ONmuseums: Heritage Week and Minister's Mandate

Jan 09, 2020
In this Issue:
Need to Know
Free Museum Admission for Children
The OMA Council recently discussed the anticipated announcement from the Provincial government about free admission for children to Museums.  The Museum community is clearly supportive of such an initiative, that would allow access to our facilities to a much wider, and, more vulnerable, audience. 

 A November letter to Minister MacLeod stated the OMA “…was pleased to learn about potential expansion of free children’s admissions to museums across the province. Ontario’s museums have been working to eliminate barriers to entry for many communities, including children, through programs like free times of entry, discounted admissions, and access passes working with public libraries or other service organizations. We know that it is possible to enter 88% of Ontario museums for free, at least at some times.

We look forward to working with our members and the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries to improve access to Ontario museums for all. The Ontario Museum Association is eager to contribute to the development of a museum pass or other enhanced access programs… to ensure its success in all regions across the province.”

In anticipation of any announcement, Ontario museums must be prepared to present to the Province the associated cost of free admission to Ontario Museums, and also be prepared to deliver data that substantiates a request for funding to support this initiative.

Members need to consider any loss of current revenue, cost of additional on-site gate and gallery staff, additional maintenance, and costs of related materials and supplies. There are also longer term costs to consider such as wear and tear on infrastructure.

 The anticipated announcement is forward thinking and will make us more inclusive institutions if appropriately funded.

Read more in the Fall Economic Statement HERE.
Media Coverage
Heritage Week
February 17-23, 2020

Heritage Week is an annual celebration of heritage in Ontario! Heritage comes in many forms: cultural, natural, architectural, archaeological, collections, traditions, and cultural expressions. In Ontario, it begins with Family Day on February 17 and continues until February 23.

Heritage Week provides an excellent opportunity to highlight the vibrancy of our museums and culture sector; it is a chance to share our contributions to education, economic development, employment, and cultural tourism. Museums benefit Ontarians young and old, from the two million schoolchildren whose curriculum is supplemented by visits to museums, galleries, and heritage sites, to the more than 45,000 seniors and 35,000 volunteers who participate in museum programs around the province annually.

The over 700 museums, galleries, and heritage sites in Ontario form vital cultural and tourism infrastructure in every community. Our institutions provide essential momentum to Ontario’s growing culture and tourism GDP, contribute to lifelong learning in their communities, and create distinct, vibrant places to live, work, visit, and invest.

The OMA encourages Ontario museums to highlight their collections and their work, raising awareness of heritage resources and heritage-related issues.

Invite your MPP to visit your museum! See template letter HERE.

Join communities and museums across Ontario to celebrate Heritage Week 2020!

#MuseumsConnectON #HeritageWeek2020
Discover Ontario Museums

It’s a good time to update your Discover Ontario Museums website listing and add your events taking place on Heritage Day, February 17th (also Family Day!). 

Update your listings and add your events HERE.

Promoting Heritage Week events on these platforms ensure that the amazing and unique activities, exhibitions, presentations, and talks happening in Ontario get the attention they deserve!
Ontario Heritage Trust

The Ontario Heritage Trust presents special events and initiatives for Heritage Week at OFT sites. They encourage other organizations to submit their Heritage Week community events.

Read more HERE.
National Trust for Canada

Heritage Week kicks off with Heritage Day on February 17. The National Trust for Canada creates a theme for Heritage Week; this year’s is 2020 Vision: Bringing the Past into the Future.

Read more HERE.
Provincial News
Consultations for Budget 2020
Deadline: February 11, 2020

Ahead of Ontario’s 2020 Budget, the provincial government has launched a consultation process. The schedule for in-person consultations has not yet been released, but written and online submissions are now being accepted.

1. Share your ideas through an online survey HERE. 
2. Send written submissions (less than 500 words) by email or mail:


Email your submission to submissions@ontario.ca and:

  • include your name or the name of your organization
  • use “2020 Budget Consultations” in the subject line
  • attach your submission as a .PDF or Word document

Mail your submission to:

The Honourable Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance
c/o Budget Secretariat
Frost Building North, 3rd Floor, 95 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Z1

Read more HERE.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History is one of 17 businesses and organizations across Simcoe County that earned recognition for taking action to become more age-friendly.
Orillia Museum of Art and History recognised as ‘age-friendly’

Thanks to the resources and awareness from the County of Simcoe's Age-Friendly Businesses and Organizations Guide, the Orillia Museum of Art and History was able to take action to adapt to the aging population in the community. The Museum's efforts were noticed and were recognised by City Council. 

Read more HERE.

Phyllis George, manager of Tecumseh Community Development Corp., Shelley Ambroise, Tourism Sarnia-Lambton, and key-note speaker Kevin Eshkawkogan, CEO of Indigenous Tourism Ontario, participated in a recent cultural event designed to promote First Nations’ tourism in southwestern Ontario. – Photo by Tourism Sarnia-Lambton
Sarnia-Lambton Tourism looking to expand First Nations cultural events

A recent event in Sarnia connecting Indigenous organizations and businesses with tourism partners aims to drive growth in Southwestern Ontario. 

The gathering brought together 250 people to hear how other Ontario communities are building tourism through First Nations culture and events, in hopes of replicating their successes. 

Read more HERE.

Orillia Councillor Jay Fallis took issue with a consultant's suggestion that the Leacock Museum could be sold off and the proceeds used to fund city reserves. - Frank Matys/Torstar
Orillia Councillors speak out in support of Leacock Museum

Municipal representatives in Orillia have expressed the value of the Leacock Museum for the small town after a consultant report identified the site as an underutilized asset for possible sale. 

The Leacock Museum is a National Historic Site owned by the City of Orillia that is preserved in a conservation agreement with the Ontario Heritage Trust. 

Read more HERE.

Out-of-Province News
Minister Guilbeault receives mandate letter

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, received his mandate letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on December 13.
Highlights for museums include:
  • “Review our national museums policy to ensure that people can access Canadian history across the country, with better access to digital collections. Introduce the Culture Pass, a $200 credit that every Canadian child will receive when they turn 12 years old to be used to access theatres, museums, galleries, workshops and other cultural venues and local Canadian content.”
  • “Work with the national museums to increase Canadians’ awareness of climate change.”
  • “Make the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Heritage Centre a national museum.”
  • “Co-develop, with Indigenous Peoples, a framework for repatriating Indigenous cultural property and ancestral remains.”
  • “Work with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, who is the Minister responsible for Parks Canada, to provide clearer direction on how national heritage places should be designated and preserved and to introduce new comprehensive heritage legislation on federally owned heritage places.”
Read the full mandate letter HERE

Ministerial mandate letters are published openly by the choice of the Prime Minister, and outline the policy objectives for each ministry.

The OMA looks forward to collaborations with the Canadian Museums Association and our provincial and territorial colleagues on these critical items for museums. This group has emphasized the need for a review of the policy, a review of funding streams and a simplification of the funding application process, as well as an expansion of the Museums Assistance Program.

Read more from the Canadian Museums Association HERE.
Media Coverage
Investment Readiness Program for Social Financing
Deadline February 10, 2020

The Government of Canada’s Investment Readiness Program is supporting $22 million in grants through Community Foundations for organizations to be ready for Social Financing. Community Foundations across Canada have a first call for proposals for the grant due February 10, 2020, which can fund work like:
•    Feasibility studies
•    Business Cases, and 
•    Meeting investor requirements
Read more from Community Foundations Canada HERE
Find a community Foundation near you HERE

A recent Social Finance for Arts & Culture workshop, with Innoweave, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Metcalf Foundation, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Arts, can help you learn about new social finance opportunities and explore how your arts & culture organization can benefit.

This session covered:
  • How social finance benefits arts & culture organizations
  • The repayable Social Finance Fund — a $2 billion funding opportunity
  • The $50 million Investment Readiness grant program to access investment-readiness services

You can:

Young Canada Works 2020/2021 Campaign Open
Young Canada Works is now accepting employer applications. YCW works with the following delivery organizations in Ontario:
  • Canadian Museums Association 
  • National Trust for Canada
  • Cultural Human Resources Council
  • Conseil de la coopération de l'Ontario
  • Canadian Council of Archives (Read more HERE)

1. YCW In Heritage Organizations (Summer 2020 jobs for students)

  • Canadian Museums Association, and
  • Canadian Council of Archives, and
  • National Trust for Canada
    • Deadline January 15, 2020

2. YCW Building Careers in Heritage (internships for graduates)

  • Canadian Museums Association, and
  • National Trust for Canada, 
    • Deadline: March 1, 2020
  • Cultural Human Resources Council, 
    • Deadline: January 31, 2020
  • Canadian Council of Archives
    • Deadline March 1, 2020

3. YCW In Both Official Languages (Summer 2020 jobs for students)

  • Conseil de la coopération de l'Ontario
    • Deadline February 1, 2020

Read more HERE.

Call for Peer Reviewers

The Canadian Museums Association is seeking volunteer peer reviewers to evaluate Young Canada Works project proposals remotely and provide funding recommendations. Participation is open to current or past applicants to YCW programs.

Read more HERE
ICOM International Museum Day 2020
May 18, 2020

With the theme “Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion”, International Museum Day 2020 will celebrate the diversity of perspectives that make up the museum community, and champion tools for identifying and overcoming bias in what they display and the stories they tell.

Read more about ICOM's initiative HERE.

Stay tuned for information regarding the OMA's plans to celebrate May is Museum Month and International Museum Day. 

Upcoming OMA Dates

January 13, 2020: Start date for CMS: Organization & Management of Museums (Online) 

February 3, 2020: Start date for CMS: Care of Collections (Online)
* CMS: Artifacts is a prerequisite (Log into your Individual account and click on My Courses to register)

February 5, 2020: CCI Workshop: Mount Making (Oakville)(Email pd@museumsontario.ca to add your name to the waiting list)

March 25-26, 2020: Indigenous Collections Symposium: Mashkawatgong-mamawewiziwin – strengthening our bonds, sharing our practices