Awards of Outstanding Achievement

The Awards of Outstanding Achievement recognize exceptional museum projects in a variety of different categories. The CMA awards committee assesses all submissions and winners are selected by majority vote. If the committee is unable to identify a suitable achievement, no award is given. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.


Stewardship of Collections: For excellence in stewardship of collections, for example, in their physical care, in the preservation of intangible culture heritage, including relevant digital practices and documentation.

Audience Outreach: For programming that advances knowledge and understanding by reaching new audiences or enhancing existing ones.

Exhibitions: For temporary, permanent, or traveling exhibitions that effectively and distinctively contribute to increase public understanding.

Research: For research activities carried out in museums or applied to museum practice that contributes to the development of new knowledge and understanding. This category also includes publications and collection management practices.

Social Impact: Recognizes the significant contribution of a museum in advocating for the advancement of an important social cause such as reconciliation, sustainable development, climate action, better standards of living together, inclusiveness, wellness, etc.


Open to any individual, team or institution in the museum field, with the exception of the members of the CMA awards committee. Projects must be completed during the year of application.


November 15 each year.


Projects will be assessed against the following:

  • Inclusion: Reflects upon and represent both accessibility and diversity.
  • Innovation: Promotes new and creative ideas.
  • Practices: Exceeds the current standards of museum practice.
  • Relevance: Demonstrates relevance to the communities served.
  • Vision: Advances a vision of the future of museums, of what could be.
  • Collaboration: Demonstrates collaborative approaches and efforts including partnerships and teamwork.
  • Effectiveness: Demonstrates intended results including learning, messaging and experience.

Nomination instructions

Nominations may be made by the person or group who carried out the project, or by a third party, and must be sponsored by someone with individual or institutional membership in the CMA.

To nominate, please complete the form and submit it to The nomination must include the following information:

  • A full project description (max. 750 words);
  • A project explanation (max. 1,500 words), that details how the project meets the selection criteria;
  • Optional: Hyperlinks or web links as relevant support material;

If you are submitting a nomination for a publication, please provide a pdf version or page samples with an image of the cover via email.

Nomination Form — PDF

Nomination Form — Word