Parliamentary Committee Will Hear From Community Museums to Better Understand the Challenges They Face

OTTAWA, ONTARIO - This morning, a motion for a study into the issues facing small museums in Canada was adopted by the House of Commons Standing Committee for Canadian Heritage. "I am pleased that the committee has agreed that now is an important time to hear from and study the local museum sector," said Peter Van Loan, who is the Conservative Party Critic for Canadian Heritage and National Historic Sites.

The study will call upon witnesses from local and community museums and related industries across Canada to present a variety of perspectives on the state of community museums to the members of the Heritage Committee. After the conclusion of the study, a report on the findings will be provided to the House of Commons.

"I feel strongly that we must study the importance, role and health of local and community museums across Canada," Van Loan said. "This study will highlight the challenges facing community museums, as they play an important role in preserving the history and stories of communities. With the current value of the dollar, the opportunity to promote and grow Canadian tourism is significant - and museums have a key role to play. It is a vital time to understand the needs of community museums and their potential."

The announcement of the study was supported by the Canadian Museums Association. Executive Director John McAvity said, "The vast majority of museums are non-governmental museums and are in a serious state of neglect. They are filled with rich collections, tell the history of Canada where it really happened, and are at the heart of their communities. We welcome this initiative, which will be the first time such a thorough study will have been done by the Members of Parliament."