One of the most exciting recent developments in the museum user experience has been the implementation of iPad Mobile Tours. Cultural institutions world-wide have embraced this technology to enrich the telling of their stories by offering a vast complement of audio/visual content including:

• Virtual Tours
• Interviews
• Art slideshows
• Exhibit Descriptions
• Upcoming Events
• Maps
• Collections Pieces Currently Not on Display
• Archived Exhibits
• Web Based Content
• Polls

The Lake of the Woods Museum in Kenora, ON commissioned visual artist, software developer, musician and composer Wayne Kelso to spear-head such a project in 2011.

Over the span of a year, Wayne worked closely with museum staff to produce over five hours of content for their Mobile Tour. He choose the TAP content management system, which is an open-source framework developed by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.


Soon after its public launch, The Lake of the Woods Museum Mobile Tour was awarded the Ontario Museum Association Award for Excellence for Special Projects. This was a true honor for everyone involved with the project, as it validates the notion that small institutions with limited resources can produce relevant work.

Other Projects

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Also in 2012, Wayne was hired to implement a Mobile Tour for the newly opened Northern Ontario Sportfishing Centre in Sioux Narrows, ON.
Wayne's unique artistic and technical talents lend themselves well toward helping any sized cultural institution realize their own personalized Mobile Tour. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Wayne via email or phone (807) 467-8164.


"Would we work with Wayne again? Absolutely! He was professional in all aspects of the project and intent on creating something new and exciting for the museum. His work extended well beyond production to include research, application and fine-tuning of the content management system; equipment purchase; photography and videography; and full involvement in the entire process. We will continue to work with Wayne on the updating of our Mobile Tour content and would highly recommend him to other museums that are considering on embarking on technology and story - based projects. The tour he produced was awarded the Ontario Museum Association Award for Excellence for Special Projects in 2012. High praise indeed!"

Lori Nelson
Lake of the Woods Museum

"A strength of regional museums is their strong connections to the local communities they serve. This has provided the basis of the material collections of the Lake of the Woods Museum. The Mobile Tour builds upon this strength and provides an approach to community scholarships that extends connections with the community through the incorporation of local voices into the interpretation. The Mobile Tour provides numerous examples of sound scholarship and opens up a new interpretive space for the narrative of community members."

"The Mobile Tour has also provided the museum with the opportunity to raise their profile both locally and regionally. The introduction of the new technology stimulates interest in the Museum and has resulted in much press and opportunities to share about the project within the museum community. Equally important has been the process of collecting stories and videos that increased the museum profile within the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in the Lake of the Woods region."

Iain Davidson-Hunt, Ph.D.
Faculty of Environment, Earth and Resources
University of Manitoba

"The iPads are light, and the program is easy to navigate. The technology allows visitors to tour at their own pace and select as much information as they want. All clips are stored as individual files, and are well labelled."

"Museums select artifacts and design dioramas for their local significance, but visitors need more than just a static display to understand this significance and to truly learn anything. The Mobile Tour uses modern technology to tell and show the story behind each exhibit and each old sepia-toned photo. Every museum should have one."

Jay Whetter
Kenora, ON