Museum Guide to Election 2021

Sep 09, 2021
Need to Know
On Museum Eligibility for
Community Building Fund Capital Stream

In March 2021, as part of the Ontario Museum Association's (OMA) response to the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries' (MHSTCI) Reconnecting Ontarians: Re-emerging as a global leader White Paper, the OMA further recommended that museums be included in the Community Building Fund (CBF) with “eligibility for infrastructure funding in stream 2, especially to increase accessibility and capacity to welcome tourists.”

Following the August 19 announcement of the CBF Capital Stream, the OMA and members again noted that the current Capital stream of the Community Building fund excludes museums from receiving funding to make necessary improvements, while sport and recreation facilities are deemed eligible for this community infrastructure funding.

The OMA expressed the need for museum eligibility for the CBF Capital Stream to the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and the Honourable Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. Beyond the Trillium-administered CBF, this may also require additional and dedicated capital funding for museums.

Read the OMA's Letter to Minister MacLeod and Minister Surma HERE
Read more about the Community Building Fund - Capital stream HERE

Read the OMA's full Response to the MHSTCI Reconnecting Ontarians White Paper HERE.

Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations
Now Accepting Applications
Deadline: October 20, 2021

The Department of Canadian Heritage is pleased to inform you that The Museums Assistance Program (MAP) is now accepting applications for assistance with ongoing operating costs through the Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations.  This assistance will help heritage organizations that have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as they reopen and safely welcome back visitors. For full details on program eligibility and information on how to apply, please visit Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations. Please review the Program Guidelines prior to submitting your application.

Not-for-profit organizations with a heritage collection, such as museums, archives, and historic sites, may be eligible to receive funding. Indigenous organizations with a heritage collection are also encouraged to apply. Organizations can receive between $1,000 and $100,000 in reopening support.

Their team is available to assist you with the new process from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). While the deadline to apply for funding is October 20, 2021, applicants are encouraged to apply early as funds are limited.

Please click HERE for more information. 
Please click HERE for tips and tricks for your MAP application. 
Please click HERE for a helpful infographic. 
For assistance, please contact:
Telephone: 1-866-811-0055; TTY (Teletype for the hearing impaired): 1-888-997-3123
Funding Opportunities
Deadlines for 2021

September 22: Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program (SIP)
October 20: Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations
October 27: Digital Museums Canada 2021 Call for Large and Medium Proposals
November 24: Digital Museums Canada 2021 Call for Small Proposals
December 30: Canada Recovery Hiring Program [Claim period 17]
January 14, 2022: Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance
OpenIndigenous Peoples Resilience Fund
Open: Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program
Open: Northern Ontario Heritage Fund
Open: Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund
Ongoing: Canada Community Revitalization Fund FedDev Ontario
Ongoing: Canada Community Revitalization Fund FedNor
Ongoing: Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program
Ongoing: Jobs and Growth Fund
Ongoing: Tourism Relief Fund FedDev Ontario
Ongoing: Tourism Relief Fund FedNor
Canadian Federal Election 2021
Canada’s museum and heritage leaders urge federal parties to make sector a priority

The Ontario Museum Association and 10 other provincial and territorial museums associations, representing over 2,000 museum and heritage institutions, partnered with the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) to call on federal political parties to commit to updating Canada’s 30-year-old national museum policy.

The OMA and its national, provincial and territorial counterparts issued an open 2021 election letter to all party leaders that describes the unique role of museums in today’s Canada. The letter states that the pandemic brought to light the economic fragility of the sector and that a new long-term partnership with the Government of Canada is needed to put the sector on a more sustainable footing.

Read the Open 2021 Election Letter HERE

Read more from the Canadian Museums Association HERE
Ontario Nonprofit Network Policy Recommendations for Federal Election 2021

Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) has identified four key federal recommendations in the lead-up to the federal election:

  1. Stabilize the nonprofit sector to ensure its critical infrastructure remains strong for rebuilding Canada
  2. Establish a home in government for the nonprofit sector
  3. Partner with nonprofits for better community-led solutions
  4. Create multiple pathways for women to grow and thrive in women-majority sectors and occupations to advance gender equity

Read more HERE.

Spread the Word

Elections Canada has developed a set of tools to help spread the word about voting in the upcoming Federal Election on September 20. Included are infographics, ASL videos, and templates with details regarding voting, registration and identification, students, accessibility, jobs, and social media.

To access these resources, click HERE

Federal Party Platforms

Ahead of the 2021 Federal Election on September 20, the OMA has compiled excerpts from Federal party platforms of interest to the museum sector. This information is to help inform members on what parties have included in their platforms regarding museums, arts, culture, and tourism industries. We encourage you to read their full platforms; you can find a link to the party platforms below each section. 

Quicklinks to Platform Excerpts (alphabetical)
Bloc Québécois
Arts and Culture
  • Repatriate control over cultural matters to Québec
  • Create a Québécois substitute for Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
View their Platform
Conservative Party of Canada
A Detailed Plan To Secure Jobs and Economic Growth
  • Provide loans of up to $200,000 to help small and medium businesses in hospitality, retail, and tourism get back on their feet, with up to 25% forgiven.
  • Introduce a Dine and Discover Program
    • Provide a 50% rebate for food and non-alcoholic drinks purchased for dine-in from Monday to Wednesday for one month once it is safe to do so, pumping nearly $1 billion into this sector.
    • Launch the Explore and Support Canada initiative with a 15% tax credit for vacation expenses of up to $1,000 per person for Canadians to vacation in Canada in 2022, helping our tourism sector get back on its feet.
    • Eliminate the Liberal escalator tax on alcohol.

Celebrating Canadian Heritage

  • Create a new Canadian Heritage Preservation Fund to provide a total of $75 million in grants to municipal governments over the next five years for the repair and restoration of historical monuments, statues, and heritage buildings.
  • Continue to support efforts to maintain Canada’s national monuments.
  • Ensure the prompt completion of the Canadian Monument to the Victims of Communism.
View their Platform
Green Party of Canada
COVID-19 Recovery
  • Increase support for indoor or outdoor arts performances required to adapt to become compliant with COVID regulations. 
  • Provide $25 million in additional funding to aid museums and cultural organizations in both post-pandemic reopening and continuing to offer accessible digital offerings. 
  • Ensure the viability of our cultural infrastructure in consultation with Arts Service Organizations, professional associations, trade associations and unions across the creative sector.   

Canadian Cultural Identity

  • Increase funding to $1 billion over 3 years to all of Canada’s arts and culture organizations including the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada, orchestras, theatres, galleries and publishers. 
  • Increase support for community arts programs and facilities across Canada by establishing stable base funding at a set percentage of the federal budget. 
  • Protect Canada’s cultural identity during trade negotiations and ensure arts and cultural representation on international trade missions. 
  • Enact Copyright reform as envisaged by the current Heritage Committee report. 
  • Reform the Canada Revenue Act to allow arts and culture workers to benefit from a tax averaging plan that will take into account the fact that lean years often precede and follow a good year when a show is produced, a book is published, or a grant or a prize is won. 
  • Establish permanent funding for festivals and events that celebrate Canadian Heritage. 

Indigenous Cultures and Heritage 

  • Provide protection for Indigenous intellectual and artistic property rights. 
  • Support the creation of historical information that sheds light on our colonial past wherever related statuary or plaques are currently in place. 
  • Ensure that every First Nations, Métis, and Inuit child has access to quality educational opportunities based on the expressed language, cultural, political, and social priorities of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit governments, following meaningful consultation. 
  • Provide $100 million in funding and incentives over three years for the creation and conservation of Indigenous art forms, particularly creative knowledge that is passed through the generations. 
  • Provide funding and incentives for artists to travel to Indigenous communities to stimulate young artists, as per one of the original aims of the PNIAI. 
  • Provide funding and incentives for artists to travel to Indigenous communities to stimulate young artists, as per one of the original aims of the PNIAI. 
  • Support the Canadian Museums Association in ensuring, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples and in accordance with the 94 Calls to Action, continued compliance of museum policies and best practices with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 
  • Establish a dedicated national funding program, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian Museums Association, for commemoration projects on the theme of reconciliation.   
View their Platform
Liberal Party of Canada
Bringing Canadian Culture to the World
  • Launch a new cultural diplomacy strategy with an annual budget of $20 million per year to leverage the work done by our artists and cultural industries to support Canada’s diplomatic goals.  
  • Forge an international coalition to work on a new UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Content Online.  

Empowering Racialized Artists and Journalists                         

  • Develop a new $50 million Changing Narratives Fund to empower diverse communities, including BIPOC journalists and creatives, with the tools to tell their own stories and promote diverse voices in arts and culture and across media.               

Helping Artists and Cultural Industries Recover

  • Launch a new Arts and Culture Recovery Program that will match ticket sales for performing arts, live theatres, and other cultural venues to compensate for reduced capacity.      
  • Ensure the realities of artists and cultural workers are considered in upcoming reforms to the Employment Insurance (EI) system.
  • Hold a summit, within the first 100 days, on plans to restart the industry.

Supporting Canadian Businesses

  • Expand borrower eligibility to include non-profit and charitable social enterprises.

Urban National Parks and Access to Nature

  • Invest an additional $200 million in the Natural Infrastructure Fund to continue funding community-led public green space projects in collaboration with municipalities, Indigenous communities, and non-profit organizations.      
View their Platform
New Democratic Party 
Building Canadian Industries and Supporting Good Jobs
  • Step up as a partner to foster entrepreneurship, including through dedicated support to the hard-hit tourism sector back on its feet.

Investing in Rural Communities

  • Invest in regional economic development agencies and provide economic support for rural areas to invest in job creation areas like tourism and community development.
  • Put in place a new tax credit for graduates to work in designated rural and Northern communities and make it easier for employers to hire and retain the workers they need.

Supporting Canadian Arts and Culture

  • Create a dedicated re-building package for the performing arts, theatre, festivals and other arts that have been most severely impacted by the pandemic.
  • Put in place income tax averaging for artists and cultural workers.
  • Provide financial support for Indigenous theatre at the National Arts Centre as part of their larger effort to honour and support Indigenous arts and culture.
View their Platform
Watch the Leaders Debate! 

On Sept. 9, five federal party leaders face off in an English-language debate, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. 

Participants include:

  • Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau
  • Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole
  • NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh
  • Green Party Leader Annamie Paul
  • Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet

The leaders will debate five themes: 

  • Affordability
  • Climate
  • COVID-19 recovery 
  • Leadership and accountability 
  • Reconciliation

The leaders will be asked questions crafted by the journalists participating in the debate, based on concerns submitted by Canadians. A public call-out by the broadcast partners brought 20,201 English-language responses. 

To read more about where to watch, click HERE

Provincial News
Ontario to Require Proof of Vaccination
in Select Settings

Starting September 22, 2021

Office of the Premier: 

The government of Ontario, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will require people to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to access certain businesses and settings starting September 22, 2021. 

As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities.This approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn and includes:

  • Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout);
  • Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment);
  • Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
  • Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport;
  • Sporting events;
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
  • Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
  • Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;
  • Racing venues (e.g., horse racing).

These mandatory requirements would not apply to outdoor settings where the risk of transmission is lower, including patios, with the exception of outdoor nightclub spaces given the risk associated with the setting. In addition, these requirements will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores, medical supplies and the like. Aligned with public health measures currently in place, indoor masking policies will continue to remain in place.

To read the News Release, click HERE
To read "New Requirement for Proof of Vaccination in Certain Settings: Frequently Asked Questions", click HERE.

Ontario Place Redevelopment
Province Seeking Public Feedback 
October 13 and 27: Virtual Public Information Sessions

As the Ontario government proceeds with the revitalization of Ontario Place into a world-class, year-round destination, the province is launching the next phase of engagement, which will include both an online survey and virtual public information sessions. Starting August 30, all Ontarians will have the opportunity to share their views on how they would like to experience a redeveloped Ontario Place.

The public survey is available online through, along with information about the Ontario Place site and the redevelopment process, including the three successful participants. The survey will be open for nine weeks, closing in late October.

In addition to the survey, there will be two provincewide virtual public information sessions on October 13 and 27, which will provide additional opportunities for the public to learn about the planned redevelopment and provide input. More information about the virtual sessions, including how to pre-register, is available through

Read more HERE.
OMA Recommendations for Ontario Place
In response to the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries' December 2020 White Paper  "Reconnecting Ontarians, Re-Emerging as a Global Leader", the OMA recommended the following for Ontario Place:

"Ontario Place, as a showcase of the province, has the potential to join other leading institutions as a museum space for both Ontarians and visitors. The site redevelopment can utilize museum expertise in storytelling, visitor engagement, and exhibition to build quality experiences.

The Ontario Museum Association, working with leading Ontario institutions like the Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Ontario Science Centre, can provide vital guidance on the development of a museum presence at Ontario Place.

Emerging models such as those used by Myseum of Toronto can also be implemented to enable a nimble and people-focused approach to engagement, possibly including the development of site-specific museum programming.

Engagement with Indigenous communities, communities of colour, other equity-seeking populations, and networks of museums from across the province can enable the telling of a fulsome story of the province within the Ontario Place landscape.

The model currently used to develop the Community Exhibits Program at the Ontario Legislature building could be expanded—giving all Ontario communities a chance to be showcased within the expanded Tourism Hub of Toronto.

Projects can be impermanent, digitally-supported, and community-led, with some selected models:
• Myseum of Toronto’s Wigwam Chi-Chemung Indigenous cultural centre pop-up on the waterfront
• Toronto History Museums’ Awakenings—a cross-sectoral intervention at Toronto historic sites to address the lack of representation in the stories of Toronto’s history"

Read the OMA's full Response to the MHSTCI Reconnecting Ontarians White Paper 
$12 Million to Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre to Fund New Toronto Holocaust Museum
Thanks to an extraordinary lead contribution of $12 million from the Azrieli Foundation, we are thrilled to announce that the new Toronto Holocaust Museum will open in 2023.

The state-of-the-art facility will feature groundbreaking technology and innovative approaches to Holocaust education. It will inspire visitors to think critically about the Shoah and to make connections between the Holocaust, contemporary antisemitism, world events, and present-day Canadian life. The Azrieli Foundation’s visionary gift is instrumental as the institution moves to its new home in the Sheff Family Building on UJA’s Sherman Campus.

Read more HERE
Watch the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre webinar from the OMA's 2020 Conference HERE
$800,000 to PAMA from Federal, Provincial, and Regional Governments
More than $800,000 is being granted to Peel Art Gallery Museum + Archives by the federal, provincial and regional level of government in order to upgrade the ventilation system. This project will upgrade PAMA’s heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems to create a more comfortable environment for visitors. It will also support improvements to the building’s envelope to help reduce future costs due to building repairs and maintaining mechanical equipment.

Read more HERE
LaSalle Looking for Feedback About Benoit House Museum

The Town of LaSalle is looking for feedback on the proposed Benoit House Museum.

The house was built in the 1920’s by the first Mayor of LaSalle, Vital Benoit and is part of the overall vision of the  LaSalle Petite Côte (Small Coast) Waterfront Project. The project located along the Detroit River, will be a connected, multi-amenity environment that offers the community an expanded, year round destination. It will be an authentic site that captures the rich history and culture of LaSalle.

Read more HERE.
OMA Initiatives
OMA Opportunity:
Recognize Esteemed Colleagues

Deadline for Submissions: Friday, October 17, 2021

Is there someone at your organization who has retired (or will retire) between November 2020 and October 2021?
Two years ago the OMA started a new tradition of recognizing our colleagues who have retired in the past year at the annual OMA Awards Gala. This year’s awards rollout will look a little different, but we look forward to continuing the tradition!

Share the following information with us so that we can honour the contributions that these individuals have made to our dynamic sector.
  1. Name
  2. Organization
  3. Title
  4. Retirement date
  5. Photo
  6. How long they worked in museums and/or at the organization from which they retired
  7. Some other interesting fact or anecdote about what they achieved in their career
Send submissions to
Deadline for submissions: Friday, October 17, 2021

  • Submissions are welcome to recognize retirees in any role at an organization.
  • If the announcement of retirees takes place at a live online event, Retirees do not need to be present at the online event to be recognized.
Webinar Recording Available:
An Introduction to Human-Centred Design
& Creative Problem Solving

with Overlap Associates

Watch Rachel Hofstetter, Overlap Associates' Vice President and General Manager, discuss human-centred design and creative problem solving. Giving an overview of methods and processes, she provides helpful tips for you to start utilizing at your own institution. 

The webinar recording is now available online HERE

Visit the Overlap Associates website for resources HERE.

Download a template Empathy Map HERE.

Upcoming OMA Dates
October 17: Deadline for submissions to recognize our esteemed colleagues
September 20: Start Date: CMS: Collections Management, Online
September 27: Start Date CMS: Museums & the Community, Online
October 4: Start Date: CMS: Organization & Management of Museums, Online
November 9, 12am: Registration Opens: CMS: Education Programs. Read more HERE
Out-of-Province News
Canadian borders reopen
to fully vaccinated tourists
As announced on July 19, Canada’s borders opened on September 7 to any fully vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.

To qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption, visitors must:
  • be eligible to enter Canada on the specific date they enter
  • have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19
  • have received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of accepted vaccines
  • have received your last dose at least 14 days prior to the day you enter Canada
  • upload their proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN
  • meet all other entry requirements (for example, pre-entry test)

Read more from the Government of Canada HERE.

Media Coverage
Call for Nominations: The Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Museums
Deadline: September 26, 2021

In partnership with Canada’s History and with support from Ecclesiastical, the Canadian Museums Association is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive!

The goal of History Alive! is to honour significant achievement in the historical field and encourage standards of excellence specifically in the presentation, preservation and interpretation of national, regional or local history. This award recognizes individuals or institutions that have made remarkable contributions to a better knowledge of Canadian history.

The deadline for nominations is September 26, 2021. Please be sure to pass along this open call to your colleagues.

For more information, click HERE.

Ask a Curator Day Returns
on September 15, 2021
Ask a Curator Day started in 2010 in an effort to harness Twitter’s networking power to drum up some direct engagement with curators across the globe. The idea was that a curious public would be able to question the keepers of cultural heritage about the objects in their care and what it is they do with them.

The event became an instant hit with museums around the world fielding questions from their audiences, and trended number one on Twitter worldwide. 

On September 15th 2021, Ask a Curator will return and we’re hoping that museums around the globe will once again get their curators and other experts to answer questions from the public.

Read more HERE.
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. The OMA successfully advocated for federal emergency support funding through the Museums Assistance Program, the early and streamlined release of Community Museum Operating Grant (CMOG) funds in 2020 and 2021, and for an additional $2 million to support digital activities during pandemic closures. Your support, participation, and membership make our work possible.

Representing the interests of over 700 museums, galleries, and heritage sites across the province, the OMA offers regular webinars and professional development opportunities and resources for pandemic recovery. An OMA membership connects you with our network of over 1000 members, provides you with the tools and resources that support your professional practice, and keeps you informed of breaking news about funding opportunities and policy changes via the ONmuseums weekly newsletter and timely eNews alerts.

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. You can help us build a more resilient museum sector. Thank you for your support!
Donate Now
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