Updated June 10, 2020
Museums, galleries, and cultural organizations across the province are currently dealing with a host of challenges stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. In partnership with Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance, and BC Alliance for Arts + Culture, the BCMA is working to help quantify the impact that COVID-19 is having on the province’s arts, culture, and heritage sector through an impact survey (found here). This post explores best practices, innovative ideas, and administrative support for cultural organizations as they cope with prolonged closures, remote work and reopening.
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.
- The International Council of Museums have listed reopening considerations and recommendations that can be found here
Provincial Museum Associations
BC Alliance for Arts and Culture
- BC Alliance for Arts and Culture has gathered a collection of resources for artists and workers in the art and culture industry.
BC Arts Council
- The BC Arts Council COVID-19 FAQ
BC Tourism Events Program
- BC Tourism Events Program funding FAQ
Canada Council for the Arts
- Important Information related to COVID-19 is located on their website
- The Canada Council for the Arts announced plans to provide approximately $60 million in advance funding.
- An FAQ for Canadian Heritage grants and contributions recipients related to COVID-19 can be found on their website.
Canadian Museums Association
- The CMA is seeking the federal government’s financial support for the museum sector during the response to COVID-19. Information on their advocacy efforts can be found here and with an update here.
- The CMA has summarized key elements of the Government of Canada’s Economic Response Plan that are available to museums. Details can be found here.
Community Gaming Grants
- The Community Gaming Grants program reaffirms that their top priority remains the health and safety of British Columbians. They are committed to supporting applicants during these challenging times.
- The Community Gaming Grants Branch FAQ
- Information and COVID-19 updates for the Creative Industries of BC can be found here.
First Peoples’ Cultural Council
- A message from FPCC about the impacts of COVID-19 on upcoming programs or project completion can be found on their website.
- “We will continue to open grants, receive applications and final reports, and we are assessing the extension of grant application deadlines on a case-by case basis. We want to support you as best we can, so if you have any questions about your ability to complete a grant application or final report, please contact program staff by email. Staff contacts are listed on each program page of the website.”
- For updates on the Vancouver Foundation’s response to COVID-19 and changes to grant deadlines and reporting, visit their blog.
- Grant payments and donations will continue to be processed and their staff will be available by phone and email.
- Service Canada is ready to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 and placed in quarantine, with the following support actions:
- The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
- Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period
- Priority EI application processing for EI sickness claims for clients under quarantine
- People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
- People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay
- Applying for Employment Insurance Benefit assistance document
- The Canadian government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Learn more on their website
Workplace Advice for Employers
- The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more about their Economic Response Plan here
- The Government of Canada is taking action to strong action to support Canadian businesses. Information can be found here
- Additional support has been announced to aid businesses impacted by COVID-19. Information can be found here
- The Government of Canada has announced funding of $500 million to establish a new COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. Information about this support can be found here
- The Province of British Columbia has declared a state of emergency to support response to COVID-19. Information for both employees and employers can be found here.
- The Province of British Columbia has released information on their COVID-19 Action plan, more information can be found here and here
- NEW Navigating Government Support Information Guide
General Resources for Not-for-Profit Organizations
Digital Resources for Organizations
- Culture Online, a digital directory of online programs and resources that museums, art galleries, and cultural organizations are sharing with British Columbians during the COVID-19 shutdowns.
- Live Streaming can be used to engage and connect with your audiences.
- Pinterest can be used as a digital scrapbook to share and explore exhibits, collections and programming. Information on how to use Pinterest for your institute can be found here and here.
- Instagram provides an opportunity to connect using daily posts, Instagram stories or via Instagram’s live streaming function. More information can be found here.
- Youtube can be used to connect and engage. For tips on how museums can use Youtube see here.
- Now is great time to explore podcasting. For information on how to start podcasting see here.
- ZOOM can be used to host remote meetings, digital classrooms and virtual events. Zoom resources can be found here.
- There are free platforms that can be used for video-conference meetings, some options are Jitsi and Google Meet.
- Accessibility tips for better Zoom/Digital Meetings from the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center can be found here
- For resources to help Museums understand and use digital tools explore this digital hub.
- Advice on leveraging digital content to connect during COVID-19
- Tips on how to transition to a virtual event using a mobile app can be found here
- Tips on how historic houses are using digital engagement can be found here
- Virtual field trip inspiration and a place to share your virtual field trips
- Valuable Webinars:
- Visitor attractions managing through crisis: COVID 19, free!
- How to Keep Your Audience Engaged, Entertained, and Inspired in the Age of Coronavirus, free!
- How Membership Departments Can Prepare for the Impact of Coronavirus, free!
- How Membership Departments Can Prepare for the Impact of Coronavirus, free!
- Visitor attractions managing through crisis, COVID-19, free!
- How to Captivate, Connect, and Communicate with Your Audience During Coronavirus, free!
- Communicating with Your Members During Coronavirus, free!
- How Museums Can Experiment with Social Media to Boost Audience Engagement During Coronavirus, free!
- How to Craft Meaningful & Mindful Digital Content in the Age of Coronavirus, free!
- Fulfillment, Renewals, and Budgets in Membership During Coronavirus, free!
- Family Matters: Effective Ways to Learn from Home, free!
- Collaborating on Virtual Educational Programs During Coronavirus, free!
- Navigating the Crisis: Federal Support Programs, free!
- Supporting Communities with Digital Programs during Coronavirus, free!
- How to Manage a Remote Internship Program at Your Museum, free!
- Planning for Reopening after Coronavirus, free!
- Preparing to Reopen: Strategy, Planning & Process on the Road to Reopening Museums, free!
- Reimagining Revenue Streams & Events, free!
- Preparing to Reopen: Experimenting with New Digital Revenue Streams on the Road to Reopening, free!
- The “Contactless” Future: Reimagining the Visitor Experience in the Era of Coronavirus, free!
- Creating Digital Benefits & Virtual Access for Members, free!
Statements from Provincial and Territorial 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.
Leadership through Crisis:
- Resources on innovation, change and adaptability can be found here
- Coronavirus: Wisdom from a Social Justice Lens podcast
- Information on the COVID-19 impact on the visitor attractions sector and guidance on how to move forward can be found here
- Handling Nonprofit Staff Cuts under COVID-19 article
- LEAN Canada – Leadership Emergency Arts Network Information for Organizations
Mental Health Resources
We will keep collecting resources and will stay in touch with our partners in the sector and beyond. Check back on our website and keep an eye on our social media channels for additional and updated information.