COVID-19 Resources

Updated: October 1, 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.


COVID-19 and Ontario Museums: 2nd Survey

Deadline to respond to the Survey: September 4, 2020

We ask that you complete this second Survey to capture impacts of COVID-19 on museums to the end of July 2020. Survey responses provide evidence that forms the foundation of our advocacy work with government, funders, and other organizations.

Respond to the Survey HERE. 

Download a .PDF of the Survey Questions HERE. 

Read the Key Findings from the OMA's first COVID-19 Survey 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 Topics on Tuesdays at 10am

Questions? Email

  • Caring for Heritage Collections during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    with Irene Karsten, Canadian Conservation Institute
    Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 10am
    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.

  • Making Engaging Online Projects, with the Virtual Museum of Canada
    Tuesday June 2, 10am
    View the presentation slides HERE.

    Recording available HERE.

  • Planning to Reopen Your Museum or Gallery: A Conversation, presented in collaboration with the Ontario Association of Art Galleries, with:
    • Stephen Borys, Winnipeg Art Gallery
    • Cheryl Blackman, Museums and Heritage Services, City of Toronto

Monday, June 15, 2020, 10am
Recording available HERE.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020, 10am
Recording available HERE.

  • Scenario Planning presented in collaboration with the Ontario Association of Art Galleries, with:
    • Judy Wolfe and Karen Wishart, COnsulting Matrix
    • Demetra Christakos, Art Gallery of Sudbury
    • Alexander Gates, Canadian Automotive Museum
    • Brian Meehan, Museum London
    • Janis Monture, Woodland Cultural Centre

Tuesday, July 14, 2020, 10am
Recording available HERE

Judy Wolfe's Speaking Notes available HERE. 

Example Chart from Demetra Christakos available HERE.

#MuseumsConnectON Member Check-ins

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.


  • 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:

  • August 27, 2020: See the updated Certificate in Museum Studies calendar for new dates and formats.
  • 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.


  • 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:


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