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  5. Museums, digitization, climate knowledge: priorities for new Minister of Canadian Heritage

Museums, digitization, climate knowledge: priorities for new Minister of Canadian Heritage

December 16, 2019

The priorities of the newly appointed Minister of Canadian Heritage, as defined in the Ministerial mandate letter, highlight the critical role museums play in providing access and enabling scientific literacy for Canadians.

Of relevance to museums, the letter directs the minister to:

  • Review Canada's national museums policy to ensure that people can access Canadian history across the country, with better access to digital collections. Introduce the Culture Pass, a $200 credit that every Canadian child will receive when they turn 12 years old to be used to access theatres, museums, galleries, workshops and other cultural venues and local Canadian content.
  • Work with the national museums to increase Canadians’ awareness of climate change.
  • Work with the Minister of Foreign Affairs to introduce a new Cultural Diplomacy strategy with at least one international mission each year to promote Canadian culture and creators around the world.
  • Make the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Heritage Centre a national museum.

The Canadian Museum of Nature continues to actively digitize its national collections of 14.6 million specimens, in order to make this collection available both for researchers to study our environment, and for all Canadians to enjoy and learn. The Canadian Museum of Nature is pleased to see this is a continued priority,

A new credit will also be a great additional means to enable families to access and enjoy museums or other cultural institutions.

The Canadian Museum of Nature especially welcomes the call to museums to participate in climate awareness-raising.  Since 1856, researchers from the museum have travelled across Canada cataloguing and studying the country’s plant and animal biodiversity as well as its geological and mineral diversity. This record of change over time is an integral tool to inform research today. And, we see it reflected in our galleries; the Canada Goose Arctic Gallery, and the Water Gallery both showcase changing climate and its impact on our planet.