Year in review: Happy New Year 2023- A Look Back, and a Look Ahead!

Dec 29, 2022
2022 is drawing to a close--we thank all of our members, partners and funders for their support! A great thank you to our Council and Committee members!
Let’s take a look back at moments this past year when the Ontario Museum Association and the Ontario museum community worked to build a strong, collaborative and inclusive museum sector:
The OMA launched numerous initiatives to support the digital transformation of Ontario museums. One of these is an ongoing collaboration with George Brown College involving faculty and students that will serve to embrace forward thinking and consider new approaches to help envision a museum of the future in a digital world. The OMA has formed a Digital Museum Advisory Committee engaged in these digital initiatives including, the Small Bytes: Supporting Digitization in Ontario’s Smaller and Rural Museums initiative - providing accessible, high-quality online training opportunities to build digital capacity and skills.
The OMA brought together museum professionals, cultural leaders, scholars, and community representatives for conference. We were thrilled to return to an in-person format at OMA Annual Conference 2022 in Hamilton! Delegates attended two days of interactive conference sessions and networking, held both in-person and online. Sessions embodied the changing nature of museums and discussions focused on what museums are currently doing, rather than what they might do in the future.
Looking ahead to 2023, the OMA will continue to provide professional development programs and resources that reflect and support best practices, and foster continued professionalization of the field, including the Certificate in Museum Studies program. The OMA will also continue to recognize museum professionals and cultural leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the Ontario museum community through the Awards of Excellence. The OMA will continue to work with fellow National, Provincial, and Territorial Museums Association (NPTMA) colleagues on the new National Museum Policy and the review and renewal of Ontario's museum funding model for all museums serving communities across the province.
From OMA team, warm wishes for a joyful and restful holiday season. We look forward to connecting with you in 2023!
Read more year-in-review highlights below
This year, the OMA was saddened to share with our community news of the passing of OMA Past President Paul Robertson. Read our full tribute HERE.

To recognize Paul's significant legacy, the OMA announced the Paul O. Robertson Memorial Bursary. The bursary will be awarded to one or more OMA Conference delegates who identify as members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and as emerging museum professionals. 

To honour Paul’s legacy, donations to Bursary can be made HERE.
Make a donation HERE
2022 Year In Review

Small Bytes: Supporting Digitization in Ontario’s Smaller and
Rural Museums

This year the OMA presented training opportunities to help develop digital skills that meet immediate needs of the small and rural museum community. The OMA presented several webinars as part of the Small Bytes initiative, including "Virtual School Programming - Decision Making for Small Museums," with speakers, Christina Sydorko from the Oil Museum of Canada, Karen Taylor from the Canadian Canoe Museum, and Michael Furdyk from TakingITGlobal. Watch the webinar recording HERE.

Small Bytes: Supporting Digitization in Ontario’s Smaller and Rural Museums is an initiative of the OMA funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage. Learn more about the initiative HERE.

Design Charrette: Creating a Vision of Museums in a
Digital Future

This year, the Ontario Museum Association and George Brown College partnered to host a design charrette. Working alongside museum professionals, designers, and industry experts, participants had the opportunity to collaborate, brainstorm and explore new ideas about the future digitization of Ontario museums.

May is Museum Month/Mai, Mois des Musées

Celebrated annually since 2000, May is Museum Month/Mai, Mois des Musées is a program of the OMA and celebrated by Ontario’s museum community. With this year’s International Museum Day theme of “The Power of Museums,” the OMA highlighted all the ways that museums are bringing positive change by contributing to achieving sustainability, innovating in digitalization and accessibility, and building communities through education.

This year, in recognition of May is Museum Month and the OMA's 50th Anniversary, the OMA received a video message from the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Watch her message HERE.

OMA Annual Conference 2022

We were so thrilled to welcome members back to both an in-person and online conference! This year’s theme, Changing Directions: Practice over Permanence, embodied the changing nature of museums and focused on what museums are currently doing, rather than what they might do in the future.
On November 7, delegates gathered in Hamilton for a full day of in-person conference sessions and networking. We were pleased to welcome the Honourable Neil Lumsden, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Following Conference, delegates attended the OMA Awards of Excellence reception to celebrate award recipients, congratulate recent CMS graduates and recognize the legacy of past OMA President, Paul O. Robertson.
On November 21, delegates gathered online for a full day of interactive conference sessions. Following Conference, the OMA hosted an online trivia night in partnership with the Group of Ontario Emerging Museum Professionals. View photos of Conference highlights HERE.
At the OMA Awards of Excellence 2022 reception, the OMA recognized 19 graduates of the Ontario Museum Association Certificate in Museum Studies Program (CMS). These dedicated individuals join more than 400 individuals who have graduated from this program since 1982.

The CMS courses have been run virtually for the last few years as a result of the pandemic. Even in these circumstances, the graduates continued to dedicate themselves to completing these courses in addition to their full-time jobs and volunteer commitments. Congratulations to all graduates! Learn more about the program HERE.
OMA Awards of Excellence 2022

At OMA Annual Conference 2022, the Ontario Museum Association presented the OMA Awards of Excellence 2022 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. The OMA Awards of Excellence are an opportunity for the sector to recognize institutions and individuals who make outstanding contributions to the museum field in Ontario and whose innovative work inspires their colleagues, Ontarians, and visitors from around the world.

Recipients included the Oil Museum of Canada for their Exhibition and Building Renewal Project, and emerging museum professionals Adara Reid and Micaela Evans. Learn more about our recipients HERE.

Paul O. Robertson Memorial Bursary

At OMA Annual Conference 2022 in Hamilton, Council announced the Paul O. Robertson Memorial bursary in recognition of the significant legacy of OMA past president, Paul Robertson. Conference delegates were addressed by Cathy Molloy, OMA President, Jennifer Campbell from the City of Kingston, Kevin Moorhouse from Kingston Association of Museums, and Edgar Tumak, Paul O. Robertson’s husband.

The OMA hopes that the bursary will serve as an ongoing reminder of the contributions Paul made to the museum community, and that it will continue his work of building connections and championing inclusion.

To honour Paul’s legacy, donations to the Ontario Museum Association Paul O. Robertson Memorial Bursary can be made HERE.
Make a donation HERE
2022 is the Ontario Museum Association’s 50th Anniversary! 

We celebrated 50 years of advancing a strong museum sector for Ontario with staff and volunteers from the province’s 700 museums, galleries, and heritage sites. To commemorate this occasion, we've invited members to share their celebratory messages. Watch a video message from Norfolk County Heritage & Culture HERE.

We welcome everyone to continue celebrating our 50th anniversary by submitting a video message HERE.

At the OMA
Upcoming Workshop:
Bring Your Own By-Laws with CLEO

Community Legal Education Ontario and
Ontario Museum Association

Friday February 3, 2023
9:00am - 2:00pm ET
Free, but registration is limited

In this half-day working session, participants will work through their by-laws and letters patent and a special workbook to identify what they might want or need to change in order to comply with Ontario’s Not-for-profit Corporations Act (ONCA). Participants are advised to review their governing documents ahead of time to be somewhat familiar with the layout and content. Participants must bring a digital or physical copy of their by-laws and (preferably) letters patent.
This session is for: senior leaders, board members, and anyone involved in the corporate governance of organizations already incorporated under Ontario’s Corporations Act or a special Act.

This session is not for:
  • organizations that are not themselves incorporated but part of a larger organization or government, 
  • organizations incorporated under Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act,
  • organizations incorporated under Co-operative Corporations Act,
  • organizations incorporated through the Ontario Historical Society, or
  • other statutes outside of Ontario
Speaker: Benjamin Miller, a staff lawyer on the Nonprofit Law Ontario project of Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) where he focuses on the legal needs of nonprofits and charities.

Read more and register HERE.

Get started thinking about ONCA! The OMA and CLEO hosted a webinar to discuss what is new in the ONCA, and steps nonprofits need to take to transition to the ONCA. Watch the webinar recording of HERE.
Register today!
Upcoming webinar:
Mapping Oral History with Atlascine
and Sensibility Mapping

Speakers from the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University (COHDS)
Organized by Digital Action Research and Training, Toronto History Museums, and
the Ontario Museum Association

Wednesday January 18, 2023
12:00pm - 1:30pm ET
Registration Required

This webinar will present two innovative cartographic approaches designed to map collections of stories and interviews. The first one will be structured around Atlascine, a free, online and open-source software developed to map collections of stories. Through the full interaction between media and maps, Atlascine offers new ways of navigating within and between audiovisual stories. Here, the map is envisioned not only as a way to reveal places as described in stories, but also to expand the possibilities of accessing, listening, visualizing and connecting these stories. The second cartographic approach will be devoted to the exploration of the inner parts of these stories using "sensibility mapping.” Sensibility mapping is a creative way of investigating the intimate, emotional and personal dimensions of stories.

Through this webinar, participants can expect to familiarize themselves with the potential, limits and complementarity of both approaches to expand the access to (corpuses of) interviews.

  • Sébastien Caquard, co-director of COHDS and a professor in the department of Geography, Planning and Environment at Concordia University
  • Élise Olmedo, post-doctoral researcher at the department of Geography, Planning and Environment at Concordia University.
Read more and register HERE.
Register today!
This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

Upcoming CCI Webinar:
Photography on a Dime - Thrifty Tools and Free Software for Heritage Professionals

Canadian Conservation Institute, Ontario Museum Association and Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries

Webinar 1: February 9, 2023 (1:00 - 3:00 PM ET)
Webinar 2: February 16, 2023 (1:00 - 3:00 PM ET)

OMA and GOG members register at 'Members' rate

This Canadian Conservation Institute webinar series is co-presented by the Ontario Museum Association (OMA) and Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries (GOG). Interested participants are those who are currently or will be involved in photodocumentation projects within a heritage institution. Participants are expected to have a fundamental knowledge of camera settings and functions (such as ISO and aperture) and a basic understanding of lighting equipment as this information will not be reviewed in the webinar. Participants should also possess practical computer skills.

Register HERE.

Register today!
Registration is open! Spaces are available!
Upcoming Certificate in Museum Studies Courses

Care of Collections
Dates: January 16 - April 2, 2023
Format: Online
Director: Carmen Li, Royal Alberta Museum
*The CMS course Artifacts is a prerequisite for Care of Collections

Registration for Certificate in Museum Studies courses is open to OMA Individual Members and Commercial Consultant Members.

Find out more about the Certificate in Museum Studies Program HERE.
Questions? Email
Register for courses
Office Closure

From OMA team, warm wishes for a joyful and restful holiday season.
We look forward to connecting with you in 2023! 

The Ontario Museum Association office will be closed for the holiday season beginning Monday, December 19, 2022. We will reopen on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.
OMA's 50th Anniversary
2022 is the Ontario Museum Association’s 50th Anniversary! We are celebrating 50 years of advancing a strong museum sector for Ontario with staff and volunteers from the province’s 700 museums, galleries, and heritage sites. To commemorate this occasion, we are hosting a year-long series of online activities, culminating at the OMA Annual Conference 2022 in November.
We welcome everyone to join the celebration of our 50th anniversary
and to visit a museum near you!

Learn more about our 50th Anniversary HERE.

Pailagi Pandya, City of Toronto; Yiran Li, Mackenzie House; and Meredyth Schofield, Toronto History Museums at OMA Annual Conference 2022 in Hamilton - session You(th) are Here: Making Museums a Space to Be, Not Just a Place to See
Make a donation to the OMA!

Whether you choose to give the price of a cup of coffee or donate $50 for 50 years, any and all donations are appreciated.

We thank you for your donation in support of the OMA's ongoing operations!
Donate HERE
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. Your support, participation, and membership make our work possible.

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. Thank you for your support!

Donate Now
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For all questions or inquiries please contact the OMA: or call 416-348-8672 / 1-866-662-8672.
As an organization of provincial scope, the Ontario Museum Association recognizes that its members and community live and work on the lands and territories of Indigenous peoples. Toronto, where the OMA offices are located, is the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, Haudenosaunee and the Huron Wendat. We wish to express our gratitude for the resources we are using and pay respect to the rich and ongoing Indigenous history of what is now Ontario and Canada.
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The Ontario Museum Association strengthens capacity among institutions and individuals active in Ontario’s museum sector, facilitates excellence and best practices, and improves the communication and collaboration of its membership. The Association advocates for the important role of Ontario’s museums to society, working with all stakeholders, related sectors and industries, and other professional organizations.
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