Lagoon Silhouettes

The Interpretive Voice: Find Your Spirit Guide

Finding Your Voice… On A Graph This is part two of a series. You should probably start with part one, here. In trying to craft my own voice as an interpreter and interpretive writer, I often look to some of the great interpreters I have seen over the years. And one of the things these inspiring people have in common is that they speak with a […]

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Barred owl

Dear Don: We’re Too Successful.

Welcome to the first in my Dear Don series, in which I do my best to answer questions from my readers about interpretation and visitor experience. (And if I don’t have the answers, I’ll be featuring wise experts who can help.) Dear Don: I attended your webinar on target audiences and have a question: We offer a variety of adult-only programs but there seem to be […]

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Song sparrow, singing

The Interpretive Voice

… have you found yours? Have you ever tried writing interpretive text as a committee? It’s about as delightful as being pecked apart by mergansers. Each writer contributes a piece, and each piece might be lovely on its own, but you put the bits together and they just don’t get along. And so you talk and you edit and you re-write and edit some more… until you […]

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Honey bee and lavender

 The Interpretive Soapbox

  Interpreters are purveyors of wonder. Never, ever forget it. Those of us who work with endangered species (or endangered resources of any kind) tend to feel fairly passionate about them. We also tend to be have long personal histories with our subjects, and a high level of knowledge about them. As a result, we are prime candidates for committing what I’d like coin as Enright’s Cardinal […]

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Learning And The New Visitor Experience Paradigm

Let us talk less about learning, and more about connecting with essence of place, about the forging of links, the fostering of emotions and the long-term making of meaning. This is the conclusion of my series on the Visitor Experience (VE) Revolution. You might want to start with the first chapter, here. I consider myself both a champion and a casualty of the new visitor experience […]

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Lighthouse, Ucluelet

Hiring Talented Interpreters

“You can hire talent and give it experience. You can’t do the opposite.” -me In my previous entries in this series, I have tried to build the argument that a) traditional sit-down interpreter interviews are a waste of time and select for the wrong qualities, and b) interpretive workshop interviews, though much better, are a waste of the candidates’ time and still select for the […]

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Autumn in Stanley Park

The Interpretive Atlas

Layer upon layer of stories still to be told… As an interpretive planner, I work with parks, museums and similar organizations to help bring their stories to life for their visitors. And I’m always looking for tools to help my clients visualize new possibilities. It’s sometimes hard to make abstract ideas concrete; that’s true for all interpreters, of course, but it’s particularly true in interpretive planning. More than […]

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Imagine.

Workshop Interviews: A Dissenting Opinion

The interpretive workshop interview is a (mis)step in the right direction. In my previous article, Hiring Better Interpreters, I asserted that traditional sit-at-the-table interviews tend to select candidates who are really good at sitting at a table being interviewed. I am certainly not alone in making that observation. A number of years ago, in an effort to ferret out the absolute cream of the interpretive crop, managers around […]

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A lone canoeist paddles in the evening mist.

One Professional’s Development

By Nicole Cann As I was writing my previous article about finding a way to make professional development affordable for any budget, I found myself wanting to share all of my own favourite examples of  professional development, within an expanded definition of the term. Trouble was, I had TOO many personal examples to share. So that’s what this post is for—this is a look inside my own […]

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kananaskis country, ab

Hiring Better Interpreters

Interviews select people who are good at sitting at a table talking about themselves. We all know what it’s like to go through the stressful process of being interviewed for a job. And if you’ve been in the interpretive business for a while, you probably know what it’s like to sit on both sides of the table; perhaps you’ve done it more times than you care […]

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