Reopening and Digital Access Funding

Oct 07, 2021
Need to Know
Proof of Vaccination Clarification

The OMA has received a response from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries to several member questions regarding vaccine certification requirements under O. Reg. 364/20 (Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step) of the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (the “ROA”):

As an example, we received the following questions from OMA members:

Indoor meeting and event spaces within museums and galleries will require proof of vaccination for all patrons attending the meeting or event, subject to limited exceptions – what is the definition of an indoor meeting and event space? Does this include all indoor programming? Some examples listed below.

  • Preschool program – children ages 0-4 years accompanied by an adult – does the adult require proof of vaccination?
  • Event – Wine Tasting – adult audience – proof of vaccination required?
  • Theatre programming (workshop, lecture, movie etc.) – cinema rules apply – proof of vaccination?
  • Event programs/demonstrations ie. weaving demonstration – no food or drink – proof of vaccination required?
  • Exhibition openings – no food or drink – proof of vaccination required? 
  • Book signings – proof of vaccination required?

Response from MHSTCI:

"As you know, museums and galleries are not currently included on the list of facilities that require proof of vaccination in the normal course of their operation as there is typically space for individuals to physically distance and individuals tend to move around the facility as opposed to remaining in one place for longer periods of time.

"However, if a museum provides access to an indoor meeting or event space (such as for wine tastings, book signings, etc.), then proof of vaccination is required and the requirements in O.Reg. 364/20 for “Meeting or event space, conference centres, convention centres” apply. Proof of vaccination for attendees is not required if the space is provided:

  • for a day camp or overnight camp for children described in section 19 of Schedule 2 (O. Reg. 364/20 Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step); 
  • to a provider of child care within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014;
  • for the purpose of the provision of social services; 
  • for the purpose of delivering or supporting the delivery of court services; 
  • for operations by or on behalf of a government; or 
  • for the purpose of delivering or supporting the delivery of government services.

"Please note that the ministry [MHSTCI] is not in a position to provide compliance or legal advice in respect of the ROA or its regulations. It is the responsibility of business and organizations to determine how the rules applies to their operations. In this regard, you and/or your members may wish to consider seeking independent legal advice to better understand what rules apply to your business or organization.“

An official Ministry of Health resource, Questions and Answers (Version 2 issued Tuesday, September 28) is available for information HERE
Read the Ministry of Health's Guidance to Support Proof of Vaccination Policy HERE.

Ontario Tourism Recovery Program 

As discussed at Minister MacLeod's Technical Briefing on Tuesday, October 5, the Ontario government is investing $100 million through the new Tourism Recovery Program to help stabilize the province’s tourism industry as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.

The program will help for-profit tourism businesses [emphasis added] in the attraction, accommodation, and leisure travel sectors protect critical jobs in communities across the province and help them prepare to reopen and safely welcome back visitors.

Read the news release HERE
Application portal to open October 13, 2021. Closing date for applications is November 10, 2021. 
Changes to the
Provincial Antigen Screening Program (PASP)

Information provided by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (MHSTCI):

Three antigen test types will now be deployed through the Provincial Antigen Screening Program (PASP): Abbott Panbio, BTNX, and BD Veritor. The province will also be introducing new test types (i.e.. Roche Biosensor) as they get approved through Health Canada to further support demand.

The Ministry of Health has endorsed the use of the BD Veritor rapid antigen test as a visually-read device that can now be used without an analyzer machine. Additionally, the Ministry of Health is now leveraging additional types of Health Canada approved rapid antigen tests to ensure that supply needs continue to be met for sites participating in PASP, including those organizations facilitating mandatory vaccine policies. 

All available rapid tests operate similarly: they have comparable performance specifications such as sensitivity, accuracy, storage requirements and shelf life, and they can all be used as visually-read devices. The steps needed to perform each test are very similar. Any differences in how they are used are minimal and can be easily referenced in any user materials.

The introduction of new tests offer implementation advantages. For example:

  • BD Veritor can be easily made into 'mini-kits' to support at-home self-screening, due to how they're packaged. Buffer solution is pre-titrated into small vials, reducing the steps needed to administer the test.
  • Future supply of BTNX may come packaged in kits of five tests, also making them very easy for at-home use. In its current packaging, BTNX is very similar to Abbott Panbio.

Beginning the week of September 27th, the tests began to be deployed interchangeably. This means that organizations may not get the test type that they request when placing an order through e-Health or the Order Management System (OMS). Sites placing orders will see messaging to that effect on both ordering platforms to support this change management.

Training resources and videos will be posted online imminently on the Ontario Health website to support the implementation of new tests across the program including:

  • Generic training video to support use of all types of rapid antigen tests.
  • "How to use test for self-screening" document (Panbio, BD Veritor, BTNX)
  • "How to make mini-screening kits" document- (Panbio, BD Veritor, BTNX)
  • Updated Provincial Antigen Screening Program (PASP) documents

As a reminder, all sites accessing free rapid antigen tests through the PASP must adhere to the provincial COVID-19 Guidance Considerations for Antigen Point-of­ Care Testing.

Ontario Supporting Non-Profits through the Community Building Fund

From MHSTCI October 5, 2021:

The Ontario government is providing more than $46 million to support 648 non-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations experiencing significant financial pressures due to COVID-19. Funding is being delivered through the Community Building Fund’s Operating stream to help these non-profits operate their facilities so they can provide much-needed programs and services in their communities.

"These grants will help non-profit organizations sustain operations – providing funding so they can adapt to the pressures of the pandemic and continue to deliver programming that is critical to the economic and social well-being of communities across the province,” said Minister MacLeod.

Read the full news release HERE
For a full list of Community Building Fund Operating stream recipients, please visit the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s website HERE.

Ontario Adding New Resources
To Protect Workers
Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development

From the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development: 

"To help businesses stay on top of health and safety guidance, the province has also launched the new Workplace Safety Plan Builder, a free interactive tool making it easier for workplaces to create and update their COVID-19 safety plans. The tool was developed specifically to support small businesses and was designed with their input.

The safety plan builder will lead employers through an easy process to create and update an online safety plan that is right for their workplace. It also allows for easy customization and employers who sign up for updates will be notified when information is changed, allowing them to stay up to date with current guidance and requirements."

For more information, click HERE
To view the Workplace Safety Plan Builder, click HERE

New Funding:
Digital Access to Heritage
First Deadline: November 1, 2021
The Department of Canadian Heritage is now accepting applications for the Museums Assistance Program’s new component – Digital Access to Heritage.

The Digital Access to Heritage component provides funding to museums and heritage organizations for projects to:
  • build organizational capacity through the development of a digitization strategy.
  • digitize collections (which must be guided by a digitization strategy) and make digitized heritage collections accessible to the general public;
  • develop digital content, based on digitized heritage collections, which is delivered online and/or in person and published using a variety of digital programs, platforms and channels;
  • development and delivery of related training, resources and services that benefit multiple organizations;
  • digitize collections and make them available to the public, develop digital content and build their capacity in these areas.
The component also supports the development and delivery of related training, resources and services that benefit multiple museums.

*New eligible applicants: Incorporated non-profit Canadian museums without a permanent physical space

Application Deadlines
November 1, 2021

March 1, 2022
For projects starting between August 15, 2021, and June 30, 2022

For projects starting between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2024

John Bell                           
Bruce Borysiuk                 
Sarah Hill                          
Roger Brathwaite (en français)
Tracy Marsh                      

See a PDF for a reminder on the upcoming MAP deadlines HERE.
Review the Application Guidelines — Digital Access to Heritage.
For full details on program eligibility and information on how to apply, please visit the Digital Access to Heritage page HERE.
Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations
Now Accepting Applications
Deadline: October 20, 2021

The Museums Assistance Program (MAP) is now accepting applications for assistance with ongoing operating costs through the Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations. This assistance will help heritage organizations that have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as they reopen and safely welcome back visitors. While the deadline to apply for funding is October 20, 2021, applicants are encouraged to apply early as funds are limited.

Please click HERE for more information. 
Please click HERE for tips and tricks for your MAP application. 
Please click HERE for a helpful infographic. 

At the OMA
Reminder: Annual General Meeting
Friday, October 29, 2021

The Ontario Museum Association's 2021 Annual General Meeting will take place on Friday, October 29! It will be held virtually on Zoom from 1:00pm to 2:00pm ET. 

Members can view relevant documents and participate in the OMA's AGM by registering HERE

OMA Call for Members of
Next Year's 2022 Nominations Committee 
Deadline: October 12, 2021

The Ontario Museum Association will be hosting a virtual Annual General Meeting on October 29, 2021, and is calling for nominations for up to three individual OMA members in good standing who would be interested and willing to serve as members of the 2022 Nominations Committee to be elected by members at the AGM. 

The Nominations Committee is composed of the OMA Past President, one member selected from the OMA Council, and up to three members elected by the membership at the virtual Annual General Meeting on October 29, 2021. The Nominations Committee reports directly to the membership and not to the OMA Council. 

It is the responsibility of the Nominations Committee to select candidates to stand for election for OMA Council and who are best suited to lead the Association, and the process requires thoughtful planning and attention to skills and areas of expertise currently required by the Association for its Strategic Plan implementation.

The Call for Members for the 2022 Nominations Committee form can be found HERE.
Please fill out the Nominations form by October 12, 2021 and send it to

Download the Call for 2022 Nominations Committee Form HERE
OMA Opportunity:
Recognize Esteemed Colleagues
Deadline for Submissions: October 17, 2021

Is there someone at your organization who has retired (or will retire) between November 2020 and October 2021?
Two years ago the OMA started a new tradition of recognizing our colleagues who have retired in the past year at the annual OMA Awards Gala. This year’s awards rollout will look a little different, but we look forward to continuing the tradition!

Share the following information with us so that we can honour the contributions that these individuals have made to our dynamic sector.

  1. Name
  2. Organization
  3. Title
  4. Retirement date
  5. Photo
  6. How long they worked in museums and/or at the organization from which they retired
  7. Some other interesting fact or anecdote about what they achieved in their career

Send submissions to
Deadline for submissions: October 17, 2021


  • Submissions are welcome to recognize retirees in any role at an organization.
  • If the announcement of retirees takes place at a live online event, Retirees do not need to be present at the online event to be recognized.
New and Renewing OMA Members
Billy Bishop Museum
The County Museums (Prince Edward County)
Dryden and District Museum
Fort William Historical Park
Ingenium - Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation
Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum
Mississauga Heritage Foundation
Moore Museum
Museum London
Museum Windsor
Reich + Petch Design International
Sombra Museum
Spirit of Flight Aviation Museum
Town of LaSalle
Sector News
New Lincoln Museum and Cultural
Centre Now Open

"The new facility, located in the village of Jordan, was designed to properly house the artifacts, and exhibits that showcase Lincoln’s uniqueness within the region of Niagara. The Lincoln Museum and Cultural Centre was funded by both public funds and private contributions from businesses and residents.

The gala opening on October 1 was attended by Steven Guilbeault, federal Minister of Canadian Heritage, who told the crowd, “The Lincoln Museum and Cultural Centre is an institution deeply rooted in its community. It plays an essential role in preserving important collections and local heritage. We are proud to support its redevelopment and expansion, which will better showcase local culture for more residents and visitors alike.”

Read more HERE
Construction on New Canadian Canoe
Museum to Begin in October


Construction on the new Canadian Canoe Museum on Ashburnham Drive in Peterborough will begin in October, with an expected completion date in 2023.

The museum is taking an integrated project delivery (IPD) approach to the design and building of the new museum. Unlike traditional design and construction delivery methods, IPD is a collaborative approach where all project stakeholders are brought on board at the very beginning of the project, sign a multi-party contract, and share the responsibility for the project — including the financial risk.

The new facility will house the museum’s complete collection of canoes, kayaks, and watercraft in a building that meets Class A conservation standards. With its location on the water, the museum will be able to offer increased on-water and in-person programming.

Read more HERE

National Gallery of Canada's Internship Program to Increase Diversity in the Field

Created and led by the National Gallery of Canada, in collaboration with the Art Conservation program at Queen's University and the Canadian Conservation Institute, the NGC's Conservation Internship Program for Diversity aims to increase the representation of professionals from diverse communities.  

This initiative allows four (4) students to benefit from the program before they go on to Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, to formally study art conservation as part of the Master's program. This is the only training in Conservation in Canada at this level. Each intern will be provided with a $25,000 bursary.

Read more HERE

Ontario’s Choice Awards 2021
Attractions Ontario

Attractions Ontario is pleased to announce the recipients of the 6th Annual Ontario’s Choice Awards. Winners of each category, along with the three attractions that receive the most votes overall, are posted on the Attractions Ontario website. 

Congratulations to:

  • ROM, winner of Top Museum/Art Gallery/Historic Site, and
  • Pickering Museum Village, winner of Top Small Museum/Art Gallery/Historic Site

Read more HERE

In the Media
Marie Dressler Museum Honours Canadian Women in Film
Wellington County Museum Displays Historic Phones
Oil Museum of Canada marks 160 Years of Fairbank Oil
City of St. Catharines Renaming Park After Black Loyalist
MOCA Launches Triennial Exhibition of Toronto-Themed Art
The Grand Theatre's Free Video Musical is a Love Letter to London
External Opportunities
Copyright in Images
Archives Association of Ontario

Online Workshop (Waitlisted)
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
9:00am - 4:30pm ET

This one-day workshop presents the copyright provisions that apply specifically to all types of “artistic works”. The course concludes with a case study that gives participants an opportunity to apply the rules. This course will be of interest to librarians, archivists, and museum/gallery curators; photographers and artists wishing to protect their rights; and anyone who uses photographs or other images to illustrate their work in print or online.

The instructor is Jean Dryden, MA, MLS, LLM(IP), PhD. She is a well-known copyright educator and has presented scores of workshops on copyright to archivists, librarians, and educators.

Read more and register HERE

The Plastic Conservation Conundrum:
Preserving Plastics in Museum Collections and Plastics’ Durability in the Environment

Art Museum at the University of Toronto and
Concordia University

Free Webinar
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
6:00pm - 7:30pm ET

Plastics have brought massive shifts to collective perceptions of disposability, yet this multifarious material persists in the environment for aeons. As both scientists and art conservators are aware, it is not an inert material, despite its classification as such. The ‘disposable permanence’ of plastic is more than a contradiction in terms. This panel dialogues with art conservators who work to preserve plastic objects despite the toxic and irreparable ways they can deteriorate, and scientists who analyze the paths and fate of plastics and its deterioration the environment. Conservators, scientists, and curators on plastics attempt to understand a material with an opaque chemical make-up shrouded by industry secrets and unknown effects. This program speculates that links between diverse specialized fields may lead to a greater whole understanding of the long-term effects of plastics.

With Courtney Asztalos, Roger Griffith, Sherry Phillips, Lorena Rios Mendoza, moderated by Kelly Jazvac

Read more and register HERE

Apply for Canadian Conservation
Institute Services
Deadline: October 15, 2021

The deadline to apply for CCI’s conservation treatment and facility assessment services in 2022 - 2023 is quickly approaching. Apply by October 15th, 2021!

CCI offers conservation treatment and facility assessment services to heritage organizations in Canada such as museums, archives, historic sites, and Indigenous cultural centres.

Read more on their website HERE.

How To Get Your Donors Excited About #GivingTuesday!

Free Webinar
Thursday, October 14, 2021
2:00pm - 3:00pm ET

Year after year, the charitable sector gets excited about the start of the Giving Season, and for good reason. Statistics show that GivingTuesday is consistently one of the most active days for charities to receive donations.

But how do we get our donors excited about GivingTuesday too?

On Thursday, October 14 from 2-3PM EST, CanadaHelps will help you:

  • Break down fact from fiction when it comes to GivingTuesday stats
  • Craft a compelling impact story to encourage GivingTuesday participation from your target audience
  • Dive deeper into GivingTuesday resources developed by CanadaHelps to help you build an effective campaign

Register HERE

Fall Keynote Webinar with Sterlin Harjo
Western Museums Association and British Columbia
Museums Association

Free Webinar
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
3:00pm ET

The Western Museums Association (WMA) in partnership with the British Columbia Museums Association (BCMA) are excited to host a special free Keynote Webinar featuring Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Muscogee Creek), the co-creator (along with Taika Waititi) and showrunner of FX's original series Reservation Dogs. Join them for a talk on how Indigenous representation is changing in film and television, the messages behind Reservations Dogs, as well as his thoughts on how museums can amplify Native/Indigenous voices.

Closed Captioning and ASL Available.

To register, click HERE

Classification and Cataloguing of
Cree Language Resources 
Maskwacis Cultural College Microlearning Series

Free Webinar
Friday, October 15, 2021
1:00pm - 1:45pm ET

Learn about providing access to different types of Cree language resources. How do you consult with the Cree team or Cree language community or a staff who speaks the Cree language? Manage Cree resources in the English/French language, standard roman orthography SRO and syllabics. Different types of Cree language books, videos and resources such as children's books, poems, dictionaries, stories, photographs, and audio/video recordings require the same or a different approach?

The speaker is Annie Bosum, a member of Oujé-Bougoumou Cree Nation in Eeyou Istchee and Librarian at Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute.

Read more and register HERE

Museum Marketing e-Book

In anticipation of the upcoming MuseumNext Digital Marketing Summit, MuseumNext is pleased to share this free e-book written by Devon Turner on digital marketing for museums.

This 156 page guide takes you step by step through digital marketing channels and techniques, from developing an audience strategy to driving traffic, from branding to social media and from advertising to websites.

This free publication is packed with actionable info, case studies and ideas to help you take your museum marketing to the next level.

Get the free e-book HERE

Job Postings and Events
Support Ontario’s Museums: Donate Now!

As museums across Ontario face the challenges of reopening safely and renewing relationships with your communities, the OMA is here for you. The OMA successfully advocated for federal emergency support funding through the Museums Assistance Program, the early and streamlined release of Community Museum Operating Grant (CMOG) funds in 2020 and 2021, and for an additional $2 million to support digital activities during pandemic closures. Your support, participation, and membership make our work possible.

Representing the interests of over 700 museums, galleries, and heritage sites across the province, the OMA offers regular webinars and professional development opportunities and resources for pandemic recovery. An OMA membership connects you with our network of over 1000 members, provides you with the tools and resources that support your professional practice, and keeps you informed of breaking news about funding opportunities and policy changes via the ONmuseums weekly newsletter and timely eNews alerts.

If you are already an OMA member, thank you! Please renew your membership when you receive an email reminder.

If you are not yet a member, please consider an individual, institutional, or commercial membership for yourself, your colleagues, or your institution. You can find information about member categories and benefits on our website.

You can make a donation to the OMA on our website or through Canada Helps. Every contribution adds to the collective strength of our sector. You can help us build a more resilient museum sector. Thank you for your support!

Donate Now
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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