COVID-19 Resources

Updated: May 21, 2020

As the landscape shifts daily during the COVID-19 pandemic, the OMA is committed to providing information to support Ontario’s museums and museum workers to weather this crisis and recover well once the threat has passed. This webpage will be updated as new information and resources become available.

A Message from OMA President Paul Robertson

Read the President's full Message HERE. 

Read the President's Message from March 24 HERE.


Please see below for collected information and resources regarding the novel coronavirus and its impacts for Ontario museums. These resources are not to be taken as legal advice or a definitive answer for any particular museum, but rather as a guide for preparedness for the field. We encourage members to consult relevant policies & legislation.

OMA Webinar Series and #MuseumsConnectOn Member Check-ins

OMA Webinar Series

New Topic every Tuesday at 10am

Questions? Email pd@museumsontario.ca

  • Caring for Heritage Collections during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    with Irene Karsten, Canadian Conservation Institute
    Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 10am
    Recording available HERE.
View the presentation slides as a .PDF HERE.

Recording available HERE.

  • Collecting Community Responses to COVID-19
    Tuesday May 5, 2020, 10am, with
    • Gabrielle Major, Registrar, City of Toronto Museums & Heritage Services; (Slides HERE)
    • Chris Selman, Curator, Museums of Burlington; (Slides HERE)
    • Jennifer Weymark, Archivist, Oshawa Museum; (Slides HERE)

    Recording available HERE. 

  • Digital Decision-making: Approaches to Online Engagement During Museum Closure, presented in collaboration with the Ontario Association of Art Galleries, with speakers from:
    • The Aga Khan Museum
    • Agnes Etherington Art Centre
    • South Grey Museum
    Tuesday May 12, 2020, 10am

    Recording available HERE.

#MuseumsConnectON Member Check-ins

Every Wednesday at 10am
  • Meeting #4 – Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 10am EDT
    Topic: to be announced!
    Register HERE. 
 

Directory of Resources

Impact on OMA programs and services:

In line with Public Health direction and to maintain social distancing, the OMA has arranged for staff to work remotely until further notice. Best efforts will be made to continue to deliver  programs and services during this time and members may see the following impacts.
 
OMA Office:

  •  The OMA Office at 50 Baldwin St in Toronto will be closed until further notice.
  • Emails and voicemails will be monitored and responded to during business hours within 2 business days.

Membership:

  • Memberships will continue to be processed and OMA website functionality and access has not been affected.
  • There may be some delay in mailing membership packages due to limited staff access to the OMA office.

Professional Development:

  • POSTPONED - Indigenous Collections Symposium 2020: Mashkawatgong-mamawewiziwin – strengthening our bonds, sharing our practices, March 24-25, 2020, Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, QC.
  • POSTPONED – Certificate in Museum Studies: Collections Management, April 20-22, 2020, Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto.
  • POSTPONED - Certificate in Museum Studies: Artifacts - originally scheduled for June 17-19, 2020 at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa
  • NEW DATE - Certificate in Museum Studies: Museums in Historic Buildings (Facilities Management) originally scheduled to take place on May 6-8, 2020 has been tentatively rescheduled for November 4-6, 2020.
  • All future in-person and online events will be confirmed in advance.
  • Registrations for all postponed events will carry forward. Refunds will be provided on request.

Communications:

  • The weekly ONMuseums newsletter Thursday mornings will continue to go out as usual.
  • eNews Alerts will notify members of time-sensitive information or initiatives.
  • OMA social media (facebook and twitter) will be monitored and updated.
  • The OMA website and this webpage will be updated regularly.

Government Resources regarding COVID-19:

 

OMA's Advocacy Response to COVID-19

Department of Canadian Heritage Updates

COVID Resources and Responses from Other Associations

Collections & Facilities Care:

Human Resources & Business Continuity Planning:

Remote Work & Self-Care

Supporting Volunteers

Emergency Preparedness & Risk Management:

Communications on Museum Closures and Program Changes:

During this time of uncertainty museums may face temporary closure and need to be prepared to communicate this with the public.
Example Museum Closure Communication:


Website pop-up messages:

Tweets:

Digital Outreach During Closures:

Digital tools can allow museums to reach out to audiences despite closures and social distancing practices. Some examples are below:
Several Ontario museums are also available for 3D virtual tours, including:

New! Preparing for Recovery and Re-Opening

Sample Guidelines, Plans, and Messaging from Other Jurisdictions:

Links to ONMuseums updates:

 
March 24 - COVID-19 A message from the OMA President Paul Robertson
 
March 20 - COVID-19 Update & Survey
 
March 16 - COVID-19 Update
 
March 13 - Update: COVID-19 and Ontario Museums
 
March 10 - COVID-19 and Ontario Museums