Canadian museum association conference 2020

Canadian museum association conference 2020 DEFAULT

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OMA Conference Recovery, Reopening, Reimagination

Land Acknowledgement: 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. This territory is part of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Agreement, an agreement between the Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. This territory is also covered by the Upper Canada Treaties.

As you participate, we invite you to reflect on the land that you are on, who the traditional keepers of the land are, what the treaty relationship is, or if it is unceded territory. 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.

We encourage our members to listen to and amplify the voices of Indigenous peoples and communities. Resources and further information can be found on the OMA website under resources and tools for museum practice, HERE. 

Statement of Valuing Diversity: The OMA is committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes participation from visible minority group members, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. 
Expect regular updates to this page as we announce more sessions and speakers!

Have you missed connecting with colleagues, friends, and community? While we’re not yet ready to host a gathering in person, we are very pleased to invite you to join us virtually for the OMA Annual Conference  Recovery, Reopening, Reimagination Thursday, November 25, This gathering is to help you connect, reconnect, and engage with the Ontario museum community and we have a jam-packed day of inspiring sessions about issues relevant to you.

The OMA recognizes that this has been an exceptional year for our members and this is reflected in the fees for this year's conference to maximize participation. Together, we want to envision what museums can be and what they can achieve. We’ll feature panels of museum leaders and moderated discussion sessions to facilitate this reimagination. 

Expect regular updates to this page as we announce more sessions and speakers!

This year's conference is an opportunity for museums to gather after a challenging year to be rejuvenated by each other’s company, have vital conversations about what the sector needs to recover, and reflect on the difficulties of reopening. We know you’ve missed those coffee conversations and spur-of-the-moment meetings in person at our conference, so we’re making sure that you’ll be able to make those connections online. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to chat and be inspired by your colleagues across the province.

We’ve all faced professional and personal challenges during the pandemic, but it has also given us the chance to reimagine our programming and processes, stretch our creative muscles, and rise to the occasion. We want to celebrate the solutions you’ve all found and encourage collaboration as we look ahead to a hopeful future for Ontario museums.

Let’s celebrate the accomplishments of our colleagues and museums! Draw some inspiration and warm feelings from presentations of the OMA Awards of Excellence, Certificate in Museum Studies Graduates, Post-Secondary Awards, and Honouring Our Esteemed Colleagues.

Keynote Highlight: Micah Parzen - Museum of Us

We’re excited to announce Micah Parzen, Museum of Us as Keynote Speaker!
“Over the past sixteen months, our driving question has been: How can we emerge from the pandemic’s portal to become a better version of ourselves? And while our answer has taken a wide variety of forms (including a long-overdue name change), key shifts in our human resources policies and practices are making the biggest impact of all.” 
Wondering why we’re so eager to hear from him? Read what Micah has to say about building more equitable museums HERE, and taking a holistic approach to decolonization HERE. 

Micah is an experienced nonprofit leader, attorney, anthropologist, and agent of transformational change, who seeks to authentically partner with others in creating a ripple effect of good in the world. He currently serves as CEO of the Museum of Us (formerly the San Diego Museum of Man), a position he has held since Widely known as a thought leader in the arts & culture/non-profit sectors, Micah is regularly invited by the likes of BoardSource, the Smithsonian Institution, and the American Alliance of Museums to deliver keynote addresses, serve on panels, and otherwise share his perspective on the most vexing issues of our day. In the past three years alone, his team’s work has been featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the Washington Post, and the Atlantic, among other high-profile platforms. In addition to serving as a trustee at La Jolla Country Day School, Micah also currently serves as the President of the Board of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, a collaboration of 28 arts & culture institutions in Balboa Park, which sits on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Kumeyaay Nation. Micah holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University, a J.D. from UC Davis, and a B.A. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley.

Session Highlight: Learning from the Public - Museums for Me

The OMA joined the Alberta Museums Association and other provincial and territorial associations in the Museums For Me campaign, taking place during the pandemic. This project engaged Canadians on the meaning and value they see in museums.

Hear from the project leaders on the results and how they help demonstrate public value.
Stay up-to-date with the OMA's Annual Conference by viewing our webpage HERE, and following the hashtag #OMAConf on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

We look forward to seeing you on November 25 ! 
Please note that members must be logged in to access registration.
The OMA team is here to assist you. If you have any questions prior to or during the Conference, please send us an email [email protected] or call us at or toll-free in Ontario

Ontario Museum Association
Monday-Friday, am - pm
Toll-free in ON:

The Ontario Museum Association's online Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting are supported by the Government of Ontario. 

The Logo of the Government of Ontario


New Conference for Canadian Museum Professionals Launched

Posted on: March 11, by THEMUSEUM

Museums Canada Conference will coincide with international travelling exhibition by The Rolling Stones

Kitchener, ON | March 11, — Leaders and professionals in the Canadian museum sector will connect in Kitchener-Waterloo, ON and online from Sunday, January 16 to Wednesday, January 19, to learn, share, network and grow at the Museums/Musées Canada Conference. A group of Canada’s most notable museum professionals, in collaboration with THEMUSEUM and Museums Canada, are excited to announce the launch of the inaugural Museums/Musées Canada Conference, which has been established in response to an identified need in Canada’s museum sector. Worsened by the pandemic, many museums across the country are in crisis mode.

“We are proud to be a catalyst for this initiative,” said David Marskell, CEO of THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener and former Board Member of the Canadian Museums Association (CMA).“With numerous heads of museums across Canada having to step down in recent months due to various allegations there is a need for museum leaders, young and experienced to come together for a transparent and strategic discussion about our industry’s future.”

The Museums/Musées Canada Conference will take place in the winter of at the same time that The Rolling Stones | UNZIPPED exhibition will be making its exclusive Canadian debut in Waterloo Region. The Conference aims to be inclusive and accessible — offering ongoing dialogue, mentorship, networking, and support and is designed not only for museums, but for those who work or volunteer at museums or in the broader sector.

Hosted by THEMUSEUM, Museums/Musées Canada Conference will consist of three priorities featuring cross-over sessions:

● The first segment, titled the Leadership Forum, will focus on the museum sector as well as offer a half-day discussion on the future of museums and the industry post-pandemic.
● Second, Museums/Musées Canada Conference will host the fourth year of the Alternative Conference for Emerging Professionals (AltCon ) as part of its programming. AltCon will focus on emerging and young professionals in the cultural sector.
● The third Travelling Exhibitions Summit focuses on The Rolling Stones’ international UNZIPPED exhibition and will offer sessions and an ideas exchange for partners with a concentration on travelling exhibitions.

In preparation of Museums/Musées Canada Conference , 12 professionals representing museums, art galleries, zoos, aquariums and science centres across Canada will take part in a facilitated series of exercises with the results set to be presented during the Conference.

Highlights confirmed to date for the four day event will include a guided tour of The Rolling Stones | UNZIPPED exhibition; a keynote from UNZIPPED’s Curator, Ileen Gallagher; a tour of the Stratford Perth County Museum and the Justin Bieber: Steps to Stardom exhibition as well as a live-streamed presentation with keynote speaker Janet Carding, former CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum and Vice President of the CMA and now Director of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) in Hobart, Australia. A joint session featuring young professionals presenting a vision for the future for equity, diversity, and inclusion at museums will be included in addition to a variety of other events.

Registration will provide both in-person and virtual options for individuals and organizations and will be available later this summer. Those interested in learning more and attending are invited to email [email protected] to be added to a growing list seeking information.

For more information, visit


Museums/Musées Canada is a grassroots, member-focused organization designed to support work in museums, galleries, science centres and related cultural institutions across Canada. Through networking, mentorship and professional development opportunities, Museums/Musées Canada is helping to build a collaborative future for museum workers.



We are THEMUSEUM – ONEWORDUPPERCASE.We are a new kind of experiential museum – one of maverick ideas and unexpected intersections. No dusty objects and no velvet ropes.We are a premier cultural destination dedicated to presenting fresh, inspired content from around the globe in unique and immersive ways designed to showcase art & technology at play.


November 30, through February 27, The Rolling Stones | UNZIPPED delivered by DHL is the first international exhibition by and about the world-famous rock band. Following engagements in London, the United States, Australia and Asia, the show toured Europe in revamped form in The exhibition features hundreds of original Stones artefacts and memorabilia, offering the most comprehensive and immersive insight into the band’s nearly sixty-year journey.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Madison Lambden | [email protected] | [email protected]

Why open THEMUSEUM newsletters?

"Just scanning the themes here, I think you and the programming team should be very proud of the relevance of your institution to so many of the important conversations of our time. Please keep doing what you’re doing!"

- Glen Drummond, Chief Innovation Officer,

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Annual Conference


Plans are being made. Stay tuned!

Do you receive our e-newsletter, AMM Messenger? If you'd like to sign up to receive it just send an email to info (at) museumsmanitoba (dot) com with your name and museum/organization affiliation (if applicable).



COVID made having our usual annual conference impossible, so instead we were pleased to participate in the first ever Manitoba Heritage Summit with the other Provincial Heritage Associations in the province: Association for Manitoba Archives, Heritage Winnipeg, Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, La Société historique de Saint-Boniface, Manitoba Archaeological Society, Manitoba Genealogical Society, Manitoba Historical Society.

We are exploring options for a virtual conference in

Thank you to our delegates, donors, supporters and advertisers for making this another successful conference!

Thank you also to the hard work of the volunters from the Selkirk Municipal Heriage Advisory Committee, the City of Selkirk, and Morgan Grace Music for serenading us at the Awards Banquet.




The AMM awards were handed out during the Awards Banquet to the Anola & District Museum, Mennonite Heritage Village, The Manitoba Museum and the Transcona Museum. Please visit the News & Events page for more information on these and past worthy recipients.

Grants/Bursaries Available

The Winnipeg Foundation and the Canadian Museums Association offer grants/bursaries to attend conferences and courses. Applications need to be made 4 to 6 weeks in advance.



Another excellent conference!

Thank you to our speakers, hosts and delegates for taking part.

If you didn't attend please look at the program to see what you missed: Conference Program

Hope to see you all again next year!


AMM Annual Conference

September 20 - 22,

Mennonite Heritage Village, Steinbach

A conference is an excellent way to connect with your contempories from across the province to share ideas, problems and solutions.


Presentation, Boissevain                                               Enjoying the banquet, Boissevain

Click HERE to Register for the conference - NOW CLOSED!
This is a fillable PDF. Please contact us if you have any problems. There is also a tutorial video available on our Facebook page.

Confirmed speakers so far include:

  • Jane Dalley, Cultural StewardshipProgram
  • Dr. Rhonda Hinther, University of Brandon, Public History
  • Pam McKenzie, Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada
  • Heather Beerling, Parks Canada, Lower Fort Garry
  • Eric Hagan, Canadian Conservation Institute
  • Dr. Naomi Berger, Winnipeg Police Service
  • Andrea Reichert, Manitoba Craft Museum & Library, Manitoba Sport Hall of Fame & Museum
  • Julianna Roberts, New Iceland Heritage Museum
  • Sandra Chewka, Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada
  • Jennifer Maxwell, Transcona Historical Museum
  • Mary Alice Osborn, Seven Oaks House Museum
  • Dr. Gordon Goldsborough, University of Manitoba, author of Abandoned Manitoba
  • Heather Bidzinski, Canadian Museumn for Human Rights
  • Dr. Stephen Borys, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Lorne Roder, Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada

Conference Program , click HERE

Pre-Conference Workshop
Thursday, September 20

There will be a workshop from 1 - 3 at the Mennonite Heritage Village with The Winnipeg Foundation on the Province's Heritage Trust Program. There is NO CHARGE for this workshop, but we do require registration as space is limited.

Click HERE to register - CLOSED!


Opening Reception
Thursday, September 20

The Opening Reception will be held from 7 to 9 at the Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre, Second Street, Steinbach.  This evening event is a great way to meet other delegates and speakers.

Opening Reception, Dalnavert Museum - Conference

Tradeshow & Sponsorships

Participating in the Conference Tradeshow as an Exhibitor, or as a Sponsor, is a great way to contact museum people from across Manitoba.


Tradeshow exhibitors, Gimli

If you'd be interested in promoting your products and/or services feel free to check out the opportunities by clicking HERE.





Thank you to the over 70 Delegates, Speakers, Hosts, Donors and Sponsors for making this year's Conference another fabulous opportunity to learn and share.

Our Speakers came from museums big and small, from areas rural and urban, and even from outside of the museum world. Here was our line up of steller Speakers:

  • Andy Blicq, 4th Avenue Productions Inc.
  • Joseph Brown, Miami Museum
  • Shayne Campbell, Settlers, Rails and Trails
  • Peter Cantelon, Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre
  • Kathleen Christensen, RCA Museum
  • Jane Dalley, Cultural Stewardship Program
  • Rachel Erickson, Manitoba Museum
  • Colin Ferguson, Travel Manitoba
  • Kate Johnson, Department of Canadian Heritage
  • Vera Lemecha, Department of Canadian Heritage
  • Dr. Christopher Malcolm, University of Brandon
  • Dr. Jeremy Maron, Canadian Museum for Human Rights
  • Jennifer Maxwell, Transcona Museum
  • Eric Napier Strong, Seven Oaks Museum
  • Julia Peristerakis, Canadian Museum for Human Rights
  • Dr. Doug Ramsey, University of Brandon
  • Juliana Roberts, New Iceland Heritage Museum
  • Vanessa Warne, Friends of Dalnavert Museum


Click HERE for the Speakers' biographies.

Thank you to Our Donors

Thank you to Our Hosts

Thank you to Our Supporters


Pre-conference Workshop - The Kairos Blanket Exercise

Thursday, September 21
Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada

Our thanks to Instructors Adele Ledoux and Louise Landygo for putting on this workshop.

Here is what some participants had to say about the experience:

"The Kairos Blanket Exercise was very educational regarding our indigenous history as well as very impactful with the use of visual components and dolls."

"This experience would increase compassion and empathy between peoples in our country; educate, heal, and hopefully create an increase of love for one another. This is how reconciliation grows."

"It was a powerful method of story telling which created emotional and physical connections to the hidden history and systematic oppression of Indigenous people in Manitoba. It helped to connect the dots of a complicated history and has forever changed my perspective."

Click HERE to see the comments in their entirety.

Click HERE for more information regarding the Kairos Blanket Exercise.



AMM Conference

This year our conference was held in the lovely town of Boissevain from September 22 –

The presenters were top notch and Boissevain’s museums, motel, economic development office and caterers helped make it one of the best conferences ever!

Session at the Royal Canadian Legion, Boissevain

Dale Banman, Tourism and Economic Development Officer, invited us to hold our conference in Boissevain claiming the town had everything we needed. He was correct, we couldn’t have asked for anything more.

The Canadian Wilderness Inn provided affordable and comfy rooms along with a wonderful array of breakfast choices for delegates staying there.

Food for the conference was provided by several different caterers in Boissevain and the neighbouring town of Ninga. Our thanks go out to Boissevain Bakery, Reimer Corner Country Café, and Sawmill Tea and Coffee for providing such tasty tidbits.

One of the tasty items on the menu

The Goodon International Wildlife Museum / Moncur Gallery – Peoples of the Plains provided an interesting and welcoming venue for our Opening Reception. They took our pictures, cooked us bannock and served us delicious food and drink. The volunteers from Beckoning Hills Museum added a twist to the festivities as they invited delegates to participate in a game of What Is It?; a collection of 10 unusual items to test our collective knowledge. Our thanks to the many dedicated museum volunteers who did such a great job in welcoming us and breaking the ice.

Mayor of the Boissevain-Morton Municipality, Edward Anderson, graciously welcomed us on the first day of our conference, which was held at the Royal Canadian Legion.
Our Awards Banquet was held at the Interpretive Centre in the International Peace Garden and was arranged with Garry Enns, CEO. The Centre provided a lovely space and beautifully decorated tables. Sawmill Tea and Coffee, cooked up a delicious meal and the most scrumptious desserts imaginable.

We did not hold a live auction this year, but a few member museums and individuals donated some tempting items for a raffle.

Thanks to the hard work of those mentioned, the town of Boissevain and the Boissevain Chamber of Commerce, our conference ran seamlessly making our job so much easier and the delegates’ experience so much better.

Boissevain is a town we will definitely visit again.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The AGM will be held on Saturday, September 23, in Winnipeg as part of the Annual Conference.

There is no fee to attend the AGM, all are welcome to attend.


Sponsorship opportunities and the Tradeshow.

For information on how your business or organization can participate in this year's conference and help make it another big success.

These packages are in a fillable format, but you may have to open them with a different viewer. The option should appear on the top right of your screen

Opening the Petals of the Museum without Boundaries: In Conversation with Andy Lowe

Advocacy initiatives

The Canadian Museums Association advocates on behalf of Canadian museums and professionals in the sector in order to help increase the value of museums to society. This section of our site contains links to all advocacy initiatives in chronological order.

Ottawa, September 17,

Update on federal election advocacy

On September 2, the CMA and 11 provincial and territorial museums associations issued an open letter urging all party leaders to prioritize our sector and commit to modernizing Canada’s outdated national museums policy. The letter included a short questionnaire asking the political parties to share their vision for Canada’s museums by September

Following this united appeal, we received two responses:

  • The Bloc Québécois completed the questionnaire and supported our call for an updated national museum policy, recognizing the key role of arts and culture.
  • The Liberal Party stated that they were unable to respond in detail and referred us to review their platform for policy commitments.

We have not yet heard back from the Conservative Party, New Democratic Party, or Green Party.

While we are disappointed by the lack of responses, we also understand that this was a short campaign dominated by the COVID pandemic, and the parties’ focus has been getting out the vote.

What is important here is that we have made our priorities clear and this is just the start. Our entire community must continue to make the case for Canadian museums and heritage institutions and demand an updated national museums policy that reflects, supports, and enhances the vital role they play in Canadian society.

As a next step, the CMA is planning a pan-Canadian series of online roundtable consultations bringing our community together to develop a shared vision for what a national museum policy should look like. Stay tuned for more information.

Thank you to all our provincial and territorial association colleagues and all CMA members who shared the open letter and helped amplify our important message.

September 10, — Advocacy Update

Advocacy Update

The CMA will be providing regular updates on federal elections as well as announcements and other developments of interest to Canada’s museum sector. Among other things, the CMA will highlight different political parties’ policies on arts, culture and heritage as well as any election advocacy initiatives in support of our sector.

Last week, we issued open letters to the five major party leaders concerning the role of museums, and asking them to address national museum policy in their platforms. We also invited them to complete a short survey, the results of which we will update you on following the deadline of Sept. 13th. Please click here for a copy of the open letter to party leaders.

In the meantime, we will continue to update you on the contents of party platforms as they pertain to museums and cultural heritage. Please see our last advocacy update for information on the Bloc Québécois, Conservative Party, New Democratic Party as well as other parties. In the last two weeks, both the Green Party and the Liberal Party have made updates to their platforms concerning cultural heritage and museums.

Green Party of Canada

The Green Party of Canada’s (GPC) extensive platform has now included museums, and has also specifically named the Canadian Museums Association. Items included:

  • Support the Canadian Museums Association in ensuring, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples and in accordance with the 94 Calls to Action, continued compliance of museum policies and best practices with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

  • Establish a dedicated national funding program, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian Museums Association, for commemoration projects on the theme of reconciliation.

As for their policy initiative pertaining to the sector and the COVID pandemic, the GPC promised to provide $25 million in additional funding to aid museums and cultural organizations in both post-pandemic reopening and continuing to offer accessible digital offerings.

Other initiatives pertaining to the sector include: providing $25 million in additional funding to aid museums and cultural organizations in both post-pandemic reopening and continuing to offer accessible digital offerings as well as increasing funding to $1 billion over 3 years to all of Canada’s arts and culture organizations.

Liberal Party of Canada

In addition to the matching fund program announced early on during the campaign, the Liberal Party of Canada has announced that it would launch a new Arts and Culture Recovery Program that will match ticket sales for performing arts, live theatres, and other cultural venues to compensate for reduced capacity. They also are promising to hold a summit, within the first days after election, on plans to “restart the industry.”

With regards to their policy on COVID, they commit to implement a COVID transitional support program to provide emergency relief to out-of-work artists, craftspeople, creators, and authors who are primarily self-employed or independent contractors.

Other initiatives relevant to the sector include: launching a new cultural diplomacy strategy with an annual budget of $20 million per year to leverage the work done by artists and cultural industries to support Canada’s diplomatic goals, as well as making changes to the Copyright Act, including amending the Act to allow resale rights for artists.

September 2, — Advocacy Update

Taking action during federal election

As the voice of museums in Canada, the CMA is dedicated to advocating on behalf of our members to achieve effective public policies and support for the sector.

That’s why we are seizing the moment during this federal election and making a focused push in favour of a new, sustainable government partnership framework.

In collaboration with our provincial and territorial museum association partners, the CMA issued an open election letter to all party leaders, urging them to commit to updating Canada’s year-old national museum policy.

The letter describes the unique role of museums in today’s Canada and what an effective national museum policy would look like, stressing the CMA’s desire to establish a long-term partnership with government that leverages and strengthens the social, economic, and cultural value of museums.

We are now calling on you, our members, to help spread the word:

  • Read the full letter here
  • Share the letter with your network. Republish it on your website, include it in newsletters, and post it on social media. Consider tagging your local federal candidates and using the hashtags #elxn44 #canpoli #polcan.

August 30, — Advocacy Update

Federal Elections and the Museum Sector

The CMA will be providing regular updates on federal elections as well as announcements and other developments of interest to Canada’s museum sector. Among other things, the CMA will highlight different political parties’ policies on arts, culture and heritage as well as any election advocacy initiatives in support of our sector.

As parties enter their second week of campaigning, most parties have released their full platform. The New Democratic Party (NDP), the Conservative Party of Canada and the Bloc Québécois, among other parties, have released their full platforms and these include information pertinent to the museum sector.

New Democratic Party

The New Democratic Party (NDP) has announced that they would introduce a dedicated rebuilding package for the performing arts, theatre, festivals and other arts that have been most severely affected by the pandemic. The NDP has also announced that they would boost exposure of Canadian talent on both digital and traditional platforms by providing government support for Canadian artists to ‘earn a decent living’ from their art.  

Conservative Party of Canada 

The Conservatives announced that they would create a new Canadian Heritage Preservation Fund to provide a total of $75 million in grants to municipal governments over the next five years for the repair and restoration of historical monuments, statues, and heritage buildings. 

Bloc Québécois   

The Bloc Québécois has reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the protection of Canadian and Québec content, particularly the ‘discoverability’ and enhancement of québécois arts and French-language content production. They also plan to redirect taxes from digital giants into a fund dedicated to the arts, culture and media of Québec.  

Liberal Party 

Although the Liberal Party of Canada plans to release its full platform later in the campaign, it has been showcasing some of its major plans on an almost daily basis.  Among these announcements is the promise of a matching fund program to address revenue loss for cultural venues and support workers in the industry.  

Green Party

Meanwhile, the Green Party of Canada has announced that they would be releasing their platform commitments one by one throughout the campaign, and will have a full policy document ready before voters head to the polls on September  

Other Parties 

With regards to other parties, the Communist Party of Canada has announced a Democratic Canadian Culture plan that includes increased investment in the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Museums Association, and other publicly owned institutions, as well as free access to publicly funded museums, galleries, films, concerts, removal of consumption taxes on cultural work/products, and increased public funding for amateur and community arts and culture. As for the Christian Heritage Party, it has mentioned in its platform that it would only allocate funding to arts that promote ‘good morals and family values.’

June 30, — Advocacy Update

The minister announced that the Department of Canadian Heritage would be starting the consultation process for a new national museum policy this fall. This is very good news, as the CMA has been advocating for action on this since the Fall of

The development of a new national museum policy has been at the forefront of the CMA’s advocacy work for some time, intensifying under the direction of outgoing CEO Dr. Vanda Vitali. The CMA applauds the minister’s commitment and looks forward to advancing this important agenda forward.

Additionally, further details announced today confirmed that the  $41 million of MAP recovery funding would be allocated in a similar manner to last year’s emergency MAP funding, in a way that was universally accepted to be easy to use and access.

Read our full update: Department of Heritage announces national museums policy consultations for the fall, details of allocation strategy for $41 million recovery MAP funding

April 23, — Advocacy: Federal Budget

Earlier this week, we released our update on the contents of the Federal Budget. The CMA applauds the federal government for its commitment to our sector. The investments announced this week will benefit our members across the country, while we continue our work on a revised National Museums Policy, among other strategic priorities. Click here to read the full update.

March 26, — Advocacy: Federal budget date announced

This week we learned that the Federal Budget is expected on April 19, We will be watching closely to determine what this means for museums. As you know, we have made several recommendations to the government in relation to this budget, on behalf of the sector. We very much hope that this budget will include additional pandemic relief for the sector, greater and more stable funding for museums and an indication that a renewal of the national museum policy can get underway.

March 12, — Advocacy update

Recent news coverage suggests the tabling of the Federal Budget will be delayed. The CMA is seeking clarity from the government to better understand how or whether the delay may impact the delivery of additional pandemic relief to the sector and how it may affect much-needed national museum policy work, which is also vital to pandemic recovery.

Meanwhile, the Government of Canada is holding a consultation on the Copyright Act. With the support of Alex Herman, of the Quebec Bar, as well as Canadian museum colleagues, the CMA made a submission to the consultation to ensure that museums’ issues are considered. You can read our submission here.

The CMA recently had the chance to meet the new Assistant Deputy Minister at the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH), Julie Boyer. We greatly appreciated her keen interest in learning more about the work and issues of the CMA and the vital sector we represent. We also appreciate the ongoing positive and constructive dialogue with PCH.

February 12, — Advocacy update

The CMA recently helped Global News with a piece about the impact of the pandemic on small museums. The story, which features the ingenuity of three small museums across the country — the Africville Museum, the Swift Current Museum and the Sncewips Heritage Museum — was broadcast on the national news program this past weekend. In addition to the video, there is an article that highlights calls for increased, stable funding and a new museum policy. Both were published online.

Want to add your voice to the call to remember the needs of museums in the next Federal Budget? As you know, the CMA has made a formal submission to the consultation on behalf of the museum community, but anyone can participate in this consultation, either through an easy-to-use questionnaire or a more formal submission. The consultation is open until February 19, .

On January 29, our deputy director, Anne-Marie Hayden, spoke at the University of Victoria Art History Department's virtual conference, Visual Impetus . It involved a discussion with the students about the impact of the pandemic, the need for a modernized national museum policy and better funding and the contributions of museums to our society. There was a great deal of interest in these issues and in particular in the role students themselves can play in advocating for and supporting museums.

January 28, — Advocacy update

The federal government has launched pre-budget consultations to give individuals and organizations a chance to provide their input. Today, the CMA made a formal submission to the government through this consultation process. In our submission, we respectfully asked that Canada’s museums, and the organizations that support them, be prioritized in the Federal Budget. Our calls are consistent with those we made in briefs to both the Finance and Heritage parliamentary committees. We insist on the importance of including financial resources in the Budget in order to prioritize the renewal of the national museum policy, provide additional pandemic relief to the sector, increase federal funding to museums, and ultimately recognize the tremendous benefits to the economy and society.

Last week we issued a public statement and wrote to Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault to express our delight that the national museum policy remains a priority for and that the supplementary mandate letters issued by the Prime Minister didn’t change that. In our letter, we also reiterated our calls for additional pandemic relief, for more federal funding to museums and for greater recognition of the contribution of museums.

Meanwhile, at a Massey event last week, which focused on climate change, Minister Guilbeault made encouraging comments, calling museums among the “most trusted institutions” and signalling the government’s intent to work with museums on the issue. In his presentation, he also said he will “conduct a comprehensive review of our museum policy to better understand the role that the Canadian Heritage should play in properly funding our cultural institutions.”

Recently we were contacted by a national news program working on a story about the importance of museums in their communities and the impact on the pandemic on the sector. It was a great opportunity to advocate for museums and try to reach the public. We provided information, resources and commentary, and we look forward to the story airing, probably in early February. As soon as we have more detail, we’ll be sure to let you know.

January 18, — Statement by Canadian Museums Association regarding supplementary mandate letter to Heritage Minister

December 16, — Written brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in support of its Study of the Challenges to Art, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors caused by COVID

December 8, — New toolkit created to support promotion of GLAM benefits

December 3, — Advocacy update

The CMA continues to advocate for pandemic-related support for the museum community. On Monday, the federal government provided its Fall Economic Update. While not targeted specifically to our sector, there is certain information we understand will be relevant to our members, for example:

  • The maximum Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) rate has been restored to 75% until March 13, and the subsidy itself will be extended to June
  • To help both employers and young people, the federal government will invest $ million over the next two years in the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. This is the broader strategy which funds the Young Canada Works program. The government is also increasing investment and offering more flexibility to the Canada Summer Jobs program.
  • To provide extra support to some of the hardest hit organizations (tourism, hotel, arts and entertainment sectors are referenced), the government is creating the new Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP), which will provide low-interest loans of up to $1M over extended terms.
  • The Canada Emergency Bank Account (CEBA) program, which involves interest-free loans, will be expanded with an extended deadline March 21,

There are other measures as well which may be of interest (for example, rent subsidy, regional relief funding, etc.), so we encourage you to review the announcement and documents linked above. Meanwhile, we will continue to monitor these issues closely.

November 19, — Advocacy update

We previously reported that not all of the $53 million in federal emergency funding that was dedicated to museums was allocated. The CMA, our Board and provincial and territorial museums associations asked the government not to reprofile the remaining emergency funds. We asked that the remaining funding that was earmarked for our sector go toward museums — and the associations that support them. We have also encouraged the government to devote some remaining resources to advancing the update of the national museum policy. To date, we have not yet heard whether this critical policy renewal will remain in the mandate letter of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, nor have we heard whether the remaining emergency funding will go toward the sector. We encourage you to consider adding your voice to this request. Consider writing to your local MP.

November 6, — Advocacy update

Earlier this week, in one of our regular meeting between the CMA and the PTMAs, we were pleased to have a presentation by the Department of Canadian Heritage. They gave us an overview of the roll-out of the MAP emergency funding. We learned that, for example, 97% of applications were approved, that the average amount of funding was approximately $27, and that almost all () applications were done online using the new easy-to-use portal (and only 30 submitted via paper). Given that, as we previously reported, not all of the $53 million that was dedicated to museums has been allocated, we continue to emphasize that the remaining emergency funding that was earmarked for our sector go toward advancing the update of the national museum policy and to ensuring that museums — and the associations that support them — can survive the pandemic. We have also encouraged the department to explore ways to broaden eligibility criteria, moving forward.

Also on the advocacy front, check out a Q&A by, an online travel and tourism publication, with our deputy director Anne-Marie Hayden. It was an opportunity for the CMA to highlight the impact of COVID on the Canadian museum landscape, the importance of updating Canada's national museum policy and the need for stable, long-term funding for museums. She also placed emphasis on the considerable contributions of museums to our society.

September 23,  

Statement from the Canadian Museums Association on the Speech from the Throne

September 17,  

Canadian Museums Association calls for Speech from the Throne to include commitment to update national museum policy

Letter in advance of the Speech from the Throne

September 3, — CMA submission for September 3, roundtable organized by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

August 27, — Advocacy Update

This week, we reached out to the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, the brand-new Minister of Finance. We congratulated her on her appointment and highlighted the significant contributions of museums to the Canadian economy and societal well-being. We encouraged the Minister to recognize museums as part of the economic recovery solutions and to consider the recommendations we made in our recent submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.

On September 1st, at 3 pm (ET), the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, will join Business / Arts, Global Public Affairs, Mass Culture and the Canadian Arts Coalition for a virtual townhall meeting to discuss pandemic recovery. Anyone working in the heritage sector is welcome to register for the event.

Meanwhile, on September 3rd, the CMA looks forward to participating in a roundtable discussion with Minister Guilbeault and Parliamentary Secretary Julie Dabrusin. The goal is to dig deeper into some of the challenges, ideas, and proposals set forth by the broader arts and heritage community. To complement this effort, the CMA is preparing a proposal to the government which aligns with the submission to the Finance Committee.

August 14, — CMA serving on CCUNESCO working group

CMA’s executive director Vanda Vitali will be serving on the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO)’s working group as part of its Sectoral Commission on Culture, Communication & Information. The working group will focus on the role of culture in sustainable development, with an emphasis on the Agenda for Sustainable Development. The group has agreed on its key outputs (deliverables), terms of reference, and timelines at its first meeting, which took place this summer.

August 7, — Submission to Finance Committee in advance of Federal Budget

July 31, — Advocacy Update

We were pleased to have been interviewed this week on CJOB Radio in Manitoba on the impact the pandemic is having on museums across Canada, to help raise awareness of museums’ important role and current challenges.

July 21, — UPDATE: COVID Emergency Support Fund for Heritage Organizations

July 17, — Advocacy Update

In June we told you we had reached out to M.P. Steven Blaney, Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

More recently, we had the privilege of meeting with Mr. Blaney and M.P. Nelly Shin, also a member of the Standing Committee.

Flowing from our discussion, we are pleased to report that Mr. Blaney reached out to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, highlighting the contributions museums make to society and asking that the Minister move quickly and enthusiastically on the work to review the national museum policy, as per his mandate. We understand that the Government has been very focused on issues related to the pandemic, but we agree with Mr. Blaney that a contemporary museum policy is necessary and that this work should proceed on an urgent basis.

On July 8 the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, released the Government’s Economic and Fiscal Snapshot. The CMA appreciates that in his statement and with respect to the road to economic recovery, the Finance Minister spoke of the importance of growth, resilience and creating opportunities for those most impacted. Canada’s museums have been significantly impacted by the pandemic and they will need ongoing support, beyond the more immediate emergency measures, in order to survive and play their role in society. At the CMA, we will do all we can to keep museums’ issues top of mind with the Government.

The CMA’s Executive Director and CEO, Dr. Vanda Vitali, was recently interviewed by CBC-TV's The National for a segment on what to expect when museums reopen, as part of a series they are producing about carrying on life amidst COVID We will let you know when this particular segment airs!

July 3, — Advocacy Update

We were pleased to have been invited to participate in a call-in show on CBC Radio’s Maritime Noon, which broadcasts to all Canada's Maritime provinces, about the impact of the pandemic on museums. We were joined by our friend and colleague Anita Price from the Association of Nova Scotia Museums, as well as other museum professionals and museum-loving members of the public. You can listen to the show by visiting Maritime Noon’s webpage.

We also undertook efforts to press for the need for the Young Canada Works supplemental funding, by reaching out to Employment and Social Development Canada, as the department responsible for the broader Youth and Employment Skills Strategy, of which YCW is a part.

June 18, — COVID Emergency Support Fund: Implementation of Phase 2

June 5, — Advocacy Update

This week we reached out to the Honourable Steven Blaney, Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

Mr. Blaney was quoted in a Hill Times article speaking about the need for program clarity and speed regarding the distribution of emergency funding, and the economic impact of the pandemic on the broader sector.

We shared with him the risks to Canada’s museums, as well as the sector’s tremendous societal and economic contributions. We told Mr. Blaney that we appreciate museums will receive some emergency funding, but we have concerns about the timing and the proportion being allocated to museums. We are in the process of reaching out to the other members of this Standing Committee and hope to see further calls for support from this group.

June 4, — Statement from the Canadian Museums Association

May 22, — COVID relief and advocacy update

Last week, an emergency package, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), was announced by the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, the Honourable Mélanie Joly. The RRRF devotes $ million to organizations that are key to regions and local economies, and tourism is a targeted sector. We are following up with Minister Joly to find out whether museums will be able to access this fund, given their link to tourism.

As you know, the government recently announced details on the $ million emergency funding for culture, heritage and sports. Last week, along with the PTMAs, we reached out to Minister Guilbeault, expressing appreciation for the $53 million going to museums. As a group we did however note concerns regarding the timing for support (which is occurring only in phase 2) and the proportion for museums. We are encouraging the government to help museums as quickly as possible and they are keeping us posted as things progress.

This week, the CMA’s Executive Director, Vanda Vitali, took the message to the airwaves. Following media reports that 1/8 museums worldwide could face permanent closures, this Wednesday we were invited by CBC Radio to do a series of interviews in markets across the country. In all, we gave 10 interviews which aired in Halifax, Cape Breton, Yellowknife, Calgary, Quebec City, Saskatchewan, London/Windsor, Edmonton, Victoria and Vancouver. And, yes, by the time we were done, Vanda was out of breath! We highlighted the impact on and the value of our sector and the urgent need for support. We will post links as they become available.

May 15, — Museums and libraries contribute billions to Canadian economy and societal well-being: Study

May 8, — Update: $53 million in emergency funding for museums and heritage organizations

April 22, — Culture and heritage groups seek targeted COVID support

April 17, — $M in emergency support announced for culture, heritage and sports

April 8, — COVID Wage subsidy update

March 31, — Canada’s COVID Economic Response Plan and museums

March 19, — Advocacy update — COVID

March 17, — COVID Conference update

March 16, — Canadian Museums Association seeking support for the museum sector during COVID response.

March 13, — Museums and COVID

February 26, — CMA sends letters to federal ministers

In collaboration with our provincial and territorial colleagues, you may recall that during the federal election, we asked that political parties prioritize museums. We then wrote to the Prime Minister of Canada following his re-election, as well as to the newly appointed Minister of Canadian Heritage. In the spirit of collaboration, communication and unity, we recognize it is important to connect with key Ministers and their departments. Earlier this week, as part of our ongoing advocacy efforts, we wrote to other federal Ministers in support of the museum community. We highlighted the important role of museums, the need for critical changes, and the direct links between the work of our sector and their mandates.

View past advocacy efforts ( & earlier)


Association canadian 2020 museum conference

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RE-ORG Canada: Jason MacNeil \u0026 Lesley Caseley (9/13)

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Dima didn't know what to do.

Now discussing:

This son of a bitch is still wondering. Fine, I whisper back. - Only normal - and that's it. This is a mess.

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