Summary of the Evaluation of the Museums Assistance Program 2013-14 to 2017-18

Evaluation Services Directorate
July 19, 2021

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Summary of the Evaluation of the Museums Assistance Program 2013-14 to 2017-18 [PDF version - 1.99 MB]

List of acronyms and abbreviations

Canadian Heritage
GBA Plus
Gender-based analysis plus
Museums Assistance Program


"The Museums Assistance Program (MAP) supports heritage institutions and workers in the preservation and presentation of heritage collections. It fosters the preservation of Indigenous culture and facilitates access to heritage collections for all Canadians. It also promotes professional knowledge, skills and practices related to key museum functions."

MAP is managed at PCH headquarters and is coordinated and delivered through the five regional offices, with support of the district offices.

Funding Components

Access to Heritage

Indigenous Heritage

Collections Management


MAP Vote 5 actual resources by component and by fiscal year from 2013-14 to 2017-18 in Canadian dollars were the following:

Fiscal Year Collections Management Indigenous Heritage Access to Heritage Total for MAP
2013-2014 1 927 744 1 463 584 3 340 781 6 732 109
2014-2015 1 689 452 1 782 397 3 284 585 6 756 434
2015-2016 1 708 654 1 063 431 3 844 601 6 616 686
2016-2017 1 317 917 1 589 428 4 034 986 6 942 331
2017-2018 1 496 093 1 337 201 3 909 864 6 743 158

Museums in Canada

Museums and other heritage institutions (archives, art galleries, historic sites, etc.) are central to preserving and sharing Canada’s heritage.

In 2015:

Most museums and heritage institutions in Canada:


The needs of Canadian museums and heritage institutions are constantly growing. MAP is responding in part to the current and evolving needs of museums.

Some challenges faced by Canadian museums:

  1. Insufficient funding for operations;
  2. Lack of human resources capacity for both paid and volunteer staff;
  3. Issues associated with adopting new technologies and digitization of collections;
  4. Growing divide between large and small museums; and
  5. Need to build bridges with Indigenous communities.

The numbers of funded and non-funded applications to MAP from 2013-14 to 2017-18 per fiscal year were the following:

Fiscal Year Number of funded applications Number of non-funded applications
2013-2014 127 56
2014-2015 143 31
2015-2016 157 25
2016-2017 140 41
2017-2018 154 31

The number of applications received remained relatively stable over the five years, which suggests the program is of benefit to the museum community.

Some trends and important issues facing museums in Canada were identified during the interviews, in decreasing order of importance:


MAP continued to make progress in achieving its intended immediate, intermediate and ultimate outcomes.


MAP has improved its operational efficiency over the years.


The evaluation recommends that the ADM, Official Languages, Heritage and Regions:

  1. Build upon the findings of this evaluation to further examine and identify mechanisms to address the current and emerging contexts and priorities affecting museums, including through enhanced engagement and communication with Indigenous communities to better understand their needs and realities.
  2. Work with the respective stakeholders to :
    1. Simplify the application process as part of the move to an online portal and;
    2. Examine the intake cycle.
  3. Work with Strategic Planning and other internal stakeholders to:
    1. Review the MAP performance indicators to align with government orientation with respect to priority groups and implement them;
    2. Ensure that the program logic model is aligned with the program results and performance set out in the Performance Information Profile and reporting methodology; and;
    3. Review the program’s reporting methodology to ensure that it is reproducible and clearer.

©Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2021.
Catalogue Number: CH7-30/2-2021E-PDF
ISBN: 978-0-660-40245-1

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