Ready for Reopening?

Jul 15, 2021
Need to Know
After months of closure and more than a year of uncertainty, museums in Ontario will be able to reopen their indoor spaces on Friday July 16th as the province enters Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen.

Planning for reopening has been challenging for all members, and the Ontario Museum Association will continue to provide support to ensure that all museums that are able to reopen have the tools, resources, and confidence to make the best decisions for their institutions.

In the coming weeks we have three opportunities to support your reopening:
  • OMA Member Check-in: Approaches to Reopening
    Wednesday, July 21, 10am
    Florencia Berinstein, Executive Director of the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre in Hamilton will provide opening remarks, and members can ask for advice, compare notes and get inspiration from colleagues. Senior Policy Advisor Rebecca Weinfeld and Policy Advisor Taylor Noble of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries will also be in attendance to respond to questions about how the Step 3 regulation applies to museums. Read more and register HERE.
  • Webinar with the Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA)
    Thursday, August 12, 2021, 10:00am-11:00am.
    Join PSHSA Health and Safety Consultants Rob Oliver and Janice Gallant for a webinar about how to reopen museums safely in your roles as both workplaces and public attractions. Save the date!
  • As museums continue to adapt and consider their future plans, we are offering a free webinar to members- An Introduction to Human-Centred Design & Creative Problem Solving, presented by Overlap Associates on Tuesday, August 31st at 10amSave the date!

The OMA is also reaching out to members to ensure our Professional Development Program is responsive to current member needs and interests. Building on the feedback provided to our surveys and webinars over the past year, we are committed to providing a platform for members to connect, learn from each other, and share knowledge and experiences. To identify topics, inquiries, and issues of concern, we have launched a Call for Proposals that will shape our fall learning events and plans into 2022. Members can propose or suggest sessions, topics for discussion, or speakers through the Call for Proposals. Read more HERE.

We are also pleased to announce the work of our PD Advisory Committee, read more about them below.

We wish you well as our museums are once again able to welcome visitors inside.
We know that visitors and museums alike are eager to reconnect!

The OMA is here for you--we are eager to support you in a safe reopening. Please reach out at any time with questions or concerns, to 
-Ontario Museum Association Council and Staff

3 Funding Opportunities from the Government of Canada:
Government of Canada Launches
$500-million Tourism Relief Fund

Now open for applications

On Monday, July 12, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, launched $500-million in funding for the new Tourism Relief Fund (ending March 31, 2023). Eligible organizations can now submit applications to support the tourism sector in preparing to welcome back domestic travellers and reposition Canada as a world-class destination. 

Find more information on eligibility and how to apply through FedDev Ontario HERE.
For Northern organizations, find more information and apply through FedNor HERE.

FedDev Ontario staff will also be hosting three technical briefings on the TRF through Zoom over the next few weeks. Those who are interested may register via one of the following links:

Read more from the Government of Canada HERE.
Read more from the OMA HERE.

Government of Canada Launches
Canada Community Revitalization Fund

Advised deadline of July 23, 2021

This Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) aims to help communities across Canada build and improve community infrastructure projects so they can rebound from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a national investment of $500 million over two years (ending March 31, 2023), the Fund’s purpose is to support not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, Indigenous communities, and other community groups: 

  • build new community infrastructure and revitalize existing assets 
  • bring people back to public spaces safely as health measures ease 
  • create jobs and stimulate local economies 

The maximum contribution amount per project shall not exceed $750k and applications are strongly advised to be submitted by July 23, 2021. The Fund will provide support for adapting and reimagining/re-envisioning community spaces and maintaining accessibility standards so that they may safely be used by communities; and building or improving community infrastructure through the expansion, improvement or creation of community spaces to encourage Canadians to re-engage in and explore their communities and regions. 


There are 4 priorities that have been identified for the CCRF: Downtown core and main street, Outdoor space, Green projects, and Accessibility.  

Eligible costs include those already eligible under current program authorities and include all costs deemed reasonable and necessary for carrying out eligible projects that contribute to achieving the Fund’s objective. Max contribution rate for eligible project costs shall not normally exceed 75%; for assistance provided to an Indigenous not-for-profit organization or a band, the maximum contribution rate for eligible costs may go up to 100%. 

Financial assistance will be non-repayable contributions. The maximum contribution amount per project shall not exceed $750K. The actual contribution amount will be based on the minimum amount required to carry out the project. 

Disbursement of Funding: an initial Advance Payment will be issued based on the cost forecast and the final claim will be required to reconcile the advance payment and to allow release of the balance of funds, as required. 

Application Process: There is a two-phase application process and assessment of applications will begin on July 23, 2021. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by this date. Should there be remaining funding after the scheduled intake period, applications will continue to be accepted and funded on a continuous intake basis over the next two years or until such a time as the allocated funding is fully distributed. 

Apply through FedDev Ontario HERE. 

For Northern applicants, apply through FedNor HERE. 
Contact a FedNor Program Officer HERE.

Applications Open for the
Canada Recovery Hiring Program

Claim period 17 deadline: December 30, 2021

The Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) will help employers hire new staff as the economy reopens by providing 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. Employers can now apply to receive the subsidy for the period beginning June 6 through their CRA My Business Account. 

Read more HERE.

Upcoming Funding Deadlines
OMA Professional Development
Certificate in Museum Studies Calendar Update

Exhibit Planning & Design Course Date Change
Exhibit Planning & Design

New date: March 23-25, 2022
Location: TBC
Course Director: Meredith Leonard, City of Hamilton
Registration Opens: January 12, 2022
Download the updated course calendar HERE

Upcoming Course Registrations

Museums & the Community
Course Dates: September 27 – December 3, 2021
Format: Online
Course Director: Dr. Amy Barron, Fleming College
Registration opens: July 20, 2021, 12:01am
Organization & Management of Museums
Course Dates: October 4 – December 10, 2021
Format: Online
Course Director: Kathleen Powell, St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre
Registration opens: July 26, 2021, 12:01am
Log into your Individual Member account and click on My Courses to register. Learn more about the CMS program HERE

Introducing Kathleen Powell, new Organization & Management of Museums Course Director
Kathleen Powell is the Supervisor of Historical Services at the City of St. Catharines where she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre, the Morningstar Mill, and the Lakeside Park Carousel.  She has worked in museums and historic sites in Niagara for the past 30 years and has served as the Chair of the Museums of Niagara Association and is a Past-President of the Ontario Museum Association.
Kathleen has a BA in History from Brock University and is a graduate of the Certificate in Museum Studies program with the Ontario Museum Association.  She is currently working on her Masters in History at Brock University.  A lifelong resident of Niagara and an avid rower, Kathleen continues to support museums and heritage preservation in the community.
Please join us in welcoming Kathleen as our newest CMS Course Director!
CMS Bursary Announcement

Each year the Ontario Museum Association awards a bursary to cover the tuition fee for one course in the Certificate in Museum Studies program. The OMA invites applications for the fiscal year April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.
To be eligible:
  • The candidate must have successfully passed a minimum of five certificate courses by March 31, 2021
The deadline for applications and reference letters is Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
Read more HERE

Questions? Email
Introducing the OMA
Professional Development Advisory Committee 2021-2022
The OMA’s new Professional Development (PD) Advisory Committee has been formed and is ready to begin their work! Ontario’s Museums 2025: Strategic Vision and Action Plan calls on the OMA to create new relationships and strategic partnerships to create a more Effective and Collaborative Workforce. This initiative is part of the OMA’s efforts to build a strong connection with the community as museum professionals navigate a changing world and new challenges.
The PD Advisory Committee will provide guidance on the professional development needs and priorities of museum workers to help us plan valuable and dynamic learning opportunities.
Members represent a broad range of practice areas, communities, and career levels.  The group’s interests include: decolonization, reconciliation, change management, museum boards, digital strategies, coaching EMP’s, and learning outside classroom settings. There is no doubt that they will bring fresh perspectives to the OMA’s Professional Development program.
Welcome Members!
  • Kathy Fisher, Ermatinger Clergue NHS (OMA Council, PD Advisory Committee Chair)
  • Claire Bennett, Halton Heritage Services
  • Ryan Dodge, Ingenium
  • Pauline Dolovich, Reich & Petch
  • Rebecca Hicks, City of Hamilton (Hamilton Civic Museums)
  • Susan Kun, Board Member - Burlington Museums Board
  • Phaedra Livingston, Centennial College
  • Pailagi Pandya, Mackenzie House
  • Naomi Recollet, Ojibwe Cultural Foundation
  • Wendy Rowney, Black Creek Pioneer Village
  • Jody Seeley, Meaford Museum
  • Keri Solomon, Region of Waterloo Museums
The OMA is grateful to these individuals for sharing their time and insights as members of this Committee. Stay tuned for updates on the Committee’s work!
Announcing the OMA's
2021-2022 Professional Development Series:

"Decision-Making in the Museum Present and Future."

The OMA is launching a new, year-long professional development series that will explore the theme of Decision-Making in The Museum Present and Future. This series will feature Member Check-ins and Webinars designed with input from the community, and in response to members’ evolving needs and priorities.
Each session will offer a unique opportunity to explore some of the critical program-level, big picture, and personal career choices that the museum workers are presented with in a rapidly shifting landscape.
Call for Proposals: Participate in shaping the 2021-2022 professional development series.
We are currently seeking proposals and topic suggestions for Member Check-ins and Webinars. With the OMA Annual Conference taking a different form this year, this is your chance to tell us about what matters to you and to share your work!
About the Theme:
“Decision-Making in the Museum Present and Future.”

This theme responds to the need for both practical program-level decision-making and prioritization and the need for big-picture institutional and sectoral discussions about the decisions we make in order to create change. It also allows for discussion of the choices that individuals make in their careers.
During the past year we heard from museum professionals at member check-ins and in PD evaluations that they wanted to hear from their colleagues about how they were adapting to the constantly changing pandemic environment. What were they doing, how and why? And did it work?
We have also heard calls for change to make museums more socially responsible organizations. How are museums changing the way they make decisions so that the future looks different from the past?
We need your help making these connections!
Do you have a suggestion for a topic or speaker that you would like the OMA to pursue?
Are you interested in leading a Webinar or facilitating a Member Check-in?
Read more and submit a proposal or speaker suggestion HERE!
Member Check-ins
Ready to get the conversation started? Join us 
for the first #MuseumsConnectON Member Check-in of 2021!
Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Time: 10:00am-11:00am Eastern
Theme: Approaches to Reopening
Opening remarks by Florencia Berinstein, Executive Director, Workers Arts & Heritage Centre, Hamilton, ON
Senior Policy Advisor Rebecca Weinfeld and Policy Advisor Taylor Noble of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries will also be in attendance to respond to questions about how the Step 3 regulation applies to museums.
Target audience: small to mid-sized museums
In this facilitated discussion, participants will chat about the decisions they must make when planning for reopening and hear about what their colleagues learned from previous experience. This is an opportunity to ask for advice, compare notes and get inspiration from your colleagues.
Some of the questions we will explore include:
  • How is your reopening approach the same or different from previous re-openings in the past year?
  • What did you learn from previous re-openings that informs how you are approaching this one?
  • Once your site has reopened, what are your main concerns going into the fall?
Member Check-ins will be held in Zoom Meetings.
Read more and register HERE.
OMA Post-Secondary Award Recipients
In celebration of the ongoing relationships between the OMA and many of Ontario’s post-secondary programs in Heritage and Museum Studies, we are pleased to have OMA awards at Fleming College, Algonquin College, and the University of Toronto. The OMA awards are presented annually to graduating students in recognition of their achievements in their post-secondary studies. We are delighted to share the profiles of the 2021 recipients below.
Congratulations to Kathryn, Rheanna, Megan, Dominica, Denise, and Chloé on their awards, and we wish them success in their future ventures!
Fleming College Heritage Programs—Kathryn Smolinski
"Through the Museum Management & Curatorship program I’ve learned many new skills, fostered relationships with friends and colleagues, and grown personally and professionally. I’ve had amazing opportunities working with the Dundas Museum & Archives and City of Hamilton and I’m currently working as the Curator of the Massey Area Museum. This job is fun and challenging and has allowed me to apply my skills and gain experience in all areas of museum operations. I’m continually inspired by the passion and resilience of all those in the museum field, and I’m looking forward to all the possibilities that the future holds!"
Algonquin College Applied Museum Studies—Rheanna Costen
"My name is Rheanna Costen. I have a BA in history from the University of Manitoba and a diploma in Applied Museum Studies from Algonquin College. The prairies are the only place I have ever known as home. I am passionate about being an active part of the community, helping it thrive, ensuring its success, and helping preserve its history for future generations. Within the next few years, I intend to go back to university to obtain a Master’s degree with the eventual goal of getting my PhD in history."
The University of Toronto Master of Museum Studies—
Museum Professionals of Colour

This year, the Excellence in Emerging Museum Practice Award was presented to the four founders of Museum Professionals of Colour for their work to advance advocacy, social justice focus, and anti-racism in the museum field.
Megan Sue-Chue-Lam

Megan is a settler of Chinese descent and is the outgoing Treasurer of MPOC. She currently works in programming and education at Todmorden Mills Heritage Site and Lakeshore Arts. Megan is passionate about sharing knowledge and being a lifelong learner. Her current focus is learning about how to center BIPOC and other minoritized perspectives in the arts and culture sector through community engagement and relationship-building. She is eager to diversify her skill-set outside of academia, and contribute to social action within organizations of all sizes.
Dominica Tang

Dominica is a settler of Chinese descent and is the outgoing MPOC Administrative Coordinator. She is currently working at Scarborough Museum within a team of historical interpreters who center and serve Scarborough’s diverse communities. In June, she launched “Kiin Awiiya Jiibaakwe: Everyone Is Cooking,” a collaborative online exhibit about cooking, relations, and care with a focus on Anishinaabe foodways. She enjoys sharing food in museums as a way to educate and form meaningful relationships with others. Dominica is also really looking forward to some time off to reset and recharge.
Denise Tenio

Denise is a settler of Filipino-Chinese descent and the outgoing Outreach Coordinator of MPOC. Prior to pursuing her museum studies degree, she spent two years teaching English in South Korea. Denise is currently completing an internship at the Royal Ontario Museum in the Art & Culture department as a Curatorial Assistant. She, along with a group of student curators, also opened an exhibition in June entitled The Lengths We Go: Reflections on Hair with the Museums of Mississauga. Denise aspires to a career in interpretation and programming at an institution that promotes the same values towards equity, inclusion, and community-centred approaches.
Chloé Houde

Chloé is a white settler of French-Canadian descent and the outgoing Communications Coordinator of MPOC. She currently works at Myseum of Toronto, where she creates digital content focusing on lesser-known local histories. She recently co-curated an exhibition for Lambton House, titled AGNES: Illustrating Canadian Wildflowers and Plant Life, about a 19th century botanical illustrator. Chloé has a background in public history and has developed a keen interest in interpretive planning and exhibition development. She strives to engage in lifelong learning, unlearning, and work towards dismantling structures of oppression in museums and other cultural spaces.
Upcoming OMA Dates
July 20: Registration Opens: CMS: Museums & the Community. Register HERE.

July 21: Member Check-in: Approaches to Reopening. Register HERE.

July 26: Registration Opens: CMS: Organization & Management of Museums. Register HERE.

August 12, 10am: Webinar with Public Service Health and Safety Agency. Save the date!

August 31, 10am: Webinar with Overlap Associates: An Introduction to Human-Centred Design & Creative Problem Solving. Save the date!
Other PD Opportunities
Webinar: Diversity and inclusion 101 -
Practical initiatives you can start today
Free webinar
July 15, 2021
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

Successfully implementing a diversity and inclusion strategy in the workplace can seem like a painstaking and lengthy process. D&I 101 dials the discussion back to the basics and fundamentals which are necessary for future growth and progress of your D&I initiatives. This webinar will be hosted by Devika Pandey.

Read more and register HERE.

Webinar: Exploring the Impact of Virtual Programs on Revenue Generation at Cultural Organizations


Free webinar
July 15, 2021
2:00 PM ET

This Thursday, July 15th at 2pm ET, join Brendan Ciecko (CEO & Founder @Cuseum) and Maddie Taylor (Marketing & Content Lead @Cuseum) for a webinar on how museums are generating revenue through virtual programs, as well as the long-term outlook of digital. This session will share the results of a 2021 study of 500+ cultural professionals.

Register HERE.

Webinar: The Museum Summit on
Creative Aging

Free webinar
July 29, 2021
1:00 – 6:00 PM ET

Extensive research shows the transformative effect that arts engagement can have on health and aging, but we face a cruel paradox. As people age, they often have both more time and an increased desire for creative outlets, but fewer opportunities to meet these needs.

Join AAM, Aroha Philanthropies, and colleagues across the country for the Museum Summit on Creative Aging. This free, highly interactive virtual summit will provide museum professionals with inspiration, tools, and connections to help them serve the growing and underserved population of people who are “55 or better.”

Read more and register HERE.

Leadership Legacy: Creating Your Narrative Through Resiliency and a Trauma Informed Lens

Free webinar
July 29, 2021
1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

In this webinar, you'll learn how identifying your innate resiliency traits and addressing conflict through of a lens of curiosity can advance your leadership and create a psychologically healthy and safe workplace.
Key takeaways from this webinar will include:

  • Recognize how to use resiliency to strengthen workplace relationships and mitigate conflict.
  • Learn about the Canadian National Standards of Workplace Psychological Health and Safety.
  • Understand the term "trauma informed" and how it relates to addressing conflict and creating a psychologically healthy and safe workplace.

Learn more and register HERE.

Marketing Masterclass for Arts & Heritage Organizations
Deadline: July 31, 2021

Watch training facilitator Sue Edworthy share about what to expect from the Marketing Masterclass for Arts & Heritage Organizations program. Marketing Masterclass is a free training for arts professionals in Kingston, Ottawa and Toronto, to improve their organization’s marketing strategy and address challenges and opportunities. Check out the latest info session and read the FAQ to learn more before applying.

Marketing Masterclass is created in partnership with Kingston Arts Council and Ottawa Arts Council .

Learn more:
Watch the Info Session
Review FAQ
Check out the Training Schedules for – KingstonOttawa and Toronto

Apply HERE.
Emerging Conservator Symposium:
Call for Submissions

Deadline: September 1, 2021

The ECC (Emerging Conservators Committee) is pleased to announce its FIRST annual Emerging Conservator Symposium to be held October 23, 2021.
This event is an opportunity for students and emerging conservators to share academic projects, term papers, posters, internship projects or treatments. It will also feature a discussion panel with experienced conservators addressing the unique issues and concerns faced by emerging conservators and a pre-symposium meet and greet.
The ECC is now accepting abstracts for 5–20 minute presentations and poster submissions.
Email your submission to: by September 1st, 2021. 

Symposium registration details will be forthcoming. Stay tuned!


CPAMO's Digital Strategy for IBPOC Artists and Arts Organizations - Phase II

Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO)'s work on this project builds on previous work developing a digital arts strategy for the IBPOC (Indigenous, Black and People of Colour) artists and arts organizations who are part of CPAMO’s community. The previous work encompassed a landscape study on the digital uses by arts organizations and focus groups with IBPOC artists and arts organizations to determine their level of digital literacy and interest, current digital uses and interest in the development of a common platform. The final component involved a proposed plan to build a collaborative digital platform for the IBPOC arts community.

As part of the Digital Strategy for IBPOC Artists and Arts Organizations – Phase II with support from the Canada Council for the Arts phase 2, CPAMO presented professional development sessions for IBPOC artists and arts organizations in collaboration with ArtsPond, Tangled Arts, Culture Brew, The Canadian Opera Company and The National Ballet of Canada. The digital sessions recordings are now available for viewing.

View recordings HERE.

Recording: Hit Refresh: At-home & Online Programming 2.0 Webinar

Program and Gallery Manager Akshata Naik and Communications and Development Coordinator Ian Dodds share strategies on adapting arts programming for online and at-home audiences. The webinar includes an overview of their Arts in Isolation initiative and explores 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 also provide tips and tricks for adapting existing programs on a limited budget and developing innovative new ways to offer meaningful arts and culture experiences.

A recording of the webinar is now available with CC in English and French.

Learn more and watch the recording HERE.

Members in the News
The Huron County Museum's latest book explores hidden history of Huron Historic Gaol 
Banting House National Historic Site collaborates with Royal Canadian Mint on $2 commemorative circulation coin celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin
Woodland Cultural Centre's new project aims to capture Indigenous voices, stories
National Gallery of Canada offers free admission to Indigenous Peoples
Grimsby Museum and Public Art Gallery looking for community input as a part of the early stages of their five-year strategic plan
Grey Roots Museum will aid county in recognizing the region's Black history
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: or call 416-348-8672 / 1-866-662-8672.

Marie G. Lalonde
Executive Director 
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