Canadian Heritage Details $500million in Sector Relief

May 08, 2020

Friday, May 8 Update
 COVID-19 and Ontario Museums

In this eNews Alert you will find:
  1. Details of up to $500million in emergency support
Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

Details announced of next steps to support the industry impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic

Read the News Release HERE. 

The $500 million Emergency Support Fund will provide additional temporary relief to support cultural, heritage and sport organizations and help them plan for the future.The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage and divided among select departmental programs and Portfolio agencies as well as key delivery organizations, including:

Up to $326.8 million to be distributed by Canadian Heritage, of which:

  • $198.3 million will be provided to the beneficiaries of arts and culture funding through existing programs as well as other organizations with demonstrated needs;
  • $72 million will be provided to the sport sector;
  • $53 million will be provided to the heritage sector through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program; and,
  • $3.5 million will be provided for COVID-related projects under the Digital Citizen Initiative

The distribution of funds will be in two phases:
Phase 1: For funding recipients who are projecting a significant financial impact as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
Phase 2: As part of the $500 million budget envelope, the second phase will provide temporary support, including funding for eligible organizations with heritage collections through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program. Further details on Phase 2 will be announced in the coming weeks.

Eligibility for Emergency Support:
Provincial/territorial crown corporations would not be eligible for funding but cultural institutions associated with educational institutions or universities would be eligible.
Read more about eligibility HERE. 

Eligibility for Museums Assistance Program funds:

  • Not-for-profit organizations with a heritage collection, such as museums (including seasonal museums and those without full-time staff), archives and historic sites will be eligible to apply to the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program.
  • Indigenous and official language minority community organizations with a heritage collection may also be eligible to apply.
  • Zoos, aquaria, public libraries and other organizations that do not have a heritage collection are not eligible to the emergency funding under the Museums Assistance Program.

How much support is available?
Grants ranging from $5,000 up to a maximum of $100,000 may be awarded to eligible heritage organizations according to a formula based on the applicant’s 2019 total expenses.

News Release
Frequently Asked Questions


The health and safety of our visitors, communities, and staff are a priority for our institutions. The OMA encourages all to exercise caution and act in alignment with the recommendations of public health and government authorities. 

The OMA is in touch with stakeholders to support our members, and will provide updates regularly as the situation progresses.

Please contact us with questions at
Government Resources regarding
  • Ontario Ministry of Health dedicated website (updated twice daily): HERE 
    • General COVID-19 Information Sheets (available in multiple languages)HERE
  • Public Health OntarioHERE 
  • Health CanadaHERE
Your local or regional government or health unit websites can also provide credible local information. 
The OMA has prepared a dedicated webpage of COVID-19 communications and resources, updated as new information and resources become available.

Read more HERE.

The OMA Welcomes Your Support

The OMA is committed to ensuring the stabilization of the sector, and working together with you and the government. Your support at this time is vital as it helps us support all Ontario museums. We invite you to Join or Renew your membership. 

An OMA membership connects you with our network of over 1000 members, representing 700 museums, galleries, and heritage sites across the province. In addition, an OMA membership provides you with the latest news via ONmuseums and eNews alertsCOVID-19 resources to mitigate impact for Ontario museums, galleries and heritage sites, as well as resources for International Museum Day and May is Museum Month/Mai, Mois des Musées. 
We're Here to Help!

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

Marie G. Lalonde
Executive Director 
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