New COVID Relief Programs

Jan 13, 2022
Need to Know
The OMA collects and regularly updates the Current Funding Opportunities page on our website-- visit our website to find funding opportunities HERE.
Minister MacLeod and
Finance Minister Bethlenfalvy's
Monday, January 10, 2022 Technical Briefing
View Slide Presentation HERE
Provincial Support Programs

Read the full News Release HERE

Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant

The Government has announced an Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for small businesses that are subject to closure under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. It will provide eligible small businesses with a grant payment of $10,000. 

Eligible small businesses include museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions. 

The available details are as follows. 
  • Businesses with less than 100 employees ordered to close indoor operations January 5 may be eligible. 
  • Qualified Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG) recipients will be pre-screened in late January. The will receive the grant in early February. 
  • New applicants (newly formed businesses, businesses that did not apply or were not eligible for OSBSG) can apply in early February. Successful applicants will receive the grant two weeks after approval, in late February. 
  • Applications for the Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant will be open in the coming weeks.
Read more and find a list of eligible businesses HERE

Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program

Eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity will receive rebate payments for a portion of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to these measures. The available details are as follows. 
  • Eligible businesses required to reduce capacity to 50 per cent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their costs.
  • Eligible businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 per cent of their costs.
  • Payments to eligible businesses will be retroactive to December 19, 2021.
  • Online applications for this program will open January 18, 2022.
Read more HERE

Cash-Flow Supports for Businesses Through Tax Deferrals 

The Government is providing businesses with a six-month interest- and penalty-free period to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. The available details are as follows. 
  • The six-month period will begin on January 1, 2022 and end on July 1, 2022.
  • Businesses will have the option to delay their payments for the following provincially administered taxes:
    • Employer Health Tax, Beer, Wince & Spirits Tax, Tobacco Tax, Insurance Premium Tax, Fuel Tax, International Fuel Tax Agreement, Gas Tax, Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts & Benefit Plans, Mining Tax, and Race Tracks Tax
Read more HERE

Ministry of Energy Initiative: Off-Peak Time-of-Use Rate

The Ministry of Energy will be temporarily changing the Regulated Price Plan rates for electricity to the off-peak rate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a 21-day period. The available details are as follows. 
  • The change will start January 18, 2022 and end February 7, 2022.
  • Customers do not need to apply for this rate change; it will be automatically applied to customer bills. 
Read more HERE.
Read the Frequently Asked Questions HERE.  
  • Read the full News Release HERE.
  • View the Slide presentation from Minister MacLeod's January 10 Technical Briefing with Finance Minister Bethlenfalvy HERE
  • For more information, visit "Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs" HERE
For updated information as it becomes available, visit the Government of Ontario website HERE.
Minister Rodriguez Postpones National Summit on the Arts, Culture and Heritage
Canadian Heritage

The summit, originally scheduled for January 31 and February 1, 2022, will be postponed and take place once public health measures allow face-to-face meetings to occur safely. Over the next couple of weeks, Minister Rodriguez will continue to meet with artists, technical and production people, creative professionals, producers and presenters to listen to their challenges and determine how the Government of Canada can continue to provide support.

Read the full Statement HERE

Federal Support Programs
Government extends loan
forgiveness repayment deadline for the
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
Department of Finance

On Wednesday, January 12, 2022, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, announced that the repayment deadline for CEBA loans to qualify for partial loan forgiveness is being extended from December 31, 2022, to December 31, 2023, for all eligible borrowers in good standing.

The government is also announcing that the repayment deadline to qualify for partial forgiveness for CEBA-equivalent lending through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is extended to December 31, 2023.

Read the full News Release HERE

Celebration and Commemoration Program — Reopening Fund
Deadline Extended: January 31, 2022

The deadline for this 1-year funding initiative, available through the Celebration and Commemoration Program, has been extended to January 31, 2022. It will provide funding to eligible recipients to support initiatives that meet 1 or more of the following requirements:
  • increase opportunities for Canadians to participate in various commemorative activities and celebrations to mark Canada’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • build a sense of pride and belonging to Canada by holding celebratory and commemorative activities that recognize people and achievements in the response to COVID-19; or
  • support the revival of local economies through in person events.
Read more about the fund HERE
Find more funding opportunities HERE
Federal Support Programs


  • Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit – provides temporary income support to employed and self-employed people who cannot work due to a COVID-
    19 lockdown.
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit – provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are
    sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit – provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they
    must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care.


  • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program – provides support through wage and rent subsidies to select tourism and hospitality businesses still
    facing pandemic related challenges, with a subsidy rate of up to 75%.
  • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program – provides support through wage and rent subsidies to other businesses that have faced deep losses, with a
    subsidy rate of up to 50%.
  • Local Lockdown Program – provides businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns with up to the maximum amount available through wage
    and rent subsidy programs.
  • Canada Recovery Hiring Program – provides a subsidy to cover part of a business’ wages as they hire new employees and increase existing
    employees' wages or hours.
  • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) – provides businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19, access guaranteed, low-interest
    loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs.
  • Tourism Relief Fund – supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in
    products and services to facilitate their future growth.
Provincial News
Now Open:
Reconnect Ontario 2022 Applications
Deadline: February 2, 2022

Reconnect Ontario supports festivals and events that have a tourism economic impact and motivate visitors to rediscover Ontario, reconnect people with local experiences and increase tourism spending. The program aims to support innovative events in Ontario that will:

  • offer safe experiences that encourage people to travel locally, participate and rediscover the beauty and diversity of all that Ontario communities have to offer; 
  • draw tourists and local visitors, whether in-person or virtually, through innovative programming, and generate positive economic impact for the local community, the region and the province;
  • provide job opportunities for Ontarians, particularly in the tourism, culture and entertainment sectors; and
  • increase Ontario’s profile through media and/or social media exposure to generate interest in future travel to the province.

The deadline to apply is February 2, 2022 by 5:00pm EST.

Read more HERE

2022 Summer Experience Program
Deadline: February 15, 2022

The Summer Experience Program (SEP) provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, Indigenous organizations, and First Nation communities to create career-related summer employment opportunities for students. The summer employment positions must focus on activities supporting key sectors within the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

SEP employment opportunities must offer training, work experience and skills transferable to the general workforce and to future careers. The positions must focus on activities that support the key sectors of tourism, culture, heritage and sport and recreation.

All applications must be submitted online, in either English or French through Transfer Payment OntarioThe deadline to apply is Tuesday, February 15, at 5:00pm EST.

Review the SEP Guidelines for information on the various Ministry priorities, to assess your organization’s eligibility and to familiarize yourself with the specific program criteria for hiring a summer student. 

For technical support related to the Transfer Payment Ontario please contact Transfer Payment Ontario Client Care:

  • Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm EST
  • Toronto: (416) 325-6691
  • Toll Free: 1-855-216-3090
  • TTY/Teletypewriter (for the hearing impaired): 416-325-3408 / Toll free: 1-800-268-7095
  • Email:
$79K to North Bay Museum
Close to $140,000 in federal Canadian Heritage funding through the Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations will assist five different area projects over the next few months, and $79,373 will go towards the North Bay and Area Museum Society. The funding is intended to assist with operating expenses, exhibit development, and programming. 

The second of five projects to receive funding, the Little Claybelt Homesteaders Museum will receive $5,000 from the Fund, which will help the public continue to access the history of early pioneers in the Temiskaming Shores Area. 

Read more HERE
Open Letter: Impact of COVID-19 and Current Restrictions on ON's Nonprofit Sector
Ontario Nonprofit Network

Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) has written an open letter to the Premier about the piecemeal approach to supporting the nonprofit sector and how it must end now. The lack of clarity and communication, financial support to address the significant challenges that come with restrictions, and overall exclusion of the nonprofit sector in pandemic decision-making threatens the recovery of our communities. ONN's open letter outlines six immediate actions needed for the nonprofit sector:

  1. all supports available to small businesses include nonprofit organizations - such as the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program;
  2. a targeted support program for nonprofits in Ontario that have specifically been impacted by closures to support their operating expenses;
  3. access to immediate funding supports which are essential to providing services to Ontarians during Modified Step Two restrictions - to purchase PPE, update health and safety such as Hepa filters, provide dollars to fill immediate staffing gaps, and purchase technology to keep open and serve Ontarians;
  4. ensure budget flexibility with 2021-2022 transfer payment agreements, including the ability to shift amounts between budget lines, the ability to carry forward any surplus year end funds, etc.;
  5. legislate ten permanent paid sick days and the repeal of Bill 124 wage restraint measures so nonprofits can recruit and retain the workforce they need to remain open and viable; and
  6. a Ministry or office that we can work directly with on the impact of COVID on Ontario nonprofits.

Read the letter HERE

Ontario Arts Council
Interim CEO Announcement
Ontario Arts Council
The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) Chair Rita Davies announced on January 10, 2022 the departure of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Carolyn Vesely. Prior to being appointed CEO, Carolyn served as OAC’s Director of Granting, where she oversaw the creation of OAC’s new online application program, Nova. Carolyn also led the design of OAC’s Funding Framework that resulted in enhanced program options for OAC grant recipients. She joined OAC in 2001 after an accomplished career directing galleries in Ontario and British Columbia.
The Ontario Arts Council has begun the process of recruiting a new full-time CEO. The Board has appointed Sandra Cruickshanks as Interim CEO to lead OAC during the transition.

Read the full announcement HERE
OMA Initiatives
Webinar: From Living History
to Living the History

with Pickering Museum Village

Free Webinar
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
10:00am - 11:00am ET

The Pickering Museum Village has called itself a living history museum for many years. Lack of resources made the reality much different. An independent Master Site Use Study prompted a wake-up call in 2018. Beginning with a hard look at permanent exhibits, and what staff wanted the visitor experience to be, PMV staff began what they call a shift from living history to living the history. Two and half years and a pandemic later, Katrina Pyke and Ellen Tayles-Armstrong will share how it all started, where it is now, and what the next years look like. They will explore the need for museums to challenge the status quo and adapt to changing visitor expectations and patterns; how to shift a deeply rooted community museum culture; and how to accept that what the museum was doing in the past isn’t working. 

Following the presentation, there will be a Q&A moderated by Wendy Rowney from Black Creek Pioneer Village.

Speakers: Katrina Pyke and Ellen Tayles-Armstrong

Register HERE
CMS Calendar Update:
Museums in Historic Buildings
(Facilities Management) - New Date!

Course: Museums in Historic Buildings (Facilities Management)
Location: Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum, Kitchener, ON
New Date: May 11-13, 2022
Course Director: Marcus Letourneau, Letourneau Heritage Consulting
Registration opens: Wednesday, March 2, 2022

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  

Upcoming OMA Dates
January 17: Start Date - CMS: Education Programs and Care of Collections
February 1, 10am: Free Webinar "From Living History to Living the History" (register HERE)
March 2: Registration Opens - CMS: Museums in Historic Buildings (Facilities Management)
Reconsidering Museums: Sharing Insights on the Public Value of Our Sector

What do Canadians see as the value of museums for them, their communities, and for Canada?

As a sector, we understand the significance of museums and museum work, but we do not always have the right words to express why museums matter. To support our members to speak with conviction about the public value of museums, the OMA has partnered with our counterparts across the country on a national project, Reconsidering Museums.

Reconsidering Museums sets out to better understand what museums mean to Canadians and to support our sector with the tools and language necessary to advocate for the value of museums. Since 2020, the project has engaged with Canadians to understand the perceptions the public holds of our sector. Read the findings of the engagement campaign, Museums for Me, and research in two reports, What We Heard, and Trust and Value: The Role of Museums in Canada in the Twenty-First-Century. We hope that these resources will be valuable to you in your work!

Over the next year, we will be working with a consortium of provincial and territorial museums associations and the Canadian Museums Association to develop an advocacy and communications toolkit that builds on the findings of our research and engagement campaign to rearticulate the value of museums.

The resources developed through Reconsidering Museums will provide a brand narrative and messaging that museums can use to engage the public, empowering museums with a shared language to express and substantiate the value of museums with data-driven insights, and helping to shape public dialogue on the vital role of museums in our society.  
Learn more about this project here. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Caroline Loewen, Project Lead with the Alberta Museums Association, at

Upcoming Funding Deadlines
January 14, 2022: Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance
January 28, 2022: Listen, Hear Our Voices
January 28, 2022: The National Anti-Racism Fund
January 31, 2022: Celebration and Commemoration Program - Reopening Fund
January 31, 2022: Local Festivals - Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage
February 2, 2022: Reconnect Ontario 2022
February 15, 2022: Summer Experience Program

View more funding opportunities on the OMA website HERE.
PD Opportunities
Webinar: Navigating Risk in 2022
Business / Arts

Free Webinar
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
3:00pm ET

At the top of the session Nik Nanos, Chief Data Scientist and Founder of Nanos Research, will be sharing the latest findings from the Arts Response Tracking Survey (ARTS). This edition of ARTS will provide valuable insights into what precautions are required to make culture-goers feel safe, the perceived risk of attending arts and cultural events and obstacles to participation.

This session will also feature a response panel with arts leaders from across the country. Together they will discuss how the current wave of the pandemic is affecting arts and culture organizations, and their response to rapidly changing restrictions and realities.

Speakers will include:
Alex Sarian, President and CEO, Arts Commons
Belinda Bale, Director of Marketing and Communications, The National Ballet of Canada
Sandra Laronde, Executive and Artistic Director, Red Sky Performance
Nik Nanos, Chief Data Scientist and Founder, Nanos Research 

Register HERE

Workshop: RAD for Beginners
Archives Association of Ontario

Online Workshop
Thursday, February 10, 2022
1:30pm - 4:30pm ET

The Rules of Archival Description (RAD) is the Canadian archival descriptive standard that provides a multi-level, top-down framework to reflect the context of archival records. This informative workshop will provide a brief overview of Canadian descriptive theory and the history of description. Content will be geared towards professionals new to RAD.

Instructor: Paul Leatherdale 

Read more and register HERE

Online Program:
Introductory Leading Teams: Governance for Indigenous Councils and Boards
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Online Program
Registration Deadline: January 25, 2022
Program Dates: February 15 - February 18, 2022

This introductory program will explore the structure and management of a governing body for maximum efficiency and effectiveness, with particular focus on building solid foundations for Indigenous governance that are rooted in Indigenous culture.

Read more HERE

Support Ontario’s Museums by Giving Forward!
As museums across Ontario face the challenges of reopening safely and renewing relationships with your communities, the OMA is here for you now and as we move forward. 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 is giving forward, not giving back, by adding to the collective strength of our sector and investing in a vibrant future for the next generation of museum professionals. You can help us build a more resilient museum 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.
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