Summary of the Evaluation of the Museums Assistance Program 2013-14 to 2017-18
Evaluation Services Directorate
July 19, 2021
On this page
- List of acronyms and abbreviations
- Funding Components
- Museums in Canada
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.
Access to Heritage
- Promotes access to heritage across different geographic regions of Canada.
- Includes the Exhibition Circulation Fund (ECF), which assists museums with the costs of hosting travelling exhibitions originating from another museum or from a federal heritage institution.
- 373 applications approved
- Provides funding for projects related to the preservation, presentation, and management of Canada’s Indigenous cultural heritage.
- 82 applications approved
- Provides funding for projects that aim to improve professional knowledge, skills and practices and to strengthen professional standards related to key museum functions for collections management in Canada.
- Includes the Canada-France Agreement which aims to:
- Develop special, lasting ties between museums in Canada and France; and
- Enhance the skills and competencies of museum professionals.
- 266 applications approved
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|
- Total of Vote 5 actual resources for the Collections Management component : $8,139,860
- Total of Vote 5 actual resources for the Indigenous Heritage component : $7,236,041
- Total of Vote 5 actual resources for the Access to Heritage component : $18,414,817
Museums in Canada
Museums and other heritage institutions (archives, art galleries, historic sites, etc.) are central to preserving and sharing Canada’s heritage.
- 15,000 permanent exhibitions
- Over 3,600 travelling exhibitions
- Over 3,600 online exhibitions, following a major growth in the past decade
- 70 million artefacts preserved in Canada
Most museums and heritage institutions in Canada:
- Have less than 10 employees
- Rely heavily on volunteer staff and part-time employees
- Depend heavily on funding from various levels of government along with private sector support
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:
- Insufficient funding for operations;
- Lack of human resources capacity for both paid and volunteer staff;
- Issues associated with adopting new technologies and digitization of collections;
- Growing divide between large and small museums; and
- 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|
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:
- Technology and digitization
- Human resources
- Disparity between museums
- Changing role of museums
- Core museum functions
- Capacity building
- Diversity and inclusion
- Application process and eligibility criteria
MAP continued to make progress in achieving its intended immediate, intermediate and ultimate outcomes.
- Funding is critical for travelling exhibitions projects – the number of projects funded in each region was roughly proportional to the distribution of the Canadian population.
- MAP’s support for Indigenous heritage is critical to ensuring cultural representation in museums and preserving Indigenous artefacts within communities.
- MAP investments promote the acquisition of professional knowledge, skills and practices by heritage institutions and their workers.
- The improvement of collections management and preservation objectives has had a considerable impact:
- 86 projects to improve the management of heritage objects and collections
- 141 projects to improve the preservation of heritage objects and collections
- 1.5 million objects total
MAP has improved its operational efficiency over the years.
- Improvement in the program’s ratio of administrative costs to total expenditures:
- 22% in 2010-11 to 2013-14
- 15% in 2013-14 to 2017-18
- The notional allocation funding method based on population distribution by region was implemented in 2016 and has demonstrated its efficiency;
- Further improvements could be made to reporting, to reduce the burden placed on recipients.
The evaluation recommends that the ADM, Official Languages, Heritage and Regions:
- 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.
- Work with the respective stakeholders to :
- Simplify the application process as part of the move to an online portal and;
- Examine the intake cycle.
- Work with Strategic Planning and other internal stakeholders to:
- Review the MAP performance indicators to align with government orientation with respect to priority groups and implement them;
- 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;
- 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
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