The Ontario Museum Association works with its members to ensure a relevant and sustainable museum sector for the benefit of Ontario residents and our global community. For any advocacy-related questions, please reach out to OMA Executive Director Marie Lalonde at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An advocacy-focused newsletter is sent to members on the 2nd Thursday of each month. See past issues here.
International Museum Day and May is Musum Month
OMA Recomendations to Ontario's Budget 2023
On Museum Eligibility for Community Building Fund Capital Stream
OMA Submission for Federal Budget 2022
A Call to Invest Fully in Ontario Museums
Exhibiting Resilience: Empowering Ontario’s community museums for strategic recovery
OMA Responds to MHSTCI White Paper
The documents below have been developed by the OMA to assist Ontario museums in communicating their impacts. For any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the OMA.
- Ontario's Museums and Action Plan
- Museums and Your Municipality
- Ontario Museums: Vital Tourism Assets
- Museums and Rural Communities
OMA members can refer to the full list of the regularly updated funding opportunities and their due dates on OMA’s Current Funding Opportunities page.
COVID-19 and Ontario Museums
For information on Human Resources and Business Continuity Planning in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, please reference the COVID Resource page.
Celebrated annually since 2000, May is Museum Month/Mai, Mois des Musées is a program of the Ontario Museum Association and recognized by Ontario’s 700+ museums, galleries, and heritage sites. May is Museum Month promotes Ontario’s heritage and cultural assets, which demonstrate consistent economic and social return on investment, making our communities vibrant and vital places to live, work, visit and invest.
May is Museum Month/Mai, Mois des Musées, also provides an opportunity to recognize the vital role museums play in helping to achieve recovery and rebuilding across Ontario. Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, museums have exhibited resilience and delivered valuable engagement, serving their communities where possible.
Learn more HERE.
May is Museum Month coincides with International Museum Day on May 18th, a worldwide initiative of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), which represents a unique moment for the international museum community. On this day, participating museums plan creative events and activities related to the International Museum Day theme, engage with their public and highlight the importance of the role of museums as institutions that serve society and its development.
The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness on the fact that, “museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”
In March 2021, as part of the Ontario Museum Association's (OMA) response to the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries' (MHSTCI) Reconnecting Ontarians: Re-emerging as a global leader White Paper, the OMA further recommended that museums be included in the Community Building Fund (CBF) with “eligibility for infrastructure funding in stream 2, especially to increase accessibility and capacity to welcome tourists.”
Following the August 19 announcement of the CBF Capital Stream, the OMA and members again noted that the current Capital stream of the Community Building fund excludes museums from receiving funding to make necessary improvements, while sport and recreation facilities are deemed eligible for this community infrastructure funding.
The OMA expressed the need for museum eligibility for the CBF Capital Stream to the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and the Honourable Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. Beyond the Trillium-administered CBF, this may also require additional and dedicated capital funding for museums.
Read the OMA's Letter to Minister MacLeod and Minister Surma HERE.
Read more about the Community Building Fund - Capital stream HERE.
Read the OMA's full Response to the MHSTCI Reconnecting Ontarians White Paper HERE.
Canada’s museum and heritage leaders urge federal parties to make sector a priority
The OMA and its national, provincial and territorial counterparts issued an open 2021 election letter to all party leaders that describes the unique role of museums in today’s Canada. The letter states that the pandemic brought to light the economic fragility of the sector and that a new long-term partnership with the Government of Canada is needed to put the sector on a more sustainable footing.
Read the Open 2021 Election Letter HERE.
Read more from the Canadian Museums Association HERE.
- That through the 2022 Federal Budget, the government continues to prioritize an investment of resources toward the review of the national museum policy;
- That the 2022 Federal Budget extends and increases funding support for museums to reopen;
- That the 2022 Federal Budget increases funding to Canada’s museums towards $60 million annually;
- That the government fund initiatives for digital transformation in museums;
- That the government expand the Endowment Incentives of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund to include museums and heritage organizations; and
- That the Federal Budget includes sufficient financial resources to recognize the tremendous benefits of museums to the economy and society.
OMA Releases White Paper
Exhibiting Resilience makes three specific recommendations to the Ontario Government. The first is for an Ontario Museum Relief Fund, valued at $8.5 million, which would support museums as they continue to navigate the revenue losses and increased operating costs brought on by COVID-19. The second recommendation is for a Digital Response Fund, valued at $10 million over three years. While the need for modernized digital strategies is particularly urgent in the time of remote work, learning, and tourism, an investment in the digital transformation of Ontario’s museums will ensure equitable access to the research, stories, and benefits that museums have to offer for years to come. Looking ahead to the long-term future of the sector, the OMA also recommends that the Government of Ontario renew the Ontario museum funding model. Raising the level of annual operating support for community museums will empower local museums to realize their mandates and serve their communities at their full potential. The OMA recommends an initial increase in sustainable operating funding for community museums to a total of $15 million annually.
Exhibiting Resilience will serve as a resource and a reference for the museum sector and the provincial government to work together to modernize the support systems for Ontario’s museums, so they continue to be essential community assets for economic, educational, cultural, and social vitality. The Ontario Museum Association stands ready to work with and on behalf of its members, and in partnership with the Government of Ontario, to develop and implement the above recommendations towards recovery. We are grateful to our members and sector partners who support us in our work to keep Ontario’s museums vibrant, inspiring, and impactful.
- Download a template letter HERE
- Find your MPP's contact information HERE
- Attach a copy Exhibiting Resilience from HERE.
- cc: Minister MacLeod (email@example.com)
- cc: the OMA (firstname.lastname@example.org) on your email
Reconnecting Ontarians: Re-Emerging as a Global Leader
With the assistance of OMA members and the approval of OMA Council, the OMA has provided feedback to the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries' White Paper Reconnecting Ontarians: Re-Emerging as a Global Leader. The OMA's response to MHSTCI expresses how, with effective support, museums can be a key asset for the province during the period of recovery and 'hyperlocal' tourism.
Read Ontario Museum Association Response: Including museums in MHSTCI strategies HERE.
As the province looks to build and support hyperlocal tourism, offer tourism trails, and develop a globally competitive, year-round set of tourism products, museums’ expertise and role as tourism infrastructure are key assets. Museums are experts in creating authentic, unique experiences in their local areas through connections to historic collections and stories, to community partners, and to the distinctive qualities of the places around them. Supporting and empowering these existing tourism assets is essential to achieving the Ministry’s goals.
The OMA carried out substantial research on the state of the Ontario museum sector, including successful funding models, and stands ready to work in partnership with MHSTCI to strengthen museums’ contribution towards economic development & tourism, employment, education, and community engagement.
Read Ontario Museum Association Response: Including museums in MHSTCI strategies HERE.
Proposed budget cuts to the City of Greater Sudbury Museums, and the elimination of a curator position, prompted recent sectoral action. The Ontario Museum Association, the Ontario Historical Society (OHS) and the Group of Ontario Emerging Museum Professionals (GOEMP) all spoke out about the value of museums and curatorial positions for communities.
It was announced March 3, 2021 that the City Council voted to reinstate the funding for the curator position.
Read the OMA's Letter to Sudbury's Mayor and Councillors HERE.
Echoing the context and recommendations provided in the OMA's document Exhibiting Resilience: Empowering Ontario's community museums for strategic recovery, and aligned with the government's efforts towards recovery as outlined in the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries' White Paper Reconnecting Ontarians: Re-emerging as a Global Leader, the OMA brings forward recommendations to address the impacts of the pandemic for the province's museums.
The OMA brings forward three recommendations for Ontario's 2021 Budget:
- An Ontario Museum Relief Fund of $8.5million
- A Digital Response Fund of $10million over three years, and
- A Renewed Museum Funding Model of operating funding to a total of $15million annually
The OMA has also prepared a submission of recommendations to the federal government for consideration in advance of the upcoming federal budget.
The OMA recommends:
1: That through the 2021 Federal Budget, the government continues to prioritize an investment of resources toward the review of the national museum policy;
2: That the 2021 Federal Budget extends and increases emergency support to museums;
3: That the 2021 Federal Budget increases funding to Canada’s museums to at least $60 million annually;
4: That the government fund initiatives for digital transformation in museums;
5: That the government expand the Endowment Incentives of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund to include heritage organizations including museums; and
6: That the Federal Budget includes sufficient financial resources to recognize the tremendous benefits of museums to the economy and society.
Read the OMA's submission for Canada's 2021 Federal Budget HERE.
The OMA fully supports and reiterates the recommendations of the Canadian Museums Association.
Before February 19, 2021, members can make recommendations to the federal government by visiting the Let's talk Budget 2021 website to fill out a questionnaire or upload their own submission HERE.
OMA Recommendations to Ontario's Fall Budget 2020
Three recommendations to address the impact of the pandemic on Ontario’s museums
2. A Digital Response Fund of $10million over three years, and a
3. A Renewed Funding Model of operating funding to a total of $15million annually
Read the full 500-word submission HERE.
Submission to the Federal Budget 2021
The OMA recommends:
- That the 2021 Federal Budget extends and increases emergency support to museums;
- That through the 2021 Federal Budget the government continues to prioritize an investment of resources toward the review of the national museum policy;
- That the Federal Budget increases funding to Canada's museum to at least $60 million annually;
- That the government fund initiatives for digital transformation in museums; and
- That the government expands the Endowment Incentives and Limited Support components of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund to include heritage organizations including museums.
COVID-19 and Ontario Museums: 2nd Survey
Key Findings Infographic
The OMA's 2nd COVID-19 Impact Survey collected 150 responses from museums across the province between August 14 and September 4, 2020; capturing the impacts of COVID-19 to the end of July 2020 and the state of museums at the time of their response.
Thank you to all respondents!
Some key findings:
22% of museums do not anticipate reopening to visitors in 2020
The Average length of closure for museums was 127 days (1/3 of a year)
Average revenue losses were estimated at 75% compared to 2019
Download an Infographic of Key Findings HERE.
Read the Key Findings from the OMA's first COVID-19 Survey HERE.
OMA COVID-19 Impact Survey
The OMA's COVID-19 Impact Survey collected essential information from March 20 to April 1 on the effects of the global pandemic, presenting a snapshot in time.
Some key findings include:
68% have delayed or cancelled seasonal hiring
63% of respondents will lose all revenue for April 2020
67% report potential for further job losses
Read a message from OMA Executive Director Marie Lalonde HERE.
Read the full Key Findings HERE.
Download an infographic HERE.
Please see the link below for collected information and resources regarding the novel coronavirus and its impacts for Ontario museums. These resources are not to be taken as legal advice or a definitive answer for any particular museum, but rather as a guide for preparedness for the field. We encourage members to consult relevant policies & legislation.
The OMA has written a letter to Ministers MacLeod, Phillips, and McNaughton to request serious consideration and support of museums during this critical time in response to COVID-19. The OMA made the following recommendations:
1. An Ontario Museums Relief Fund
2. A Digital Response Fund
3. Early (first quarter) distribution of Ontario funding for museums and heritage organizations (Community Museum Operating Grants, Heritage Organization Development Grants, and Provincial Heritage Organization Grants)
4. Expanded employment program and income support measures, and facilitated access to these programs are top concerns for all Ontarians, including Ontario's museums.
Read the Letter HERE.
Support the OMA's recommendations by sending a letter to your local MPP:
Download a template letter HERE.
Find your MPP's contact information HERE.
The two recommended areas for funding are:
- Create Jobs for Young People in Growing Sectors
- Develop Digital Access & Engagement for Rural Communities
Museum staff, volunteers, and board members can support the OMA’s Submission in two key ways:
For more news about Advocacy, see the Advocacy editions of the OMA eNewsletter, ONmuseums, on the second Thursday of each month. ONmuseums is an OMA Member Benefit; to learn about membership, click here!
|COVID-19 Resources for Ontario Museums HERE|