Thank you, John.
Thank you very much.
Prior to this consultation about events celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, the CMA and its board of directors organized a series of consultations for members and museum directors across Canada. The process is ongoing, and some excellent ideas and suggestions have come out of the consultations. We want to share those ideas with you today.
Today, I would like to share three major recommendations drawn from all of the ideas our members have put forward. Then my colleague Benoît Légaré will present more detailed programming suggestions.
Firstly, in 1967 Canada celebrated its centennial year in a really comprehensive manner, from Expo '67 in Montreal to small community projects. Virtually every community participated in a way, and we saw the emergence of hundreds of new museums in our cities and small towns. Major new buildings were opened across the country, such as the Nova Scotia Museum, the Ontario Science Centre, the Manitoba Museum, and more. Small community museums were also built as legacy gifts.
The impact of what happened in 1967 should not be underestimated. It is still felt today by our children and by our grandchildren. So this is really an opportunity for us to consider the role of culture broadly in our way of life in Canada and what it can do for our country in the future.
For 2017 we do not recommend large-scale capital projects of the magnitude we saw in 1967. Given the economic climate, we believe it's just not appropriate to create new museums. However, many existing museum buildings built during that time and beyond require upgrades and expansions. Collections care is an ongoing issue from an infrastructure point of view. Some collections are housed in facilities inapppropriate to properly caring for these national treasures for the future. Our facilities need upgrading so that we can welcome our visitors in a way they have become accustomed to being welcomed throughout the world at other museums.
These issues and areas of expansion and consideration are things we should look at, if any capital funds are available to these institutions.
Secondly, we recommend the establishment of a formal multi-year grants program to begin the development and implementation of the celebratory projects as soon as possible. Additional funding from the private sector should and will be sought. Some projects can be fully funded from private sources, while others require federal investments. A multi-year grant program will ensure that the tight timelines are met and will take into consideration the ancillary anniversaries leading up to the 150th anniversary of Canada.
The Minister of Canadian Heritage has already outlined a number of these special opportunities to you, in his appearance here on October 20, 2011.
Thirdly, we would like to propose that we ensure these celebrations are inclusive for all Canadians, with special recognition given to our Canadian diversity and our aboriginal roots as a country. Museums should, with a presentation of artifacts and of our intangible cultural heritage, celebrate the people, the stories, the songs, the traditions, the ideas that continue to shape this country. These celebrations, these moments to come together, are about looking back, but they are about looking back so that we can move forward, continuing to innovate and to build Canada's cultural and heritage sector.
A legacy project like the matching donations program that John mentioned would help make that possible and would help bring buy-in to these activities across all sectors, private and public.
We would like to applaud you for this early start on the planning process at this level. We want to ensure that the results as a result of this planning process are significant and meaningful to all Canadians and all Canadians who follow us in the future.