24 May 2023

CMAG wins national award for Canberra/Kamberri exhibition

| Sally Hopman
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Senior curators at the Canberra Museum and Gallery, Dr Hannah Paddon and Virginia Rigney, with the 2023 MAGNA award for best permanent exhibition. Photo: CMAG.

The Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG) has won the Museum and Galleries National Award (MAGNA) for best permanent exhibition for 2023 – Canberra/Kamberri, Place and People.

The award celebrates CMAG’s commitment to excellence in showcasing, through the exhibition, Canberra’s rich history and identity.

The award is also significant because the Canberra/Kamberri exhibition is CMAG’s first permanent installation. It showcases the events that have shaped Canberra’s past and present, covering people, stories and events that have all played a role in the national capital’s narrative.

When he opened the exhibition on Canberra Day, March 13, 2023, Chief Minister Andrew Barr praised its significance and how it showcased the diversity of Canberra.

READ ALSO New CMAG show builds on reputation of Canberra’s first government architect

“Each object, artwork and moving image tells an important story of individual experiences that have shaped Canberra,” he said.

“The exhibition is a great reflection of our evolving, progressive and vibrant city. It is a story that all Canberrans should own, and a story we want to share with visitors from around Australia and the world.”

With more than 200 items from the CMAG collection on show, the exhibition blends social history and visual art to recount the stories, biographies and personal experiences of individuals, families and communities who have called Canberra home.

Minister for the Arts, Tara Cheyne, commended the central role of CMAG in the ACT arts and culture landscape.

“Canberra Museum and Gallery has long been a pillar of artistic expression and cultural heritage in our region,” she said.

CMAG’s Canberra and Kamberri, People and Places exhibition has won a national award for best permanent exhibition. Photo: CMAG.

Minister Cheyne said recognition of the Canberra/Kamberri, Place & People exhibition with the 2023 MAGNA award was a testament to CMAG’s commitment to preserving and sharing the unique stories of our city and region.

The Australian Museums and Galleries Association, in announcing the National Awards 2023 shortlist, commended all participants for their creative and innovative projects, highlighting the extraordinary calibre of submissions.

Two other Canberra cultural institutions were included in the 2023 awards: the National Library of Australia was Highly Commended in the Books category for its publication, Vintage Knits by Astred Hicks while the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House was also Highly Commended, in the Exhibition Branding category, for its Democracy DNA exhibition.

Winners of the 2023 MAGNA Awards were announced at this month’s Australian Museums and Galleries National Conference. The MAGNAs have celebrated exceptional achievements by cultural institutions from across Australia and New Zealand since 2011. They acknowledge outstanding contributions in exhibitions, public programs and sustainability projects.

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Wonderful achievement! I can’t wait to see the new permanent exhibition. Well done to the curators 👏

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