Kit Frost (class of 2001)

Chief, Virtual Experience

The Library of Parliament/ Parliament of Canada

Image of Kit FrostI am leading a cutting edge project to develop three different virtual/digital experiences of the iconic Centre Block which will be closed for a period of 10 years beginning in 2019. The launch of these initiatives will give Canadians the ability to access the building and learn about the importance of the work of Parliament past, present and future, using innovative technology.

This is tremendously rewarding work given that I have the opportunity to reach out to Canadians and connect them to their Parliament using digital media. At the same time, I get to develop interpretive material for a national outreach program that millions of people will access. The work of Parliament since Confederation has shaped the direction for Canada`s democracy and decisions made here impact people – it is my job to try to engage people with this institution. It really is a privilege.

While at Western, I took great interest in Canadian political history. The coursework in both undergraduate and graduate studies helped me to develop skills in critical thinking, research, oral communication and especially writing. The MA in Public History Program helped me to understand how to communicate to target audiences; how to engage people and get them interested in history – to access it. These skills have given me a veritable toolkit for the type of work I have been doing for/at Parliament for the past 15+ years.

For me the most useful experience in graduate studies was the applied work emphasized in the Public History Program. I had an internship with the City of London Heritage Department that allowed me to build connections and develop a network of museums across the regions. The work included research, evaluation, report writing, presenting and promotions. This hands-on experience allowed me to put into practice all of the knowledge I gained throughout undergrad and my MA studies.

People always asked me what I would actually do with a history degree. They were skeptical that there would be any long term employment in the historical or museum field – or that there would be a ceiling. The naysayers could not be more wrong. I have been gainfully employed since I left Western and always in the field. Although I began my career in museums, my portfolio has expanded to include a number positions and skills that followed naturally from what I learned in the program – project management, evaluation, heritage interpretation, marketing and promotions, program development, exhibition design, digital design, etc. I have been in leadership and management positions for years. There are a number of opportunities if you are open to just looking outside the box.

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