Advocacy

 

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 mlalonde@museumsontario.ca.  

An advocacy-focused newsletter is sent to members on the 2nd Thursday of each month. See past issues here

 

Jump to COVID-19 and Ontario Museums

Advocacy Resources

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. 

An image of the document "Museums and Rural Communities"

An image of the document "Ontario's Museums and Action Plan"

An image of the document "Museums and Your Municipality"

An image of the document "Ontario Museums Vital Tourism Assets"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Advocacy Initiatives

Open Letter
A Call to Invest Fully in Ontario Museums

 

The OMA is asking members to share the Open Letter with their MPPs, their community members, and media. Download a copy of the Open Letter HERE.

Tip: Share the letter with your board members and volunteers for them to also share!
  1. Download a Template Letter for your MPP HERE
  2. Find your MPP's contact information HERE. 
  3. cc: Premier Ford (premier@ontario.ca), Minister MacLeod (minister.macleod@ontario.ca) and the OMA (community@museumsontario.ca) on your emails
Social Media
  1. Download our image for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram HERE
  2. Use the example message below.
  3. Tag @museumsontario and also use #onpoli in your posts
 
"Ontario museums call for government investment so they can survive the pandemic and fully contribute to the province’s recovery for the benefit of all Ontarians.
 
Read the Open Letter here: http://bit.ly/OMA-Open-Letter

#MuseumsConnectON #onpoli @museumsontario"
Click to Tweet this Message
 

 

OMA Advocacy on Reopening Regulations

The OMA has communicated with the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and shared members concerns, as well as two recommendations for the Regulations:
  1. Allow the operation of outdoor guided tours by museums and historic sites in Step 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen, in alignment with restrictions on outdoor “In-person teaching and instruction” with observed health and safety protocols and physical distancing
  2. Allow indoor museums to open in Step 2, alongside other public venues like libraries, also institutions with collections, and non-essential retail, based on the ability of museums to maintain appropriate distancing and health protocols.
The OMA letter also references that in summer 2020, museums that were able to reopen successfully implemented protocols that kept their staff and visitors safe. 

Read the OMA letter HERE.
Call to Action

The OMA is asking members to assist in sharing the Recommendations for the Regulations with MPPs:
  1. Download a copy of the Regulation Recommendations HERE. 
  2. Find your MPP's contact information HERE. 
  3. cc: Premier Ford (premier@ontario.ca), Minister MacLeod (minister.macleod@ontario.ca) and the OMA (community@museumsontario.ca) on your emails
International Museum Day 2021
The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine
A message from the OMA on International Museum Day

International Museum Day has been celebrated on May 18th by the International Council of Museums since 1977, and this year again provides an opportunity to recognise the value that our institutions provide in creating better communities and a better province for us all. 

This year's theme is "The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine", and we are reminded about the drastic impacts that our museums have seen and the meaningful changes we have made to emerge from unprecedented times with stronger, more inclusive, and more connected institutions. 

The OMA's May is Museum Month / Mai, Mois des Musées initiative has been showcasing the multitude of experiences that Ontario's museums offer since 2000, with this year highlighting the variety of museums and online experiences found across the province. 

Museums across the province have reimagined their ways of working with and engaging the public. The foundational work of our sector, through 
Ontario's Museums 2025Inclusion 2025: A Practitioner's Guide to Inclusive Museums,  and the Indigenous Collections Symposium most notably, has provided us with steps towards these important outcomes. 

The necessary shifts museums have made to offer programs and experiences digitally, where possible, are a continuation of the trend for more online and connected work that began long before the pandemic. Data from before March 2020 showed that Ontario's museum websites were welcoming 112.8 million visitors per year--4 visits per second! These virtual connections have demonstrated their value over the past year in ways we could never have imagined. 
 
Our sector has exhibited new heights of creativity, innovation, resilience, and dedication. The skills we all have built and our pride in each other will continue to serve us well. 

 
We look forward to the days ahead where museums across Ontario can fully welcome the public through their doors and again achieve nearly 20 million in-person visits a year! Ontario's museums will remain a vibrant and vital part of every community. 

We're inviting our communities to rediscover Ontario museums and the reimagined experiences and virtual connections they've developed. 


Our team at the OMA is proud to work with Ontario's museums and will continue to amplify your successes and concerns. We know that museums are a key part of what makes our communities distinct and vibrant places to live, work, visit and invest!

See more of what the OMA has been showcasing this May: 

Title image of the OMA's white paper Exhibiting Resilience
 
Exhibiting Resilience: Empowering Ontario’s community museums for strategic recovery

OMA Releases White Paper
 
Download the white paper "Exhibiting Resilience" HERE. 
The Ontario Museum Association (OMA) is pleased to share Exhibiting Resilience: Empowering Ontario’s community museums for strategic recovery. This white paper brings together specific findings and expertise from across Ontario’s museum community. Drawing on surveys of OMA members both before and during the pandemic, as well as information from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Canadian Heritage, and other key stakeholders, the OMA has created a profile of the state of the sector and its needs as we continue the work of Ontario’s Museums’ 2025: Strategic Vision and Action Plan

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 the white paper "Exhibiting Resilience" HERE. 
 
Engage your MPP:
  1. Download a template letter HERE
  2. Find your MPP's contact information HERE
  3. Attach a copy Exhibiting Resilience from HERE.
  4. cc: Minister MacLeod (minister.macleod@ontario.ca
  5. cc: the OMA (community@museumsontario.ca) on your email

OMA Responds to MHSTCI White Paper
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.

 
The OMA's feedback to MHSTCI also addresses each of the Ministry's 15 Action Items, and how museums can play a key role in achieving the outlined goals of the plan. 

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.

Sudbury Council votes to retain curator position at City museums

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. 

OMA Recommendations to
Ontario's Budget 2021
Three recommendations to provide immediate support to Ontario's museums and empower them for long-term recovery

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:
  1. An Ontario Museum Relief Fund of $8.5million
  2. A Digital Response Fund of $10million over three years, and 
  3. A Renewed Museum Funding Model of operating funding to a total of $15million annually
Read the OMA's 2021 Ontario Budget submission HERE
 
 
Call to Action:
Recommend Support for Museums in Ontario's 2021 Budget



Members can support the OMA's Recommendations in two ways:

1. Engage your MPP:
The OMA is available to work with Regional Museum Networks and members to plan meetings with their local MPPs. Please reach out to community@museumsontario.ca with your interest. 

2. Participate in Ontario's 2021 Budget Consultations
(by FRIDAY, February 12, 2021):
a) Make your own submission, using the OMA's Submission to Ontario's 2021 Budget HERE (Submissions are limited to 500 words)
b) Send by email to submissions@ontario.ca and 
You may address your submission to: 
The Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy
Minister of Finance
c/o Budget Secretariat
Frost Building North, 3rd Floor
95 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Z1
 
 

OMA Recommendations to
Canada's Federal Budget 2021

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
 
On September 25, OMA ED Marie Lalonde joined other stakeholders in presenting at a Fall 2020 Budget Consultation to Minister of Finance Rod Phillips, Minister MacLeod, and Finance PA MPP Stan Cho. Building on the OMA's previous recommendations as member of Minister MacLeod's Festivals, Events, and Local Community Attractions Panel, and two presentations to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs on both Tourism and Culture, the OMA brings forward three recommendations for Ontario's Fall 2020 Budget: 
 
1.    An Ontario Museum Relief Fund of $8.5million
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.  
 
Call to Action: 
Recommend Support for Museums
in the Fall 2020 Budget
 
Members can support the OMA's recommendations to the Ontario Fall 2020 Budget in two ways: 
 
1. Engage your MPP:
 
  • Use the OMA's Fall 2020 Budget Submission HERE (Submissions are limited to 500 words)
a) Send by email to submissions@ontario.ca and:
  • include your name or the name of your organization
  • use “Fall 2020 Budget Consultations” in the subject line
  • attach your submission as a PDF or Word document
  • cc: community@museumsontario.ca on your email submission
 
or
 
b) Mail your submission to:
The Honourable Rod Phillips
Minister of Finance
c/o Budget Secretariat
Frost Building North, 3rd Floor
95 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Z1
 

 

 

COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) and Ontario Museums

 

COVID-19 and Ontario Museums: 2nd Survey

Infographic of the findings of the OMA's second COVID-19 Impact 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. 

 
 
Submission to the Federal Budget 2021
On August 7th the OMA submitted five recommendations to the federal government to be taken into consideration in advance of the upcoming federal budget. The OMA fully supports and reiterates the recommendations of the Canadian Museums Association. 

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. 
 
May is Museum Month and International Museum Day 2020
The OMA has prepared a statement for May is Museum Month / Mai, Mois des Musées and International Museum Day that can be shared widely and with media outlets. 
 
The OMA has also prepared a template letter for members to send to their MPPs.
 
OMA COVID-19 Impact Survey
Key Findings
 
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. 
 
COVID-19 Resources for Ontario Museums HERE

 

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.


Support for Ontario Museums in 2020 Budget

The Ontario Museum Association has recommended two areas for funding to the Ministry of Finance and the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs in advance of Ontario’s 2020 budget.

The two recommended areas for funding are:
  • Create Jobs for Young People in Growing Sectors 
  • Develop Digital Access & Engagement for Rural Communities
Read the full Submission HERE.

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!