COVID-19 Framework Guidance & Funding For Museums

Mar 18, 2021
Need to Know
Funding for Ontario Museums
Click the links below for more details on each opportunity

Reconnect Festival and Event Program | Deadline: April 20

Community Building Fund | Delivered via two streams:
1. Operating Funding | Deadline: April 28 @ 5pm | Application resources and eligibility requirements to be released March 25
2. Capital Funding | Information will be available later in 2021
Digital Capacity for CMOG Museums | Deadline: Friday March 19 @ 5pm
COVID-19 Response Framework:
Keeping Ontario Safe and Open
Requirements for Museums

This document, compiled by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries provides guidance for museums on the Covid-19 Response Framework. The framework and requirements for each zone have remained the same since they were initiated. It also provides links to the regulations as well as information on the requirements for museums in each zone.

The framework categorizes public health unit regions into five levels: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Grey-Lockdown. Each level outlines the public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations, and includes targeted measures for specific sectors, institutions and other settings.

In general, museums in Shut Down Zones or Grey Zones must remain closed, while museums in Red Zones may reopen with high touch or interactive exhibits kept closed. Museums in Orange, Yellow or Green Zones can keep high touch and interactive exhibits open, but must adhere to cleaning requirements.

Museums in the Red Zone may reopen to the public, as long as visitors maintain 2 meter distancing requirements and wear masks. Also, high touch exhibits must remain closed. Museums in the Orange Zone may reopen their high touch exhibits, as long as they are cleaned frequently.

To access the Requirements for Museums document, click HERE.
To read the COVID-19 response framework, click HERE.

Grant: 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program is Open for Applications
Deadline: April 20, 2021

The Government of Ontario announced the launch of the 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program for eligible festivals and events taking place between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022.

Ontario is investing $20 million through the 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program to provide support to event organizers who are finding new, exciting and engaging ways to deliver local programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For information on the program including changes to eligibility, funding priorities and program details, please see the Reconnect Festival and Event Program Application Guide.

To help with the application process, online information sessions are being offered via webinar. Applicants can register for a session by choosing their preferred option below:

Tourism Advisors are available to assist with questions about the 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program application process.

The deadline to apply for the 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program is Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at 5 p.m. (EDT).

Information about how to apply to the program is available at

OMA Professional Development
Mashkawatgong-mamawewiziwin –
Strengthening our bonds, Sharing our practices

March 25-26, 2021 
Symposium sessions and discussions 9am-4pm
Indigenous Collections Symposium 2021
Discussion Highlight: Exploring the Many Facets
Toward Reconciliation

Thursday, March 25
3:00 - 4:00 PM EST

Presented by the Canadian Museums Association,
Facilitated by Barbara Filion, Reconciliation Program Director, CMA

The Canadian Museums Association Reconciliation Program is in the process of developing a report with recommendations and an accompanying toolkit to support museums in implementing reconciliation actions by responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Call to Action #67.

This session will provide an overview of the holistic framework the CMA is using to engage in this reconciliation work. Participants will then be invited to join breakout rooms and have an opportunity to discuss specific aspects of reconciliation including:
  • Belongings (collections) – access, care and ownership
  • Employment and Leadership – strategies and opportunities
  • Indigenous-Canadian Relationships
  • Museum policies
Register for ICS 2021
Discussion and Closing
Facilitated by Julia Lafreniere, Art Gallery of Winnipeg

Friday, March 26
3:00 - 4:00 PM EST

This facilitated discussion will focus on personal and collective reflection about the ideas raised in the symposium and how we will take them forward.It will provide an opportunity to:
  • Reflect on the symposium’s teachings and discuss their significance,
  • Come together as a community to wrap up this learning experience,
  • Identify meaningful steps to take based on shared interests, challenges, and aspirations.
Participants in this session will interact with each other in small and large groups settings and encounter multiple opportunities to voice their ideas and ask questions
Register for ICS 2021
CMS Course Change of Date and Format
Artifacts will be delivered online in 2021

Original course location and date:
Canadian War Museum
June 16-18, 2021

New course format and date:
Summer 2021, date TBC

New registration opening date: April 21, 2021

Questions? Contact Mary Collier, Professional Development Program Manager at

Webinar Recordings: Twitter 101 and Twitter 201
Presented by Laura Pearce, Twitter Canada

Recordings and Slides are now available for the Twitter 101 and Twitter 201 webinars.

The Twitter 101 webinar recording is available HERE.
The Twitter 101 slide deck is available HERE.

The Twitter 201 webinar recording is available HERE.
The Twitter 201 slide deck is available HERE.

Upcoming OMA Dates
March 25, 26: Indigenous Collections Symposium 2021, Mashkawatgong-mamawewiziwin – Strengthening our bonds, Sharing our practices. Register HERE.
Other PD Opportunities
Webinar Recording:
ICOM: Towards a New Museum Definition and a Revision of the Code of Ethics 
ICOM Canada

Alberto Garlandini and Bruno Brulon Soares provide a brief overview of the processes “that will shape the museum of the future” with the the different steps for the revision of the Museum definition and an overview of the revision of the ICOM Code of Ethics.
To view the recording, click HERE.
Webinar: Peer-To-Peer Fundraising:
Your 2021 Recipe for Success
Charity Village

Thursday, March 18
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

Are you wondering what 2021 will look like for peer-to-peer fundraising, as we adapt to the massive changes the last year brought? Last year, charities were caught by surprise when they realized that their peer-to-peer events, galas, and other fundraising activities would have to be cancelled for safety’s sake.

On March 18, join Charity Village for a free webinar to help you get ready for your 2021 peer-to-peer fundraising events.

Read more and register HERE.
Online Series: 
Making Space: Stories of Disabled Youth
in the GTA
Myseum of Toronto

Thursday March 18
7:00pm - 8:15pm EST.

Making Space: Stories of Disabled Youth in the GTA is a two-part online storytelling event series exploring the past and present experiences of disabled and chronically ill youth growing up in Toronto.

Featuring personal narratives and artwork, this program is a space for recognition, solidarity, and celebration, exploring how the landscape for disabled youth has shifted over time.

To register for this online event, click HERE.
Dismantling White Supremacy in GLAMs
Toronto Area Archivists' Group

Thu, March 18, 2021
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

This workshop will use activities and tools developed by Archivists Against to identify and dismantle white supremacy in the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) sector. 

The workshop is intended to open a conversation that will continue into individual workplaces, and nurture a community of practitioners who are working together against white supremacy in the GLAM sector.

Read more and register HERE.
Creative Spaces Mentoring Network Mentee Spotlight
Through the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network, leaders in Ontario’s arts community who are responsible for their spaces or capital related issues will have the unique opportunity of one-to-one learning with an experienced professional.

If you are in Ontario’s arts community and are responsible for your organization's spaces or capital-related issues, take advantage of ArtsBuild Ontario's unique opportunity for one-to-one learning with an experienced professional.

Deadline to Apply: Monday, March 22, 5:00 p.m.

To apply, click HERE.
2021 March Speaker Series:
Is Digital Here to Stay?
 Business / Arts
Wednesday, March 24th
3:00 PM EST

Join Business / Arts to explore how arts organizations and culture goers have been navigating the transition to digital programming during COVID19.

During this session, Business / Arts will be joined by leaders from three arts organizations who have kept their audiences engaged remotely and adapted their programming to a virtual format. Together, we will explore what types of digital alternatives are available, as well as the opportunities and challenges that exist within them.

This webinar will also include Nik Nanos, Chief Data Scientist and Founder of Nanos Research. He will be sharing the latest findings of the Arts Response Tracking Survey, a partnership between Business / Arts, the National Arts Centre and Nanos Research, which polled over 1,000 Canadians to gauge their attitudes on returning to and supporting the arts across Canada.

To register, click HERE.
Webinar Series: Transformational Leadership:
Reading from the Inside Out
Pillar NonProfit Network
Wednesday, March 24 - 1:00 pm 
to Wednesday, June 9 - 3:30 pm

This series is designed for new and seasoned leaders who want to improve themselves, empower people, grow their organization, and succeed in the complex environments in which they operate, while enhancing social good. Individuals who want to learn, grow, and elevate their own quality of leadership will see great value in this program.

As a participant, you will explore who you are as a leader - your characteristics, your blind spots and where you have room to grow.

This series will challenge participants to move beyond popular definitions of leadership to become more aware, strategic, innovative, and to be a valued contributor to systems transformations. 

Read more and register HERE.
Webinar: Creative Community Recovery
Culture Days
Wednesday, March 31
2:00 PM EST

Culture Days has invited Community Recovery Specialist, Deb Borsos, and Carol Palladino, President of Arts BC, to discuss disaster recovery viewed through the lens of arts and culture.

This webinar will explore how the sector can contribute to shape our communities for a better post-pandemic cultural life and how important the arts and cultural sectors can be to the whole of community after disaster—COVID-based and beyond.

To register, click HERE.
The GOEMP Committee is Recruiting for the 2021-2023 Term!
 Group of Ontario Emerging Museum Professionals

Are you an emerging museum professional (EMP) within the first 10 years of your career? Are you passionate about the future of museums and cultural organizations in Ontario?  

If so, then the Group of Ontario Emerging Museum Professionals (GOEMP) Committee is looking for you! The GOEMP is searching for four (4) EMPs from diverse backgrounds, abilities and corners of the province to share their skills and expertise with our dynamic team of volunteers for the 2021-2023 term.

Current Chair Madeline Smolarz will be holding 2 “office hours” on Google Meet during the recruitment period to make herself available to answer any of your questions about joining before you apply.

Deadline to Apply: Wednesday, March 31

To Apply, click HERE.
Growing Creative Careers: Windsor & Region

WorkInCulture has partnered with Windsor Essex Small Business Centre and Arts Council Windsor & Region to support the training needs of artists and arts workers/art administrators in the Windsor-Essex region. 

This project will consist of working closely with our partners in Windsor to develop and deliver a training series that will include workshops, access to online resources and local experts, and facilitated peer mentoring circles.

Those who complete the program will come away with a detailed plan of action to move their careers/businesses/organizations forward. 

Applications Open on Wednesday, March 31

For more information, click HERE.
Webinar: Digital Accessibility and Inclusion 
Session 1: Get Inspired!
Museum Learning Hub

Thursday, April 8
2:00pm ET

Museum Learning Hub is hosting ten live learning modules focused on digital media and technology topics. Each module will feature an introductory session by museum professionals to connect topics to real-world museums with real-world budgets, followed by three technical training workshops taught by subject-matter experts and tailored to varying levels of experience (beginner to advanced).

Digital accessibility ensures access to information and all functions of digital tools, irrespective of a person’s specific needs. Session 1 will provide training on how to integrate accessibility and inclusion into digital programs, social pages, and websites.

To register, click HERE.
Online Course: Virtual Volunteering
Charity Village

This course provides the information you need to successfully create new virtual volunteer roles within your organization or how to adapt traditional roles to a virtual setting.

To register, click HERE.
Funding for Ontario Museums

$105 million Community Building Fund
through OTF

Applications open March 31

The Ontario government is investing $105 million through the new Community Building Fund to support non-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations. The funding will be used to help these non-profits recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the needs of their communities. Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. 

The fund will be administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) through two program streams: 
  • The $55-million operating funding stream will provide community non-profits with the support they need to help sustain their operations and create new experiences and events - such as trail systems, heritage attractions, winter activities and local sport and recreation programming - that are critical to the economic and social well-being of their communities. 
  • The $50-million capital funding stream will go to municipalities and non-profit organizations to carry out sport- and recreation-facility infrastructure repairs, including retrofits and rehabilitation to meet COVID-19 public health protocol requirements and local community needs. 

Read the news release HERE.
Read more from the Ontario Trillium Foundation HERE.

Community Building Fund - Operating stream

  • Applications will be accepted starting March 31, 2021.
  • Application deadline is April 28, 2021 at 5 PM ET
Please stay tuned for more information about the Community Building Fund – Operating stream application resources and eligibility requirements being released March 25.

CMOG Museums: MHSTCI Grants 
for digital capacity

Deadline: Friday March 19 @ 5pm

All CMOG-recipient museums should have received an email from MHSTCI with an attached Grant Request Form. This form must be completed and sent back to Transfer Payments Ontario by 5pm on Friday March 19. 

Please note that this funding is for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, and is retroactive to cover previous costs.

"This funding will support a broad range of digital expenses that your museum incurred between April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to, new purchases (e.g., software/hardware), training, digitizing collections, developing virtual programs/platforms, enhancing/adjusting operations (e.g., online/timed ticketing and/or reservation systems, touchless payment systems), developing digital strategies, and marketing new digital programs and services.
To receive these funds, you must complete and electronically sign the Grant Request Form to indicate your acceptance of the funds under the same legal terms and conditions that apply to your 2020-21 Community Museum Operating Grant. Please submit the signed form by either attaching it to your Transfer Payment Ontario (TPON) case or via email to by Friday March 19, 2021 at 5:00 p.m."

If you have questions about this funding, please send an email to

If you have not received the email, please contact your Museum & Heritage Programs Advisor,

Deadline: Friday March 19 at 5pm

Submit the signed Digital Capacity Grant Request Form in one of two ways:
  1. Attaching it to your Transfer Payment Ontario (TPON) case
  2. Via email to
by Friday March 19, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

May is Museum Month / Mai, Mois des Musées
Since 2000, the OMA has led a campaign for May is Museum Month/ Mai, Mois des Musées. The International Council of Museums (ICOM) has declared the theme for International Museum Day 2021 (May 18th) to be "The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine." 

In 2021, public awareness of the safe, quality experiences that museums can offer is especially important. For MMM 2021, the OMA encourages museums to use social media and digital tools to share the offers they have for their communities and hyperlocal tourists. 

May is Museum Month is an opportunity to showcase the excellent work of museums and engage your supporters! You can download a MMM logo, and plan your upcoming communications: 

To support your Twitter activity: 

  • Watch the recording of our "Twitter 101" webinar with Laura Pearce, Head of Marketing, Twitter Canada HERE
  • The recording of "Twitter 201" can be found HERE

Look for a social media kit in early April!

The OMA Welcomes Your Support
If you are already an OMA member, please renew your membership when you receive an email reminder. If you are not a member, please consider joining, either as an institution or an individual. You can find information about member categories and benefits on our website.

Please also consider making a donation to the OMA on our website or through Canada Helps.

Your support of the OMA and your participation in events like this webinar make us stronger as a sector, and we appreciate each and everyone one of you.

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 the ONmuseums newsletter, eNews alerts, and COVID-19 resources to mitigate impact for Ontario museums, galleries and heritage sites.
COVID-19 Resources
The OMA has prepared a dedicated webpage of COVID-19 communications and resources, updated as new information and resources become available.

Read more HERE.
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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