ONmuseums: New National Museum Policy and Heritage Funding

Jul 08, 2021
Need to Know
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 recommending that the Regulations: 
  1. 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. 

The OMA recognizes that museums generate much of their revenue during the summer season. The sooner indoor museums are able to open safely, the sooner they can return to welcoming their communities and to participating in recovery. 

Read the OMA letter HERE.

Update: Despite similar efforts on the part of many tourism and culture stakeholder partners, there has been no change to date, with indoor museums remaining in Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen. 
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. 
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
Provincial News
Study underway on future of Norfolk's museums

Norfolk County is seeking public input on the future of the municipality’s museums and archives.


The county is conducting a sustainability study over the next few months that will coincide with the development of a strategic plan for the future of its museums and archives.   

Long-term financial sustainability will be a key in creating a plan for the operation of the Delhi Tobacco Museum and Heritage Centre, the Norfolk County Archives in Simcoe, the Port Dover Harbour Museum and the Waterford Heritage and Agricultural Museum.  

A public survey is underway to gather community feedback on cultural and heritage services in the county.

“We are looking forward to this project moving ahead and really want to cast the net wide in terms of gathering as much feedback from the community as possible,” Melissa Collver, Norfolk’s director of heritage and culture, said in a media release.

“The end goal is to come up with a plan that allows for the continued delivery of heritage and cultural services in a way that is sustainable in the long term.”

TCI Management Consultants, specialists in planning for cultural organizations, will facilitate the project. They will be assisted by Reich+ Petch Architects, who specialize in museum and exhibit design.

The sustainability study and strategic planning development process is expected to conclude in the fall.

In recent years, some arts and heritage facilities in the county have been impacted by budget cutbacks.

In early 2020, the county closed the doors to the Norfolk Arts Centre (formerly known as the Lynnwood Arts Centre) in Simcoe due to its high cost of operation. However, the county and Lynwood Board of Directors reached an agreement this spring for the operation of the facility.

Also in 2020, the county announced the closure of the Teeterville Pioneer Museum and Women’s Institute building. The plan was to sell off the properties.

Members of the public have until July 25 to respond to the online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/9J69V9D.

A prize draw for gift certificates to local businesses is being held for those who participate.

Upcoming Funding Deadlines
OMA Initiatives
Certificate in Museum Studies:
Collections Management
Registration Opens Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Course: Collections Management
Dates: September 20 – November 28, 2021
Format: Online
Course Director: Janet Reid, Markham Museum
Log into your Individual Member account to register.
Find out more about the Certificate in Museum Studies program HERE.
Questions? Email Mary Collier, Professional Development Program Manager at pd@museumsontario.ca

OMA Awards of Excellence
 Nominations Deadline extended: July 12, 2021

There is Still Time to Recognize Inspiring Individuals!

The deadline for nominations to the Awards of Excellence 2021 has been extended until July 12, 2021 for the following Award categories:

  • Distinguished Career, and
  • Promising Leadership

Step up to thank those colleagues that are dedicated to supporting and energizing our community. Self-nominations are also encouraged!

Find out more
Out-of-Province News
Lytton Chinese History Museum
Lytton Museum & Archives

The OMA joins the British Columbia Museums Association (BCMA) in extending deep sympathies to the residents of Lytton, British Columbia and to the victims of the recent wildfires.

Following three days of record-breaking heat, the Lytton Chinese History Museum, a heritage site and home to priceless pieces of Chinese history in B.C., and the Lytton Museum & Archives, which housed artefacts representing the area's history from the past 125 million years, were destroyed by wildfire Wednesday June 30 along with much of the village.

Click HERE to view a list of support fundraisers compiled by the BCMA.
Read the CBC's report HERE.

Emergency Preparedness Resources
See all Physical Plant Resources HERE. 

Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI): Emergency Advice


MAP Emergency Assistance
Financial assistance provided to help an institution undertake urgent remedial action to maintain the integrity of its collection and mitigate damage sustained following a natural disaster (e.g. forest fire, flood, earthquake).
Minister Guilbeault Museum Announcement
Confirming details of funding and new National Museum Policy

At a virtual meeting on June 30, the Honourable Minister Steven Guilbeault confirmed the funding that had been announced previously to support the heritage and museum sector during COVID-19 recovery:

  • $41 million through the Museums Assistance Program (MAP) to support ongoing operating costs for heritage organizations.
  • $34 million for Canada’s six national museums and the National Battlefields Commission
  • $23 million to help museums across the country digitize information and collections
  • $12 million to support the Young Canada Works (YCW) Heritage program

During Minister Guilbeault's presentation, OMA President Paul Robertson asked if all non-federal museums would be eligible for the operating funding announced. Minister Guilbeault confirmed that the eligibility criteria would be the same as in 2020, and that the Department of Canadian Heritage is committed to flexibility, including with a streamlined application process for the operating funding. 

The OMA worked with the other Provincial and Territorial Museums Associations and the CMA in 2020 to successfully advocate for broader eligibility for heritage organizations for the emergency funding. 

Program deadlines and the full criteria will be available on the Museums Assistance Program webpage soon.

Read the Government of Canada news release HERE.

New National Museum Policy

Minister Guilbeault also announced that the Department of Canadian Heritage will be starting the consultation process for a new national museum policy this fall.  

Inuk leader Mary Simon named Canada's 1st Indigenous governor general

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced July 6th that on his recommendation, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has approved the appointment of Mary Simon as the next Governor General of Canada.

Throughout her distinguished career, Ms. Simon has been a tireless advocate for Inuit rights and culture, and the rights of all Indigenous peoples. Over four decades, she has held various senior leadership positions, including President of Makivik Corporation, where she helped to protect and promote Inuit rights through the implementation of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. She also served two terms as President of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, now known as the Inuit Circumpolar Council, and as President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

As the first Canadian Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs, Ms. Simon played a leading role in strengthening the ties between the people of the Arctic regions nationally and internationally, including through the creation of the Arctic Council. She is also the founder of the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation, and has served as the Ambassador of Canada to Denmark.

Read more from the Government of Canada HERE.

Media Coverage

Canadian Museums Association Announces Massimo Bergamini as New Interim CEO

Ottawa public affairs and management consultant Massimo Bergamini has been named interim chief executive officer of the CMA. He will provide staff leadership to the museum association until the end of the year and assist the Board in the search for a permanent CEO.

Before founding his management and public affairs consulting practice in 2019, Bergamini was President and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC) where he helped guide the organization through a period of policy and regulatory turbulence. Prior to joining NACC, Bergamini was Executive Director of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) where he led modernization of the organization’s accreditation and animal welfare policies and programs and helped position it as a leading voice for conservation.

Read more HERE

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
Panels on missing children, unmarked burials, and cemeteries

The upcoming events are to provide guidance and information from Survivors on where communities are, what they are currently working on to find the children and how the NCTR and others can help this important work.

The live events will be broadcasted on Facebook live in French and English. There will be time at the end of each of the events for a question-and-answer period.

Survivor Panel
Monday, July 12 - 6:00PM EDT
Learn more HERE.

Academic Panel
Tuesday, July 13 - 6:00PM  EDT
Learn more HERE.

Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act
Consultations open until July 30, 2021
The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry seeks feedback from the public and organizations subject to the provisions of Canada's Not-for-profit Corporations Act as part of a statutory review of the legislation.'

discussion paper sets out a number of issues related to the provisions and operations of the Act that have been identified by stakeholders or have emerged since 2011. Participants are invited to submit their feedback via email in text or Word format at ic.nfpactreview-examenloibnl.ic@canada.ca before July 30, 2021.

Read more HERE.
An Update on the
Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA)

Update – Ministry moves motion in case of a delay and it includes two important changes.

The Government of Ontario has introduced motion #89 in the Legislature [motion passed September 21, 2020]. This motion extends the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) by another year, until December 2021. This was necessary because legislation is automatically cancelled if it does not take effect in 10 years, and the ONCA was passed in 2010 so would be cancelled if it was not proclaimed by December 2020. We have been assured that the ONCA is still on track to be proclaimed before the end of 2020. However, this motion is needed in the event of delays as regulations and the online business registry are put in place this fall. It is a housekeeping motion.

Specific sections of the ONCA are not included in the motion to be extended into 2021. This means they will disappear from ONCA. These sections relate to requirements to give a vote to non-voting members and give a veto to different classes of members. The nonprofit sector has been advocating to remove these two provisions from ONCA for a long time. Their removal means non-voting members will not have a vote and different classes of members will not have veto over key corporate decisions. ONN is pleased that these amendments to ONCA have been implemented and we will continue to advocate for immediate proclamation and a user-friendly online registry system for Ontario nonprofits.

Read the transcripts from the Legislative Assembly of Ontario: https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/house-documents/parliament-42/session-1/2020-09-17/hansard#P230_13894.

Read more from ONN HERE.
The OMA Welcomes Your Support

If you are already an OMA member, please renew your membership when you receive an email reminder. If you are not a member, please consider joining, either as an institution or an individual. You can find information about member categories and benefits on our website.

Please also consider making a donation to the OMA on our website or through Canada Helps.

Your support of the OMA and your participation in events make us stronger as a sector, and we appreciate each and everyone one of you.

An OMA membership connects you with our network of over 1000 members, representing 700 museums, galleries, and heritage sites across the province. In addition, an OMA membership provides you with the latest news via the ONmuseums newsletter, eNews alerts, and COVID-19 resources to mitigate impact for Ontario museums, galleries and heritage sites.

COVID-19 Resources

The OMA has prepared a dedicated webpage of COVID-19 communications and resources, updated as new information and resources become available.
Read more HERE.

We're Here to Help!

For all questions or inquiries please contact the OMA: community@museumsontario.ca or call 416-348-8672 / 1-866-662-8672.

Marie G. Lalonde
Executive Director
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