|ADVOCATING FOR CANADA'S MUSEUMS|
Canada’s museum associations
Canadian Museums Association
Alberta Museums Association
CMA sends letters to federal ministers
OTTAWA, February 26, 2020
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.
Mandate letter to Heritage Minister confirms review of national museum policy
OTTAWA, December 13, 2019 — The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) was pleased to see certain museum, culture and heritage issues prioritized in the Mandate Letters which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released earlier today.
The Minister of Canadian Heritage will be required, among other things, to:
During the election period, in collaboration with provincial and territorial colleagues, the CMA had insisted that political parties prioritize museums. The group emphasized the need for a review of the policy, a review of funding streams and a simplification of the funding application process, as well as an expansion of the Museums Assistance Program. The Liberal Party promised a review of the Policy, however this commitment was not included in the recent Speech from the Throne.
The CMA anticipates playing a central role and actively participating in the process of reviewing and updating the National Museum Policy, on behalf of our members and the museum community. We look forward to working with the Minister and the Department of Canadian Heritage on this critical review.
The CMA will review the mandate letters more thoroughly in the coming days. We will be exploring further connections between our work, including in relation to the Young Canada Works Program and the CMA Truth and Reconciliation Program, and the government’s priorities. We will be writing relevant Cabinet Ministers and seeking meetings to discuss how best to work with the Government of Canada to advance museum issues.
OTTAWA, November 26, 2019 — As the 43rd Canadian Parliament gets underway, the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) has, in an open letter , called on the Prime Minister of Canada to fulfill his Party’s promise to review the National Museum Policy.
While the CMA was encouraged by the public commitment to review the more than 30 year-old policy, the association hopes that museum priorities will be further concretized in the upcoming Speech from the Throne and mandate letters to Cabinet.
During the election period, in collaboration with provincial and territorial colleagues, the CMA had insisted that political parties prioritize museums. The group emphasized the need for a review of the policy, a review of funding streams and a simplification of the funding application process, as well as an expansion of the Museums Assistance Program.
“In an increasingly divisive world, museums are uniquely positioned to unite us and defend our common good. However, without the critical changes we have highlighted, museums, large and small, are at risk of not being able to fulfill their much-needed role in our communities,” stated Dr. Vanda Vitali, Executive Director of the CMA, and Professor Jack Lohman, President of the CMA Board, in their co-signed letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“We anticipate playing a central role and actively participating in the process of reviewing and updating the National Museum Policy, on behalf of our members and the museum community,” they noted.
In the coming weeks, in collaboration with provincial and territorial colleagues, the CMA will be writing relevant Cabinet Ministers and seeking meetings to discuss how best to work with the Government of Canada to advance museum issues.
Letter to Prime Minister of Canada (Nov 26, 2019)
For more information:
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:
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:
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.
For more information:
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