Museums and heritage organizations
Learn about community museums and heritage organizations, and how we support them.
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The Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries works closely with:
- historical societies
- provincial heritage organizations
From learning how to research one’s family history, to telling the stories of your community, these organizations help support cultural tourism and contribute to community vibrancy.
Community museums are custodians and interpreters of Ontario's irreplaceable heritage collections.
They create authentic, unique experiences in their communities through connections to historic collections and stories and to Ontarians.
Community museums contribute to collective awareness and pride of place and contribute to the economic well-being of Ontario communities, attracting more than three million visitors annually.
Find what’s happening at your local community museum.
We administer the Community Museum Operating Grant (CMOG). It is an annual, statutory grant program administered under Regulation 877 of the Ontario Heritage Act. Its objectives are to:
- augment and encourage local support for eligible community museums
- raise the level of professionalism in the Ontario museum sector
Each year, the government invests nearly $5 million to support more than 160 community museums across the province through the CMOG program.
We also administer the Standards for Community Museums in Ontario that outline the minimum functions, responsibilities and activities for the operation of a professional community museum. In order to be eligible for CMOG funding, museums are required to follow these standards.
CMOG is closed to new applicants.
There are hundreds of local heritage organizations in every region of Ontario. These organizations promote public awareness of their community’s heritage through activities like:
- public programs
- walking tours
- other special activities designed for the community
We administer the Heritage Organization Development Grant (HODG) for eligible incorporated historical societies, museums and associations, under Regulation 879 of the Ontario Heritage Act.
This is an annual statutory operating grant that helps heritage organizations inform and educate the public about their community heritage.
Each year, the government invests over $230,000 to support more than 160 heritage organizations across the province through the HODG program.
Provincial heritage organizations
Provincial heritage organizations have province-wide mandates, with members and chapters all across Ontario.
They represent disciplines such as archaeology, genealogy, architecture, history, archives and museums.
These 12 provincial heritage organizations are umbrella organizations for the major types of heritage activities across the province:
- Architectural Conservancy of Ontario
- Archives Association of Ontario
- Centre franco-ontarien de folklore (French only)
- Community Heritage Ontario
- Multicultural History Society of Ontario
- Ontario Archaeological Society
- Ontario Black History Society
- Ontario Genealogical Society
- Ontario Historical Society
- Ontario Museum Association
- Le Réseau du patrimoine franco-ontarien (French only)
- Save Ontario Shipwrecks
The purpose of the provincial heritage organization operating grant program is to strengthen the capacity of provincial heritage organizations to meet heritage sector goals and challenges in the context of current government priorities.
Each year, the ministry provides funding support to these 12 provincial heritage organizations. Our support helps them:
- deliver and promote wide public access to Ontario's heritage
- encourage public participation in heritage conservation activities