Announcing OMA Awards of Excellence 2021 Preview text

Nov 25, 2021
Thursday, November 25, 2021
Ontario Museum Association Announces
Awards of Excellence 2021 Recipients
On Thursday, November 25, 2021, the Ontario Museum Association (OMA) presented the OMA Awards of Excellence 2021 at the OMA’s virtual Annual Conference: Reopening, Recovery, Reimagination. This year, the OMA will showcase the accomplishments of the Award Recipients in a social media campaign starting on November 26, 2021.

The OMA Awards of Excellence are an opportunity for the sector to recognize institutions and individuals who make outstanding contributions to the museum field in Ontario and whose innovative work inspires their colleagues, Ontarians, and visitors from around the world. Ontario museums have provided inspiration, education and solace to the public throughout the pandemic and continue to build and strengthen communities as we work toward recovery. 

Congratulations to the OMA Awards of Excellence 2021 recipients!

“The past year and a half has been truly challenging for the museum sector, but adversity has highlighted the incredible dedication and ingenuity of museum professionals. This year more than ever we are thrilled to recognize the excellent work that Ontario museums are doing and the impact they have on the lives of Ontarians, whether they are connecting in-person or online. We applaud this year’s award recipients and look forward to their next innovations as we create the post-pandemic world together.”
- Marie G. Lalonde, Executive Director of the Ontario Museum Association
Read about all of the recipients here!
Distinguished Career Award of Excellence
Karen Bachmann 
Director and Curator, Timmins Museum:  National Exhibition Centre
“I experienced firsthand Karen’s dedication to the museum community, her commitment to innovation, and her natural leadership skills… She is undoubtedly one of the most respected museum professionals both in Ontario and across Canada”.
- Gerry Osmond, Director of Arts and Heritage, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Read more about Karen HERE
Watch Karen's acceptance remarks HERE
Promising Leadership Award of Excellence
Hailey Hollingshead
“Hailey works with heart, grit and undeniable talent. She is an asset to any institution or company that is blessed to work with her and have her on board”.

- Vanessa Lio, Coordinator of Heritage and Collections for the Museum on the Boyne
Read more about Hailey HERE
Watch Hailey's acceptance remarks HERE
Volunteer Service Award of Excellence
Katharine Bourgon
Volunteer, Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery
“Katharine’s work demonstrates her passion and dedication to [Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery] and her willingness to do what it takes to get the job done and above expectations. Katharine Bourgon has always demonstrated a strong work ethic and constantly maintains a positive and affable attitude.”
- Alexandria Nelson, Independent Consultant
Read more about Katharine HERE
Watch Katharine's acceptance remarks HERE
Award of Excellence in Community Engagement
Hamilton Civic Museums and Civicplan
Reimagine Our Museums
WOW Distinction
“Reimagine Our Museums strengthened the City of Hamilton by creating a holistic and honest dialogue about the role of civic museums in the community. This included everything from issues of representation in the exhibits to museum-specific operational issues that needed to be improved. The result is increased trust between the City and community as well as a stronger understanding of the community’s attitude, interest and support of the civic museums.”
- Donna Reid, The Hamilton Store
Read more about Hamilton Civic Museums and Civicplan HERE
Watch their acceptance remarks HERE
Community Engagement—Honourable Mention
Niagara Falls History Museum
The Poppy Project
“As impressive as the final product was, it was the process by which the project was created that brought together countless volunteers from within our municipality and well beyond our city limits and national borders. The foresight of tapping into resources such as professional artists and ironworkers for design and technical expertise, a local knitting guild for their skills and passion for their craft, the fire department with their specialized equipment to help with the installation, and the dedicated staff and volunteers, allowed for the realization of this exquisite project on a scale the likes of which Niagara Falls has never seen.”
- Debra Jackson-Jones, Niagara Falls-based artist and art educator
Read more about Niagara Falls History Museum HERE
Watch their acceptance remarks HERE
Award of Excellence in Exhibitions
Canadian Automotive Museum
Oshawa’s Automotive Community
“Taken as a whole [the research materials] demonstrate the commitment of the Canadian Automotive Museum to telling the “whole story” at museological and historical research standards worthy of a much larger institution—the “whole story” of not only a business but a community—including women, people of colour and recent immigrants whose stories are often omitted from exhibits of corporate history.”
- M. Christine Castle, retired museum education and interpretation specialist
Read more about Canadian Automotive Museum HERE
Watch their acceptance remarks HERE
Award of Excellence in Programs
Christina Sydorko, Oil Museum of Canada
Oil Museum of Canada Virtual Education
"This work allowed OMC to expand their reach beyond the local communities and across international boundaries. A body of knowledge previously inaccessible to students due to logistics of travel is now accessible...this new and valuable work will have a long-lasting contribution to the knowledge base of the local community, region, and beyond.”
- Jordan Clark, Manager, Oil, Gas & Salt Resources Library
Read more about Christina and the Oil Museum of Canada HERE
Watch their acceptance remarks HERE
Programs—Honourable Mention
Thunder Bay Art Gallery
Virtual Field Trip for Piitwewetam: Making is Medicine
“The Thunder Bay Art Gallery demonstrates significant innovation and leadership with the challenging adjustments to virtual education… Piitwewetam: Making is Medicine allows students to learn about and connect to Indigenous way of life in their community and provides a sense of normalcy in [the] midst of a global pandemic. The gallery’s ability to adapt and produce an excellent and informative program brought to light on a virtual stage is inspiring.”
- Sydney Maki, Teacher, Lakehead Public Schools
Read more about Thunder Bay Art Gallery HERE
Watch their acceptance remarks HERE
Award of Excellence in Special Projects
Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum
Safeguarding Our Shelter: Visitor Experience Renewal at the Diefenbunker:
Canada’s Cold War Museum
“All of this remarkable research, planning, development and execution work by the Diefenbunker has resulted in an extraordinary learning experience for school children, seniors, new immigrants and visitors from afar. The project and the end result are a model for how other museums in Canada and globally can update their exhibition galleries/public spaces and visitor experience.”
- Robin Etherington, Executive Director, 
Bytown Museum
Read more about Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum HERE
Watch their acceptance remarks HERE
Special Projects—Honourable Mention
King Heritage & Cultural Centre
Stories of King: An Online 3D Exhibition with Treasured, Inc.
“King has taken their heritage beyond the walls of the KHCC and strengthened their image within the local and museum community...It has also improved community engagement by presenting local history in small bites, in a fun new format, delivering history to those who may never venture into a real-life museum and capturing new audiences for the KHCC. An impressive accomplishment for a small team of two.”
- Shawna White, Curator, Aurora Museum & Archives
Read more about King Heritage & Cultural Centre HERE
Watch their acceptance remarks HERE
Award of Excellence in Publications
The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery
Public Art in Glass—Publication
"Culturally transformative, socially engaging and intellectually provocative, the public art pieces selected for the exhibition challenges the viewers to see public space in a new light. The catalog and the exhibition create a first-of-its-kind opportunity to give the audience an unseen perspective into the conceptual and technical development of these large-scale art pieces." 
- David Correa, Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo School of Architecture
Read more about The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery HERE
Watch their acceptance remarks HERE
Congratulations to all of the
OMA Awards of Excellence 2021 Recipients!

Watch all of the acceptance remarks HERE.
Read more about all of the recipients HERE.
Ontario Museum Association
Monday-Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Toll-free in ON: 1-866-662-8672
Phone: 416-348-8672
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