ONmuseums: Reopening Gift Shops and Summer Programs

Jun 17, 2021
Need to Know
MHSTCI on Reopening

The Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (MHSTCI) has provided additional information for museums and galleries on a couple of questions regarding:

"Please note that the ministry is not in a position to provide compliance or legal advice regarding the Roadmap or related regulations. You may consider seeking independent legal advice to better understand what rules may apply to your business, including compliance with advice, recommendations and instructions from public health officials and with all applicable laws."

Are museums able to be open as a place of employment to their staff with Covid-19 protocols in place?

"Ontario continues to require working from home except where necessary during Step 1. Please review the section “General Rules at Step 1” of Schedule 6 of O Reg. 82/20 under the Reopening Ontario Act which states as follows:

1(6) Despite subsections (1) to (5), temporary access to a business or place, or part of a business or place, that is required to be closed is authorized, unless otherwise prohibited by any applicable law, for the purposes of,

(a) performing work at the business or place in order to comply with any applicable law;

(b) preparing the business or place to be reopened;

(c) allowing for inspections, maintenance or repairs to be carried out at the business or place;

(d) allowing for security services to be provided at the business or place; and

(e) attending at the business or place temporarily,

(i) to deal with other critical matters relating to the closure of the business or place, if the critical matters cannot be attended to remotely, or

(ii) to access materials, goods or supplies that may be necessary for the business or place to be operated remotely.

Work from home except where necessary
2.1 (1) Each person responsible for a business or organization that is open shall ensure that any person who performs work for the business or organization conducts their work remotely, unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a business or organization described in subsection 1 (9)."
Can art galleries and museums re-open their gift shops at 15% capacity the same as other retail also deemed "non-essential"?

"In Step 1, businesses not described in sections 2 to 6 of Schedule 7 to O. Reg. 82/20, that engage in retail sales to the public and that comply with the following conditions may open:

 *   They must limit the number of members of the public in the place of business so that the total number of members of the public in the place of business at any one time does not exceed 15 per cent capacity, as determined in accordance with subsection 3 (3.1) of Schedule 6 to O. Reg. 82/20.
 *   They must ensure that any music played at the place of business is not at a decibel level that exceeds the level at which normal conversation is possible."
Can art galleries and museums open for outdoor summer programs?

"As outlined in section 5 of Schedule 8 to O. Reg. 82/20, museums and galleries and other similar attractions are permitted to open outdoors in Step 1 with the following restrictions:

 *   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.
 *   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 permitted to operate under.
 *   No member of the public may enter a ticketed area of the attraction unless they have made a reservation to do so.
 *   No member of the public may be permitted access to interactive exhibits or exhibits that would create a high risk of personal contact.
 *   No member of the public may be permitted to enter any indoor area of the premises, except, to access a washroom, to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route, or as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
 *   No amusement rides or tour vehicles may be operated by the attraction.

If you plan to run day camps, please see section 24 of Schedule 7 to O. Reg. 82/20, which requires that day camps must be operated in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines for COVID-19 for day camps produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health."
Take Action Today:
Open Letter to Premier Ford and Minister MacLeod 
A Call to Invest Fully in Ontario Museums

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.
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. Download a copy of the Open Letter HERE.

Tip: Share the letter with your board members and volunteers for them to also share!
  1. Download a Template Letter for your MPP HERE
  2. Find your MPP's contact information HERE. 
  3. cc: Premier Ford (premier@ontario.ca), Minister MacLeod (minister.macleod@ontario.ca) and the OMA (community@museumsontario.ca) on your emails
Social Media
  1. Download our image for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram HERE
  2. Use the example message below.
  3. Tag @museumsontario and also use #onpoli in your posts
Example message:
"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
Recognizing National Indigenous Peoples Day
From the Government of Canada:
This June 21, 2021 is the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day, which celebrates the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and M
étis peoples. National Aboriginal Day (now National Indigenous Peoples Day) was announced in 1996 by then Governor General of Canada, Roméo Le Blanc, as the result of consultations and statements of support for such a day made by various Indigenous groups. June 21, the summer solstice, was chosen because many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day for generations due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.

In advance of National Indigenous Peoples Day, the OMA is pleased to highlight the newly-available recordings from the Indigenous Collections Symposium 2021: Mashkawatgong-mamawewiziwin – strengthening our bonds, sharing our practices.
In March 2021, 250 Indigenous and non-Indigenous museum professionals gathered online for the second Indigenous Collections Symposium: 
Mashkawatgong-mamawewiziwin – strengthening our bonds, sharing our practices

The recordings of the Symposium are now available to all HERE.
Ang.nga hll ḵuuyada: It is precious to me

Jisgang Nika Collison
Executive Director and Curator of the Haida Gwaii Museum
Community Based Collections: 
Exploring museological standards and traditional conservation within cultural centres
Sylvia Morin
Cultural Centre Coordinator
Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Cultural Education Centre 

Ojibwe Cultural Foundation: A Celebration of Art and Artists on Mnidoo Mnising
Naomi Recollet
Archivist & Programming Coordinator
Ojibwe Cultural Foundation
Barriers to Access: 
Barriers to Access in Archives
Jennelle Doyle
Library and Archives Canada

Collection in Transition 
Krista Ulujuk Zawadski
Government of Nunavut
Accessing Museum Collections as an Indigenous Person: 
The Value of Making Indigenous Collections Accessible
Melissa Phillips
Collections Assistant
Museum Windsor

Accessing Museums Overseas
Laura Peers
Exhibits Project Manager
Canadian Canoe Museum

"I have to remember with my hands": Recovering weaving knowledge through ancestral arts in museum collections
Renee Dillard
Weaver & Knowledge-keeper
Enji-Naabiigigeying Studio, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa

Mik Migwans
Assistant Professor of Indigenous Art
University of Toronto
Narrative Research and Implementing Traditional Care Practices: 
Narrative Research
Dr. Emily Burton
Oral Historian
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

How to decolonize, Indigenize and unsettle museums, heritage and conservation
John Moses
Manager, Objects, Paper and Archaeology
Canadian Conservation Institute
Access, Engagement and Knowledge: Community Collaborations: 
Talena Atfield
Conservatrice - Ethnologie de l’Est; Curator - Eastern Ethnology
Canadian Museum of History

Jameson C. Brant
Agente Relations avec les Premiers Peuples; Indigenous Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of History

Michele Gervais
Coordonnatrice de collections; Collections Coordinator
Canadian Museum of History

Taylor Gibson
Library and Archives Canada

Caroline Marchand
Restaurateur d'objets; Objects Conservator
Canadian Museum Of History

Sylvia Morin
Cultural Centre Coordinator
Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Cultural Education Centre
Over the years, Indigenous museum professionals and organizations have generously shared their work with Ontario's museum sector. We encourage museums to learn from the teachings and example of Indigenous Elders, colleagues and organizations.

Please find more resources for Indigenous Culture and Reconciliation HERE.
Reminder: CMOG Applications
Deadline June 30, 2021

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. 

Call for Nominations: OMA Council
Deadline July 14, 2021

The duties and responsibilities of Council members are legal, ethical, procedural and guided by Towards 2025: The Ontario Museum Association’s Strategic Plan. The council is responsible for policy direction guiding the affairs of a museum association serving institutions and individuals across the province through a variety of professional services, programs and products. Council is expected to provide sound fiscal and ethical management and is legally responsible for the activities of the Association. In accordance with existing bylaws, Council members are elected for a two-year term of office at the Annual General Meeting and serve without remuneration, save for travel expenses incurred to attend Council meetings.

The Term of Office is 2 years. Nominees must be individual members of the Ontario Museum Association, and both the nominator and seconder must be members in good standing (individual, institutional or commercial). Not a member? Join online now.
Click HERE to download the nominations form.

The deadline for Council Nominations is July 14, 2021.

Please scan and email the completed nominations form, including nominator and seconder information to the attention of the Nominations Committee Chair at council@museumsontario.ca.

Sector News
2021 Call for Proposals Open
Digital Museums Canada
Got an online project in mind? Need funding?

Digital Museums Canada provides Canadian museums and heritage organizations with funding and support to create incredible online projects for their current and future audiences.

Visit digitalmuseums.ca to find out how to apply — and to see inspiring examples of funded projects.
Hear Digital Museums Canada Director Megan Richardson share an overview of the investment program in a video HERE
Approved projects from the
Digital Museums Canada 2020 call for proposals
Digital Museums Canada (DMC) is pleased to announce that 29 new projects submitted as part of the 2020 call for proposals were approved for investment. 77 proposals from museums and heritage organizations were received from across the country. A record number of 42 proposals were submitted for Medium and Large investment funding and 35 proposals were submitted for Small investment funding.

DMC is the largest funding program in Canada dedicated to supporting online projects created by the Canadian museum and heritage community. It offers eligible organizations funding, expert guidance and user-friendly tools that will enhance their ability to create online projects, such as virtual exhibits, virtual tours, online games, web apps, educational resources and more.

See the list of approved projects HERE.

The 2021 call for proposals is now open!
Ontario Launches Applications for 2021-22 Seniors Community Grant
Deadline July 15, 2021

The Ontario government is investing $5 million in the 2021-22 Seniors Community Grant program to help enable municipalities and local organizations to deliver programs for older adults to stay active in their communities.

This funding is an increase of $1 million from last year’s grants, allowing the province to help more grass-roots organizations positively impact the lives of older adults.

The Seniors Community Grant program focuses on projects that align with four pillars which help improve the lives of older adults in the province:

  • Enabling Aging- at-Home and in Communities
  • Safety and Security
  • Remaining Healthy, Active and Socially Engaged
  • Participating in the Labour Market and Economy.

Successful applicants will receive a grant of between $1,000 and $25,000 to provide programs, learning and social opportunities for older adults to safely enjoy as Ontario continues to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applicants can apply through Transfer Payment Ontario (formerly Grants Ontario) online at Ontario.ca/GetFunding. The deadline for all applications is July 15, 2021 at 5PM EST.

Read more HERE.


Ontario Supporting the Identification and Commemoration of Indian Residential School Burial Sites

The Ontario government is providing $10 million to help support the identification, investigation, protection and commemoration of Indian Residential School burial sites across the province. The funding will also ensure that culturally appropriate, trauma-informed mental health supports are available for Indian Residential School survivors, their families and Indigenous communities.

Ontario is working in collaboration with Indigenous leaders to establish processes that will guide the work related to Indian Residential School site identification, investigation, protection and commemoration. Initial site identification will be the first step in a much more extensive process, pending the wishes of the affected families and communities.

The province will identify technical experts, including archaeologists, forensic specialists and historians, available to lead the related research, analysis and technical field work required and ensure it is conducted to the highest standard. Indigenous communities will have the option to work in conjunction with Ontario specialists, such as those provided by the province’s Centre of Forensic Sciences and the Office of the Chief Coroner/Ontario Forensic Pathology Service.

Read more HERE.

Upcoming Funding Deadlines
OMA Professional Development
Celebrate museums that connect communities #OMAAwards2021
Deadline June 18, 2021
Fire departments house important stories that often go untold. The team at Grey Roots Museum & Archives unearthed them at Facing the Flames: The History of Firefighting in Grey. The exhibit excelled in engagement of multiple generations in their community. It was designed with firefighters of different age groups, including those who had retired many years ago, and incorporated interactive activities for children and families. Committed to the people it represented, the Museum made the exhibit free to all firefighters.

Impressive? We thought so too. This project received Award of Excellence in Community Engagement last year.
Do you know of or have been involved in a project that forged ties with the community within the past two years? Tell us about it. Submit a nomination to OMA Awards of Excellence by June 18.
Send us your nominations
Upcoming OMA Dates

June 18: Deadline for OMA Awards of Excellence Nominations. Submit HERE.

July 14: Deadline for Council Nominations. Download the Nominations Form HERE.

July 20: Registration Opens: CMS: Museums & the Community. Register HERE.
Other PD Opportunities

Skill-Share: Pride in Museums

June 23, 2021
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST

The role of community museums, inclusive and welcoming to all. It is time to have real conversations around the the impact that the GLAM sector can have as advocates for equality particularly with regards to contemporary issues facing Indigenous Peoples of Canada, Black Lives Matter and 2SLGBTQIA+. Join Michael Rikley-Lancaster and Jen Gibson as they dicuss the role of community museums in these conversations and how community museums can be inclusive and welcoming to all.

Learn more and register HERE.

Maintaining Mental Fitness with Dr. Bill Howatt
Join Dr. Bill Howatt for Season 2 of Maintaining Mental Fitness - a bi-weekly mental health webinar series available free to all Canadians! These weekly discussions will examine the key behaviours organizations and individuals can do to maintain mental fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more and register HERE.
Leading From Home: How to Manage a Virtual Team
Free webinar
June 24, 2021
1pm ET


Working from home has become the “new normal” for many organizations, and it has been a challenging adjustment for all departments. Sargent Solutions Inc has been successfully working remotely since 2016, long before the COVID-19 pandemic made its impact. This free CharityVillage webinar presented on June 24 will be packed with tips and tricks for those making the pivot to remote work, with a special focus on leadership skills and effectively managing a virtual team.

Learn more and register HERE.


A Virtual Open House with ICOM Canada

June 29, 2021
3:00-4:30pm EDT / 1:00-2:30pm MDT
Registration for this event closes on June 24 at 4:30 p.m. MDT.

Athabasca University’s Heritage Resources Management Program is pleased to host 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? In this session, we will hear from a number of the board members of ICOM Canada about the various activities and ongoing projects of the organization and learn about the benefits of joining this international museum community. We will answer any questions that you might have about the work of ICOM Canada.

Learn more and register HERE.

Hit Refresh:
At-home & Online Programming 2.0 Webinar

June 30, 2021
1:00pm EDT
Free Webinar


Planning at-home and online programs and events can seem daunting when your budget is modest, your audience is remote or rural, and your technical know-how is limited. However, shifting your programming can create fresh and exciting possibilities! This webinar is presented by Arts Etobicoke, a nonprofit arts organization in West Toronto that focuses on building community through the arts. On Wednesday, June 30th at 1:00pm EDT, join Program and Gallery Manager Akshata Naik and Communications and Development Coordinator Ian Dodds as they share strategies on adapting arts programming for online and at-home audiences. 

Through an interactive process, Arts Etobicoke found ways to connect with participants that were easy, affordable, and fun and that were achievable within their organizational capacity. The webinar will include an overview of Arts Etobicoke’s Arts in Isolation initiative and will explore how digital platforms can be used to remove barriers to participation and grow your organization’s reach to engage with new audiences. Akshata and Ian will provide some tips and tricks for adapting existing programs on a limited budget and developing innovative new ways to offer meaningful arts and culture experiences.

Learn more and register HERE.

MuseumNext Digital Income Summit

28 - 30 June, 2021
MuseumNext presents the Digital Income Summit, a three day virtual conference completely focused on boosting the revenue of your museum. This is an event for anyone interested in strengthening the financial foundations of their museum as we look to bounce back from the Covid pandemic.
Subjects covered by speakers in this three day event include:
  • New ideas for fundraising with digital tools
  • How to boost income from your online shop
  • How to make money from online events
  • How to boost your income with adult learning
  • How crowdfunding can make a difference 
  • How the latest digital art trend could work for museums
Learn more and purchase tickets HERE.
MuseumNext XR Summit

12 - 14 July, 2021
MuseumNext presents the MuseumNext XR Summit. This is an event for anyone interested in how virtual, augmented and mixed reality can benefit museums and their audiences. Hear inspiring case studies, actionable advice and put your questions to those who are using these technologies.

The subjects covered by speakers will include:
  • How to kickstart your virtual reality ambitions
  • Adding value to exhibitions with augmented reality
  • Inspiring case studies from around the world
  • Engaging young audiences with augmented reality
  • Lessons learnt from virtual reality projects
  • How to prototype augmented reality experiences
Learn more and purchase tickets HERE.

The Small Nonprofit Podcast:
Creating Our Future with André Pawan Vashist

How can we actively create the future we want to see beyond the COVID-19 pandemic? On today’s podcast, André Pawan Vashist, ecosystem facilitator, system solution designer, and seasoned nonprofit leader, shares with us his insights on how to move from a transactional way of thinking and doing to bringing about transformational changes in our sector and in our society as a whole.

Listen to the podcast HERE

Hustle & Thrive Podcast: Diversity ≠ Inclusion 
The new Hustle & Thrive episode, Diversity ≠ Inclusion is out now. It is the first of a 3-Part series of weekly conversations produced in partnership with Curated Leadership. 

In the Diversity ≠ Inclusion episode we chat with Sheliza Jamal, equity and inclusion coach and founder of Curated Leadership, about the conflation and misuse of diversity and inclusion, which leads to tokenism and doesn’t create a sense of belonging for folks from marginalized communities. The revitalization of the Black Lives Matter movement after George Floyd’s murder, that also motivated critical reflection in arts communities in the past year, is what sparked this 3-part podcast series to take shape. This series was created to reflect on how we’re working towards an equitable arts sector so that the next generation can survive and thrive.

Learn more and listen 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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