Updated 9:58 AM, June 10, 2020

As communities across British Columbia follow news on the global spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the BC Museums Association and Heritage BC would like to direct members to relevant information and resources. These resources are not to be taken as legal advice or definitive answers to the challenges facing our sector, but rather as links to trusted sources of information from official government channels. We urge all members to look to local, provincial, and federal levels of government for information and best practices to help safeguard our communities’ wellbeing. The situation has been changing rapidly and it is important to seek up-to-date information from reliable sources.

This is a time for all of us to reflect on the meaning of heritage: it is about what matters, and it is about the stories that connect us. Ultimately, it is about all people, their communities, and our humanity. It is for those reasons that we must choose to self-educate and share credible sources, as we help our communities in choosing empathy and compassion. As custodians of history and heritage, we know what history has to teach us and we have a responsibility to educate against harmful misconceptions and prejudiced ideas and acts.

Currently, provincial health officials recommend the following containment measures (source):

  • Event organizers cancel any gathering in British Columbia larger than 50 people.
  • Canadians are to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada, including to the US. Anyone who chooses to travel outside Canada must stay away from work or school for 14 days on their return.
  • Workplaces should be enacting social distancing measures.

Provincial Resources:

Federal Resources: 

Resources and Responses from BC NFP Organizations

  • Vantage Point bulletin: A message from the team on COVID-19.
  • BC Alliance of Arts + Culture resource and updates document

Other Useful Resources 

Statements from Provincial and Territorial Museum Associations:

Reopening Resources

The Government of BC has announced that museums will be able to reopen in mid-May as part of the Province’s Restart Plan. The BCMA has compiled a guide, which has then been reviewed by the Government of British Columbia, to assist museums, galleries, culture centres, and heritage organizations in preparing their sites to be reopened to staff, volunteers, and the public.

BC Government 

ICOM 

  • The International Council of Museums have listed reopening considerations and recommendations that can be found here

Provincial Museum Associations

For best practices exploring personal preparedness, preparing for public gatherings, collections/facilities care, and human resources & business continuity planning, the Ontario Museums Association and the American Alliance of Museums have both created significant compilations of existing resources.