September 17, 2020

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

The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) is respectfully calling on the federal government to commit to updating Canada’s over 30-year-old national museum policy in the upcoming Speech from the Throne. The CMA has offered to lead this initiative with — or on behalf of — the department of Canadian Heritage and museums across Canada.

“The current national museum policy is out-of-date and simply doesn’t reflect a modern Canada — nor the Canadian museums sector,” said Vanda Vitali, Executive Director, Canadian Museums Association. “In collaboration with our provincial and territorial colleagues, the CMA has consistently advocated the need for an updated policy and museums assistance program. We remain steadfastly behind this urgent requirement, and we are prepared to play a central role with Canada’s museum community to help move it forward.”

Given the significant impact the current COVID-19 pandemic has had on all Canadians — in all regions — the benefits of museums to Canadian citizens are now more important than ever. As the federal government seeks to restart the economy in order to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic and societal benefits of museums must be recognized as part of the recovery solution. A recent study conducted by Oxford Economics, commissioned by the Ottawa Declaration Working Group, co-led by Library and Archives Canada and the CMA, found that museums contribute significantly to the Canadian economy and societal well-being, including:

  • For every dollar invested in museums, Canadian society gets $4 in benefits.
  • Museums provide $2.9 billion per year in economic benefits. 
  • Museums provide a value of $1.2 billion per year in educational benefits and $277 million per year in value of online visits.

The CMA is committed to continuing to work with government on behalf of the museum sector to help ensure the long-term financial health and longevity of these vital cultural institutions across the country.


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