Canadian Museums Association

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Canadian Museums Association
Formation 1947
Type Non-profit association
Legal status Active
Purpose The advancement of the Canadian museum sector
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario Canada
  • Ottawa, ON
Region served
all of Canada
2000 organizations
Official language
English & French
Affiliations CHIN, OMMC and VMC.

The Canadian Museums Association is a national organization for the promotion of museums in Canada.

The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) is the national organization for the advancement of the Canadian museum sector, representing Canadian museum professionals both within Canada and internationally. The CMA aims to improve the recognition, growth, and stability of the sector. It was established by a small group of people in Quebec City in 1947. There were 161 museums in Canada in 1951; by 1972 there were 838 museums, galleries and related institutions. As the quantity of Canadian museums increased, so did the need for the CMA.[citation needed]

Today, the CMA has nearly 2,000 members, and supports them with training and professional development programs, conferences, publications, networking opportunities, a body of knowledge, and a dedicated staff.[citation needed]

CMA members include national museums, non-profit museums, art galleries, science centres, aquaria, archives, sport halls-of-fame, artist-run centres, zoos and historic sites across Canada. They range from large metropolitan galleries to small community museums. All are dedicated to preserving and presenting Canada's cultural heritage to the public.[citation needed] Over the past 65 years, Canada's museums have developed an international reputation for excellent programming, dedicated public service, and high standards of professionalism.[citation needed]

The CMA is governed by an elected Board of Directors and maintains a full-service Secretariat in Ottawa.


The CMA is a federally incorporated nonprofit association which advances public museum services in Canada, promotes the welfare and a better administration of museums and fosters a continuing improvement in the qualifications and practices of museum professionals.[1] It is a registered charity and supports the Museums Foundation of Canada which is a separate charity.

CMA publishes MUSE magazine every 2 months and offers its members services such as advocacy on broad public policy, The Official Directory of Canadian Museums and Related Institutions, a comprehensive Insurance Programme among other services. The Association regularly appears before Parliamentary Committees on issues of heritage. CMA also hosts an annual Canadian Museums Day on Parliament Hill to celebrate the contributions of museums to society.

In 1992 CMA with the Assembly of First Nations published the landmark report Turning The Pagewith recommendations on repatriation of human remains and sacred objects to indigenous communities. In 2015, CMA was again named in recommendations 67 and 68 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Final set of recommendations to undertake special roles in the reconciliation process. In 2016 CMA is in the process of launching a major Museums and Indigenous Council to address these and other issues with indigenous Canadians.

The Association administers for the Department of Canadian Heritage the Young Canada Works program which provides funds for the hiring of summer students and interns in quality learning positions.

It also offers large national conferences each year in various locations across Canada (Halifax in 2016, Ottawa 2017 and Vancouver 2018) as well a specialized conference on museum issues examples being Museum Traveling Exhibitions, Deaccessioning Standards, Art and Law symposium, Museum Retailing and Visitor Services, etc.

Its long-standing Executive Director is John G. McAvity, recipient of the Order of Canada.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ A-AD-266-000/AG-001 Canadian Forces Museums –Operations and Administration 2002-04-03

Coordinates: 45°24′57″N 75°41′29″W / 45.41583°N 75.69139°W / 45.41583; -75.69139