2022 Election Toolkit for Museums

May 12, 2022
Need to Know
Ontario's 2022 Election
Toolkit for Museums

The OMA has prepared a toolkit of messages, tips for advocacy, and ways to engage all candidates in advance of the provincial election on June 2nd, 2022.

Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, museums have exhibited resilience and delivered valuable engagement, serving their communities where possible. With adequate and stabilizing government support they can continue to build their contributions. The Ontario Museum Association recommends $10million in additional operating support annually for community museums –reaching 300 communities across Ontario– as necessary stabilization for our sector. Further investments in Ontario museums’ digital response will provide more quality educational experiences for more of Ontario’s students.

Download the Toolkit HERE.

Download a template Invitation for Candidates HERE. 
2022 Election Toolkit for Museums
Ontario's 2022 Election
Party Platform Analysis

From available materials, the OMA has found items of interest for museums in the party platforms announced for Ontario's 2022 Election. The Elections Ontario list of all registered parties and links to their official websites is HERE.
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
The incumbent Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario released the 2022 Budget on April 28, with several items of interest for museums:
  • Raising the Minimum Wage: Recognizing that wages for many have not kept up with the rising cost of living, the Ontario government is raising the general minimum wage to $15.50 per hour on October 1, 2022. (page 66)
  • Helping Families Explore Ontario: To help encourage everyone to explore Ontario and support local tourism, the government introduced the temporary Ontario Staycation Tax Credit for 2022. This credit will provide eligible Ontario residents with support of 20 per cent of eligible 2022 accommodation expenses in Ontario, up to $1,000 for an individual or $2,000 for a family, for a maximum credit of $200 or $400, respectively. The credit is expected to provide an estimated $270 million in support to about 1.85 million Ontario families for 2022. (page 47)
  • Supporting Tourism Recovery in Niagara Falls: Niagara Falls is a premier international tourism destination that was heavily impacted by the COVID‐19 pandemic. The government is committed to working with impacted sectors and the region to recover to pre‐pandemic tourism levels and beyond. Development in the region will play to Niagara’s competitive advantages, diversify the tourist experience, and offer unique reasons to visit and extend stays. (page 47)
  • Bringing Back Passenger Rail Service to the North: Bringing back passenger rail service is at the forefront of the government’s plan to secure a prosperous and healthy future for Northern Ontario. In November 2021, Ontario named Timmons — one of the largest municipalities in Northern Ontario and a major employment hub — as the terminus station for the Northeastern Passenger Rail Service. (page 86)
  • Bringing High-Speed Internet Access to Every Community: Access to high‐speed internet in communities across Ontario will bring new economic opportunities, create jobs and improve quality of life for families, workers and communities. This is why, in the 2021 Budget, the government increased its overall investment in broadband to nearly $4 billion beginning in 2019–20 to ensure every community in Ontario has access to high‐speed internet by the end of 2025. (page 44)
Read Ontario's 2022 Budget HERE
Ontario New Democratic Party
  • Increase funding for the Community Museum Operating Grant and review the outdated funding model for museums (page 41)
  • Increase funding to the Ontario Arts Council: We’ll support new and experienced Ontario artists by restoring and providing additional funding to the grant program. (page 41)
  • We’ll create a Provincial Arts Strategy that centres artists and supports arts, culture, and heritage community-based institutions committed to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, assessing needs through measurable outcomes. (page 41)
  • Financial support: To support their recovery and protect the sector, an Ontario NDP government will provide financial support to non-profits and charities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, so they can reinvest in their mission and their workforce (page 35)
  • Extend government-funded business investment programs and initiatives like Digital Main Street to the [non-profit] sector, to help non-profits, charities and the cooperative sector recover and thrive. (page 35)
  • Volunteer recovery strategy: Work with the [non-profit] sector to develop a provincial volunteer recovery strategy, helping organizations bring back personnel and execute their mission. (page 35)
  • Raise the minimum wage to $20 in 2026, with stable, predictable $1-an-hour increases annually. To help small businesses achieve this, New Democrats will bring in targeted supports for those that need help increasing wages as our economy is rebuilt. (page 29)
  • Legislate 10 permanent personal emergency leave days for all workers, so they can stay home if they are sick or are caring for a sick child. We’ll work with businesses to ensure they have predictability and the support they need as we make this transition. (page 29)
NDP Platform HERE
Ontario Liberal Party
  • We are committed to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action by working with and learning from Indigenous peoples. This includes increasing support for the option to learn First Nations languages and mandating the inclusion of the painful history of Canada’s residential schools across the K-12 curriculum. We’ll also invest in Indigenous-led mental health supports, child care, housing and infrastructure projects. (page 14)
  • We’ll increase the minimum wage to $16 an hour and then develop a living wage that factors in the local cost of living in different regions of the province. (page 8)
  • Reinvest in OSAP and eliminate interest on student loans (page 12)
Liberal Platform HERE
Green Party of Ontario
  • Communities can and must be connected, affordable and sustainable, featuring:
    • Municipal governments with the authority and resources to achieve net-zero community emissions by 2045.
    • Safe streets and quality, equitable public spaces.
    • Durable, resilient infrastructure.
    • Constructive sharing of knowledge, tools and public space. (https://gpo.ca/climate/community/)
Green Party Platform HERE
Communist Party of Ontario
  • Eliminate admission prices and expand hours and services at public museums, sports and recreation facilities, art galleries and other public cultural institutions, and increase funding for them.
  • Increase the provincial minimum wage to a liveable wage of $23/hr and maintain this wage relative to the cost of living.
  • Increase funding to the Ontario Arts Council and TVOntario and democratize oversight and administration.
Communist Party Platform HERE
Webinar: Virtual School Programming
Upcoming Webinar:
Virtual School Programming -
Decision Making for Small Museums

Registration Now Open!

Free webinar - held on Zoom
Wednesday, May 25, 2022

School programming is central to how museums deliver on their educational missions. With kids back in the classroom, how does virtual school programming fit into our ongoing plans.

Join Christina Sydorko from the Oil Museum of CanadaKaren Taylor from the Canadian Canoe Museum, and Michael Furdyk from Connected North for a conversation about the questions you need to consider when deciding whether and how to create your own virtual school programs. Geared specifically to small and rural museums, the discussion will start with “why” and take you through the practicalities and promising practices that make virtual school programming successful and sustainable.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

Find out more about the Small Bytes initiative HERE.

Register HERE
Provincial News
MPP Dave Smith (Peterborough—Kawartha, right) visits the Canadian Canoe Museum's storage space with Executive Director Carolyn Hyslop (centre) - Canadian Canoe Museum
Canadian Canoe Museum weathers pandemic and increases digital programming

Local MPP Dave Smith visited The Canadian Canoe Museum to celebrate how the Museum has weathered the pandemic and enhanced its virtual programming capabilities, thanks to a $150,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant and a $250,000 Community Building Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Ontario over the past two years.

Read more from the Canoe Museum HERE. 
Read an article from the Peterborough Examiner HERE.
Trillium grant expands horizon of
Elgin County Railway Museum

An Ontario Trillium Foundation grant is allowing the museum to invest in its future and build valuable educational content. The ECRM received $94,400 in funding last year and museum operations manager John Shapendonk says some of that money was used to develop virtual educational field trip packages.

Read more HERE.
Museums receiving
Ontario Trillium Foundation grants

Several museums across Ontario have been announced as OTF recipients, including Museum on Tower Hill and Point Clark Lighthouse Museum. Find all OTF recipients on the Trillium Foundation website HERE.
The Brant Museums and Galleries Association is launching the Brant Museum Passport

To kick-start May Is Museum Month, the Brant Museums and Galleries Association is offering passport holders one-time access to 10 participating museums and galleries in Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations of the Grand River until Aug. 31.
Upon visiting each site, participants will get their passport stamped. Each destination is featured on a different page of the passport with a unique trivia question. Passport holders also get a chance to win a heritage gift basket.

Read more HERE. 
Kawartha-area museums join local library Community Pass
The Kawartha Lakes Public Library is offering families a great opportunity to enjoy local cultural, educational and recreational facilities in and around the City of Kawartha Lakes and it doesn’t cost a penny.

The library has joined forces with a variety of community partners, including the Ken Reid Conservation Area, Kawartha Lakes Museum and Archives and Kawartha Settlers’ Village, to offer free passes to venues.

Read more HERE. 
Owen Sound cultural organizations partner to create OPEN Card program

The Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Billy Bishop Museum, and Marine and Rail Waterfront Museum are thrilled to announce the launch of the OPEN Card - an innovative new free membership program.

Launching on International Museums Day, May 18, 2022, the OPEN Card is available to anyone eligible for a Library Card. This new card will provide the holder access to all of the resources they know and love from the Library, as well as free membership to the Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Billy Bishop Museum, and the Marine and Rail Waterfront Museum.

Read more HERE.

Canadian Museum of Water presents to
Tay Township council

A delegation from Dan Travers of the Canadian Museum of Water/Musée canadien de l’eau (CMW-MCE), a recently launched initiative by locals intent on offering the history of the planet’s most precious resource through Port McNicoll, was presented to Tay council at a recent regular meeting.

Read more HERE.
Can Le is head of the Vietnamese Canadian Centre. He plans to raise funds to build a Vietnamese Boat People Museum at the northeast corner of Somerset and Preston [in Ottawa], a project that was put on hold for years by legal wrangling, but is finally back on track.
Vietnamese boat people museum back on track

Can Le, president of the Vietnamese Canadian Centre that owns the property, is confident that the Vietnamese Boat People Museum, a project that was put on hold for eight years following an unholy trinity of setbacks, is on track again, with a design competition expected to take place this fall, followed by shovels in the ground in 2023 and a grand opening in 2024, almost a decade after its initial expected completion date.

Read more HERE. 
OMA Initiatives
Webinar Recording
The Digital Strategy - Intention through Application
On April 29, 2022, the OMA presented the webinar entitled "The Digital Strategy - Intention through Application," with speakers Corey Timpson and Mary-Katherine Whelan.

The webinar is part of the Small Bytes initiative. Small Bytes: Supporting Digitization in Ontario’s Smaller and Rural Museums is an initiative of the Ontario Museum Association (OMA) funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage. Find out more about the initiative HERE.

View the presentation slides HERE
Download the Digital Strategy Check List Tool HERE. 
The webinar recording is now available online HERE.
Watch the Webinar Recording
May is Museum Month
Some Museum Events this May:

Special Offers
Brant Museum Passport: grants access to 10 museums/galleries until Aug. 31 - 
Brant Museums and Galleries Association
May 21st: free admission to the Chimczuk Museum and the Art Gallery of Windsor - City of Windsor

Special Programs & Exhibits
1st: Bidemi Oloyede: I Am Hu(e)Man! - 
1st: 100 T-Shirts for Grimsby's 100th Birthday! - Grimsby Museum 
3rd: Antechamber Gallery Collecting History - Thunder Bay Museum
13th: Cross Cut: Traditional Ontario Folk Songs Revisited - Lang Pioneer Village Museum
14th: Wings of the Wetland: Guided Birding Hike - Backus-Page House Museum
18th: The Trent-Severn Waterway – Then and Now with Charlie Ellins - Orillia Museum of Art & History
20-22nd: Cornwall 1784: A Celebration of Friendship - Cornwall Community Museum

Seasonal Openings
1st: Opening of heritage buildings - 
Simcoe County Museum
12th: We're opening our doors! - Bank of Canada Museum
18th: Tickets on sale now - Canadian Children’s Museum
19th: Open House: 125th Anniversary of the Founding of the Yarmouth Glen Women’s Institute - Elgin Military Museum

Social Media Kit
The OMA has prepared a kit to help museums share all about the power of museums through their social media and communications. Download the kit for example social media posts, fast facts about Ontario's 700+ museums, and ideas for engaging content for May.
MMM Social Media Kit
Out-of-Province News
Pictured: Minister of Canadian Heritage, The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez (left); ED/CEO of the Alberta Museums Association Jennifer Forsyth (second row), OMA ED Marie Lalonde (centre) and the British Columbia Museums Association Vice-President Lynn Saffery (right).
National Culture Summit: The Future of Arts, Culture and Heritage in Canada

Ontario Museum Association Executive Director Marie Lalonde was invited by Canadian Heritage to participate in both a pre-summit meeting with Minister Pablo Rodriguez (ONmuseums March 24th) and as a participant in the National Culture Summit: The Future of Arts, Culture and Heritage in Canada held in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre from May 2-4. The summit was also accessible virtually as shared with OMA members.

Last week, Canadian Heritage held the announced National Summit on the arts, culture Canada’s arts, culture and heritage sectors which recognized that these sectors “play a fundamental role in building a stronger, more cohesive, and resilient society. These sectors are not only significant drivers of Canada’s economy, but also critical contributors to Canada’s identity and wellbeing. Arts, culture, and heritage create connection across differences and provide a forum for intergenerational, intercultural and international exchange and understanding. They help us create meaning and forge a stronger shared identity based on shared values."

The National Culture Summit: The Future of Arts, Culture and Heritage in Canada intended to “mobilize these sectors around positive economic and social outcomes for Canada and discuss ways to support their own recovery and long-term growth and competitiveness. The Summit will bring together leaders from across the country from these sectors for a national conversation on resilience, sustainability and transformation of the arts, culture and heritage sectors in Canada… The Summit brought together leaders from across the country from these sectors for a national conversation on resilience, sustainability and transformation of the arts, culture and heritage sectors in Canada.”

The Summit’s panel discussions and workshops for delegates focused on four themes:
- Promoting long-term competitiveness and growth;
- The return of visitors and engaging new audiences;
- The role of digital platforms in arts, culture and heritage sectors; and
- The contribution of cultural sectors to reconciliation, combating climate change and building an open and more inclusive society

In preparation for the National Summit, the OMA E.D. participated in meetings to discuss museum sector priorities with colleagues from the national (CMA), provincial and territorial museum associations, as well as CAMDO seeking alignment on key messages.

Striving to increase awareness and visibility of the museum and heritage sector, museum attendees spoke with the Right Honourable RH Prime Minister Trudeau at the launch event, thanking the government for the crucial federal support from wage subsides and emergency heritage and museum programs. M. Lalonde also took the opportunity to meet with Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez. The OMA, the AMA, (ED, Jennifer Forsyth) and BCMA (VP, Lynn Adam Saffery) reiterated the pressing need for a new national museum policy to support the important work of museums in rural, Northern and thousands of communities across the country; highlighting museums as important, well-positioned and safe places to help address the social, economic and environmental challenges of society. Importantly, the pandemic has highlighted long standing challenges of the museum sector, and it was mentioned that support for the core functions and operations of museums is a priority over shorter term project based funding as brought forward for the Minister's consideration in planning for pandemic recovery and future success.

Also referenced is strong public support for museums as confirmed in the Reconsidering Museums initiative and Report. There were also many other discussions with the Minister’s Chief of staff and senior policy advisors, as well as senior Ministry staff who seemed quite receptive to continuing dialogue with the NPTMAs on the National Museum Policy.

The National Summit was an opportunity to highlight the important work and the need for the continued contribution of museums to reconciliation, inclusion and cultural diplomacy in telling the stories of the full diversity of Canada.

Canadian Heritage is already following up from the Summit to connect to hear more on the current state of Ontario museums and the OMA will be continuing discussions on the national museum policy and support to museums to ensure a strong museum recovery from the pandemic.

Working with the CMA and PTMA colleagues, the OMA will be updating members on the continuing advocacy for a new museum policy and modernized programs.

Support Ontario’s Museums by Giving Forward!
As museums across Ontario face the challenges of reopening safely and renewing relationships with your communities, the OMA is here for you now and as we move forward. The OMA successfully advocated for federal emergency support funding through the Museums Assistance Program, the early and streamlined release of Community Museum Operating Grant (CMOG) funds in 2020 and 2021, and for an additional $2 million to support digital activities during pandemic closures. Your support, participation, and membership make our work possible.

Representing the interests of over 700 museums, galleries, and heritage sites across the province, the OMA offers regular webinars and professional development opportunities and resources for pandemic recovery. An OMA membership connects you with our network of over 1000 members, provides you with the tools and resources that support your professional practice, and keeps you informed of breaking news about funding opportunities and policy changes via the ONmuseums weekly newsletter and timely eNews alerts.

If you are already an OMA member, thank you! Please renew your membership when you receive an email reminder.

If you are not yet a member, please consider an individual, institutional, or commercial membership for yourself, your colleagues, or your institution. You can find information about member categories and benefits on our website.

You can make a donation to the OMA on our website or through Canada Helps. Every contribution is giving forward, not giving back, by adding to the collective strength of our sector and investing in a vibrant future for the next generation of museum professionals. You can help us build a more resilient museum sector. 

Thank you for your support!
Donate Now
We're Here to Help!

For all questions or inquiries please contact the OMA: community@museumsontario.ca or call 416-348-8672 / 1-866-662-8672.

As an organization of provincial scope, the Ontario Museum Association recognizes that its members and community live and work on the lands and territories of Indigenous peoples. Toronto, where the OMA offices are located, is the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, Haudenosaunee and the Huron Wendat. We wish to express our gratitude for the resources we are using and pay respect to the rich and ongoing Indigenous history of what is now Ontario and Canada.
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The Ontario Museum Association strengthens capacity among institutions and individuals active in Ontario’s museum sector, facilitates excellence and best practices, and improves the communication and collaboration of its membership. The Association advocates for the important role of Ontario’s museums to society, working with all stakeholders, related sectors and industries, and other professional organizations.
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