Government of Canada Continues to Support Heritage Organizations and Access to Canada’s Heritage Collections

News release

OTTAWA, June 30, 2021

The Government of Canada remains committed to supporting heritage institutions—like museums, art galleries, archives, Indigenous heritage organizations and historic sites—that have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the last year, due to health measures and ongoing travel restrictions, heritage institutions have had to shift to offering virtual experiences. The government will continue to support this shift to increase access to Canada’s heritage and digital collections for Canadians across the country.

Supporting heritage organizations and museums as they reopen to visitors

As part of Budget 2021 funding for the arts, culture, heritage and sport sectors and Canadians working in them, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced today $41 million to support heritage organizations across Canada in 2021–22 as they reopen and safely welcome back visitors. This funding will be delivered through the Museums Assistance Program (MAP) and will be accessible to a broad range of organizations through a streamlined online application process. It builds on the $53 million provided by the government as part of the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Heritage Organizations in support to organizations with heritage collections.

Budget 2021 also committed a total of $34 million for 2021–22 to help Canada’s six national museums and the National Battlefields Commission, as they also experienced significant financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Increased access to digital collections and Canadian history

In addition, the Government of Canada is also investing $23 million over three years to help museums across the country digitize information and collections. This funding will be delivered through a new component of the MAP to support the development of original content such as educational materials, apps or other virtual activities aimed at enhancing the visitor’s experience in person and online.

More details on the call for applications and eligibility criteria will be made available in the coming months.

Building careers in the heritage sector

Finally, the heritage sector could not survive without students and graduates who are acquiring skills, experiences and competencies through summer/short-term jobs and internships within heritage and cultural organizations. That is why the government continues to support the Young Canada Works (YCW) Heritage program. To address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, $12 million in supplementary recovery funds will be made available in 2021–22 to help create 1,240 additional jobs and internships.

Many young people have faced challenges finding work in the last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These investments will provide them with job opportunities, in addition to helping heritage and cultural organizations create the workforce they need to operate and ensure succession.


“History, heritage and culture are at the heart of who we are and what we pass on from one generation to the next. We recognize the importance of education and the richness of this sector, which has suffered greatly from the pandemic restrictions in recent months. We are happy that our government's investment will allow many museums to gradually reopen to the public, provide access to more Canadian heritage collections online and allow many young Canadians to find jobs and build their careers in the heritage sector.”

—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage 

Quick facts

  • In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed $1.9 billion to help support the recovery and reopening of the arts, culture, heritage and sport sectors. This funding will help ensure recovery and growth, and help create good, middle-class jobs in these sectors.

  • To assess requests and distribute funds to organizations that need it most, two initiatives have been developed: the Recovery Fund for Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors, which will provide $300 million over two years to these sectors; and the Reopening Fund, which will provide $200 million over two years to help Canada’s festivals, cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, heritage celebrations, local museums, amateur sport events and more.

  • The Museums Assistance Program supports heritage institutions and workers in the preservation and presentation of heritage collections. The program encourages the preservation of Indigenous cultures and facilitates access to heritage collections for all Canadians. It also promotes professional knowledge, skills and practices related to key museum functions.

  • Canada’s national museums are independent Crown corporations responsible for their day-to-day operations, including making decisions related to their programming and exhibition content as well as managing their human and financial resources. The funding for the national museums and the National Battlefields Commission will be distributed in 2021-22 as follows:

    Canadian Museum for Human Rights: $3.9 million

    Canadian Museum of History: $4.9 million

    Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21: $1.4 million

    Canadian Museum of Nature: $8 million

    National Museum of Science and Technology: $7.6 million

    National Gallery of Canada: $6.2 million

    National Battlefields Commission: $2 million

  • Young Canada Works funds employers to help them create jobs for students and internships for graduates. These programs help youth acquire skills in the cultural and heritage sector, (Young Canada Works Heritage component), and official language environments (Young Canada Works Official Languages component).

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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