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  

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

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 (
  5. cc: the OMA ( on your email


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 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: on your email submission
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!