Modernity meets the Museum of Civilization with new app

Melding past and present, the museum's new branded app allows guests to plan their trip from afar and use their iPhones in place of traditional audioguides.

Amongst the iconic totem poles, North West Company canoes and ancient Afghani treasures in the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, QC, its 1.3 million annual visitors will now be able to access the most modern of media tools: an iPhone app.

The museum this week announced the launch of their first branded app, a media initiative it says ranks it among few museums in the world. Available in both French and English – and developed by Ottawa’s Tristan Interactive – the app will allow guests to plan their trip to the museum from anywhere in the world. Users can view interactive maps, find out hours and information and even use it in place of the museum-issued audio devices for two self-guided tours.

The app was developed to appeal to the rising number of Gen-Yers coming through its doors over the past year, Julie Marion, manager, marketing and branding, Museum of Civilization, tells MiC. ‘We saw an opportunity to enhance the experience for that type of visitor and connect with them in a way that they enjoy,’ she explains.

The app is currently promoted on site at the museum through signage and via the website; in the future, sponsorship opportunities will likely open up as well, Marion says. The museum plans to continue to develop the app in 2010, increasing its functionality to include new content alerts and adapting it to Blackberry and Android platforms.

The app is available from the iTunes App Store or can be downloaded in the museum when the user logs on to the in-house WiFi service.