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The Archie Malloch Interns in Public Learning

The Archie Malloch Internship Awards in Public Learning are intended for students entering the final year of their undergraduate programs. In support of this program, IPLAI has partnered with an excellent group of Montreal-based organizations concerned with the arts and social policy with whom the selected interns would be paired according to their academic expertise and professional interests. Students are invited to apply directly to IPLAI.

For application instructions click here.

For the profiles of past Malloch interns see below.

Summer 2014

Leïla Rached-d’AstousLeïla Rached-d’Astous, BSc (Architecture) 2015

Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA)

During the summer of 2014, I worked for three months at the Canadian Center for Architecture, which is a study center and a museum dedicated to architecture, widely recognized by the international architectural community. As an architecture student, I had already been exposed to the various and rich works produced by the CCA, but the opportunity offered to me by IPLAI enabled me to experience the nature of curatorial and research work at a much deeper level than I previously had. This internship also allowed me to become familiar with the possibilities of intellectual work done in relationship to the practice and theory of architecture, yet realized outside of an academic milieu.

My time was mostly spent at the Programs Division of the CCA- the department that is responsible for the production of exhibitions. One of the current projects of the Programs Division is called Memories of Exhibitions and aims at synthesizing the institutional archives linked to the exhibitions that have been produced at the CCA for the last 25 years. My task for Memories, which had already been going on for three years, was to help gather key material and documents found in the archives produced by the exhibition coordinators. I learned immensely from this experience, as I was able to go through the different process stages of the realization of an exhibition as I was going through the material of the archives. This exercise also offered me a glimpse of the close interactions that exist between the worlds of architecture and curatorial work.

Along with the time spent on Memories, I was able to participate to the work of the Education Department of the CCA. I was given the opportunity to shadow guided tours of the current exhibitions and diverse public programs organized by the educators of the CCA such as family programs and activities for day camp groups. I was thus able to witness the reach of the CCA programs within the Montreal public.

Overall, my internship at the CCA brought me precious insight on the work carried out in a museum and research institution specialized in the field of my studies – architecture. Thanks to IPLAI, I was able to experience the key role that the CCA hold within the Montreal – a role that bridges the architectural community with the city’s public by enabling the bilateral exchange of ideas in architecture.

Sadie MenicaninSadie Menicanin, BMus (Music History) 2015

Segal Centre for Performing Arts

I worked full-time at the Segal Centre as an Assistant (Intern) Stage Manager on the production of Soul Doctor: Journey of a Rock Star Rabbi, with the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre. I began May 4th and completed the internship on June 29. Initially I mostly did paperwork tasks such as updating the show's Dropbox account, printing off copies of updated scripts, taking attendance of the actors, as well as organizing files of the actor's costumes for each scenes. I also created worksheets for the actors to track their movements, costume changes, props used, and scene changes throughout the show. Once we moved into the main theatre and out of the rehearsal hall, my job changed and I was on headset in charge of props, costumes and set changes on backstage-right. I worked in close quarters with actors, dressers, the stage management team and the live band to help create a smooth and entertaining production.

I learned a huge amount of new skills and challenged myself in brand new ways throughout this experience. I was part of the show's technical team (whereas I'm used to being a part of a creative aspect to projects), and therefore had to think about the show's needs with a new perspective. I had to learn fast, be extremely observant and attentive, and be able to problem solve with initiative. Creating a cohesive team with the other three members of the stage management team was also a huge aspect of the job. We worked together to make sure we all had specific roles, and relied on one another to complete tasks such as pre-setting props and placing microphones on each actor. It was a whirlwind and a learning curve, but I was so grateful to be challenged, and to work behind the scenes of such a professional and inspiring show. My goal this summer was to find an internship/job within the perfoming arts, and without a doubt, I found one this summer that truly was worth all the sweat and stress.

Summer 2013

Anna ForanAnna Foran, BA (Art History) 2014

Montréal Museum of Fine Arts

My Archie Malloch Internship at the Montréal Museum of Fine arts offered me the ideal opportunity to extend my learning beyond conventional classroom walls. As an undergraduate student in Art History with a minor in English Literature, my academic experience has and continues to be a rich and multifarious one. But as I approached the final stretch of this experience, I became increasingly aware of my own professional aspirations -- or my desire to throw open the doors, and expand my learning in a thoroughly public space. DÉAC, or the department of Education and Community Programmes at the MMFA, was the best possible environment to support these explorations. Welcomed with open arms by a dynamic group of people, I was given the chance to learn about day-to-day operations, shadow staff members, and engage in educational workshops. I was also able to become familiar with the MMFA’s formidable collection and, ultimately, develop a project designed with the department’s needs in mind. In short, the internship gave me the opportunity to unite my academic knowledge with a commitment to art education -- and in an environment devoted to this very pursuit.

While under the banner of Education, the DÉAC at the MMFA encompasses a multiplicity of disciplines and roles. During the first week of my internship, I was encouraged to conduct a ‘morning round’ in order to gain a sense of which role within the departmental structure might align best with my own professional interests. Without hesitation, the staff members invited me along to observe and participate in their own daily activities -- guide training sessions, work groups (centered around a specific part of the collection), art education workshops, and even the guided tours for a variety of groups. A behind-the-scenes look at these avenues expanded my understanding of how a museum collection is rendered accessible to a diversity publics. The opening of the Museum’s current temporary exhibition -- Chihuly -- rendered this experience even more powerful.  Afforded the chance to sit-in on much of the preliminary goings on, and ultimately spend a period conducting surveys in the exhibit itself, I was able to witness the interactions between a body of work and continuously shifting public audiences.

Following this period of observation (and exploration), I began to work on my personal project: an online teacher resource for the Museum’s collection of European Art (from the Middles Ages to the modern period). After having gained a grasp of the department’s fundamental objectives, I felt more equipped to undertake the task of translating a collection for a specific public -- a group of elementary school-aged children. Not only was I able to apply my learning over the past weeks, but I was also able to draw from my own well of art-historical knowledge. My challenge, however, was to adapt and distill this knowledge -- and the broader ideas which accompany it -- in a manner suitable for a non-academic audience. Through careful research, close observation of the collection, and consultation with the staff and fellow interns, I was able to generate something which aspired to my set goals. The project is a culmination of my experience and a small contribution to the staff at DÉAC, who afforded me such a wonderful opportunity. As I enter my final semester at McGill in the fall, I regard the Archie Malloch Internship for Public Learning as an extremely special part of my university experience, and one that I will no doubt carry far into the future. 

Christy FrostChristy Frost, BA (English) 2014

McCord Museum

In the summer of 2013, thanks to IPLAI’s generous support, I interned for four months at the McCord Museum, where I worked with both the communications department and the McCord Foundation. My time at the Museum was a steep learning curve and an adventure into the world of fundraising copywriting, translation and using words to bring the past to life. Studying English at McGill has given me strong writing skills, the ability to tackle problems creatively and a curiosity about people and material culture. Thanks to my summer internship, I had the opportunity to apply these skills as I encouraged visitors and supporters of the Museum to see themselves as part of the larger narrative of Montreal’s history.

As a part of both the Communications department and the Foundation I enjoyed meeting and collaborating with a large variety of the Museum’s staff. Being a part of two departments also meant that I had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects, including translating texts from French to English for the Museum’s fall brochure, putting together an email campaign for a new fundraising tool Giftit, and working as part of a team to plan and develop an infographic to educate the public about the behind the scenes work at the Museum. During the first week of my internship I was able to participate in a workshop on writing text for the web, which taught me new skills that I was able to use later in my internship.

One of my major projects this summer was to develop and write the letters for the Museum’s annual appeal campaign. My goal in writing the letters was to create engaging narratives that drew on the stories of people from the past and objects in the Museum’s collections to engage and encourage readers to invest in the Museum’s mission. Before writing the letters I did extensive research on nonprofit fundraising writing best-practices. Working on the letters challenged me to write clear, concise text that was also creative, narrative, and emotionally engaging.

My overall experience at the McCord Museum has given me a growing appreciation for the importance of communication and story for the promotion of the arts in Canada. I am incredibly grateful for the experience and insight I gained this summer and hope that, through my studies, I can continue to explore the connections between writing, narrative and material culture that have fascinated me here at the Museum.

Summer 2012

Sheehan Moore, BA Hons (Anthropology) 2013

Canadian Centre for Architecture

In the summer of 2012, with the generous support of the IPLAI, I worked for three months as an intern in the Programs department at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal – a study centre and museum founded in 1979 by the architect and philanthropist Phyllis Lambert. My time at the CCA was spent almost entirely on the exhibition ABC:MTL, opening in November 2012, which aims ultimately to present a series of critical takes on the spatial, urban, and architectural character of the city. As an anthropology and art history student, I rarely felt too out of my element working at the CCA, despite no formal training in architecture and no previous curatorial work. This was largely because the Centre has never been primarily about typological studies or one-dimensional architectural histories. Rather, exhibitions tend to take up broad themes (speed, journeys, health) and then develop them with an explicit attention to the lived experience of architecture as something that structures and orients human life and environments. This approach is what drew me to apply to the CCA in the first place – I'm in the early stages of thesis research on the space of protest, and I knew that working on these kinds of exhibitions would give me a better, more grounded grasp on the way we interact with and contest space every day. ABC:MTL, with its focus on the urban space of Montreal, was especially suited to these sorts of questions. From the beginning, I was totally immersed in the curatorial process, and over the last three months I’ve watched (and helped!) a huge exhibition come together from almost nothing. Some of my most valuable experiences during this time came from curatorial meetings that discussed the scope and aims of the exhibition. The process of deciding how to represent Montreal as a concept to the CCA's visitors meant grappling with the  question of how and why to define or represent an urban space, allowing me to put into practice a range of theoretical approaches to the use and representation of space I'd learned in anthropology and IPLAI courses, as well as problematizations of the curatorial process I've studied in art history. Overall, my three months at the CCA were incredibly enriching – I honed my research interests and applied the theory I work with in school, all while getting a totally immersive look at the work that goes into curation at a major Montreal institution.

Jasmine Wilson, BMus (Performance Voice) 2013

Segal Centre for Performing Arts

My work as an intern at the Segal Centre for Performing was a multi-dimensional and hands-on experience. My primary task involved developing a presentation based upon the center’s 45-year history. However, I also had several opportunities to actively participate and learn about other important aspects of the Segal Centre’s administration and production habits. I only spent two months with the Segal Centre; however, through that glimpse of time I gained tremendous insight to the dynamics, work, talent, and passion that go into making a performing arts center thrive.

My project involved researching the center’s history and compiling information into a presentation that would supplement its educational content. I did comprehensive research in the center’s archives, mostly at the Jewish Public Library and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. I also employed several books and researched numerous websites to find facts and testimonials that supported the benefits of art in education. All of my research finally manifested itself into a Prezi presentation, which reveals the transformations, challenges, and highlights upon which today’s Segal Centre was born.

Beyond research, I also had several opportunities to interact with the administration. I worked with the Assistant Producer, and her screen through proposals submitted by performers for the 2013/2014 season. I observed a production meeting with the heads of each of the departments. It was exciting and fascinating to witness the type of conversations that occur when organizing a production. They discuss and strategize what seems to be the smallest detail to an audience member, or even a performer.As a musician, I took such details for granted. Now I have a much deeper appreciation for the level of planning and preparation that occurs before, during, and after a production. I met the directors of the Segal Centre’s Cinema Space as well. In one conversation, they expanded my knowledge of film because they challenged me to look at it as means of art, rather than a commercialized form of entertainment.

I was immersed in the part of their season that was theatre focused. I shadowed Associate Technical Director for a few days. He taught me about the sound equipment the Segal Centre uses and the type of preparation necessary before different types of show (i.e. theatre vs. music). I learned about set lighting and its complexities. I even went up in a crane, and learned how to remove and replace the stage lights in the ceiling!

My overall experience as an intern at the Segal Centre allowed me to interact with a plethora of aspects of life in a performing arts center. I am very grateful for the amount of insight I gained, as well as a new level of appreciation for the work that goes into the arts. The internship significantly supplemented my education as a musician. It allowed me to establish a foundation upon which to build both as a performer and potential arts administrator. I look forward to future opportunities where I will be able to apply what I learned in new contexts.

Summer 2011

Bora Plumptre, BA hons (History and Philosophy) 2012

Canadian Centre for Architecture

 As a joint honours student in history and philosophy, applying to be an IPLAI intern was the perfect opportunity to expand my academic university experience into unfamiliar areas. Arts students may often wonder where their studies will lead them, and the Malloch internship is an exceptional way to explore possible answers to that question. In choosing to apply for an internship in the Educational Programming Department of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, I sought to marry a longstanding fascination with architecture to the skills I was confident my undergraduate degree at McGill had helped build. On the one hand, I was entering unknown territory: architecture and museum practice were subjects in which I had no formal knowledge or training. But, on the other, I was sure that the abilities to think historically and critically were tools that could be brought to bear on whatever it was I was bound to encounter. In this sense, I approached my work for the CCA with the goal of faithfully representing the imperatives of my academic studies. But I also hoped to take part in work with real practical and public relevance, and so to promote the core IPLAI belief in the power of public ideas.

            My time at the CCA was continually stimulating. After a week of orientation, during which I learned about the history of the institution, about its facilities, and about the different departments responsible for its work, I settled in to the Education Department. There I worked alongside the centre’s guides, who formed a key part of the CCA’s mission to engage the public’s interest in architectural issues. While this mission had always been integral to the work of the CCA, my supervisor was interested in exploring new (and perhaps somewhat unorthodox) strategies to achieve it. Motivated by what recent literature in art history has described as a “pedagogical turn” towards "conversational” modes of artistic expression, we developed a research project that would have conversation at its heart. We were interested in the concept as something that might prove both helpful and invigorating to the work of the Education Department, especially insofar as it might serve to neutralize the presumed “authority” of an institution or museum (like the CCA) in dealing with a public audience. In this way, we thought that learning the lessons of conversation might empower the average visitor by recognizing his or her capacity to interrogate (an exhibition or issue), and so contribute to it as a more equal and active partner in the learning endeavour.

My task thus became one of definition: what is conversation? In order to give it concrete meaning, however, I was afforded the freedom to explore its many facets, and was allowed to take the initiative in directing my own work. What is the history of conversation? Where does it take place? What spaces does it occupy? Are there different kinds? Does it take different forms? Questions like these were my guides. Moreover, I realized that—as my research stretched from Samuel Johnson’s thoughts on the pleasures of conversation to the “conversational procedures” of modern, interactive media art—I had adopted a methodological symmetry with the actual content of my work. In other words, I had a conversational research style, and let the focus shift according to the connections I found between the areas of research I thought could be relevant. I tried not to rigidly pin the subject down, acknowledging that it might have things to tell me (a way of defining itself) just as much as I might have preconceptions about what it could say (my own previously formulated definitions/things to say to it). I acted as anyone would when taking part in any informal, or natural, conversation: we give our partner the chance to speak for herself, and we don’t firmly impose a single direction on the flow of our thoughts. We go where the conversation takes us, we give and we take, and in this way create a genuinely interactive experience. Conversation talks back.

Working at the CCA was a unique experience. While the task of helping the Education Department using conversation for inspiration is far from over, I am grateful to have been afforded the chance to present some of my work to a large gathering of CCA staff. Other highlights included a staff field trip to a guided tour of the abandoned Silo No. 5 in Montreal’s Old Port, and a personal tour of the CCA and its intricate back-room machinery given by the long-time building manager. Most of all, I am proud to express my gratitude to IPLAI for helping me develop an understanding of the power of ideas to shape public life. As I prepare to leave McGill and move into graduate studies, I do so knowing that my time with IPLAI has profoundly shaped my view of the world I share with everyone else.

Rachel Thorne, BA 2011

McCord Museum

Summer 2010

Thea Fitz-James

BA Hons (English) 2011

My major at McGill is Art History and English (Drama/Theatre) with a minor in Cultural studies. This past year, I was involved with the theatre community at McGill, performing in the departmental productions of In Extremis and Good Person of Sichuan. In the upcoming year, I hope to broaden my knowledge of English through the honours program, with an interest in theatre as a method of personal growth, the representation of women in art and theatre, and the feminist metaphor of knitting in theatre, literature and art. I am very excited to work with IPLAI this summer, as their belief in the dynamic life of the arts is in tune with my own thoughts. Memory and Echo is particularly applicable to the nature of the theatrical performance: a play is transient and intangible, yet cyclical, repetitive, even ritualistic, much like echoes themselves. I trust that my experience here will only further inform my upcoming studies, and my interaction, both academic and practical, with arts and ideas.

What IPLAI can do for your Undergrad Experience

IPLAI seeks to bring the academy past the gates of McGill, and to create a community interested in the fun of learning and the power ideas can have. It offers events, undergraduate classes, and internships to promote interdisciplinary ways of thinking, breakdown the student-professor dichotomy, and to remind us of the reason we come to university. And why do we come but to interact, discuss and spread ideas. IPLAI is here for those same reasons: for the dissemination of ideas, and an involvement in public life. We invite undergrads to join us in this common goal, and explore arts and ideas through our many events and courses this upcoming year.

There are five new interdisciplinary courses offered in 2010-11 for undergrads, focusing on our theme of echo and memory through representations of childhood, historical and philosophical constructions of ‘place’, and the analysis of memory through cinema and philosophy (to name a few). These courses not only offer different ways of completing your degree, but challenge the common, discipline-divided way of thinking, thus teaching students to learn, think and interact with our world in new ways. More information on the courses is here.

We also have an array of events in the coming year open to undergraduates, including our Savage Thoughts conference on Claude Lévi-Strauss in September, and the Ghost in the Machine symposium on the affects of technology in music in February. These events bring speakers and performers from our own university and from around the world to engage in conversation and spread the thirst for knowledge. For more information on these events, as well as future events open to undergrads, see our events page.

IPLAI will offer the Malloch Internship again in summer 2011. This new internship program sends a McGill student interning with a Montreal Art institute. It is a unique internship, paring the student with their ideal internship based on the student’s research interests. See our Malloch Internship page for the list of Montreal Institutes offered, as well as information on how to apply.

IPLAI offers many opportunities for undergraduate involvement. It can be a resource, a class or simply the start of a good conversation. These possibilities open to an undergraduate student are what shape the undergraduate experience. For we must remember that we do not come to university just for the degree; we do not come just to leave. We come for the community, the experience and the interactions. In short, we come to university for Arts and Ideas; to speak them, hear them, write them, and, of course, to live them.