Support Museums in Ontario's Fall 2020 Budget

Oct 08, 2020
Need to Know
OMA Recommendations to
Ontario's Fall Budget 2020
Three recommendations to address the impact of the pandemic on Ontario’s museums
On September 25, OMA ED Marie Lalonde joined other stakeholders in presenting at a Fall 2020 Budget Consultation to Minister of Finance Rod Phillips, Minister MacLeod, and Finance PA MPP Stan Cho. Building on the OMA's previous recommendations as member of Minister MacLeod's Festivals, Events, and Local Community Attractions Panel, and two presentations to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs on both Tourism and Culture, the OMA brings forward three recommendations for Ontario's Fall 2020 Budget: 

1.    An Ontario Museum Relief Fund of $8.5million
2.    A Digital Response Fund of $10million over three years, and a 
3.    A Renewed Funding Model of operating funding to a total of $15million annually

Read the full 500-word submission HERE.  
Call to Action: 
Recommend Support for Museums
in the Fall 2020 Budget
Members can support the OMA's Recommendations in two ways: 

1. Engage your MPP:
  • Use the OMA's Fall 2020 Budget Submission HERE (Submissions are limited to 500 words)
a) Send by email to and:
  • include your name or the name of your organization
  • use “Fall 2020 Budget Consultations” in the subject line
  • attach your submission as a PDF or Word document
  • cc: on your email submission

b) Mail your submission to:
The Honourable Rod Phillips
Minister of Finance
c/o Budget Secretariat
Frost Building North, 3rd Floor
95 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Z1
See the full Infographic HERE
OMA 2nd COVID-19 Impact Survey
Key Findings Infographic

The OMA's 2nd COVID-19 Impact Survey collected 150 responses from museums across the province between August 14 and September 4, 2020; capturing the impacts of COVID-19 to the end of July 2020 and the state of museums at the time of their response. 

Thank you to all respondents!

Some key findings:
  • 22% of museums do not anticipate reopening to visitors in 2020
  • The Average length of closure for museums was 127 days (1/3 of a year)
  • Average revenue losses were estimated at 75% compared to 2019
Read more HERE. 
Provincial News
Minister MacLeod hosts 9th Sectoral Tele-Townhall
Recorded October 2; Available on YouTube

On October 2,  2020, the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries held the ninth in a series of telephone town halls intended to give Ontario stakeholders an update on COVID-19 as it applies to their businesses and organizations. 

Minister MacLeod was joined by moderator Tim Hudak as she revealed details about new restrictions across the province related to an increase in COVID-19 case numbers.

A summary of a few of the Minister's points:
  • hyperlocal tourism is increasingly important, encouraging Ontarians to explore in their own backyard
  • "for hyperlocal tourism, we are opening a new, $9million granting stream on October 8th to support safely reconnecting Ontarians during the winter months, specifically around Thanksgiving, Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's, and other special moments that will be far different this year than they have been in the past" 
  • the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) has been oversubscribed and the Minister hopes to continue or to enhance the Fund. Notifications to applicants will take place "as soon as possible" 
Listen to the recording HERE. 

In response to OMA ED Marie Lalonde who asked about specific provincial support for community museums, the Minister stated that her Ministry is:
  • reviewing the support for community museums, working with federal counterparts based on the funding announced in the throne speech. 
  • encouraging significant investments into broadband internet, which is critical to access the content in incredible museums
  • encouraging museums to market to local members & demonstrate how the public can safely visit where possible
Listen to Marie Lalonde's question and the Minister's response HERE.

The Minister stated she is scheduled to present a long-term strategy for sectoral resilience and renewal on October 30th at the Empire Club of Canada. The OMA will share information following the presentation. 
Reminders: Funding Application Deadlines

October 28: Virtual Museum of Canada, Medium and Large investment streams (Read more HERE)

November 1: Museums Assistance Program, three components (Read more HERE). 
November 25: Virtual Museum of Canada, Small investment stream (Community Stories) (Read more HERE

December 2: Ontario Trillium Foundation Resilient Communities Fund (Read more HERE.)
TVO Profiles Woodland Cultural Centre spoke with Carley Gallant-Jenkins about the $23.5 million fundraising campaign to renovate the Mohawk Institute building, the legacy of residential schools, and how the centre works to preserve, promote, and celebrate First Nations cultures.

Read more HERE.
Musee Sturgeon River House, Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre, and others receive federal emergency funding

The Nickel Belt and Greater Sudbury region received $125,000 through the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations, Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre said in a release. “Our cultural and heritage sectors promote community spirit and are a strong local economic driver. These sectors, along with many others, have been deeply impacted by this pandemic,” he said.

Read more HERE.
Read the release HERE.
Science North lays off 22 staff to cover COVID-19 losses

Science North has seen visitors drop sharply during the pandemic, being closed for four months and then seeing only 8,000 visitors this summer, down from the usual 50,000. The Sudbury tourism attraction issued layoff notices to 22 salaried employees early this month.

Read more HERE
OMA Initiatives
#OMAConf2020 Webinar Highlight
Holocaust Education:
Sustaining Truth with Digital Humanities

Tuesday November 10, 2020
10am to 11am
Carson Phillips, PhD. 
Managing Director
Sarah & Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre
Daniel Panneton
Acting Manager, Public Programs
Sarah & Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre
The Sarah & Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in partnership with three Masters of Museum Studies Students at the University of Toronto developed an online education platform about Holocaust survivor George Brady. This project works to address the challenges posed to Holocaust education in a post-truth, post-survivor age.

Register for Conference HERE.
Register for the OMA Annual General Meeting
November 5, 2020 at 9:00am

The Ontario Museum Association will hold its 2020 Annual General Meeting virtually on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 9:00am.

Be a part of the OMA's AGM by registering HERE. You must be logged in as a member to register for the AGM.
OMA Call for Members for the 2021 Nominations Committee 
Deadline: October 15, 2020
The Ontario Museum Association will be hosting a virtual Annual General Meeting in 2020, and is asking ahead of time for nominations for up to three individual OMA members in good standing who would be interested and willing to serve as members of the 2021 Nominations Committee.
The Call for Members for the 2021 Nominations Committee form can be found HERE.
Please fill out the Nominations form by October 15, 2020 and send it to
Out-of-Province News
CMA and Provincial & Territorial Museum Associations send joint letter to Minister of Canadian Heritage

On October 2, the Canadian Museums Association, jointly with other Provincial and Territorial Museum Associations, sent a letter to The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, encouraging continued support for museums struggling with the pandemic and highlighting the urgent need for the renewal of the national museum policy. 
Virtual Museum of Canada Launches 2020 Call for Proposals
Funding is available for modest to ambitious bilingual online products with interpreted content and an engaging user experience. The application process is competitive but straightforward, with experts on hand to provide feedback on ideas and guide the development of funded projects.

There are three investment streams:
  • The Small investment stream provides a $15,000 investment, and a template, to create a virtual exhibit.
  • The Medium stream provides an investment of $50,000 to $150,000, and
  • the Large stream an investment of $150,000 to $250,000.
  • Both of the Medium and Large streams require institutions to work with the technology provider of their choice.
Read more HERE. 
Quebec Museums close a second time for COVID-19

The new restrictions, in place until at least Oct. 28, are intended to curb a troubling rise in community transmission of COVID-19. With revenue, exhibitions, and renovations in limbo, more financial support may be needed.

Read more HERE
Minister Guilbeault Announces Interim Appointment to the Canadian Museum of History

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced the appointment of Jean Giguère as Interim Chair of the Canadian Museum of History, until the selection process for a permanent chair is completed. "The Canadian Museum of History plays an essential role in ensuring the protection of Canada's heritage," said the Minister. "Given her significant experience and contributions to Canadian cultural life, I am confident in Ms. Giguère's leadership of the board."

Read more HERE
Upcoming OMA Dates

October 9: Deadline to Apply for OMA Conference Bursaries. Apply HERE.  

October 15: Deadline: OMA Call for Members for the 2021 Nominations Committee. Download the form HERE. 

October 29: First day of OMA Annual Conference 2020 (Register HERE)

November 5, 9am: OMA Annual General Meeting (registration 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 
For any questions or comments, please contact
Marie Lalonde, Executive Director, (
and Christopher Shackleton at
or by phone at: 416-348-8672 or toll free, 1 866 662 8672. 

Ontario Museum Association
Monday-Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Toll-free in ON: 1-866-662-8672
Phone: 416-348-8672
Fax: 416-348-0438
OMA Twitter
OMA Facebook
OMA Instagram
OMA Website
Copyright © 2020 Ontario Museum Association, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email as a member, stakeholder or partner of the Ontario Museum Association.
Our mailing address is:
Ontario Museum Association
50 Baldwin Street

TorontoOntario M5T 1L4