September 23, 2020
Statement from the Canadian Museums Association on the Speech from the Throne
In today’s Speech from the Throne, the federal government committed to supporting industries hardest hit by the pandemic, including cultural industries. The CMA had called on the federal government to commit to modernizing the national museum policy and the museums assistance program. While we are disappointed there was no specific commitment to the policy update in the speech, we hope this is one of the ways in which the government plans to support museums and help increase their resilience.
The national museum policy is drastically out of date and simply doesn’t reflect a modern Canada — nor the Canadian museums sector. Unfortunately, as a result of the pandemic, its review, which was included in the mandate letter of the Minister of Canadian Heritage last fall, has yet to be advanced.
“We appreciate that the government must establish an ambitious plan to lead Canada out of the pandemic and that many individual Canadians and sectors have been impacted by pandemic. That being said, we respectfully submit that a new policy is critical to Canada’s renewal efforts,” says Dr. Vanda Vitali, Executive Director of the CMA. “Canada’s museums, large and small and in all regions, have been terribly hard hit by the pandemic and require greater resilience to survive. Meanwhile, the tremendous benefits of museums to Canadian citizens, our society and the economy are now more important than ever. It is particularly in light of the pandemic that the review is imperative and should be prioritized.”
As the government contemplates how it will support cultural industries, the CMA is urging the Prime Minister to ensure the national museum policy renewal remains in the upcoming mandate of the Minister of Canadian Heritage. The association has stated that it is prepared to play a central role with the museum community to help move this important work forward, in collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage and provincial/territorial museum associations.
Letter in advance of the Speech from the Throne (September 17, 2020)
Disponible en français.