The Role of Collections for Indigenous Communities

Mar 04, 2021
At the OMA
– strengthening our bonds, sharing our practices

March 25-26, 2021
Symposium sessions and discussions 9am-4pm
Indigenous Collections Symposium 2021
Session Highlight: Community Based Collections

Thursday, March 25
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

Sylvia Morin, Cultural Centre Coordinator, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Cultural Education Centre

Exploring museuological standards and traditional conservation within cultural centres will explore the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Pimadjiwowinogamig’s role within the community when dealing with artifacts, and how to overcome struggles to achieve successes, and strategies cultural centres, small museums, or those who want to make a cultural centre, can implement to achieve museum standards.

Naomi Recollet, Archivist and Program Coordinator, Ojibwe Cultural Foundation
Ojibwe Cultural Foundation: A Celebration of Art and Artists on Mnidoo Mnising will expand upon the broad range of activities that are driven by OCF's mission to preserve and revitalize the language, culture, arts, spirituality, and traditions of the Anishinaabe living on Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island) and surrounding areas. 

Session Highlight: Accessing Museum Collections
as an Indigenous Person

Friday, March 26
10:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Melissa Phillips, Museum Collections Assistant, Museum Windsor

The Value of Making Indigenous Collections Accessible will discuss how making collections more accessible can be beneficial to both, a non-Indigenous institutions (eg community museum) and Indigenous institutions and communities. 

Dr. Laura Peers, Exhibits Project Manager, Canadian Canoe Museum
Accessing Museums Overseas is hosted by Dr. Laura Peers, who will share her experience, including a discussion of the nature of Indigenous collections in UK and EU collections, how to find items in those museums including a demonstration of the powerful The Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts & Cultures
(GRASAC) database, and suggest ways of working with overseas museums to create productive partnerships. 

Mik Migwans, Assistant Professor of Indigenous Art, University of Toronto
Renee Dillard, Anishinaabe Elder and Master Weaver

Through "I have to remember with my hands," Dillard and Migwans will share their journey in museum collections in Canada and the United States, in search of the threads of a Great Lakes natural fibres tradition. They will discuss the revitalization of Anishinaabe weaving as a kind of intellectual repatriation, not only in terms of traditional knowledge and material practice, but in terms of connections to place, and sovereignty through women’s land-based labours. In addition, they will discuss the kinds of access needed for such recreation projects, and the barriers encountered by artists and community researchers in a museum context.

Read about Bursary opportunities for individuals representing Indigenous-run organizations to attend ICS 2021 HERE.

Click Here to see the Program and Register!
Thank you to the members of the Indigenous Collections Symposium Working Group:
  • Talena Atfield, Canadian Museum of History
  • Barbara Filion, Canadian Museums Association (2021)
  • Petal Furness, OMA Council
  • Michele Gervais, Canadian Museum of History
  • Heather George, Canadian Museum of History
  • Linda Grussani
  • Michelle Hamilton, Western University
  • Tanis Hill, Indigenous Knowledge Centre, Six Nations Polytechnic
  • Del Jacko, Library and Archives Canada
  • Clayton King, Beausoleil First Nation (2020)
  • Sylvia Morin, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Cultural Education Centre
  • Laura Peers, Canadian Canoe Museum
  • Melissa Phillips, Museum Windsor
  • Naomi Recollet, Ojibwe Cultural Foundation
  • Krista Zawadski, Government of Nunavut
Twitter Webinars
Presenter: Laura Pearce, Head of Marketing, Twitter Canada

You asked, we answered. You told us you need support to engage your audiences online to get through the pandemic and to emerge strong. As part of the OMA’s ongoing work to support the digitalization of our sector, we have partnered with Twitter Canada to offer two webinars about how to start strong on Twitter and how to build engagement – planning and analyzing performance, strategically and sustainably. Sharpen your Twitter skills and get ready for May is Museum Month 2021 and the summer season beyond!
Twitter 101 
Tuesday, March 9 at 10am EST

Join Laura Pearce, Twitter Canada's head of marketing, for a webinar on how you can tap into the conversation happening on Twitter every day and engage your audiences - and even have a little fun yourself. Get the basics, and learn about Topics, Lists and Twitter's new conversation controls - and get your burning questions answered. 

Register for Twitter 101
Twitter 201
Tuesday, March 16 at 10am EST

Join Laura for a second webinar on how to take your engagement on Twitter to the next level, driving engagement and reach. Learn how to create Twitter Moments to highlight your best content, dive into analytics and how to measure your impact on Twitter as well as the basics of Twitter campaigns. 
Register for Twitter 201
Meet Laura, Head of Marketing, Twitter Canada 
@lpearce on Twitter

Laura Pearce is a strategic and innovative marketer with 18+ years of experience in digital and multi-platform brand, product and performance marketing. She is currently the head of Marketing for Twitter in Canada where she specializes in real time, content and conversation based marketing, helping consumers and advertisers get the most out of Twitter. According to her Twitter bio she is: a career marketer & avid Tweeter; a world class shopper & mom.
Calls for Committee Participation
Looking Ahead Together

In 2016, the Ontario Museum Association (OMA) created an action plan to support a strong and successful museum sector in Ontario and an effective and collaborative workforce. In 2021, this work is ongoing and evolving, and the OMA is building a network of museums and museum professionals to ensure that a diversity of voices are recognized and considered in decision making and program planning.

As the museum sector finds its place in a changing and uncertain environment, the OMA seeks to respond to the interests of members at all career stages and in all areas of practice, and to ensure that resources are used to support sector efforts and avoid duplication. As the OMA considers the creation of its new strategic plan and ways to support the sector's digital transformation, we wish to establish mechanisms that ensure the input of members is consistently and continuously solicited and incorporated.

An Invitation to Participate

The OMA invites members to join the Professional Development Advisory Committee and 2021 Conference Program Committee.

  • Do you want to get more involved in the Ontario museum community? 
  • Do you want to help create learning opportunities that are inspiring, engaging, challenging, and inclusive? 

We have two committees with open invitations for participation, join us!

Opportunity 1: OMA Professional Development Advisory Committee
  • The purpose of this committee is to provide guidance and feedback to the OMA regarding the professional development needs and priorities of museum workers in Ontario in order to plan valuable and dynamic learning opportunities. 
  • 1 or 2 year commitment, quarterly meetings


Deadline to Apply is March 07.

Opportunity 2: OMA Annual Conference 2021 Program Committee
  • Develop the call for proposals and select conference speakers and activities that reflect sector needs and create an engaging Conference for delegates.
  • 1 year commitment, monthly meetings


Deadline to Apply is March 07.

Feel free to submit expressions of interest for both opportunities.

Questions? Email


OMA Bursaries Available for ICS 2021

A limited number of bursaries have been allocated for individuals representing Indigenous-run organizations.

  • These bursaries are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Bursaries cover the cost of registration.
  • Bursaries will be awarded to no more than two people per organization.

Bursary Application instructions:

  1. Register for the Indigenous Collections Symposium 2021
  2. Complete the registration form, including the name of the organization your represent and check the box in the form indicating that you would like to apply for the Bursary.
  3. On the payment page select Pay Later from the list of payment options.
  4. Submit!
Click Here to see the Program and Register!
The Canadian Museums Association offers bursaries to assist museum professionals in their professional development. The Indigenous Collections Symposium is eligible for CMA bursaries.

For more information on how to apply, click HERE.
New and Renewing OMA Members
48th Highlanders Museum
Annandale National Historic Site
Atikokan Centennial Museum & Historic Park
Aurora Historical Society and Hillary House National Historic Site
Bath Museum
Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre
Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery
Canadian Fire Fighters Museum (Port Hope)
City of Toronto, Culture Division, Museum Services
Commanda Museum
Coptic Museum of Canada
Dance Collection Danse
Elgin County Museum
Erland Lee (Museum) Home
Fashion History Museum
Graham Conservation
Halton Region Heritage Services
Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries & Historic Sites Inc.
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
Lakehead Transportation Museum
Little Claybelt Homesteaders Museum
Lord Cultural Resources Planning & Management Inc.
Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston
MOCA Toronto
Museum and Archives - Toronto District School Board
Museum of Northern History
Museums Bayham
Nelles Manor Museum
Ontario Black History Society
Petawawa Heritage Society/Village
Ruthven Park National Historic Site
Stanhope Heritage Discovery Museum
The Ventin Group Architects
Toronto Police Museum & Discovery Centre
Toronto's First Post Office
York Region District School Board Museum & Archives
Sector News
$25 million for Arts through Ontario Arts Council

Through the funding, $24 million will be provided to 140 arts organizations, including:

  • 4th Line Theatre, Millbrook
  • Varley Art Gallery, Markham 
  • Hot Docs, Toronto
  • MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie
  • Mariposa Folk Foundation, Orillia
  • Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Port Dover
  • London Arts Council, London
  • Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa

Additionally, $1 million will provide much-needed support directly to artists and creators from across the province. More information on this, including eligibility requirements and application deadlines, will be available soon on the Ontario Arts Council website.

This initiative is part of the government's 2020 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recoverthe next phase of a comprehensive action plan to respond to the devastating health and economic impacts of COVID-19. 

Read the Media Release HERE.
Read the full list of funding recipients HERE.

$27 million for Tourism and Culture in the GTA

The Ontario government is providing a one-time investment of up to $27 million to support the continued operation, maintenance and capital needs of six major tourism and cultural institutions in the Greater Toronto Area. This funding will protect jobs while ensuring their financial stability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government will be providing financial support to the following ministry agencies and attractions:

  • The Metro Toronto Convention Centre will receive up to $9.6 million in stabilization funding for operating costs.
  • The Royal Ontario Museum will receive up to $9.5 million in stabilization funding to support museum operations, as well as $300,000 for capital repairs.
  • The Ontario Science Centre will receive up to $4.35 million in stabilization funding to support the ongoing operation of their facilities, as well as $890,000 for capital repairs.
  • The McMichael Canadian Art Collection will receive up to $1.2 million in stabilization funding for operating costs, as well as $50,000 for capital repairs to support maintenance of the gallery and grounds.
  • The Art Gallery of Ontario will receive $705,000 to support critical infrastructure upgrades to the building's cooling, heating and ventilation systems, as well as the installation of touchless washroom devices.
  • The Royal Botanical Gardens will receive $430,000 for infrastructure projects that will increase the safety of visitors and staff by reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Read the News Release HERE.

$181.5 million from Department of Canadian Heritage for the live arts and music sectors in 2021–2022

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, in collaboration with Simon Brault, Director and CEO for the Canada Council for the Arts, is announcing further details about the implementation of $181.5 million in funding for the live arts and music sectors in 2021–2022.

The Department of Canadian Heritage is receiving $40 million in new funding to stimulate short-term contracting of workers in the live events sector through three Canadian Heritage programs: Building Communities through Arts and Heritage, the Canada Arts Presentation Fund and the Canada Music Fund. Information on how to access the new fund will be available next week on the Canadian Heritage website.

In addition, to help stabilize the overall environment for the arts and music sectors, the Government is extending a one-year renewal of funding of $25 million for these three Canadian Heritage originally provided in Budget 2019.

For its part, the Canada Council for the Arts will invest $116.5 million. Through a new digital innovation initiative (Digital Now), $50.5 million will enable arts groups, collectives and organizations to adapt or create works to be shared with virtual audiences; and $66 million of new funding will be used to stimulate increased research, creation and production of new work through the Explore and Create program.

Read the Media Release HERE.

Read the Backgrounder HERE.

Canada's Standing Committee on
Finance Releases February 2021 Report

In Advance of Canada's Federal Budget 2021

The Ontario Museum Association and Canadian Museums Association (CMA) are both recorded in the report as providing submissions to the Federal Budget process.

Items of Interest for Museums Include:

  • Recommendation 50: Provide targeted funding to support art museums and public art galleries throughout the reopening and recovery phase following the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Recommendation 51: Expand funding programs that support the creation of digital content by art museums and public art galleries, to allow for increased public participation online.
  • Recommendation 52: Amend the Endowment Incentives component of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Investment Fund (CCIF)to make art museums and public art galleries eligible and increase the total annual budget of the CCIF to $25.5 million to reflect that change.
  • Recommendation 53: Complete the review of the Copyright Act during the year by making the necessary amendments to the Act to ensure that rights holders receive fair compensation for the use of their works.
  • Recommendation 54: Establish a tax credit for the restoration and preservation of buildings listed in the Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  • Recommendation 68: Launch VIA Rail’s High Frequency Rail project, as it represents a key infrastructure initiative that will contribute to a more sustainable economic recovery for Canada.
  • Recommendation 74: Ensure every person in Canada has access to reliable, high-speed internet by 2025, including those living in rural, remote, northern, and Indigenous communities.

Read the Report HERE.


OCAF Digital Marketing Webinars
Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Capacity Interactive

Search 101
March 4,
1 PM – 2:30 PM EST

Potential audiences are searching for engaging arts experiences, but how will they find you? In this session, Capacity Interactive covers the basics of Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. You’ll learn how to create content for relevant topics that people are searching for right now, including digital programming, and how to optimize your Google Grant to make the most of your free advertising dollars. Plus, learn how to make small technical updates to your website and ensure that crucial tools, like the Search Console, are giving you accurate organic search data.

Read more HERE.

Email Best Practices
March 11
1 PM – 2:30 PM EST

It’s no secret that email is a critical channel for arts marketers. With 3.9 billion daily email users and crowded inboxes, arts marketers must stand out. In this webinar, you’ll learn how to create engaging content, from subject lines to body copy. You’ll also learn why lead generation campaigns are an essential tool to grow your database and why list hygiene is critical to success.

Read more HERE.

Ask Me Anything with Capacity Interactive 
March 18
1 PM – 2:30 PM EST

Have a digital marketing question? Join Capacity Interactive for a conversation with consultants from Capacity Interactive, who will draw on their vast experience working with arts non-profits to help you navigate your marketing challenges. Whether you’re a beginner or a marketing guru, feed your curiosity with this interactive and collaborative session.

Read more HERE.

To Register, click HERE.

Funding Opportunities
Deadlines for 2021
In the Media
Agriculture Science Centre approved by North Perth Council
Thunder Bay Art Gallery continues to support and highlight Indigenous artists and curators
MacLaren Art Centre hosts Outdoor exhibition "Return of Light"
Hamilton Children's Museum receives funding for 2,600 square foot addition
What's On
Virtual Screening of Shumka's "Ancestors & Elders" and "Dancing on Eggshells" with panel discussion
Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Ontario Branch
Adventure Talks - Virtual Series
Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre
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
Event and Partnership Coordinator
Science North

Deadline: March 08
Read more HERE.
Director, Development and Partnerships
Ontario Science Centre

Deadline: March 11
Read more HERE.
Network Engagement Manager
Ontario Nonprofit Network

Deadline: March 12
Read more 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 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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