Ontario investing in community museums


June 1, 2021 

SIMCOE – The Ontario government is investing more than $4.9 million through the Community Museum Operating Grant to support community museums across our province. 

“We have a rich and storied past in Haldimand-Norfolk – a past that is well worth documenting and preserving,” said MPP Toby Barrett, noting local museum funding is still to be determined in Haldimand-Norfolk.  

Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. Minister MacLeod was joined by Michael Parsa, MPP for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill, who sponsored a private member’s bill that led to the creation of Ontario Day, which will be commemorated annually on June 1. 

“Ontario’s culture sector continues to be impacted by the public health and safety measures necessary to keep people safe during this pandemic and this includes hundreds of museums across the province,” said Minister MacLeod. “Our government’s investment in community museums supports their continued contribution to local tourism, community well-being and lifelong learning – so that when it is safe to do so, they are ready to welcome back visitors and once again highlight how Ontario offers the world in one province.” 

The grant provides operating funding to eligible community museums, which may be used to fund staff salaries and museum maintenance, or for building and preserving collections, exhibitions and educational programs. This year’s funding may also help community museums meet their financial obligations, protect jobs and renovate facilities as they manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Today also marks the first annual Ontario Day. Our government recognizes the valuable contributions that Ontarians – both past and present – have made to our province and country’s social, economic, and cultural fabric,” continued Minister MacLeod. “This investment in community museums helps ensure current and future generations continue to learn about our province’s rich history and culture – because that’s what Ontario Day is all about.” 

Ontario Day is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about the significant roles that Ontario and Ontarians have played and continue to play in Canada. 

“Arts and culture are an important part of our community.” said MPP Parsa. “The museums and cultural organizations that were hit first and hardest by the pandemic are going to benefit greatly from the new Community Museum Operating Grant, and I’m excited that we are taking such an important step towards the recovery of our tourism and heritage sectors. There is no better time for this great announcement than today, when we mark the very first annual celebration of Ontario Day.” 

Quick Facts 

  • Community museums throughout Ontario are custodians and interpreters of the province’s irreplaceable heritage collections. They contribute to the economic well-being of Ontario communities, attracting more than three million visitors annually. 
  • Ontario is home to approximately 14.5-million people, accounting for 38 per cent of Canada’s population. 
  • Bill 173 proclaims June 1 of each year as Ontario Day. 


For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or [email protected]