single person who watched, shared, and voted for our video. It was a labour of love, dedication, and detail by the staff and volunteers here at the museum. Congratulations to all of the 28 museums who participated and thank you to the blog runners at When You Work at a Museum. It has been an honour to be part of this adventure and I am humbled by this community.

And to those of you who voted... we never have to look at Captchas again.

(Until next year, that is).

-Shannon Hawke, Visitor Experiences & Communications Coordinator