OMA Conference 2022 - Call for Proposals


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Call for Proposals

2022 is the Ontario Museum Association’s 50th Anniversary and we are so thrilled to welcome members back to both an in-person and online conference this year!

This year’s theme is Changing Directions: Practice over Permanence. This theme embodies the changing nature of museums and focuses on what museums are currently doing, rather than what they might do in the future.

Here are some possible subthemes and questions to help get you inspired. You will notice that these questions are written to put the focus on current practice.


Museums would be nothing without their staff, volunteers, and communities. Whether on the collective or the individual, museums have an impact.

  • How have your mentors and/or senior staff created a safe space for discussion?
  • How are community members from diverse backgrounds and identities involved in your museum’s decision-making processes?
  • How have you refocused the stories your museum tells so that they are relevant to the communities that you serve?
  • What steps has your institution taken to prevent burnout among staff? How have you planned for succession in your museum?
  • What have museums/your museum learned from other sectors/industries?
  • Why did you stay/leave the museum sector? What makes employees stay/leave individual positions/institutions?


Museums are constantly evolving, as are their roles and values. Along the way, they face uncertainty as they examine their purpose.

  • How does your institution embody its values? What has your institution done to embrace change/uncertainty?
  • Does the word “permanent” have space in the museum sector?
  • How does your museum meet the needs of the future while acknowledging and considering the limitations of their present situation?
  • How are you prioritizing changes? What does your decision making process look like?
  • How does your institution incorporate uncertainty into its planning documents?


Museum activities don’t start and end with implementation. Decision-making, learning from mistakes, and closing a project are all part of process.

  • What museum work are you avoiding?
  • How do you end things in a good way? (e.g., project close, organization, relationship)
  • How has your museum been transparent and accountable to its audiences?
  • How have you learned from mistakes?
  • How have you balanced the needs of various stakeholders with the museum’s needs? (e.g., board members, volunteers, museum visitors)

Not sure how your session idea fits with our theme? The OMA is happy to discuss proposals before they are submitted for review. Contact us with your ideas and questions at

We invite proposal submissions from equity-deserving groups, all levels of museum staff and volunteers, students, and members of the GLAM sector. We welcome submissions from presenters outside the museum field as well.

Conference Format

This year’s conference will be two days – one in-person and one online. Limited time slots are available in each format. Please indicate in your proposals which format you would prefer, or if you are open to either or both.

How to submit a proposal

Proposals must be submitted using this online form by Monday, June 27, 2022 at 11:59pm. Session organizers will be contacted by August 2022.

Click here to read the full Call for Proposals.

Session Organizers and Presenters

Session organizers are responsible for organizing the session and relaying session information. The OMA maintains contact only with the session organizer, who is responsible for relaying information about scheduling and setup information, and for ensuring that session presenters are aware of deadlines to complete the speaker agreement and register.

The OMA and its members appreciate the contribution that presenters make in sharing their professional knowledge and expertise to strengthen the museum sector; however, all presenters are expected to register and pay for the conference at least for the day they will present at the presenter rate (Approximately $170 + HST for in-person and $70+HST for online, to be confirmed, price subject to change). The OMA does not pay for expenses for session speakers. There are a number of fully subsidized registrations available to presenters and attendees (described further below).

All sessions and presentations may be filmed, recorded, photographed and used by the OMA in the delivery of its Programs.

Fully Subsidized Registrations

To encourage an inclusive Conference environment, the OMA provides 15 fully subsidized registrations. Subsidies are available to presenters who come from outside the cultural sector, as well as presenters and attendees who are unemployed or underemployed, identify as Indigenous, and/or identify with groups that are often marginalized or excluded from culture and heritage due to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or disability. To request your registration fees be waived, simply check the box on the registration form. Subsidies will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. 

To encourage participation of community and other external partners (those working outside of the culture/heritage sector) who will only attend their session, registration fees may be waived in consultation with the OMA, contact

Selection Criteria and Schedule

Proposals will be reviewed by the Conference Program Committee for:

  • Relevance to the conference theme
  • Relevance to professional development needs of the sector and OMA Members
  • Clarity of content and learning objectives
  • Diversity of perspectives and presenters
  • Practical and relevant examples and how to apply them in multiple settings

The program committee reserves the right to make suggestions to improve proposals. This might include adding or changing speakers, expanding your topic to include other examples, or merging your session with one that is similar. This is done in an effort to provide the best overall program for conference attendees.

The Program Committee will consider proposals in English, French, ASL, and other languages and the OMA will work with the Session Organizer and endeavor to find the resources to support their participation.

If you require an accommodation in order to participate in any part of this initiative, or if you have suggestions on how we can improve accessibility, please let us know how we can support by sending an email to