As the province marked Ontario Heritage Week to celebrate the history of local communities, Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark highlighted the important role area museums and heritage organizations play in preserving our past. Steve announced that the Ontario Government is supporting that work by providing financial support through the Community Museum Operating Grant (CMOG) and Heritage Organization Development Grant (HODG) programs.
The Brockville Museum will receive $27,176 in CMOG funding, while the Delta Mill Society, Historic 1000 Islands Village and Chaffey’s Lock and Area, 1000 Islands River, Elgin and Area, Gananoque, Grenville County, Leeds and 1000 Islands, Merrickville and North Grenville Historical Societies will share $14,365 under the HODG program.
“I am proud that we have so many local champions who work tirelessly to promote and preserve the rich culture and heritage of Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes,” said Clark. “Local museums and heritage organizations enrich everyone’s lives by telling our story to those fortunate to call this area home and to visitors eager to learn more about our past.”
Through the Community Museum Operating Grant, 166 eligible community museums receive just over $4.8 million annually. The grant provides operating funding to community museums to help pay staff salaries, museum maintenance, building and preserving collections, exhibitions and educational programs.
In addition, 176 heritage organizations receive a total of nearly $240,000 in funding through the Heritage Organization Development Grant. This grant provides annual operating funding to not-for-profit heritage organizations and historical societies to support community engagement activities such as exhibits, public programs, lecture series and walking tours.
“Community museums and heritage organizations support local tourism, community well-being and learning,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “They also contribute to a spectacular double bottom line – the financial bottom line of the province as well as the equally important bottom line of our cultural fabric and identity. Our financial support for heritage organizations and community museums helps ensure current and future generations can continue to learn about our province’s rich history and culture.”
In total, the government is investing more than $5 million in 342 community museums and heritage organizations across the province. Community museums throughout Ontario are custodians and interpreters of the province’s irreplaceable heritage collections. They contribute to Ontario communities’ economic well-being, attracting more than 3 million visitors annually.
Many heritage organizations are operated exclusively by volunteers. Each year, thousands of community volunteers contribute tens of thousands of service hours for these organizations.
The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. The Trust’s mandate is to identify, protect, promote and conserve Ontario’s heritage. In the 2019 Fall Economic Statement, the government proposed a new program to provide free admission for children and youth to cultural sites and attractions across the province.