Reopening Museums & Scenario Planning

May 07, 2020
Reopening Museums & Scenario Planning
Resource Guide on Museum Reopenings

The American Alliance of Museums recommends that museums build flexible plans for reopening that are regularly reviewed and refined based on the latest science. Museums are encouraged to seek legal and other expert advice on their specific circumstances. 

  • Develop a phased timeline
  • Establish clear cleaning protocols
  • Review and update your workplace policies
  • Restrict contact, capacity, and access
  • Provide training for staff
  • Communicate clearly and frequently
  • Coordinate your approach and connect with the museum community

Read more HERE.

COVID-19 Sample Scenarios:
Three Potential Levels of Impact

The American Alliance of Museums has created a blog post provides that some guidance on using scenarios as a tool to map your museum's way forward during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scenarios provide a way of collapsing potential futures into a manageable number of possibilities and provide a framework for planning how you might respond.

Read more HERE.

Webinar: Scenario planning
Informed strategies for reopening: COVID-19

Brought to you by Dexibit. This webinar will be recorded and a link sent to all registered participants.
When facing an uncertain future, scenario planning helps by comparing different situations, using factors like those mentioned above, to model results. This data is crucial to lead through crisis with informed decisions, strategies and plans.

Join us on this webinar to learn:
- What scenario planning is and its importance in a crisis
- How MoMA is scenario planning for reopening
- How to identify important indicators, factors and assumptions for your scenarios
- How to identify best, probable and worst case scenarios for your organization
- How to build your own scenarios
- Frameworks to respond strategically using your scenario plan

Read more HERE.

Reopening Ontario After COVID-19

As the first step to reopening the province as part of COVID-19 recovery, the government of Ontario announced a framework on April 27 that outlines the method and principles to "reopen businesses, services and public spaces to responsibly lead Ontario’s economy back to a strong position." The framework is in stages, with no date yet announced for the process to begin.

Some description of the stages: 
Stage 1: For businesses that were ordered to close or restrict operations, opening select
workplaces that can immediately meet or modify operations to meet public health guidance and occupational health and safety requirements (e.g., curbside pick-up or delivery).

Stage 2: Opening more workplaces, based on risk assessments, which may include some
service industries, and additional office and retail workplaces. Opening more outdoor spaces and allowing some larger public gatherings. 

Stage 3: Opening all workplaces responsibly. Further relaxing the restrictions on public gatherings. Large public gatherings such as concerts and sporting events will continue to be restricted for the foreseeable future.

Read more HERE.

Ontario Providing Employers with
Workplace Safety Guidelines

The government safety guidelines released today will provide direction to those working in manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service, and the agricultural sector. These measures build on more than 60 guidelines developed by Ontario's health and safety associations in response to COVID-19 for various sectors such as retail, health care, construction, transportation, police services, firefighters, and transit employees. 

These new sector-specific guidelines feature recommended actions employers can begin to plan for as they prepare to adapt to the new reality during COVID-19, including:

  • Ways to ensure appropriate physical distancing, like eliminating pay-at-the-door options, holding team meetings outdoors, staggering shift times and using ground markings and barriers to manage traffic flow.
  • Changes to the workplace, like installing plexiglass barriers, increasing the air intake on building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to increase air flow, and using boot sanitizing trays.
  • Promoting proper workplace sanitation, providing personal protective equipment, substituting dry dusting with vacuuming, ensuring customer-facing staff are given hand sanitizer, providing a place to dispose of sanitizing wipes, and enforcing handwashing before and after breaks."

61 sector-specific guidelines are available from Ontario’s health and safety associations HERE. 

The government is also issued posters to promote a variety of useful safety tips HERE.

Read more HERE.

Supporting Seasonal Staff during COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, heritage institutions are now facing the unique circumstances of having to hire, train, and manage temporary and/or seasonal staff while they work remotely. Several provincial and territorial museums associations have worked together to develop a quick guide to assist museums in supporting seasonal staff during COVID-19. It will help you in identifying ways to interact with your seasonal staff remotely, developing task lists suitable for remote work, and monitoring work progress. It is by no means exhaustive, but should help the museum shift from former to current work realities and spark some ideas.

Contributing partners include: Association of Nova Scotia Museums, BC Museums Association, Museums Association of Saskatchewan and the Yukon Historical Museums Association.

Read more HERE.

Association of Manitoba Museums: 
Resources for Reopening Museums

Association of Manitoba Museums has put together a newsletter message with tips, tricks and suggestions for reopening museums, as well as page with resources for reopening on their website.

Read the AMM Newsletter HERE.
View Resources HERE.

At the OMA
May is Museum Month
International Museum Day 2020

May is Museum Month 2020 provides an opportunity to emphasize how museums connect Ontario, especially during these times of physical distancing.
We want to highlight the contributions that museums make; to education, to their communities, to tourism, and as a key part of the province’s recovery from COVID-19.
#MuseumsConnectON                        #MayIsMuseumMonth

We encourage members to continue with their current work; providing digital experiences through #MuseumFromHome, engaging their community, and connecting to each other.

Some key dates for the campaign include:

  • GivingTuesdayNow – May 5
  • Museum Week- May 11-18
  • International Museum Day- May 18

Read more HERE.

#MuseumsConnectON Member Check-ins
Wednesday, May 13 at 10am EST

Are you missing your museum colleagues? Join the OMA every Wednesday morning for an informal chat and update. Every week there will be a brief presentation from OMA staff on a theme followed by an open discussion. This is an opportunity for you to connect with the OMA and with your colleagues across the province.

Meeting #4 – Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 10am
Member Check-ins will be held in Zoom Meetings.

  • Register in advance:
  • After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
  • Note: if you do not have a reliable internet connection, you can join by phone (cellular or landline) to hear and participate in the conversation.
New and Renewing OMA Members
Canadian Transportation Museum and Heritage Village
Coldwater Canadiana Heritage Museum
Grimsby Museum
John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area
MacLaren Art Centre
Manitouwadge Archival and Historical Society
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Middleville and District Museum
Muskoka Discovery Centre
NHA / NHL Birthplace Museum
Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum
Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame & Museum
Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre
RBWM Historical Society - Schoolhouse Museum
Sudbury Region Police Museum
VS Associates
Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum
Workers Arts and Heritage Centre
Sector News
GOEMP Committee:
EMP Survey
Call for Digital Postcards
COVID-19 Resources


The Group of Ontario Emerging Museum Professionals (GOEMP) Committee has pulled together a survey to get more information about Emerging Museum Professionals (EMPs), who is affected, what they are experiencing, and what help is needed to weather the storm. Every response is a step closer to creating a plan to succeed.
Complete the EMP survey HERE.

Call for Digital Postcards: Confessions of a Museum Professional. “Confessions of a Museum Professional” invites colleagues from around the world to share anonymously written postcards about studying and working in the cultural sector. Submissions will be part of an OMA x GOEMP Webinar taking place on May 26th, 2020 at 10am. 
Submit your digital postcard HERE.

The GOEMP has compiled an ongoing list of free COVID-19 resources that may be of interest to emerging museum professionals. 
View the COVID-19 Resources Page HERE.

Read the full blog post about some of the projects the GOEMP Committee is working on this moment HERE.

6 Steps to Finding and Onboarding Corporate Partners
Thu, May 7, 2020 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

Understand the strategy behind building long-lasting corporate partnerships.

• How to determine if your organization is ready for corporate partnerships;
• How to identify and value the assets within your organization for the interest of prospective partners;
• How to find new funding opportunities and what criteria to use;
• What to say when reaching out to prospects and cultivating relationships;
• What some effective strategies are for gift cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship; and
• Whether there are opportunities to build stronger, more lucrative relationships with existing partners.

Thu, May 7, 2020 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Read more and register HERE.

Newsletter for Toronto's Culture Sector

CultureTO is a bi-weekly newsletter that focuses on available resources and supports to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Toronto’s culture sector.

Register HERE.

Learn about the current health situation, service changes and economic support at
In the Media

Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives (PAMA) and Museums of Mississauga Creating COVID-19 Time Capsule
Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston reveals 2020 Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame Inductees
Royal Ontario Museum Helps Identify Canada's New Dinosaur, Stella

Simcoe County Museum and Others Celebrating Virtual May is Museum Month
What's On
The Vintage Catwalk
Oshawa Museum
Don Station - Little Station, Big History
Toronto Railway Museum
Growing Up in Peterborough
Hutchison House Museum
Black Gold: Canada's Oil Heritage
Oil Museum of Canada
Contribute to Member News!
ONmuseums is published every Thursday morning and we are happy to feature member news and events:
  • We collect content from the Discover Ontario Museums website "What's On" section. OMA Members simply have to update their museum listing to be featured in ONmuseums.
  • Not sure of how to update your listing? Click here to learn how to maximize your museum listing page
Job Postings and Events
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 like this webinar 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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