ADVOCATING FOR CANADA'S MUSEUMS 
   

PDFs for Download

► News Release

► Infographic

► Letter to Liberal Party of Canada

► Letter to Conservative Party of Canada

► Letter to New Democratic Party of Canada

► Letter to Green Party of Canada

► Letter to Bloc Québécois

► Letter to People’s Party of Canada



Canada’s museum associations


Canadian Museums Association


Alberta Museums Association

British Columbia Museums Association

Inuit Heritage Trust

Association of Manitoba Museums

Association Heritage New Brunswick

Museum Association of Newfoundland & Labrador

Association of Nova Scotia Museums

Ontario Museum Association

Community Museums Association of Prince Edward Island

Société des musées du Québec

Museums Association of Saskatchewan

Yukon Historical and Museums Association

 

POLITICAL PARTIES AND MUSEUMS

OTTAWA, October 17, 2019 — Last week, your national, provincial and territorial museums associations joined forces and issued open letters to federal political party leaders asking them to share their election commitments for the museum sector. We emphasized the need for and therefore recommended: a review and modernization of the National Museum Policy; a review of funding streams and simplification of the funding application process; and an expansion of the Museums Assistance Program.

Museum issues are important — and museum professionals’ votes count. Be sure to get out and vote!

While we urge you to read the party platforms in full, we have sourced some examples of commitments that have been made in party platforms regarding museums and cultural heritage:

  • The Liberal Party of Canada committed to reviewing the National Museum Policy and to creating the Culture Pass, a $200 credit for Canadian children to access theatres, museums, galleries, workshops, and other cultural venues. They have also committed to providing clearer direction on the designation and preservation of national heritage places and to introducing a Cultural Diplomacy strategy;
  • The Liberal Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada have both committed to making the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Heritage Centre in Regina, SK into a national museum;
  • The Conservative Party of Canada committed to removing admission fees from Canada’s national museums while increasing the government funding to these museums to compensate for reduced revenue from this policy. They would also extend the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program for an additional three years and designate the grave sites of former Prime Ministers and Governor Generals as national heritage sites;
  • The New Democratic Party of Canada pledged that arts and cultural institutions would receive stable, long-term funding to grow and promote Canada’s diverse cultures and histories. They would also put in place income tax averaging for artists and cultural workers;
  • The Bloc Québécois would require that consent be obtained from Quebec in matters relating to UNESCO. They would also demand that the Canada Council for the arts provide better support for Quebecois creators and maintain an indexed budget of 300 million dollars, including aide for international promotion;
  • The Green Party of Canada committed to increase funding to all of Canada’s arts and culture organizations, including the Canada Council for Arts. They would also implement federal income tax credits for restoration expenditures to encourage private involvement in preserving Canada’s built heritage including the private donation of easements on heritage properties;
  • The CMA was unable to find any commitments from the People’s Party of Canada to the museum/cultural heritage sector.

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MUSEUMS ASSOCIATIONS WRITE PARTY LEADERS, INSIST ON PRIORITIZING THE SECTOR

OTTAWA, October 8, 2019 — National, provincial and territorial museums associations sent  joint letters today to the leaders of political parties, highlighting the importance of museums and seeking the parties’ positions on critical questions for the sector.

Party Leaders were asked to share their election commitments for the museum and heritage sector; their views on the importance and role of museums; and, if elected, how they intend to respond to recommendations made by the museum community. The associations intend to make the parties’ responses public.

"Museums play an increasingly important role in today’s society. They function as important social agents, with the capacity to unite us and defend our common good," said Dr. Vanda Vitali, Executive Director of the Canadian Museums Association.

"Without a greater commitment to museums and without critical changes to museum policy and approaches to funding, Canada’s museums, large and small, are at risk of not being able to fulfil their much-needed role in our communities."

The associations are encouraging concrete action on recommendations in Moving Forward — Towards a Stronger Canadian Museum Sector, a report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. These include:

  • A review and modernization of the National Museum Policy, last updated close to 30 years ago
  • A review of funding streams for museums with the goal of establishing a more sustainable funding system, to help ensure more aspects of museum operations are supported
  • An expansion of the Museums Assistance Program to enable an investment beyond collections-based activities
  • A simplification of the funding application process for museums, especially for small museums, which have important stories to tell and for whom the current process may present barriers

Canadians and the sector clearly deserve a modern, up-to-date museum policy and approach reflecting the issues and needs of the 21st Century. Canada boasts some 2700 museums, cultural heritage and science-related centres. In 2015, Canadian museums annually accounted for over $2.5 billion in revenue - an increase of 23% since 2011. Supporting museums is a smart investment, impacting economic and cultural growth. A 2017 survey indicates that there are some 19,000 employees in museums and art galleries and some 65,000 volunteers who worked over 4.3 million hours. Daily visitor-ship to Canadian museums has increased 34% since 2011. Annual attendance at all museums reached 31.5 million in-person visits in 2017, with a 75% increase in online visits to museums since 2011, to reach 89.5 million overall online visits. In order to strengthen the contributions of museums to communities, education and cultural tourism further investment is needed.

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For more information:

Canadian Museums Association
ahayden@museums.ca

Alberta Museums Association
mpatterson@museums.ab.ca

British Columbia Museums Association
executivedirector@museumsassn.bc.ca

Inuit Heritage Trust
wbeveridge@ihti.ca

Association of Manitoba Museums
director@museumsmanitoba.com

Association Heritage New Brunswick
kellie.blue-mcquade@amnb.ca

Museum Association of Newfoundland & Labrador
kflynn@nf.aibn.com

Association of Nova Scotia Museums
director@ansm.ns.ca

Ontario Museum Association
mlalonde@museumsontario.ca

Community Museums Association of Prince Edward Island
info@museumspei.ca

Société des musées du Québec
chagnon.stephane@smq.qc.ca

Museums Association of Saskatchewan
ex.director@saskmuseums.org

Yukon Historical and Museums Association
info@heritageyukon.ca