OTTAWA, June 30, 2021
The Government of Canada remains committed to supporting heritage institutions—like museums, art galleries, archives, Indigenous heritage organizations and historic sites—that have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the last year, due to health measures and ongoing travel restrictions, heritage institutions have had to shift to offering virtual experiences. The government will continue to support this shift to increase access to Canada’s heritage and digital collections for Canadians across the country.
Supporting heritage organizations and museums as they reopen to visitors
As part of Budget 2021 funding for the arts, culture, heritage and sport sectors and Canadians working in them, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced today $41 million to support heritage organizations across Canada in 2021–22 as they reopen and safely welcome back visitors. This funding will be delivered through the Museums Assistance Program (MAP) and will be accessible to a broad range of organizations through a streamlined online application process. It builds on the $53 million provided by the government as part of the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Heritage Organizations in support to organizations with heritage collections.
Budget 2021 also committed a total of $34 million for 2021–22 to help Canada’s six national museums and the National Battlefields Commission, as they also experienced significant financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Increased access to digital collections and Canadian history
In addition, the Government of Canada is also investing $23 million over three years to help museums across the country digitize information and collections. This funding will be delivered through a new component of the MAP to support the development of original content such as educational materials, apps or other virtual activities aimed at enhancing the visitor’s experience in person and online.
More details on the call for applications and eligibility criteria will be made available in the coming months.
Building careers in the heritage sector
Finally, the heritage sector could not survive without students and graduates who are acquiring skills, experiences and competencies through summer/short-term jobs and internships within heritage and cultural organizations. That is why the government continues to support the Young Canada Works (YCW) Heritage program. To address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, $12 million in supplementary recovery funds will be made available in 2021–22 to help create 1,240 additional jobs and internships.
Many young people have faced challenges finding work in the last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These investments will provide them with job opportunities, in addition to helping heritage and cultural organizations create the workforce they need to operate and ensure succession.