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May is Museum Month!

Steve Mattiussi, Manager of Visitor Experience at the Bytown Museum speaking about their new guided tour video series, "Bytown: Bit by Bit."

May is Museum Month!  And a time for a shout-out to our Museum Members as they manage through these trying times.  We hope that you were able to partake in Museum Week last week, including the 43rd Anniversary of International Museum Day May 18th - through the impressive online offerings of some of the Capital's Museums.  
We also encourage you to participate in An Afternoon with Rick Hansen, this Friday May 22nd.  Be part of history, as Rick Hansen donates the entire collection from his Man In Motion World Tour to the Canadian Museum of History.  How wonderful that visitors will be able to view this collection!  It was a privilege to meet and hear Rick speak about his inspiring tour and life, at the 2018 Canadian Museums Association (CMA) conference in Vancouver.  And, to see him award our renewed Canada Science & Technology Museum the Accessibility Certified Gold rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ program (the first national public institution recipient). 
A new study, the first of its kind covering Canada's entire sector of galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs), finds they contribute $8.6 billion a year to the Canadian economy and societal well-being. The findings were made public on the CMA’s website, during International Museum Week.  “For every dollar invested in these non-profit institutions, society gets nearly four dollars in benefits – a return that is on par with government investments in transportation infrastructure projects,” noted Prof. Jack Lohman, CBE, President of the CMA.  “Now, more than ever, is a critical time to ensure that museums have adequate funding.”  We agree.  

Just prior to Museum Week, it was fitting then to hear more specifics regarding the $500 million in Federal emergency funding for culture, heritage and sports announced in April - notably, that $53 Million will be allocated to museums and heritage organizations through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program (MAP).  Grants ranging from $5,000-$100,000 may be awarded to eligible heritage organizations.  

Also announced, was the phased re-opening of national parks, historic sites, waterways and marine conservation areas starting June 1st.  We hope that some of our impacted Member museums and historic sites will benefit from these measures.
As we look to transition into reopening these and other venues and activities, these resources may be of interest:    

  • Cuseum:  Preparing to Reopen:  Strategy, Planning and Process on the Road to Reopening Museums - Webinar Recording
  • ICOM:  Museums and end of lockdown:  Ensuring the safety of the public and staff - Guideline

Please continue to visit our website for these and other resources.
With such indications of beginning to return to normal, albeit 'new normal', times, we look forward to better days when our community and visitors can once again embrace culture, including our rich heritage offerings, in the Capital.  We continue to advocate for support for our Heritage sector through, and on the other side of, the pandemic.  It is particularly clear that greater digital capacity and content are needed to operate more effectively and impactfully in times of crisis and of more flexible or remote connections -be it with workers, visitors, audiences, clients or members.  
The Connexion is looking ahead also, as we've once again secured the generous support of the Ottawa Community Foundation to present our successful Capital Heritage Mentorship Program for the third year.  Like last year, the program will connect 4 Mentors with 8 Mentees, 2 of whom will be paid part-time interns placed with their Mentor. 
A reminder, that given the current challenging circumstances, we are offering 2020 Capital Heritage Connexion memberships Free for new Members, and to refund current memberships for those in financial need.  Now, more than ever, it is our privilege to support our Members, with timely information, training (such as our recent Crisis Communications Workshop), and other benefits.  
Together, we are stronger, and will get through these challenging times. 
Catherine Lindquist,
Executive Director