BCMA’s advocacy, research and communications build awareness about the value and impacts of our members and the BC cultural sector among policymakers and the general public.
The BC Museums Association defines advocacy as: The development and maintenance of ongoing relationships with influential people and/or groups that results in sustained recognition, and supporting the resources required to promote culture and heritage as valuable, essential assets and museums, art galleries and cultural centres as keepers of legacy, places of learning and economic drivers for the community.
Advocacy news and updates
We regularly publish advocacy news and updates to help our members and stakeholders stay informed about new policies, statistics and opportunities to advocate for museums and culture.
Making the case for your museum
The BC Museums Association regularly receives requests from members for tools and resources to assist with local advocacy, such as funding requests to municipalities and tools and tips for building relationships with elected officials. Here are a few resources you may find helpful. If there are other resources you would like to see, please contact us with your suggestions.
- Quick facts about British Columbia’s museum sector and the benefits of museums in B.C.
- Template: Create an educational and economic impact statement for your museum
- The Fall 2018 edition of Roundup Magazine included a municipal election primer, including stats and facts about the impact of B.C. museums.
- BCMA was pleased to provide a summary of funding needs for BC museums as the Province developed its 2018 budget.
- The Spring 2017 issue of Roundup Magazine was devoted to advocacy, including articles on the BC election, how to make the case for culture and a call to action for BC museums.
- Why Culture Matters in British Columbia: A helpful overview from the BC Alliance for Arts and Culture about the benefits of arts, culture and heritage. Also provides detail on the benefits of increased public funding, specifically related to the provincial government’s promise to double BC Arts Council funding.
- Why the Arts Matter: ArtsVoteBC’s summary of the positive impacts of arts, culture and heritage on our society, education, economy, and health and well-being.
- The Canadian Museums Association and the BC Museums Association recently partnered on an initiative to encourage museums to invite their MPs to visit their museum. In a letter to BCMA members, the CMA and BCMA provided resources, tips, and talking points for inviting MPs to visit. To read the full letter, click here.
Be a voice for positive change! Write a letter, make a phone call and invite decision-makers to visit your museum. Educate yourself about the benefits of museums and share your knowledge to help increase awareness about the social, cultural and economic impacts of our sector. Building relationships with politicians in your community is one of the most effective ways to take action, both to benefit your own community and organization, and to contribute to wider efforts provincially and nationally to ensure decision-makers understand the many ways museums contribute to communities.
- Sample letter to invite a government official to your museum or event (Word template)
- Celebrate BC Museums Week and International Museums Day: These awareness events celebrate the the importance of museums, art galleries, historic sites, cultural centres and other memory institutions as keepers of legacy, places of learning, and drivers for the economic and social well-being of our communities. Invite members of the public and elected officials to celebrate with you!
- Write your MLA about the importance of arts funding now! Use this template letter to advocate for increased BC Arts Council funding in the 2019 provincial budget.
- Government of Canada #YourBudget consultation: Take the survey or send an email submission to help shape how the federal government allocates its funds in 2019. Be sure to share your ideas on how the government can support museums, art, culture and heritage! A recent report recommends major improvements to museum support programs – learn more here to inform your feedback.
Wondering who to invite to your next exhibition opening? Who to brief on a new project you’re seeking support for? Who to write or call to advocate for increased investment and support for museums, culture and heritage? Here are links to directories of elected officials and staff and key decision-makers.
- Visit CivicInfoBC for contacts and information on B.C. municipalities and regional districts.
- Find your MLA (provincial government representatives)
- BC Government Directory (provincial government departments and contacts)
- Key Contacts:
- Hon. Lisa Beare, Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture: Contact the Minister, read her bio and mandate letter and learn more about Ministry plans and activities.
- Find your MP (federal government representative)
- Government of Canada Directory (federal government departments and contacts)
- Key Contacts:
- Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism: Contact the Minister, read his bio and mandate letter and learn more about Canadian Heritage programs and services
Research, reports and additional resources
- Government of Canada Survey of Heritage Institutions (2017): A survey and analysis of financial and operating data from 1,820 heritage institutions and sites (museums, art galleries, historic sites, etc).
- Hill Strategies: Arts and culture research reports on topics like Canadian public participation in arts, culture and heritage