ONmuseums: Museums Must be Heard!

Jun 10, 2021
Need to Know
Open Letter
A Call to Invest Fully in Ontario Museums
Museums Must be Heard!
Call to Action

The OMA is asking members to share the Open Letter with their MPPs, their community members, and media:

Tip: Share the letter with your board members and volunteers for them to also share!
  1. Download a copy of the Open Letter HERE. 
  2. Find your MPP's contact information HERE. 
  3. Include the following message:
"The Ontario Museum Association and the 700 museums, galleries, and heritage sites across the province are calling on Ontario's government to invest fully in Ontario’s museums hit hard by the pandemic and urging the government to act on the recommendation of the Ontario Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs to “bolster the Community Museum Operating Grant Program” (October 2020); a longstanding and pressing request of the OMA and Ontario museums.

We are calling on the government to take urgent action to invest in Ontario museums and increase operating funding to $15million (an increase of $10.1million) to reach more than 300 community museums across the province at a level of support averaging 15% of museums’ operating budgets.

Over the past year, museums have continued to adapt to serve their communities, and engage volunteers, seniors, and youth where possible. Our province’s museums will continue as important parts of economic, tourism and social recovery if they are empowered to fill that role.
Now is the time to ensure that Ontario’s museums across the province can once again welcome back visitors with authentic and unique experiences as we safely and gradually reopen to the world."
"Ontario museums call for government investment so they can survive the pandemic and fully contribute to the province’s recovery for the benefit of all Ontarians.
Read the Open Letter here: http://bit.ly/OMA-Open-Letter

#MuseumsConnectON #onpoli @museumsontario"
Click to Tweet this Message
Regulations for Step 1 of the
Roadmap to Reopen

As Ontario prepares to enter Step 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen on Friday June 11 at 12:01am, the eagerly-anticipated Regulations, which provide some clarity for museums, have been posted. 

Museums, etc. (page 23)
5. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions must be closed to members of the public.
(2) An attraction described in subsection (1) may open to provide drive-in or drive-through access to the public if it complies with the conditions set out in section 65 of Schedule 7, subject to any necessary modifications.
(3) An outdoor attraction described in subsection (1) may open if it complies with the
following conditions:
1. The number of members of the public in the attraction must be limited so that the total number of members of the public in the outdoor ticketed area of the attraction at any one time does not exceed 15 per cent capacity, determined by taking the total square metres of outdoor ticketed area accessible to the public in the attraction, dividing that number by 26.67 and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.
2. The person responsible for the attraction must post a sign in a conspicuous location
visible to the public that states the maximum capacity they are pe1mitted to operate
3. No member of the public may enter a ticketed area of the attraction unless they have made a reservation to do so.
4. No member of the public may be permitted access to interactive exhibits or exhibits
that would create a high risk of personal contact.
5. No member of the public may be permitted to enter any indoor area of the premises, except,
  • i. to access a washroom,
  • ii. to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route,
  • or iii. as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.

6. No amusement rides or tour vehicles may be operated by the attraction.

Read the Full Regulations HERE
OMA Advocacy on Reopening Regulations

The OMA has communicated with the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and shared members concerns, as well as two recommendations for the Regulations:
  1. Allow the operation of outdoor guided tours by museums and historic sites in Step 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen, in alignment with restrictions on outdoor “In-person teaching and instruction” with observed health and safety protocols and physical distancing
  2. Allow indoor museums to open in Step 2, alongside other public venues like libraries, also institutions with collections, and non-essential retail, based on the ability of museums to maintain appropriate distancing and health protocols.
The OMA letter also references that in summer 2020, museums that were able to reopen successfully implemented protocols that kept their staff and visitors safe. 

Read the OMA letter HERE.
Call to Action

The OMA is asking members to assist in sharing the Recommendations for the Regulations with MPPs:
  1. Download a copy of the Regulation Recommendations HERE. 
  2. Find your MPP's contact information HERE. 
New details on Canada Recovery Hiring Program
The Government has released new details about the Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which was announced in Budget 2021. The program will provide up to 50% of eligible salary or wage costs, to a maximum of $1,129 per week for each eligible employee. The subsidy can be used to increase wages or hours worked or hire more staff, and is only available for active employees.

Nonprofits and charities are both eligible for the subsidy. In order to qualify, organizations must demonstrate a revenue decline of more than 0% for the period between June 6 and July 3 and more than 10% between July 4 and November 20.

Organizations cannot receive both the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Recovery Hiring subsidy for the same period. The program will be available from June 6 (retroactively) to November 20, 2021 and employers will be able to apply through their CRA My Business account once Bill C-30 is passed into law.

Read more HERE.
Provincial News
Covid-19 Screening for Organizations
Accessing Rapid Antigen Tests through Ontario Together 

The Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (MHSTCI) is sharing this information with our culture stakeholder associations as the ministry would like to encourage those organizations in our sectors that are currently permitted to be open and require employees to be on site to apply for rapid antigen tests.
The COVID-19 Testing for Organizations page provides information on how to apply for rapid antigen test kits through the Provincial Antigen Screening Program. The Covid-19 Testing for Organizations page will help an organization determine their eligibility for free tests and provide all the necessary guidance and information about how to order tests and set up a screening clinic on-site. For culture sector organizations, once you confirm your eligibility to be open and requirement to have staff on site, choose “Industry or private sector” and then select “Culture”.  

Small and medium sized organizations can access free rapid antigen tests through their local Chamber of Commerce, the Creative Destruction Labs’ Rapid Screening Consortium, or through local pharmacies, though a handling fee may be charged for tests acquired through pharmacies.
It should be noted that rapid antigen testing should not be used as a tool for people to return to work who could otherwise work from home, and does not replace other measures required to control the spread of COVID-19 (such as symptom screening, physical distancing, mask wearing, and hand hygiene).
For more information please visit ontario.ca/testingonsite.

New COVID-19 Workplace Guidance
Screening for COVID-19 and vaccines  

The Ontario government has released the following two new guidance documents on workplace screening and COVID-19 vaccination to help protect workers and make workplaces safer.
  1. COVID-19 vaccines and workplace health and safety - Ontario.ca 

    This guidance document explains how vaccines work to protect you when you are vaccinated, why COVID-19 workplace control measures need to be maintained even after workers are vaccinated, and some considerations for employers about workplace policies and supporting their workers to get vaccinated.

    Workplace controls are measures that employers use to help prevent workers from being exposed to hazards like those posed by COVID-19. Vaccines are a good complement to workplace controls, but cannot replace them. They have different purposes: workplace controls help prevent workers from being exposed to COVID-19, while vaccines help protect workers from getting sick if they are exposed. To protect workers and help reduce the chance of COVID-19 transmission at the workplace, it is important to maintain workplace control measures even after vaccination.

  2. Screening for COVID-19: guidance for employers - Ontario.ca 

    This document provides employers with an overview of workplace screening for COVID-19 and information to help them make decisions about the use of rapid antigen screening.

    Screening helps keep infected workers and others from entering the workplace thereby reducing possible workplace transmission. Question-based screening uses information about symptoms and exposures to identify people who may be infectious and rapid antigen screening is used to help identify people who are infectious before they develop symptoms. To further protect workers and help reduce transmission, workers who have passed screening must continue to follow all public health and workplace control measures including masking and maintaining physical distance. 

    Read more from the Ontario government HERE.
    Read more from the Public Services Health & Safety Association HERE.

Reminder: CMOG Applications
Deadline June 30th

As a reminder to museums who will be applying to the Community Museum Operating Grant (CMOG), the deadline to complete and submit your application is June 30th, 2021. 

The OMA encourages all applying museums to fill out all sections of the application to provide vital sector data about digitalization and the impacts of COVID-19. 
Culture Days
September 24 - October 24, 2021
Culture Days event and activity registration is now open, easier to use, and contains more choices to showcase expression than ever before. 

Culture Days invites organizers to register their activities and hubs for the extended 4-week event. This year, Culture Days is supporting in-person events*, while expanding to showcase online presentations, livestreams, and self-guided activities.

Learn more and register HERE.


Registration open for Summer Webinars

Join Charity Village to learn how to organize a virtual or hybrid fundraising gala, manage a virtual team, plan for a successful leadership transition, and build resiliency while applying a trauma-informed lens to your leadership.

  • Beyond the Ballroom: A Shift to Virtual Fundraising Events June 17, 2021 at 1pm ET / 10am PT
  • How to Manage a Virtual Team June 24, 2021 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Learn more HERE.

OMA Initiatives
Celebrate outstanding exhibits #OMAAwards2021
Deadline: June 18, 2021
The Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum & Community Centre might be small, but it is mighty in resourcefulness and creativity. Their exhibit Archaeology Alive! The Jean Baptiste Lainé Site offered an exciting entryway to the ancestral territory and ways of life of Iroquoian societies. A highlight of this exhibit was a 3-D virtual “Longhouse” gaming experience created in partnership with students at Ryerson University.

Impressive? We thought so too. This project received the OMA Award of Excellence in Exhibitions last year.
Were you blown away by an exhibit within the past two years? Tell us about it. Submit a nomination to OMA Awards of Excellence by June 18.
Send us your Nominations
Museums in the News
The Great Taste of Ontario: Museum Edition
The OMA collaborated with the Culinary Tourism Alliance and The Globe and Mail to showcase Ontario's museums in The Great Taste of Ontario: Museum Edition, published May 28th at the culmination of May is Museum Month! 

Read the articles at the links below: 
Members in the News

Toronto History Museums launches new virtual Indigenous Peoples Month Programming

Toronto History Museums will make available Indigenous histories, cuisine, arts and stories in collaboration with community partners. Indigenous Peoples Month programming at Toronto History Museums can be enjoyed in four parts: Shop, Explore, Feast and Watch, starting June 2. 

Highlights of Indigenous Peoples Month at Toronto History Museums include:

  • Shop: Toronto History Museums Shop will showcase Indigenous artists, makers and authors, including an artist collective from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. 
  • Explore: Participants can explore the diverse and vibrant Indigenous communities of Toronto through virtual treaty tours created by First Story Toronto. These tours will be delivered online on June 15, 22 and 29. Reserve your free spot HERE.
  • Feast: The National Indigenous Peoples Day Feast will honour Indigenous food and support those living at Na-Me-Res Native Men's Residence with a traditional meal made by world-renowned, globally trained Chef Billy Alexander. 
  • Watch: On Fridays, beginning June 11, Toronto History Museums will premiere pre-recorded hip hop performances from emerging dancers Slim Peanut and River WH. The program will also feature a partnership with imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, two films produced by the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Learn more HERE.

Elgin County Heritage Centre launches
St. Thomas Augmented Reality Adventure

The St. Thomas Augmented Reality Adventure on EXAR Studios’ Engage App launched June 9th

The app lets users uncover hidden AR attractions to learn about St. Thomas’ history and culture. Since the free app is used outdoors, it’s the perfect activity to do while COVID-19 restrictions remain in effect.

Watch the video showcasing the experience HERE
Download and learn more about the app HERE.
Glengarry Pioneer Museum’s virtual driving tour a chance for individuals to visit historical landmarks

Area residents have the chance to tour the region with some help from the Glengarry Pioneer Museum, as the site presents its annual Glengarry Historical Driving Tour in a virtual format for 2021.

Read more HERE.
Out-of-Province News
Virtual Open House with ICOM Canada

June 29, 2021
3:00 - 4:30pm EDT/ 1:00 - 2:30pm MDT
Registration closes June 24 at 4:30pm MDT

Athabasca University’s Heritage Resources Management Program will be hosting an open house with ICOM Canada. 

Are you interested to learn about the latest approaches and developments in the field of museology? Do you aspire to be part of an international movement in museology? Do you want to gain a deeper insight into a community of museum professionals dedicated to the advancement of museum practices worldwide, through discussions, professional exchanges, and research?  

Register HERE by June 24, 2021.


New data on business conditions in the charitable sector 

Statistics Canada has been conducting quarterly surveys about the conditions in which businesses and organizations, including nonprofits, are operating since the onset of the pandemic. The latest results were released in late May and provide a valuable source of updated information on the challenges facing nonprofit organizations and how they compare to the challenges facing businesses and government agencies. The data is available for each province and territory.

New data on technology adoption:

  • Nonprofits are investing in technology adoption over the next year. 44% plan to adopt collaboration tools, 27% plan to adopt security software, and 26% plan to adopt cloud computing.
  • The biggest challenges that nonprofits cited in adopting new technology were access to financial resources (35%) and ensuring high speed connectivity (28%).

Read more HERE.

Workshop: 'Our Collections Matter' 
Supporting Collections-based Organizations to Connect with the Sustainable Development Goals
On June 16th from 11am to 1:30pm ET, join The Centre for Global Heritage and Development and ICCROM to learn more about the Our Collections Matter project and the results achieved so far.

Launched in 2019 by ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), Our Collections Matter is a project with the aim of enabling professionals and organizations working with heritage collections anywhere in the world to make concrete contributions towards Sustainable Development through conservation and other collection-based activities. After one year of collaboration with several partners around the globe, ICCROM has created a web-based toolkit to encourage and support collection-based institutions to play their fullest part in Sustainable Development. The toolkit contains the most useful methods and tools currently in use in the heritage sector and beyond, and will incorporate new ones as they are developed by project partners and other parties.

The workshop is intended for people working with, or studying, public or private collections, worldwide. 

Learn more and register HERE.
Webinar: digital strategies for pandemic survival and future success
Free webinar
June 16, 2021

As museums navigate the financial crisis precipitated by COVID-19, we need to help identify which digital strategies and solutions will support their survival, as well as lay the groundwork for the long-term path to recovery that lies ahead.

The American Alliance of Museums is hosting a free webinar, Digital Awakening: Essential Strategies for Pandemic Survival and Future Success, with Blackbaud on June 16 that will explore best practices for the adoption of digital strategies, and how to assess which digital investments will be sustainable in the long run and fuel lasting financial success.

Register HERE.

Upcoming OMA Dates

June 18: Deadline for OMA Awards of Excellence Nominations (submit HERE)
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