Election season is open! The Ontario Provincial Election is taking place on June 7, 2018.
Let’s get all candidates aware of and talking about museums and what they mean for Ontarians.
Ontario’s Museums are places of civic and educational engagement with programs that focus on diversity, inclusion, seniors, early-years development, truth and reconciliation projects with Indigenous communities and more, strengthening communities across the province.
Building relationships with candidates is mutually beneficial:
- Ensuring candidates are aware of the important role museums have in your community
- Having future allies at Queen’s Park (what does it mean to be non-partisan as a museum?)
- Candidates in turn, learn more about local community and are engaging with constituents
Tell candidates what your museum does for your community!
Key Priorities for Ontario Museums
To continue to make a positive local impact, Ontario Museums need adequate and increased funding.
1. Adequate and Stable Operating Funding
- The current operating funding from the province of Ontario for museums only funds 173 museums out of 700 museums.
- Ontario museum funding from the provincial government has not increased in the last 10 years. (Operating funding for Ontario museums comes from the Community Museum Operating Grant (CMOG) program)
- CMOG allows museums to build stronger communities through collections, programs and jobs. Ontario museums spent almost $38 million dollars in their communities across the province in 2015.
2. Investment in Innovative Museums
- Ontario museums need investment in new technology that maximizes and creates greater access to museums’ resources through digital collections and digital communications, leading to enhanced experiences online and in-person.
- Collections need to be curated in dynamic ways that engage the diverse population of Ontario and fosters strong community relationships.
- Educational programs that focus on addressing social issues and concerns while fostering diversity, inclusion and social cohesion need to be funded.
3. Job Creation and Workforce Development
- The new highly skilled and emerging museum labour force needs Employment Programs operated by Ontario museums in partnership with the Ontario government, universities and professional associations.
- Museum workers need continuing training, leadership and mentorship are needed to maximize their skills and potential to enrich their communities.
- Ontario museums want to create meaningful employment and skill acquisition opportunities that provide increasing opportunities for integration for newcomers to Ontario, visible minorities, youth and seniors to serve in their communities.
Museum Facts to Share with All Candidates
- Museums contribute to a prosperous knowledge-based economy. Did you know? Ontario Museums contribute towards the province’s $25 billion GDP and employ close to 12,000 workers.
- Museums contribute to the well-being and health of our communities. Did you know? Over 19 million people visit Ontario Museums in a year; 48% of Ontarians visit a museum annually. Overall, physical visits have increased 34% nationally.
- Museums enhance opportunities for Ontarians to engage and contribute to the community. Did you know? Ontario Museums engage over 35,000 volunteers.
- Museums provide dynamic learning opportunities and experiences. Did you know? Almost 2 million students visit Ontario museums, which means over 38,000 schools visits in a year, 80% of Ontario museums provide education programming tied with Ontario curriculum.
- Museums provide accessible and inspiring spaces for communities. Did you know? Ontario Museums are becoming more accessible with 93.5 million online visits.
Questions to Ask All Candidates
- How would your party’s government support the contribution of museums in Ontario?
- Museum funding hasn’t increased in over 10 years; do you support museum funding and how do you want to support them?
- How could museums work with your government to create opportunities and benefits for constituents in your riding?
- Do you believe museums have value? How has a museum positively impacted your life?
How to Engage All Candidates In-person
- Invite all candidates to your events during May is Museum Month and on International Museum Day (May 18, 2018). Click here for a template letter/email.
- Host an open forum at your museum for all candidates discuss the importance of museums in their region.
- Share your museum stories through media or social media. Click social media posts are below.
- Ensure museum staff/volunteers are informed about your museum’s messaging during the election season
How to Engage with All Candidates with Social Media
- Tag local all candidates and parties in social media posts
- Use Museum hashtags: #MuseumConnectON #InternationalMuseumDay #IMD2018 and tag the OMA @museumsontario
- Use Election hashtags: #ONpoli #OntarioElection2018 #OntarioVotes2018
- Use official party Twitter handles when connecting to all candidates (don’t be fooled by imitators)
- Be non-partisan
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE NON-PARTISAN? Partisan political activity is the direct or indirect promotion of a political candidate or party, or the direct or indirect opposition to a political party or candidate. As representatives of the museum sector, we want you to talk about and share information about our non-partisan issues - which do not favour or criticize a specific political party or candidate - and foster discussion about these important matters. We believe strongly that museums positively impact a broad cross-section of Ontarians in every community across the province. As a sector, we have and will continue to work collaboratively and constructively with representatives of all political parties to achieve meaningful change benefitting our museums and communities. (credit ONN Election Toolkit)
- Be respectful
- Be polite
- Ask questions
- Engage equally
- Be consistent
Social media example posts
Note: Take pictures/videos with the candidates at your museum. Social media posts with photos/video perform better than text-only posts.
We’re excited to have a special guest(s) [insert candidates twitter handles], share about what museums mean to them and we want to hear what museums mean to you too. Come join us on [date] at [location]! #MuseumConnectON #ONpoli
Thank you [insert candidates twitter handles] for visiting and sharing what museums mean to you. #MuseumConnectON #ONpoli
Museums contribute to a prosperous knowledge-based economy. Did you know? Ontario Museums contribute towards the province’s $25 billion GDP and employ 12,000 workers #MuseumConnectON #ONpoli (Click Here to Tweet)
Did you know? Over 19 million people visit Ontario Museums in a year; 48% of Ontarians visit a museum annually. #MuseumConnectON #ONpoli (Click Here To Tweet)
Museums provide dynamic learning opportunities and experiences. Almost 2 million students visit Ontario museums, which means over 38,000 schools visits in a year, 80% of Ontario museums provide education programming tied with Ontario curriculum. #MuseumConnectON #ONpoli (Click Here to Tweet)
Museums provide accessible and inspiring spaces for communities. Did you know? Ontario Museums are becoming more accessible with over 93.5 million online visits. #MuseumConnectON #ONpoli (Click Here to Tweet)
We’re getting ready to celebrate #InternationalMuseumDay on May 18, 2018. Come show your support for your local museum and community! #MuseumConnectON #ONpoli (Click Here to Tweet)
Additional Information for Voters
Additional Information from the OMA