Advocacy at #OMAConf2021

Nov 11, 2021
Need to Know
Ontario Pausing the Lifting of Capacity Limits
in Remaining Settings Where Proof of Vaccination is Required

Read the News Release HERE. 

Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations
Deadline: November 29, 2021

Read more HERE

Recovery, Reopening, Reimagination
At #OMAConf2021, We're Talking Change, Taking Charge
Register Now
Talking Change, Taking Charge: Ontario Museum Operational Funding: Where are we going?

The chronic underfunding of Ontario’s museum sector exacerbated the impact of pandemic closures for museums, particularly the limitations of provincial operating funding. After hearing from our sector, Ontario’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs recommended to “Bolster the Community Museum Operating Grant program” in 2020. 
Hear about the OMA’s ongoing advocacy and discuss recommendations for Budget 2022 and Ontario’s 2022 election for increased operating funding for more Ontario museums. Share how enhanced provincial funding would support your museum’s recovery!
Talking Change, Taking Charge:
Museum of the Future: Digital Transformation

Pre-pandemic demand for museum online content had grown 40% over two years. With online content taking centre stage over the past 20 months, what can we learn from the challenges and successes of the Great Pivot? How can we build effective and strategic growth and implementation of digital tools in our museums? 

In this session, moderated by Professor Karen Sinotte of George Brown College (GBC), delegates will discuss and share their experiences from more than a year of pandemic-driven digital initiatives and their vision for digital transformation. GBC and the OMA have formed a partnership to identify enablers and barriers to digitalization in the Ontario museum sector, and this discussion will inform the development of the Ontario Museum Digitalization Index and future OMA programs. The projects are funded in part by a research grant by NSERC through the College and Community Social Innovation Fund. 

View Professor Sinotte's bio HERE
Funding support for digital initiatives has been an important part of the OMA's ongoing advocacy work. Recent funding programs that aim to support digital initiatives have included the federal-level Digital Access to Heritage component of the Museums Assistance Program, and Ontario's Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries' additional $2 million in-year funding available to CMOG-recipient museums.
Register Now
Ontario Government Releases the 2021
Fall Economic Statement

On November 5th, Minister of Finance the Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy released the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario.

Highlights for the museum sector include:

  • To help the tourism, hospitality and culture sectors recover and encourage Ontario families to explore the province, the government is proposing a new temporary Ontario Staycation Tax Credit for 2022. The credit would provide an estimated $270 million in support to about 1.85 million families, or $145, on average. (page 70)
  • Improving Connections to Northern Ontario (page 54) The Province, the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) and Metrolinx are moving forward with feasibility work for a route that would provide service from Toronto. The government committed $5 million through the 2021 Budget to support this feasibility work. Over the last year, the ONTC has conducted tests on the tracks to assess their readiness for service and the amount of work required to restore them to operating condition. The proposed service route would support economic opportunities, the tourism industry and improve access to health care, education, as well as other critical services.
  • Building a Revitalized Ontario Place (page 63) In July, the government announced details of its plan to revitalize Ontario Place into a world-class destination. Ontario Place will remain open to the public 365 days a year, with free public access and a waterfront experience that can be enjoyed by all. Across the site, public spaces will be enhanced and brought up to modern standards with new parks, promenades, trails, as well as beaches. Key heritage and recreational features of Ontario Place will be retained and integrated into the redevelopment, including the Cinesphere, the pod complex, the marina, Trillium Park and the William G. Davis Trail. The Province will also work with the Ontario Science Centre to explore opportunities to have science-related tourism and educational programming at the preserved and restored Cinesphere and pod complex. The Province actively searched for the best global partners to work with on the redevelopment of Ontario Place. The three successful partners will help deliver an exciting, inclusive and family friendly experience that will play a key role in the province’s post-pandemic recovery, both as a tourism destination and as a display of Ontario’s strong cultural identity. Informed through consultation with the people of Ontario, the redevelopment of Ontario Place is expected to create more than 3,600 construction jobs and staff positions once the attractions open to the public, with approximately five million visitors expected annually.

Read the News Release HERE
Read the full 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review HERE

OMA Note on 2021 Fall Economic Statement

The OMA provided a response to Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture's White Paper, Reconnecting Ontarians: Re-emerging as a global leader that addressed the possibility of the Staycation Tax Credit and the Redevelopment of Ontario Place:
  • Regarding a Staycation Tax Credit: "To ensure that Ontarians can fully access the benefits of museums during the period of recovery, it is essential that museums be considered eligible expenses for the proposed travel incentive tax credit, which has not been the case in all jurisdictions that have offered similar programs. The program must also build in reasonable supports so that all museums are able to offer receipts as needed for visitors to claim the credit. This might mean offering museums integrated technologies that work as timed-ticketing, COVID-19 screening, receipt delivery, contact tracing, and attendance tracking. A collective effort to find and develop good online tools will prevent museums from having to struggle alone, or missing out on the intended benefits of the program. Considerations should also be made for current free-to-enter or admission-by-donation museum sites." (page 17)
  • Regarding Ontario Place: "Ontario Place, as a showcase of the province, has the potential to join other leading institutions as a museum space for both Ontarians and visitors. The site redevelopment can utilize museum expertise in storytelling, visitor engagement, and exhibition to build quality experiences. The Ontario Museum Association, working with leading Ontario institutions like the Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Ontario Science Centre, can provide vital guidance on the development of a museum presence at Ontario Place. Emerging models such as those used by Myseum of Toronto can also be implemented to enable a nimble and people-focused approach to engagement, possibly including the development of site-specific museum programming. Engagement with Indigenous communities, communities of colour, other equity-seeking populations, and networks of museums from across the province can enable the telling of a fulsome story of the province within the Ontario Place landscape. The model currently used to develop the Community Exhibits Program at the Ontario Legislature building could be expanded—giving all Ontario communities a chance to be showcased within the expanded Tourism Hub of Toronto. Projects can be impermanent, digitally-supported, and community-led." (page 13)
Read the full Ontario Museum Association Response: Including museums in MHSTCI strategies HERE.

The OMA will provide updates as more information becomes available.
Sarah Harrison New Deputy Minister for MHSTCI
Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

Sarah Harrison will become Deputy Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries effective December 6, 2021. Harrison is taking over from Kevin Finnerty who is retiring after 35 years with the Ontario Public Service in December.

Harrison brings over two decades of public sector experience which includes progressively senior roles in the governments of Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. She currently serves as the Deputy Minister of Environment in Saskatchewan, where she has overseen significant progress on mandate objectives during the pandemic. 

In Manitoba, she served as Deputy Minister of Conservation and Climate, as well as Deputy Minister for Sport, Culture and Heritage where she had the opportunity to both see first-hand, and work to support, the important economic contributions of heritage, sport, and culture programs and services.
Provincial News
THEMUSEUM Receives $100,000 from
Region of Waterloo Council
The Record
Regional council voted on November 9th to give THEMUSEUM $100,000 to market its Rolling Stones exhibit, "UNZIPPED", saying the show will boost the local tourism and hospitality industry. Regional staff had originally recommended that the Region turn down the request, saying it is already providing $385,662 in funding to THEMUSEUM this year, and the Region shouldn’t provide any extra funding to THEMUSEUM until a review of its operations is complete next year. Museum officials argued the show will attract visitors to the region and help the tourism and hospitality sector, still reeling from the impacts of the pandemic, and Council unanimously supported the request. 

Read more HERE
Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead Receives $25,000 from Brant County Council
Brantford Expositor

The Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead in St. George is getting a $25,000 boost from Brant County council. Councillors voted unanimously in favour of providing the emergency funding to the Federated Women’s Institute of Canada, which has owned and operated the national historic site at 359 Blue Lake Rd. since 1959. Faced with severe financial challenges, the women’s institute put the homestead on the market in June for $949,750. Following an outpouring of community support, the institute reversed course. However, the financial challenges remained.

Read more HERE
Canadian Canoe Museum Begins Construction

The Canadian Canoe Museum hosted a formal event on October 16 to celebrate the beginning of construction of the new museum at the Johnson Property at 2077 Ashburnham Drive in Peterborough. The event, held at the property’s western point beside Little Lake, was attended by project donors, funders, partners, and more.

Speakers included Chief Laurie Carr of Hiawatha First Nation, hand drummer Janet McCue, Chief Emily Whetung of Curve Lake First Nation, Métis elder and canoe builder Marcel Labelle (whose 26-foot long birchbark canoe was displayed at the event), Ontario heritage minister Lisa MacLeod, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith, museum executive director Carolyn Hyslop, museum board chair Victoria Grant, museum curator Jeremy Ward, Peterborough County Warden J. Murray Jones, and Métis Nation of Ontario regional councillor Andy Dufrane.

Read more HERE

North Huron Museum
Relocation Plans Presented
Blackburn News
There is a proposal in front of North Huron council to relocate the museum in Wingham from the former post office downtown to the historic train station, which is further north. A 49-page report was presented on October 18. It outlined a number of items including the mechanics of the relocation, advantages of the new building and cost. The project plan in the report pegs the cost of the move, which includes renovations and special shelving for the artifacts at $300,000 with the money being raised through government grants, fundraising and sponsorships.

Read more HERE.
Read the report (beginning page 98) HERE.
2 Museums Receive Awards from OHS
Strong White Buffalo Woman (Shirley John) of the Saugeen First Nation experiences the Pathway to the Village of Souls for the first time in the virtual reality film, Pathway, produced by the Craigleith Heritage Depot and created by Mountain Goat Film Company. Photo contributed by Mountain Goat Film Company.
Craigleith Heritage Depot
Dorothy Duncan Public History Award

Congratulations to Craigleith Heritage Depot, who was awarded the 2020-21 OHS Dorothy Duncan Public History Award, which recognizes an outstanding public history project delivered in Ontario, for their documentary film series entitled REEL History. 

"The Craigleith Heritage Depot put community voices and their own primary resources to work, creating a collection of accessible historical documentaries and virtual reality (VR) films. Two of the six films are VR, taking viewers on a dive to an 1872 shipwreck, and guiding them on an escarpment walk with an Ojibway-Saugeen elder. The project generated a great deal of public interest in regional history, both locally and around the world."

Read more HERE

Myseum Russell K. Cooper Award
for Public Programming 

Congratulations to Myseum of Toronto, who was awarded the 2020-21 Russell K. Cooper Award for their virtual program “Black Railway Porters and their Historic Fight for Equality on and off the Tracks.” The Russell K. Cooper Award recognizes a programming initiative that has brought greater public awareness to an aspect of Ontario’s history.

"The digital exhibit uses archival photos, media clippings, and a collection of secondary sources to offer viewers a brief background on the story of Black Railway Porters in Canada and their fight for equality. The main event of this digital exhibition is a panel discussion featuring Cecil Foster (Author, They Call Me George), Meagan Swaby (Playwright, Venus’ Daughter), and Natasha Henry (President, Ontario Black History Society)."

Read more HERE
Canadian Women in Film Museum
Opening Event

Free Virtual Event
Friday, November 12, 2021
2:00pm - 3:00pm ET

Three Oscar-winning Canadian-born women, Marie Dressler, Mary Pickford, Norma Shearer, dominated the Hollywood film business in the 1920s and 1930s. During their lives and careers, they were able to leverage and challenge the gendered expectations of their era to make advancement in the early twentieth century film industry. Through a variety of interactive experiences, discover their stories and much more here.

The Canadian Women in Film Museum also presents other remarkable Canadian-born women in the film industry and the greater context of Hollywood that affected these women.

Register HERE
Visit the Canadian Women in Film Museum website HERE

OMA Initiatives
Register Now
This year we are pleased to welcome The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. The Ministry works to preserve Ontario’s culture and heritage while developing policies and programs.

Stay tuned for more details about our opening remarks!
Register for #OMAConf2021
Pay if You Can Registration!
Have you missed connecting with colleagues, friends, and community? While we’re not yet ready to host a gathering in person, we are very pleased to invite you to join us virtually for the OMA Annual Conference 2021: Recovery, Reopening, Reimagination on Thursday, November 25, 2021. This gathering is to help you connect, reconnect, and engage with the Ontario museum community and we have a jam-packed day of inspiring sessions about issues relevant to you.

In recognition of the extraordinary circumstances facing the heritage sector this year, and to facilitate access to Conference programming, discussions, and networking for museum professionals across the province, the OMA is offering a fully subsidized registration category for Conference 2021. 

We welcome OMA members who are students, Emerging Museum Professionals, IBPOC museum and cultural workers, and unemployed or under-employed museum workers to register under this category to attend Conference.
We encourage all conference participants to consider a donation to help us build the collective strength of our sector. Each contribution, whatever the amount, helps support OMA programs such as professional development, timely webinars and resources on best practices, advocacy on issues of interest, and much more, creating a more resilient Ontario museum community. Throughout the pandemic, the Association continues to provide members with free and accessible online learning and related bursaries, and to work with students, emerging and mid-career museum professionals, senior leaders, boards and volunteers to strengthen our workforce. Your contributions are particularly appreciated at this time.
Stay up-to-date with the OMA's 2021 Annual Conference by viewing our webpage HERE, and following the hashtag #OMAConf2021 on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

We hope to see you on
November 25, 2021!
Register Now
Out-of-Province News
Organizational Stress and Resilience
in the Arts in Canada
Hill Strategies Research Inc.

Using recent information from a range of Canadian sources, this report examines organizational stress and resilience in the arts sector. The sector has faced many challenges, and key findings from this report include:

  • the total value of all goods and services sold in the culture sector decreased by 10% between 2019 and 2020,
  • there was an 8% decrease in the number of active organizations and businesses with at least one employee in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector between January 2020 and May 2021,
  • and the total number of employed and self-employed positions in the culture sector decreased by 12% between 2019 and 2020.
Additionally, the National Arts and Culture Impact Survey (2020) shows that staff from 79% of responding arts organizations indicated that they were experiencing high or very high levels of stress and anxiety in late 2020, compared with 25% who reported such levels before the pandemic. Another significant challenge is the hesitancy of many Canadians to return to arts activities, even if other attendees are fully vaccinated. A national survey in August 2021 showed 49% of pre-pandemic arts attendees expected to wait before they return, including 31% who were not sure when they would return.

Despite these challenges, there is quantitative and qualitative evidence of the resilience of arts organizations. Positive economic signs include the fact that the total value of all goods and services sold in the culture sector was 16% higher in the second quarter of 2021 than the same quarter of 2020 (the first full quarter influenced by the pandemic), and that between 2019 and 2020, one in every five organizations or businesses within the arts, entertainment, and recreation (21%) had stable or increasing revenues.

Many organizations have used digital technologies and other creative ways to connect with Canadians, advance their artistic practices, alleviate their financial pressures, and limit staff layoffs and reductions in hours. According to the National Arts and Culture Impact Survey (2020), 82% of arts organizations indicated that they are interested in or already exploring digital opportunities, and 62% offered digital programming between August and October 2020.

Read the full report HERE
Download the infographic HERE
Read the National Arts and Culture Impact Survey HERE
Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations
Deadline: November 29, 2021

The deadline for the Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations under the Museums Assistance Program (MAP) is November 29!

For full details on program eligibility and information on how to apply, please visit Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations.

View the Canadian Heritage Funding Portal  (CHFP) HERE
Read Tips and Tricks for your application HERE

For any questions or comments, please contact Heritage Programs at:
Telephone: 1-866-811-0055
Applications for YCW-BCH & YCW-HO 2022-2023 Opening End of November
Canadian Museums Association
Employers wishing to apply for Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage (YCW-BCH) & Heritage Organizations (YCW-HO) streams will be able to submit funding applications for the 2022-2023 intake period starting at the end of this month. The CMA will be notifying its membership when the website is open to accepting applications. The deadline to apply for both streams is January 21, 2022 .

Read more HERE.
Program information can be found HERE.
Funding Opportunities
November 15: Anti-Racism Anti-Hate Grant Program
November 15: Seniors' Centre Without Walls Micro-Grant Program
November 24: Digital Museums Canada 2021 Call for Small Proposals
December 8: Resilient Communities Fund, Ontario Trillium Foundation
December 22: Access to Heritage, Museums Assistance Program
December 22: Collections Management, Museums Assistance Program
December 22: Indigenous Heritage, Museums Assistance Program
December 30: Canada Recovery Hiring Program [Claim period 17]

View more funding opportunities on the OMA website HERE
Webinars: Audiences and Analytics
for Museums
Museum Learning Hub
Creating An Analytics Toolbox to Evaluate Museum Digital Experiences

Free Webinar
Thursday, November 11, 2021
2:00pm ET

In this session, we will learn about the different user research and evaluation methods and tools that will help you to better understand your audiences and evaluate your museum’s digital programs. This workshop will share examples of the application of different methods and a case study about how to develop a user segmentation.

Presenter: Elena Villaespesa, Assistant Professor, School of Information, Pratt Institute, New York

Registration has closed, but the webinar will be livestreamed HERE

Building Digital Strategies and Interpreting Social Media Analytics

Free Webinar
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
2:00pm ET

Digital strategies help organizations plan and execute their marketing approach on web and social platforms. Analytics, however, are used to measure the success or failure of your digital strategy. In this session, we will learn the fundamentals of building or reanalyzing digital strategies while considering the tools needed to execute and interpret the results for each social channel.

Presenter: Acacia Berry, Founder, Archaeological Analytics

Read more and register HERE

Using Analytics to Understand Audiences and Optimize Your Efforts

Free Webinar
Thursday, November 18, 2021
2:00pm ET

Beginning with web analytics, we will discuss the importance of a research question in guiding your analysis of user behavior data. We will cover how to: understand landing pages and their relationship to search engine optimization, track conversion rates on key pages, and use behavior funnels. 

Presenter: Dana Allen-Greil, Vice President of Marketing, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California

Read more and register HERE

Upcoming OMA Dates
November 25, 2021: Annual Conference: Recovery, Reopening, Reimagination
December 7, 2021: Registration opens for Exhibit Planning & Design
Support Ontario’s Museums: Donate Now!
As museums across Ontario face the challenges of reopening safely and renewing relationships with your communities, the OMA is here for you. 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 adds to the collective strength of our sector. 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: 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.
OMA Twitter OMA Twitter
OMA Facebook OMA Facebook
OMA Instagram OMA Instagram
OMA LinkedIn OMA LinkedIn
OMA Website OMA Website
Copyright © 2021 Ontario Museum Association, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email as a member, stakeholder or partner of the Ontario Museum Association.
Our mailing address is:
Ontario Museum Association
50 Baldwin Street

TorontoOntario M5T 1L4