Thank you, Kirstin.
Good morning, everyone.
We have received a great number of programming concepts around the 150th anniversary from members and directors, some of which we would like to share with you today. These ideas can be grouped into overarching approaches: projects of national scope, which are implemented on a collective basis, and projects that each museum and gallery would undertake on their own in collaboration with others in their area.
Partnerships and collaboration are key to the success of all major events. For the 150th anniversary, collaboration should go beyond museums to include partnerships with crown corporations, the private sector, and existing organizations and major events, such as the Canada Day celebrations here in Ottawa and in London, England.
With respect to projects of national scope, we would like to highlight the following five initiatives, which we recommend.
The first is to offer free admission to museums for a certain period, a gift to all Canadians. Many museums already offer free admission on July 1, but for 2017, we suggest extending that from National Aboriginal Day on June 21 to July 1, a period that includes Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Funding will be needed to offset the loss of revenue because that is a busy time for museums. It is the end of the school year and lots of school groups visit museums around that time.
The second idea is to create a Canadian heritage passport that would encourage people to visit the country’s museums, galleries and historic sites, and have their passport stamped at each location. The passport program would include a national ad campaign and prizes for participation.
The third idea is a national marketing campaign to promote various museum activities across the country and to raise awareness of the importance and value of our history and culture. That being said, regardless of which 150th anniversary initiatives are undertaken, I think that a large-scale campaign will be needed to coordinate major initiatives.
The fourth idea is to create major exhibits. This could mean major exhibits in larger museums or travelling exhibits that criss-cross the country by train, like the centennial train in 1967. Obviously the virtual aspect is part of it and can be developed along with strategies that constitute a nod to the past. I think that we should really focus on virtual strategies to encourage people to participate. There could be a virtual exhibit with images, archives and key artifacts from each museum, all tied together as part of the 150th anniversary, or a multimedia exhibit in partnership with CBC/Radio-Canada for example and other national media outlets to broadcast a program about 150 artifacts and artworks that define Canada.
The fifth and final idea is a national recognition program. The first element would be the creation of a medal to honour 150 museum volunteers across the country together with our colleagues from provincial and territorial associations. The second element would be the creation of a national museum of the year, art gallery of the year or science centre of the year award that members of the public can vote on, like the VotemyFundy campaign to designate the Bay of Fundy as a wonder of nature.
At local and provincial levels, suggestions include encouraging and supporting museums seeking to develop and present special exhibits that celebrate the history of their communities, such as with 150 objects, as well as offering behind-the-scenes tours so that people can see how museums work, outreach activities where museums take exhibits and programs to places like hospitals, care homes, schools, airports, tourism offices and so on.
Finally, at a professional level, the 150th anniversary represents a good opportunity for the heritage sector to invest in its future. The idea of investing in research and development, in establishing special fellowships and professional exchanges, and in exploring innovations in cross-sector partnerships and national forums will all build the museum of tomorrow and ensure the long-term sustainability of our cultural institutions.
As you can see, many good ideas are coming forward to showcase our rich heritage and culture in 2017 and throughout the many events leading up to it. The CMA is prepared to take the lead in sponsoring and managing many of these, working in partnership with our colleagues from the heritage sector.
Thank you very much. We are ready to answer your questions.