MHSTCI White Paper Launch

Dec 17, 2020
Thursday, December 17 Update
MHSTCI Launches White Paper
In a virtual townhall earlier today, the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries launched her Ministry's White Paper:

The white paper outlines a "broad based recovery strategy centered around multi-year planning" (pg. 36) that includes 15 action items and a Call to Action on page 43. 

Items of interest to museums include:

Action Item # 2: Building Back Stronger in our Communities

  • The Community Building Fund will invest $100 million over two years to support community tourism, cultural, sport and recreation organizations that are experiencing significant financial pressures due to the pandemic. The fund will be administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) with two streams (pg. 37) [OMA note: $100 million in addition to OTF $103 million annual budget; $25 million anticipated this fiscal year, and $75 million next fiscal year]
    • Supports for local community tourism, heritage and culture not-for-profits, such as community museums, local theatres, fairs and cultural institutions, to help sustain their operations in the short term and create new attractions, experiences and events
    • Funding for municipalities, Indigenous communities, charitable and non-profit sport and recreation organizations to make investments in infrastructure rehabilitation and renovation in order to operate sport and recreation facilities and meet public health protocols and local community needs.

Action Item # 12: Protect Ontario’s Core Cultural Institutions

  • Through the Ontario Arts Council, the Ministry will deliver $25 million in one-time emergency support to Ontario’s core arts organizations to help them cover operating losses incurred as a result of COVID-19 and prepare for a time when they can fully re-open their facilities, resume full programming and welcome back visitors and audiences. A further investment for the Ministry’s attractions and agencies will be made to support Ontario’s iconic institutions, such as the Royal Ontario Museum, Niagara and St. Lawrence Parks Commissions, Ontario Science Centre and Science North. (pg. 41)

Action Item # 13: Reconnect Ontarians

  • Through Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, Ontario is committing to provide Ontario residents with support of up to 20% for eligible Ontario tourism expenses to encourage them to safely discover Ontario in 2021, the year of the Ontario staycation. The government is setting aside $150 million for this initiative and will be consulting with stakeholders about the details. (pg. 41)

Action Item # 14: Develop a Year-Round, Globally Competitive Suite of Products

  • To remain globally competitive, we will create tourism trails to profile Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and Francophone tourism, enhance craft and culinary experiences, develop film and television, music, playhouse, and festival and event experiences. The Ministry invites all partners in all sectors of the Ministry to participate in this exciting opportunity. (pg. 42)

Action Item # 4: Broaden Ontario’s Volunteer Base

  • As announced in the 2020 Ontario Budget, the government intends to develop a new organization to oversee a Provincial Emergency Volunteer Unit... The government will consult with the volunteer sector this winter and outline a plan to launch this organization in the spring budget. (pg. 38)

Action Item # 10: Skills Development / Redevelopment in Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Industries

  • Additional investment of $180.5 million in employment services and training programs, including apprenticeships, micro-credentials, and second-career programs will benefit businesses and workers in the tourism, hospitality and cultural industries, including the film and television, interactive digital media, and music industries as they adapt to changes in their sectors, ensuring that the workforce has the skills needed for success. (pg. 40)

A Call to Action (pg. 43, 44)
My Ministry will engage in long-term planning, defining short-, medium- and long-term renewal strategies as we work to help these industries compete on a global scale once again.

We will build this plan out over the next 18 months, three years and five years, measuring the success of all initiatives contained in this White Paper against the framework outlined in Budget 2020 – Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.

I expect these initiatives to conform to clear standards of performance and justify continued investment by demonstrating observable progress against clearly defined objectives:

1. Meeting the double bottom line: each program we offer will be expected to
foster a cultural output and meet financial accountability objectives.
2. Being attainable for all Ontarians, regardless of income or where they live.
3. Aiming for equity, particularly for vulnerable populations.
4. Aligning with a whole-of-government approach: ensuring correspondence with funding streams and initiatives within the Ministry and the government as a whole and aiming at growth and better integration in all sectors.

The Ministry invites comments on this White Paper by email to, and please cc

Read more HERE

For OMA Members
The OMA will follow up with available information for the consultation process and timelines in order to ensure museums can fully participate in the strategy development and the short-, mid-, and long-term recovery plans. 

A reminder that the OMA’s "Exhibiting Resilience: Empowering community museums for strategic recovery" is our central reference document for sector needs and recommendations. Sector information included in "Exhibiting Resilience" is also referenced in the MHSTCI white paper, demonstrating the impact of the pandemic on museums. We thank our survey respondents for their submissions and data. 

Museums in Ontario have demonstrated their need for relief funding. For example, to date, uptake in the federal-level COVID-19 Emergency Support Funding for Heritage Organizations has totaled $10.5 million to 319 institutions in Ontario. 

It is anticipated that there will be high demand for the announced Community Building Fund among all eligible organizations, including community museums, heritage and culture not-for-profits, and charitable, non-profit sport and recreation organizations (pg. 37).

The OMA will work with members on a coordinated response to fully address museum sector needs and priorities within the Ministry's 15 Action Items, guided by Exhibiting Resilience and Ontario's Museums 2025: Strategic Vision.

We invite members and Regional Museum Networks to provide feedback to the OMA by emailing
For any questions or comments, please contact Marie Lalonde, Executive Director, ( or by phone at: 416-348-8672 or toll free, 1 866 662 8672. 

Ontario Museum Association
Monday-Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Toll-free in ON: 1-866-662-8672
Phone: 416-348-8672
Fax: 416-348-0438
OMA Office Closure

The OMA office will be closed from December 21 - January 1 (inclusive). We look forward to connecting with you again in the new year, and we wish everyone a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season! 
OMA Twitter OMA Twitter
OMA Facebook OMA Facebook
OMA Instagram OMA Instagram
OMA Website OMA Website
Copyright © 2020 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


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.