Canada’s Museums and Election 2021
September 4, 2021
Canada’s national, provincial and territorial museums associations issued an open letter to all party leaders urging them to commit to updating Canada’s 30-year-old national museum policy.
The letter describes the unique role of museums in today’s Canada and what an effective national museum policy would look like, stressing the CMA’s desire to establish a long-term partnership with government that leverages and strengthens the social, economic, and cultural value of museums.
The letter includes a questionnaire asking party leaders to share their vision for Canada’s museums prior to election day.
News Release: Canada’s Museum and Heritage Leaders Urge Federal Parties to Make Sector a Priority
OTTAWA, September 2, 2021 — The Canadian Museums Association (CMA), along with 11 provincial and territorial museums associations representing over 2,000 museum and heritage institutions, are calling on federal political parties to commit to updating Canada’s 30-year-old national museum policy.
The CMA and its provincial and territorial counterparts issued an open 2021 election letter to all party leaders that describes the unique role of museums in today’s Canada.
“From the awakening of a national consciousness based on Indigenous truths rather than colonial myths, to the need to reinvent an economy and lifestyle fueled by plentiful carbon, the shifting sands of change challenge our sense of what it means to be Canadian and demand reconciliation not only between peoples, but with our own sense of being.
“In the midst of this uncertainty and upheaval, museums – among the institutions most trusted by Canadians – provide the solid ground from which, together, we can map a way forward,” the letter reads.
Recent public opinion survey data conducted on behalf of the associations demonstrates the high level of support enjoyed by museums and the value Canadians place on them:
- 80 percent of respondents believe that museums are a highly credible source of information
- 85 percent think museums improve quality of life in a community; and
- 75 percent consider museums a very important part of Canadian society.
A new national museum policy is required to reflect the transformative role that museums play.
The letter states that the pandemic brought to light the economic fragility of the sector and that a new long-term partnership with the Government of Canada is needed to put the sector on a more sustainable footing.
“We want to establish a long-term partnership with government that leverages and strengthens the social, economic, and cultural value of museums. A policy framework supported by predictable long-term funding is essential to making this happen,” the signatories write.
Accompanying the open letter is a questionnaire asking party leaders to share their vision for Canada’s museums prior to election day.