Alive History

Kelowna Museums Society


The Kelowna Museums Society pitched a project to MDM to create an online portal which would allow users to create a collection which tells a story relevant to that person using images of the artifacts found in the archives of the Okanagan Heritage Museum. The working title was “Curate Your Own Collection”, and the Kelowna Museums Society’s goal was to create a site for user generated collections using photographs of artifacts from the Okanagan Heritage Museum. People visiting the site would be able to create collections that tell a story relevant to them.

When the project was initially assigned, we had a great degree of latitude. This was exciting, but also a challenge. Since the client was unsure of the specifics of what they were looking for, we as a team had to do some rapid prototyping and iterations to help clarify the project. As things have progressed, we created a framework that allowed for adaptability as needed. The tools that the team used allowed for many areas to be completed in parallel (and isolation from the other parts) and only required integrations at major milestones. The team used some of the AGILE development methodologies and this helped ensure that everyone was on track.

My Role:

My role for this project was primarily Producer, with a sub role in the art creation. I was the vision keeper, ensuring that what we were creating was actually in line with the client’s goals for the project. I help drive the team, develop the ideas, communicate with the client, and ensure that the team was following the right development path.


One of the major challenges to this project was geography. Our team was in Vancouver, but the client was in Kelowna. With the exception of one meeting, all of our client meetings were on Skype, and all other communication was via email. This did make client relations more difficult, but through proper communication pathways and documentation, we were able to ensure that all important elements were handled appropriately.

Another big challenge for the team has been the 2010 Winter Olympics. Since they were held in Vancouver, the travel challenges during the two weeks were of a concern. Planning solutions to allow for distance collaboration before the event ensured that this did not affect our productivity too much.

The Team:

Tony Cheung – Technical Director
Ryan Klesc – Project Manager
Daniela Pichardo – Creative Director
Gabe van Bergen – Producer
Yingyun Shao – Art
Derek Zhao – Technical

Skills Developed:

[skills] [skill rate=4 text=’Collaborative Design’] [skill rate=5 text=Facilitation] [skill rate=3 text=’Photoshop / Illustrator’] [skill rate=5 text=’Project Leadership’] [skill rate=4 text=Web Design] [skill rate=4 text=’Social Media’] [/skills]