Province Kicks Off Ontario Heritage Week

Published on February 18, 2020

Government continuing to support and conserve Ontario’s history through investments in community museums and heritage organizations


February 18, 2020

TORONTO - The province is celebrating Ontario Heritage Week, highlighting the important history of local communities and the diverse heritage of Ontario. 

Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, was at the Ontario Heritage Trust today to kick off the week and highlight the government's more than $5-million investment in community museums and heritage organizations across the province.

"Community museums and heritage organizations support local tourism, community well-being and learning," said Minister MacLeod. "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."

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 that may fund 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, and supports community engagement activities such as exhibits, public programs, lecture series and walking tours.

"Our financial support for heritage organizations and community museums helps ensure that current and future generations can continue to learn about our province's rich history and culture — and that's what Ontario Heritage week is all about," continued Minister MacLeod. "Ontario offers the world in one province. Let's all come together this week to celebrate the places, landscapes, traditions and stories that embody our heritage and unite us all."

The province's annual Heritage Week celebrations are led by the Ontario Heritage Trust. Ontario Heritage Week 2020 runs from February 17 to 23. Ontarians can learn more about the Ontario Heritage Trust's calendar of events and listings in their communities during Heritage Week and all year long.

Quick Facts

  • 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.