Building Resilience and Best Practices

Aug 18, 2022
OMA's 50th Anniversary
2022 is the Ontario Museum Association’s 50th Anniversary! We are celebrating 50 years of advancing a strong museum sector for Ontario with staff and volunteers from the province’s 700 museums, galleries, and heritage sites. To commemorate this occasion, we are hosting a year-long series of online activities, culminating at the OMA Annual Conference 2022 in Hamilton in November.
We welcome everyone to join the celebration of our 50th anniversary
and to visit a museum near you!
For the past 50 years, the OMA has advocated for the vital role of Ontario's museums to society, promoted emerging best practices through professional development, strengthened a collaborative network of Ontario museums, and fostered a culture of innovation and excellence. Its members have shaped and embraced the nature of museum work in service of their communities

The OMA fulfills its mandate through our ongoing roles as an advocate, convenor, professional body and thought leader. In this week's edition, we will feature highlights from our professional development program and past initiatives.
Professional Body
The OMA is a provider of professional development programs that foster continued professionalization of the field. A core component of the OMA’s professional development program is the Certificate in Museum Studies (CMS) - the only museum studies training program in Ontario offered on a part-time basis for museum workers. Launched in 1982 as the Certificate in Basic Museum Studies, the program has more than 400 successful graduates. Additionally, the program is linked to the Standards for Community Museums in Ontario and taught by Course Directors with robust academic backgrounds and extensive experience working in Ontario museums.

The CMS program is reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that the program is current, inclusive, comprehensive and accessible. The program will continue to bring together museum workers from across the province and foster collegial relationships and professional networks that endure beyond graduation.

For 50 years, the OMA has continued to recognize museum professionals and cultural leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the Ontario museum community. The Awards of Excellence showcase projects and individuals to encourage high standards of excellence and innovation in the field.

The OMA also advances and provides support for museums in the achievement of best practices, including Standards workshops, symposia on museum education and accessibility, Inclusive Museum Leadership Symposium (2018) and both on Indigenous Collections symposia (2017, 2021).

Special projects like the first edition of RE-ORG: Canada workshop (2014-2015) seek to develop the skills of our museum workforce and share new models of knowledge transfer.

Together with partners, the OMA presented a series of webinars in response to the challenges facing museums during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-2021). Session topics included how to care for heritage collections, navigating federal support programs, approaches to online engagement and reopening planning.

Read more HERE.
Looking Back: Professional Development Highlights
Photos: (Top row, left to right) participants of the Care of Collections course (2013), CMS graduates (2019), participants of the CCI Exhibition Lighting workshop (2019); (bottom row, left to right) CMS Education Programs participants (2016), participants in the CMS Exhibit Planning & Design course (2013), hybrid learning session of the Organization and Management of Museums course (2013), Irene Karsten instructing CCI Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Cultural Institutions workshop (2017).
We want to hear from you!

Share a congratulatory video message to mark this commemorative occasion.

  • What does the OMA mean to you?
  • Tell us about a fond memory you have of the OMA.
  • With the OMA’s support, my museum/I was able to…
  • What is your future wish for the OMA and/or Ontario museums?
  • I am proud to be an OMA member because…
  • Why are Ontario museums important?

We plan to share these messages throughout our anniversary year across digital platforms and feature a video compilation at the OMA Annual Conference 2022.

Read more and submit your message HERE.

Watch a video message from Dr. Sascha Priewe
Submit your message
OMA Professional Development

Certificate in Museum Studies Bursary


Each year the Ontario Museum Association awards a bursary to cover the tuition fee for one course in the Certificate in Museum Studies program. The OMA invites applications for the fiscal year April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

The deadline for applications and reference letters is Friday, September 2, 2022.

Read more about eligibility and how to apply on the OMA website HERE.

For further information, contact the OMA at 416-348-8672, toll-free in Ontario at 1-866-662-8672, or by e-mail at

Apply today!
Registration is open! Spaces are available!
Upcoming Certificate in Museum Studies Courses
Collections Management

Format: Online
Course dates: Sept. 19 - Nov. 27, 2022
Course Director: Janet Reid, Markham Museum

Organization & Management of Museums
Format: Online
Course dates: Sept. 19 - Nov. 27, 2022
Course Director: Kathleen Powell, St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre

Education Programs
Format: Online
Course dates: Oct. 3 - Dec. 11, 2022
Course Director: Meredith Leonard, City of Hamilton

Registration for Certificate in Museum Studies courses is open to OMA Individual Members and Commercial Consultant Members.

Find out more about the Certificate in Museum Studies Program HERE.
Questions? Email

Register today!
An Opportunity to Recognize our
Esteemed Colleagues

Is there someone at your organization who has retired (or will retire) between October 2021 and November 2022?

In 2019 the OMA started a tradition of recognizing our colleagues who have retired in the past year at the annual OMA Awards reception. This year we look forward to continuing the tradition in person in Hamilton!

Share the following information with us so that we can honour the contributions that these individuals have made to our dynamic sector.
  • Name
  • Organization
  • Title
  • Retirement date
  • Photo
  • How long they worked in museums and/or at the organization from which they retired
  • Some other interesting fact or anecdote about what they achieved in their career
Send submissions to
Deadline for submissions: Monday, October 17, 2022

Submissions are welcome to recognize retirees in any role at an organization.
Retirees do not need to be present at the in-person event to be recognized.
Watch the retiree videos from 2020 and 2021
Upcoming OMA Dates
Collections Management (CMS course): registration open
Course Start Date: September 19, 2022

Organization & Management of Museums (CMS course): registration open
Course Start Date: September 19, 2022

Education Programs (CMS course): registration open
Course Start Date: October 3, 2022

OMA Annual Conference 2022: Early-bird Rates – register now and save!
Join us in-person! Monday, November 7 (Study Tours: November 8)
Join us online! Monday, November 21
Other PD Opportunities
Growing Creative Careers: Windsor & Region - Planning Your Projects

WorkInCulture is working closely with the Windsor-Essex Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre and Arts Council Windsor & Region to develop and deliver a professional development training series for artists and arts workers/arts administrators in the Windsor-Essex region. The training series will be delivered 4 times to four different cohorts over the course of 2021 – 2023. 

Applications are now open for Cohort 3: Planning Your Projects! Participants of this cohort will work closely together to workshop their ideas with peers, and will come away from the cohort with the resources and knowledge needed to take their projects to the next phase. Applications close September 2, 2022.

Read more HERE.
Watch the info session HERE.

Capital Heritage Mentorship Program 
The Capital Heritage Connexion

The Program connects experienced senior managers in the Ottawa culture and heritage sectors, with graduate students and recent graduates wishing to embark on a career in heritage, and emerging professionals who wish to move their career to the next level. The program will begin in September and will run for 5 months. Deadline to apply as a Mentee/Intern is August 31, 2022.

Read more HERE.


Upcoming Webinar: Managing Emotions in Workplace Conflict
Charity Village

Online webinar
Thursday, September 22, 2022
1:00pm to 2:00pm
Attendance is limited

Join Charity Village for a free webinar to learn about how to manage emotions in workplace conflict. This session will cover:
  • What are emotions and why do they show up in workplace conflict
  • Why avoidance is a common but ineffective strategy to handle disputes
  • How to work with your emotions and move the situation towards a resolution
  • The ingredient that needs to be present in your organization to support a productive working environment.

This webinar will be recorded – if you cannot make the live session, complete the registration form and a recording will be emailed to you the day after the live session.

Read more and register HERE.


Upcoming Webinar: Innovation and Resilience in the Arts, Culture and Heritage
Hill Strategies Research

Online webinar
Wednesday, September 28, 2022 
2:00pm  to 3:30pm ET
French simultaneous interpretation is available at this event

Kelly Hill of Hill Strategies Research returns for a condensed online presentation on the findings of the Innovation and Resilience in the Arts, Culture and Heritage project. Kelly will highlight key themes that emerged from the research on “innovative practices and sources of resilience among artists and cultural organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic”, situating them in a curated selection of case studies.

Registration is free for musicians, staff, volunteers and board members of orchestras affiliated with Orchestras Canada (OC) and the Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians (OCSM).

Read more and register HERE.

Webinar Recording - Building Resilience: Recession-Proofing Your Membership Program

On Monday August 8, 2022, Cuseum held a webinar to examine the risks for membership programs in the current climate, explore contingency plans, and strategize ways to foster adaptability and resilience in the face of economic instability.

"Economic volatility, soaring inflation, and the looming threat of a recession are creating financial uncertainty and complicating post-pandemic recovery plans across the arts & culture sector. As we gear up for the fall season, membership programs must navigate all these issues – plus the added challenges of tightened budgets, continuing public health concerns, and unpredictable consumer confidence."

Watch the webinar recording HERE.

Upcoming Webinar - Preparing for Extreme Weather: Fire and Hurricane
Foundation for Advancement in Conservation

Thursday, August 18, 2022
1:00pm - 2:30pm ET

This webinar will feature two examples of extreme weather, wildfires and hurricanes, and how staff at two institutions dealt with preparation, impact, and ramifications for these common types of extreme weather.

Section 1: CZU Lightening Fires of San Mateo & Santa Cruz Counties, August 2020
Speakers: Kathleen Alston with Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History and Jenny Daly with California State Parks

Section 2: The Always Existing Hurricane Season
Speaker: Chakira Teresa Santiago with Museum of History, Anthology and Art University of Puerto Rico

Read more and register HERE.

#OMAConf2022 Register now and save!
Early-bird rates available until Sept. 12th

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.

Join us in-person!
Monday, November 7, 2022
Hamilton Convention Centre
1 Summers Lane
Hamilton, ON L8P 4Y2

Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Local Hamilton activities and planned Study Tours - separate registration required, stay tuned!

Join us online!
Monday, November 7, 2022 – select sessions will be live-streamed
Monday, November 21, 2022 – interactive online sessions
Learn about early-bird rates!

Register now and save!
Fully Subsidized Registrations
The OMA provides limited subsidized in-person and online conference registrations. Subsidies will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.
Learn more HERE.

Book Your Accommodation for the In-person Conference
Sheraton Hamilton Hotel
116 King Street West
Hamilton, ON L8P 4V3

Book early to secure your room at the special OMA rate. Learn more HERE.
Conferences Across Canada:
Inside Out: Reconsidering Museum Culture
Alberta Museums Association

September 17, 2022: In-person 
September 23, 2022: Virtual

The program will examine issues around trust and authority, activism, and social responsibility to create a framework in which museums can see themselves as leaders and advocates for social change.

Read more and register HERE.
Congress 2022 Museums and Socio-ecological Transition
Société des musées du Québec

September 27 - 30, 2022

This symposium invites us to rethink the mission and values ​​of our institutions through the prisms of sustainability, ecology, equity and social justice, to question our practices within the various museum functions and to take measures to engage concretely in the socio-ecological transition.

Read more and register HERE.
Storytelling: Making People Care Since...Forever
Interpretation Canada and Association of Nova Scotia Museums

October 3 - 7, 2022

This Conference in Halifax will explore the connection between interpretation and storytelling. Keynote Speaker: Lawrence Hill, bestselling author and professor

Read more and register HERE.
Pivoting to New Perspectives
Association of Manitoba Museums

October 21, 2022: In-person at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada

Read more and register HERE.
The Heritage Reset: Making Critical Choices
National Trust for Canada with the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals and Indigenous Heritage Circle

October 20 - 22, 2022: In-person Toronto, ON

How can we accelerate the heritage movement’s impact as a positive, essential, progressive force addressing pressing issues like climate change, racism, reconciliation, affordable housing, social justice, accessibility, economic resiliency, and more? The National Trust invites your essential participation in the transformation of the heritage sector.
Read more and register HERE.
In the Media
Fort William Historical Park celebrate Anishinaabe Keeshigun on August 20-21
Wallaceburg & District Museum received a $50,000 boost from the Ontario Trillium Foundation
Kingston Museums on display at Tourism Kingston's weekly “Movies in the Square”
Callander Museum celebrates 40 years with a tree planting ceremony and visits from local representatives
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. Your support, participation, and membership make our work possible.

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. 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.
Our Mission
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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