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Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage


NUMBER 098 
l
1st SESSION 
l
42nd PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (0845)  

[English]

[Translation]

    I see we are all back.
    Hello everyone and welcome.

[English]

    We are having meeting number 98 of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. We are continuing our study on the state of Canadian museums.

[Translation]

    Two witnesses are joining us by video conference:

[English]

the Ontario Museum Association, Marie Lalonde, Executive Director. Hello.

[Translation]

    We also have Ms. Carol Pauzé, from the Musée de l'ingéniosité J. Armand Bombardier.
    Hello.
    Our third witness, Mr. Pierre Wilson, from the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec, is here with us.
    Hello.
    Ms. Lalonde and Ms. Pauzé, we do not have your notes. Please speak slowly so the interpreters can understand what you are saying.
    Thank you.
    We will begin with our witnesses in Valcourt and Toronto.
    Ladies, you have the floor for 10 minutes.
    We will begin with Ms. Marie Lalonde.

[English]

    Good morning, everyone. I apologize for my hoarseness. There's a bit of a remaining flu bug, but let's continue with enthusiasm.
    Thank you, Madam Chair and members of the committee, for this opportunity to speak with you today about the state of Canadian museums.
    The Ontario Museum Association, known as the OMA, is the leading professional organization advancing a strong, collaborative, and inclusive museum sector that is vital to community life and the well-being of Ontarians. The OMA strengthens capacity among institutions and individuals active in Ontario's museums sector. It facilitates excellence and best practices, and improves the communication and collaboration of its membership. The OMA advocates for the important role of Ontario's museums to society, working with all stakeholders, related sectors and industries, and other professional organizations. We also offer the only part-time certificate in museum studies in Ontario.
    Ontario is the province with the highest number of museums. There are more than 700 museums, art galleries, and heritage sites in Ontario, and close to 400 of these are mandated as museums. They employ almost 10,000 professionals and engage 33,000 volunteers. Annually, these volunteers in museums and art galleries work more than 1.5 million hours. There are 17.5 million annual visits to Ontario museums each year; 48% of Ontarians visit a museum or an art gallery annually; 81% of these visitors to museums in Ontario are from within the province, and 55% are from the local area; and 88% of museums are also free to the public at select times. There are close to 40,000 school visits per year, with many of these school visits being from more than one class, and of course, in turn, many classes of more than 15 students or schoolchildren. There are also 74 million online visits to Ontario museums.
    What these numbers clearly demonstrate is that Canadians are interested in, appreciate, and need good museums. Canadians have indicated—and this was stated by other presenters in reference to many public surveys—that Canadians trust museums. They want public investments to support them.
    Museums are also an integral part of Ontario's vibrant cultural sector. They directly contribute $25.3 billion toward the province's GDP, and nearly 4% is from museums specifically. According to the Canadian Heritage survey of 2015—soon to be updated, I understand—the total revenue for heritage institutions in Canada reached a record $2.12 billion in 2013. That was a 3% increase from 2011, and we understand that the trend continues. The three provinces that accounted for most of the sector's revenues were led by Ontario, at 41%; then Quebec, at 26.4%; and Alberta, at 10%.
    What's very important and what I'd like to bring to the committee's attention today is that, over the last two years, the OMA, working with Ontario museums, conducted an exhaustive sectoral study to identify a vision or a road map for our museums. It was directed by a task force of Ontario museum leaders, individuals from various types of museums, various regions, with expertise on the issues that concern Ontario museums. This process was inspired by leading international museum initiatives in jurisdictions such as the U.K. and Wales. It was directly informed by Ontario's sector-wide consultations and included key stakeholder interviews with government, provincial heritage organizations, associations of libraries, arts councils, the Ontario Heritage Trust, tourism service organizations, and many other cultural sector partners, along with hundreds of responses from Ontario museum surveys, all supported by collected data on our museums.

  (0850)  

     All of these efforts will ensure there is a very strong foundation for museums to move forward with this vision. The result is two key documents that the OMA is proud to share with the committee for your consideration. The first is “Ontario's Museums 2025: Strategic Vision & Action Plan”, and if you will forgive me, I will hold it up for you. We were pleased to present it to Chair Madam Dabrusin, as well as Mr. Van Loan, during their 2016 visits, I believe. We also have the “Ontario's Museums 2014 Profile”, which was a data report with the latest information on museums, developed by Hill Strategies.
    The Ontario's museums 2025 document is the sector plan to ensure that museums continue to play a fundamental role in creating dynamic communities, to contribute to a prosperous knowledge economy, and to build public value, thereby becoming increasingly relevant to all Ontarians and Canadians.
    The task force considered a phased approach to implementing this vision and action plan, recognizing the challenges of the current workloads for museum workers and limited resources. Considering the feedback received, we recommended in the action plan that the following outcomes and actions be targeted over the next 10 years: the creation of vibrant and vital museums, an effective and collaborative workforce, relevant and meaningful collections, and a strong and successful sector.
    For each of these areas, we identified a vision 2025 for what museums should look like in that year, and then outcomes and steps for how we can get there. Ontario's museums 2025 calls for innovative collaboration and new approaches to museum work. The action plan also has simple icons that identify in detail who has agency and needs to be involved for the success of each of the actions in the plan, whether the government, the museums themselves, the OMA as an association, or the private sector.
    For the creation of vibrant and vital museums, there are recommended actions. These include developing tools, strategies, and best practices for museums to consult with their communities and facilitate participation in museum planning and work and to use digital technology and social media to create connected networks to enable public access to collections, to programs and resources, and to staff.
    To create an effective and collaborative workforce, we look to develop tools, strategies, and best practices to increase the capacity and effectiveness of museums. To address accessibility, diversity, and inclusion, we need to create research capacity and create meaningful employment and skill acquisition opportunities.
    To have relevant and meaningful collections, we want to develop a coordinated approach to collecting and to ensure that the collections represent the diversity of our country; to develop models for shared spaces, shared service delivery, and shared resources; and to work with governments to foster awareness of shared values for support of museums to develop a new funding strategy, public awareness, and marketing campaign.

  (0855)  

    To summarize, we echo most of the other presenters in that we need a new museum policy, new funding programs that reflect the current context for museum operations, and adequate and increased multiple-year operating funding. In particular, the OMA would like to recommend the recognition and active engagement of provincial, territorial, and national museum associations in policy and funding program development, with museum associations being key partners in building and strengthening Canada's museum sector. We submit both key museum sector documents to you with a request that they be central to any further discussions and reports about the future of Canadian museums.
    I thank you very much for this opportunity to address the committee today.
    Thank you.
    Thank you very much.

[Translation]

    We will now move on to Ms. Carol Pauzé.
    Thank you for inviting me to speak to you about small regional museums.
    I do not represent all museums, but rather the Musée de l'ingéniosité J. Armand Bombardier, which is located in Valcourt, in the Eastern Townships.
    Opened in 1971, the museum was completely revamped in 2016. What is unique about this museum is that it is managed by the J. Armand Bombardier foundation, so it does not receive grants from any government or municipal organization whatsoever.
    I will describe the state of affairs on the basis of discussions I have had with colleagues from other museums and a study conducted by the Société des musées québécois.
    Funding is of course a key issue. It is no secret that museums in Quebec are struggling because the funding they need for their operations and for the renewal of their permanent and temporary exhibitions has been cut and is not indexed. This threatens the very existence of certain museums and interpretation centres, which are finding it increasingly difficult to survive in a context that is already difficult.
    Finding more independent revenues is a challenge. Museums compete with the culture sector in general and with other recreational activities. In the regions, distance is an obstacle and often means that museums are busy on a seasonal basis only. In most cases, local traffic is insufficient to keep the museums afloat. So we rely a great deal on seasonal traffic. That in turn depends on the weather, the cost of gas, and various other factors.
    Whether they are tourists or people on an outing in the region, seasonal visitors are interested, but they are very demanding. They have high expectations because they visit many places and see a lot of things. They are looking for an experience that is out of the ordinary, which means that museums have to be innovative. That is what we all want to do, but that requires both human and financial resources.
    Museums could be called upon to seek out private funding sources. Once again, the pool of donors is even more limited in the regions than in larger centres. Further, cultural philanthropy is not as highly developed in Quebec as it is in the rest of Canada. So that is not a promising avenue for organizations looking for funding.
    Sponsorships are another possibility, but there are a lot of demands on big companies and some pull out completely. Moreover, there are not many of them in the regions. Seeking out sponsorships requires skills that the managers of small regional institutions—who are expected to do everything—do not have in many cases. Those people are museologists, but not necessarily experts in seeking out partnerships, although they have to do that as well.
    Often seen as a cash cow, schools cannot be relied upon for revenues and are not inclined to visit the institutions. Visiting museums is not mandatory; it is a choice among many others available. It takes a lot of work to draw in schools. Further, the cost of transportation in the regions is high—perhaps even higher than the price of admission—which is another obstacle. Schools would rather have cultural organizations or institutions visit them on their premises. Not all institutions have enough staff and resources to move around from place to place.

  (0900)  

    Ignorance of the role and impact of museums is another issue. Museums are at the centre of a region's cultural life; they represent authenticity, truth, and authority. Yet the commitment from municipalities is low or uneven. Some institutions receive support, while others get none at all. Museums are nonetheless major attractions in most cases, traffic builders, but they are not recognized as such.
    The ministry of tourism and tourism associations tend to overlook what museums have to offer. The scenery and gastronomy are promoted, but heritage not as much. Surveys show, however, that museums are popular among tourists and people who do outings.
    Another issue pertains to human resources. It is hard to recruit staff and salaries are low. As a result, the people who are hired are often underpaid in the regions. Many small institutions operate on the basis of projects or programs, so jobs are often short-term, not long-term. I have seen ads for project officer jobs that require a master's in museology, but pay minimum wage. That is not very attractive and there are not many candidates for those positions.
    As I said, jobs are temporary and unstable, which creates employment instability. The working conditions are often unfair and there are no benefits. There is no pay equity since wages are lower than at municipal or national museums. It varies. Some institutions offer good conditions, reasonable conditions, but others cannot afford to do that. There is not much new blood and it is hard to recruit people. Positions are on a contract basis and salaries are not always competitive.
    Once again, working in a region involves moving and development costs. Young people need a car, which they would not need in a city. As we all know, qualified young people are leaving the regions for larger centres. On the other hand, small institutions need staff who are versatile since their resources are limited. Qualified staff is available in some cases, but not always. We need people who are willing to do a bit of everything, but we cannot afford a large pool of staff who are asked to do everything.
    We also need training in the regions to develop the digital skills that are needed to make the shift to digital, in museology, in museography, and in management. Sending people for training in larger centres involves time and money. The fragmentation of the museum network and the various measures taken by the Quebec government, among other things, are raising concerns about a loss of diversity. Some sites and interpretation centres no longer receive funding from Quebec's ministry of culture and communications, and they are no longer eligible for certain programs, which threatens certain small and very small institutions.
    I would also note that science museums have been sidelined. They no longer receive funding from the ministry of culture and communications. They can get funding from certain federal government programs, but no longer from the Quebec government. Once again, this threatens certain institutions.
    In conclusion, I would say that resources are obviously much scarcer in the regions than in larger centres. While digital technologies are promising in terms of promotion, openness, and accessibility, they require funding, expertise, and more resources. Museums need to catch up on digital technologies, but it is hard for them to do that right now.

  (0905)  

    We have to continue to preserve and conserve our collections, but we have no reserves at the regional level. The big cities have large reserves, but we have none in the regions.
    Ms. Pauzé—
    I'm nearly finished.
    Your speaking time is up, but you may take a few seconds to finish your presentation.
    Great. Thank you.
    There are interesting museums in the regions and they have staff who are dedicated and passionate about their work, but we need fresh blood and help to continue to preserve and especially to promote this wonderful heritage.
    Thank you for your attention.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr. Pierre Wilson, from the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec, will now give his presentation.
    Hello everyone.
    My name is Pierre Wilson and I am the Director of the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec. I am appearing as an individual and do not represent any group whatsoever.
    Since the committee began its study on the state of museums, and especially small museums, I imagine you now have a good idea of what museums represent in figures—and Ms. Lalonde gave you a few as well. At the same time, you must remember that museums are essential to the preservation and construction of our history, and to building a sense of belonging. Our museum is a good example of this.
    The MMAQ is in Saint-Laurent, where 55% of the population was born outside Canada. If you include children, it is 90% of the population. We encourage local populations and groups that reflect the full diversity of our community to exhibit their artifacts at the MMAQ in order to foster a sense of belonging. That is not what I am here to talk to you about today though.
    Some of you may have read the excellent report of some 200 pages commissioned by the Quebec government, which of course is in French. Mr. Corbo chaired the task force on the future of the museum network in Quebec that produced this report. It provides an excellent summary of the especially difficult financial predicament of museums in Quebec and suggests some solutions. It was presented in October 2013 and, like all good reports, was shelved.
    I will now talk about operating grants for museums. In Quebec, some museums are well-known and supported, while others are well-known but not supported. Museum institutions include actual museums, which have collections. The primary mission of a museum is to have a collection and to preserve it, as I was telling someone earlier. A museum's essential mission is to last for a long time, to be permanent. It is the only human undertaking whose objective is to last. When people give us artifacts, they want us to preserve them for posterity. Posterity is a long time though.
    The first figure shows the grants our museum received in 1995 from Quebec's ministry of culture and communications, the borough of Saint-Laurent, and the Conseil des arts de Montréal, or CAM. These three grants were $159,000, $85,000, and $28,000 respectively. The grant that has increased the most is the one from the ministry of culture and communications, which was $204,000 in 2017. The $85,000 grant from the borough has not changed since 1995, while the CAM grant has increased slightly to $30,000.
    We currently have a shortfall of $80,000 out of a budget of $800,000. That is 10%, which is a huge amount. So we have to change up the mix of independent revenues and operating grants. I will also talk later about grants for projects.
    The next numbers come from the second figure.
    The independent revenues of museums in Quebec accounted for 50.9% of all their revenues in 2007 and 53% in 2011. Independent revenues are on the rise, whereas federal, provincial, and municipal funding is gradually decreasing. This decrease is of course due to the fact that our grants are not indexed.
    The same is true for our museum: the proportion of independent revenues rose from 21% in 2010 to 30% in 2017. During that same time period, grants from Quebec dropped from 48% to 43%. Federal grants, on the other hand, increased from 3% to 4%—thank you very much. Municipal grants fell from 28% to 14%. Federal grants are not very high, as they are provided under various small programs to assist museums.
    I will tell you very honestly how much our museum staff earn. Here are the hourly wages, along with information about staff seniority and education.
    I am the museum's director. I have a bachelor's degree and have been in this position for 15 years. I earn $26 per hour. My administrative assistant, who has a college diploma and has been with us for 21 years, earns $24.40 per hour. The head of corporate services, who has a master's degree and seven years of seniority, earns $20.30 per hour. You will agree that this is not a lot of money. The communications officer earns $17 per hour, the acting curator earns $17 per hour, the exhibitions coordinator earns $18.35 per hour, and the actual curator earns $21.98 per hour. All of these people have a master's degree. Seeing what they earn, it is clear that they are passionate about their jobs.

  (0910)  

    We are able to keep them for quite a long time. Some have been with us for 15 years, others for seven years. Our staff stay on with us because they have a lot of fun. For most of my employees, having fun is part of their compensation. At least that is the argument I use to get them to stay.
    Further, we have no pension fund. I will be retiring in June and I have only been able to contribute to an RRSP. That is all I have. I have nothing else, apart from CPP—once again, thank you very much. That is all I will get for all the years I have devoted to the culture sector. After working at a museum for 15 years, I have no pension plan. This is true not only for our museum, which is small or medium sized, but for all other museums as well. I know some that are run by volunteers, who obviously are not paid at all.
    The change in the percentage of operating grants, which support our mission, versus project grants is one of the problems that I think is very important and that you should address.
    Operating grants support our mission, and we certainly have to produce reports in that regard. It is up to us, however, to stay on top of our mission and to manage that money.
    In terms of project funding, on the other hand, whether those grants are awarded or not is often a political decision, as in the case of the digital shift. Digital projects at museums are a direct result of political will. The officials in charge of the budgets are told to spend millions of dollars and create grant programs so museums can fund digital projects.
    At the same time, we are having some operating problems. We have to go that route, and we understand that is important and that politicians also want to have a hand in governing and directing. At the operational level, though, our mission is suffering. In 2010, the government funded 71% of our operating budgets, but just 54% in 2017. In 2010, the government provided 29% of project funding, as compared to 46% in 2017. So there has been a huge shift toward greater control by governments. The more program funding that is provided, the greater the political control. The more you subsidize the mission, on the other hand, the better able we are to judge what we have to do. We are the presenters, and it is our role to make decisions about our exhibitions and collections, which we are supposed to be able to do.
    In short, much of our work has shifted away from our mission as a museum to focus instead on finding new sources of funding, which means there is a great risk of service cuts.
    At the museum, we have always managed to find significant savings and to secure other sources of independent revenues. We manage a visual arts exhibition room, mostly on art crafts, which is not part of our mission, because we are able to. This allows us to generate extra revenues to absorb rising costs owing to inflation, just as a business would.
    Consider for example a budget of $800,000 with a 2% rate of inflation. Costs will rise by $16,000 next year. That increase will have an impact on what we pay our staff, and we still have to cover all the other costs, such as renting the chapel. No one helps me find savings on those other costs. In this example, inflation would be $16,000 the first year, $32,000 the second year, and $48,000 the third year. That is a lot of money!
    All we want—and have wanted for so long that we wonder if anyone is listening—is for our grants to be indexed back to the 1995 amounts. We also recommend legislation that requires our operating grants to be indexed annually in order to keep up with inflation.
    Thank you very much.

  (0915)  

[English]

    Thank you.
    Now we are beginning our question and answer period. We have seven minutes for the questions and the answers.

[Translation]

    Mr. Breton, you have the floor.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    I want to thank each of the witnesses for being with us today. You have provided excellent information and I have taken so many notes that I could ask you questions for an hour, but there are a number of MPs around the table who will want their turn.
    My questions are for Ms. Pauzé, from the Musée de l'ingéniosité J. Armand Bombardier, which is in my riding.
    Ms. Pauzé, thank you for accepting our invitation today, especially since our study focuses on local, regional museums. No museum is more local than the Musée de l'ingéniosité J. Armand Bombardier. As you said, the museum was refurbished in 2016, and very nicely, in my opinion. I have also visited it a few times. You have very successfully combined technology, engineering and innovation. I would give the Musée de l'ingéniosité J. Armand Bombardier five stars and I encourage all my colleagues around the table to stop by if they are in the Eastern Townships. It is an outstanding museum and a well-guarded secret, but we have to spread the word as much as possible in our province and right across Canada.
    You talked a lot about the challenges and problems you face, and I think they are highly indicative of the plight of all local museums. Canadian Heritage has various programs, however. I have a few questions for you and then I will let you answer.
    Have you ever applied for any Canadian Heritage programs? Have those programs met your needs? And above all, what would you suggest to us? We want to know whether the programs are helpful to local museums. Is there anything you would change? What kind of programs would you like us to implement?

  (0920)  

    Those are good questions, Mr. Breton, and thank you for the free advertising.
    The museum recently received funding through the museums assistance program for the circulation of a temporary exhibit we will soon be launching.
    It was the first time the museum had received any such funding. I have been on the job for two years, but I don't think the museum had submitted many funding applications in the years prior. Since the museum is practically a private institution, being fully funded by the foundation, it can be hard to obtain funding assistance. Nevertheless, yes, it is possible through the museums assistance program.
    As for whether the funding is tailored to museums' needs, it certainly was in our case. We are able to circulate an exhibition that was put together using core funding. We do not, however, have any money in the budget for cases to better protect the exhibition as it makes its way across the country. What the program primarily does is help other institutions with the cost of hosting the exhibition. Some museums in Canada will be able to host an exhibition at a rental cost of $8,000, whereas, on the commercial market, the cost would be at least $35,000. So, yes, the funding is useful and should continue to be made available.
    We are also eligible for exhibit funding through the Virtual Museum of Canada. We submitted an application and are waiting to hear back. I can't say whether the funding will meet our needs, but it would be helpful if we get it, of course.
    What could be changed? There's no doubt that submitting a funding application is very demanding. We realize it's necessary to show we meet certain standards, we have the project well in hand, and we know all the data, but submitting a funding application is a lot of work and so is reporting. If there was a way to simplify the process, it would really go a long way.
    What's more, sometimes the rules are not quite clear, in terms of what we can and can't ask for. There is room for improvement in that regard, as well. I don't know what the overall budget is for the museums assistance program, but obviously many are called and few are chosen. I remember that, when we received our grant, we were told that numerous applications had been received from all over the country and that the funding had to be distributed equally among the provinces. Therefore, few projects are chosen in each province, in light of the overall budget. Something else that could be improved is the size of the budget envelope. I'd like to acknowledge my colleague Pierre Wilson, who said that the amounts allocated to all the programs haven't been indexed for many years, so there's clearly a lot that needs to be done from that standpoint.
     I think I have less than a minute left.
    Ms. Pauzé, we talked a bit about volunteers. I'm not sure whether it was you or your colleagues who were involved in the discussion. Does the Museum of Ingenuity J. Armand Bombardier rely on volunteers? How does volunteering help, and what is your approach?

  (0925)  

    You have about 30 seconds left.
    Please keep your answer to 30 seconds.
    We don't currently have a volunteering program at the museum. Although it's something we would like to set up, volunteers are not a cure-all. They can't replace museum professionals. That kind of approach would undermine our institutions.
    Since I only have 30 seconds, I'll leave it at that.
    Thank you.
    That's great. Thank you.
    Thank you very much.

[English]

     We are now going to Mr. Van Loan.
     I have just one question.
    In Canada, we don't have the same kind of charitable giving tradition that they have in the United States. I just came back from doing a museum tour in Ohio, where I visited seven of their museums. I'm impressed with how well they do with the charitable giving.
    All of them had, as a significant factor, ongoing endowments. One of the things the federal government in Canada did previously was to enable performing arts groups—ballets, operas, orchestras, and so on—to get matching funds for contributions to endowments, with the intention of converting them to long-term sustainability. It's to get those institutions to function and think more in those terms, and to encourage donors to start thinking in those terms as well, and encourage that kind of private giving.
    That program, while focused on supporting culture, has not extended to museums. Would it be helpful to your organization or your institutions if that kind of matching fund program for culture also included museums?
    Madame Lalonde.
    Thank you for bringing that up. It is indeed an important tool.
     As Madame Pauzé mentioned, the American experience related to philanthropy and donating is tremendously different to what we have in Canada. We have generous donors. We don't have the same volume. We don't have the same traditions.
    However, the tools that have proven very successful in leveraging individual donors, as well as encouraging additional corporate and other donations and more philanthropy, are precisely the types of endowments you've mentioned. That was in programs available for the performing arts sector and not available for heritage and museums.
    This brings forward the idea, or perhaps the recommendation, that when particular opportunities are considered for heritage policies, the approach should be all encompassing, so that all players within culture be given the same opportunities, if you wish.
    I understand that's something that's been brought forward by our colleagues at the Canadian Museums Association, as well as in a smaller organization such as the Association of Nova Scotia Museums. Those are very important tools that can benefit all of us.
    If I may add for the committee's benefit, the situation that was brought forward by Madam Pauzé with the museum she speaks for today, and Monsieur Wilson, clearly are examples of a situation that is nationwide. At the association, of the 400 or so Ontario museums, 200 of those member museums operate with an annual budget of less than $200,000.
    As far as stretching dollars and increasing earned revenue are concerned, museums are doing their share. The operating funding is what helps museums be the best museums offering the best experience for all who wish to have it.
    Thank you.

  (0930)  

[Translation]

    That's an excellent question. I could add that Quebec does have a fund-matching program, depending on the size of the budget. It's called the Mécénat Placements Culture program. Small museums like us can access funding through the program, but the problem is that we have to set up our own foundations and find funding.
    To use the mirror analogy, I would suggest that the federal and provincial governments create a special fund where the government would match donor contributions. Such a fund could help small institutions with their operating costs.
    In Carol's case, the J. Armand Bombardier Foundation is already funding the museum, but it might be worthwhile for the foundation to invest a bit more and have the contribution matched. Conversely, in my case, when I go out looking for funding—and heaven knows I do—I have a hard time. It really eats up a lot of my time. If the government were to help us, however…. Currently, we have $650,000 in our endowment fund.
    The residents of the Saint-Laurent borough want to give culture a boost, and I told them that it wouldn't be possible without investing in this project. I recommended that they put money in a foundation and ask members of the local business community to contribute as well, adopting a matching system. The idea is to create a fund, use only the interest, and invest it in cultural initiatives. The capital should remain untouched.
    It's a great idea, and it's something you can put in place. Putting all of that burden on our shoulders makes our jobs that much harder. It's doable, but it's a lot of work. Many small museums are out there, however. I was born in Rosemont, in Montreal, and I don't have any contacts in the Westmount community. Montreal's arts patrons go to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts well before they come to Quebec's Masters and Artisans Museum. Since they aren't familiar with me or the museum, they don't visit it.

[English]

     You have about 15 seconds left.
    Let's move on then.

[Translation]

    It is now Mr. Nantel's turn.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Thank you all for your input, which is very helpful.
    Ms. Pauzé, the investment you receive from the J. Armand Bombardier Foundation puts you on a fairly solid footing, I would say. It's a wonderful example of what can be achieved when the private sector and a grassroots organization join forces. I think your partnership with the foundation and your accomplishments are a source of pride for all Quebecers.
    I'd like to pick up on a topic that my colleague Mr. Van Loan and you, Mr. Wilson, both talked about. I'm referring to endowment funds, a subject that's come up numerous times in recent weeks, in the course of our study. It's something we've discussed in the context of other cultural organizations, and it relates to this situation as well. Essentially, it's an endowment fund where contributions could be matched by the government.
    Mr. Wilson, are you aware that the Foundation of Greater Montreal provides those kinds of resources?
    Is that what you were referring to?
    The Foundation of Greater Montreal wasn't created by the government. It's a private foundation that receives donations. The money we've collected thanks to initiatives undertaken through the Mécénat Placements Culture program goes into the Foundation of Greater Montreal fund. It's our endowment fund and it's frozen for 10 years, which means we aren't allowed to use it. Every year, the foundation gives us 3.5% of the money, regardless of the amount collected. If it's 14%, the foundation puts the rest in our endowment fund and gives us 3.5%. If it's 2%, it takes 3.5%.
    It's really a risk-based fund, but it's beneficial. We receive $20,000 a year from the fund. Being able to access that definitely has its benefits. However, as I said, conducting a fundraising campaign to collect $100,000 is quite a challenge for a small museum. We did it, but it was no small feat.
    You have a mandate. Earlier you mentioned the fact that a museum's first mission is to preserve its collections, and you are right. Day in and day out, however, a museum's mandate is to make the public aware of why it exists. Clearly, there are target audiences, and that's why I think what you're doing is absolutely crucial from a cultural mediation standpoint. People who are worried about Quebec's cultural heritage and its survival need to expose new immigrants to that heritage. That is the starting point, right at the centre of everything. In addition to tipping my hat to you, I want to say how much I appreciate your rich and meaningful contribution here today.
    Like Ms. Lalonde, you mentioned the Ontario's Museums 2025 report. You joked that, like all good reports, it was shelved. You're right that it's pitiful for subsequent governments to simply cast aside good reports. We've had that same experience here with other reports I won't name.
    I flipped through the report when you were speaking. Recommendation number 22 has to do with recognition for regional resource museums. I'm not asking you to know all the resources and recommendations, but the purpose of this study is to support local museums.
    The motion adopted by the committee reads as follows: “That the Committee undertake a study to review the state of Canadian museums, with a focus on local and community museums (as opposed to the major national or provincial museums)….” I'd like to know your take on that.
    First, though, I have another question.
    Given the fact that studies conducted by governments, commissions, and committees like this one are often set aside, should they not, at the very least, be shared between different levels of government?
     My sense is that there's a lot of talk. There are recommendations that could be implemented. I'd like to hear your thoughts on that.
    I'd like to hear what Ms. Lalonde has to say, but Mr. Wilson's comments would certainly be pertinent as well.
    Ms. Lalonde, would you care to comment?

  (0935)  

    You raised a number of important points.
    When the Ontario Museum Association undertook this broad consultation, reaching out to hundreds of museums, including small local museums whose community members visit and support them, one thing was quite clear: we drew inspiration from the Société des musées québécois, which produced the report on the general state of museums. Then came Mr. Corbo's report. I'm very encouraged by the fact that more and more such efforts are being made and shared, as you mentioned.
    I also want to underscore the importance of the work we do with all of our target audiences, be they indigenous people, new Canadians, new immigrants or other groups. Those efforts are essential to museums in every province. Small and large museums alike have to be active on that front. Perhaps programs should have a tiered approach, in the sense that funding would take into account museum size. That's extremely important.
    Thank you, Ms. Lalonde.
    I'd like to hear Mr. Wilson's comments on that.
    Mr. Wilson, you have less than a minute.
    I think it would be a terrific idea to pool all the reports that have already been done and to stop writing new ones. Indeed, there are many. How many times have we heard the comments made by Ms. Lalonde and Ms. Pauzé? We've talked about the importance of museums, the statistics, the number of children who visit museums, the building of our history, and on and on and on. You should know. It makes no sense. Perhaps, then, there is a solution. Perhaps we could go back over all of it and keep the good proposals.
    We talked about having a regional resource museum. That might be a good idea, but every museum has to have the opportunity to live and breathe, and be what it is. The resource museum would have somewhat of a special status and serve as a big brother. If it's done right, taking into account the resources at its disposal, it's fine.
    In Montreal, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts would be the resource museum. When the museum sends me invitations in the mail, I always think that 10 of its invitations are equivalent to one of our museum's publications. The fine arts museum pays $10 a piece to have invitations printed. It's ridiculous. How could its leadership provide assistance to me when I'm reusing paper clips?

  (0940)  

    We saw what you make, and everyone was quite shocked.
    Thank you.
    It is now Ms. Dhillon's turn for seven minutes.
    Thank you to everyone for being here today, both in person and by video conference.
     I'll be splitting my time with my colleague Mr. Di Iorio.
    My question is for everyone. It's a general one.
    What kind of funding programs would you like?
    I can go first.
    I would like funding programs that help with operating costs. We receive funding from Quebec's ministry of culture and communications, the Montreal arts council, and the borough, but we don't have access to federal funding that would help with operations. I believe the Canada Council for the Arts provides operating funding. However, the last time I tried to get some information, I was told that knowing where we rank would be helpful, but to forget about it because it was already spoken for. In order to receive operating funding on a recurring basis, you have to be accredited and recognized. Once you are recognized, you receive the funding for a number of years. It's for operating purposes, so it has to be recurring. If you could provide greater access to operating funding so that other museums could apply, it would be a welcome measure.
    Quebec has 120 recognized museums that receive support and 190 recognized museums. During the last evaluation, the 190 recognized museums were asked to submit applications, but the overall budget wasn't increased. That means that the 190 museums had to share the same overall amount with the other 120 museums. The decision to give funding to a few more organizations caused museums to make cuts. It was serious. Some museums saw their operating funding drop by 50%—which is huge—just so six new museums could receive some funding without having to increase the overall budget. Conversely, we are seeing increases in program budgets.
    As I said, it's nice to have programs, which are shaped by your political agenda. We aren't against digital initiatives. They are amazing, of course, but we need to be supported in an effective way so that we can carry on our mission.
    Thank you.
    Ms. Pauzé, Ms. Lalonde, do you have anything to add?
    I would add that operating funding is indeed crucial. In our case, we are supported by a foundation, and I'm very glad. The museum runs, but the operating budget doesn't change. The museum underwent an expansion. We acquired an additional 1,500 square metres and a few more staff members, but our operating budget stayed the same. We definitely need support in that regard. Of course, operations don't have the same visibility that projects do. It's easier to make a project announcement about a new exhibition or the construction of a new building, for example, than to say that money was given to cover two additional staff members. Operating funding is nevertheless essential.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Di lorio, I'll now turn the floor over to you.
    Thank you to my fellow members.
    I'd also like to thank Ms. Lalonde, Ms. Pauzé, and Mr. Wilson, not just for their presentations, but also for what they do every day. You provide an invaluable service to the country.
    My question is for all three of you. I will start with Mr. Wilson, but I'd also like to hear what Ms. Lalonde and Ms. Pauzé have to say.
    Ms. Pauzé said that transportation was one of the challenges. She described the school sector as a cash cow. Mr. Wilson talked about the need for a strong, well-defined and generous policy around operating funding.
    I'd like to hear how you think the Web, the Internet, and augmented reality could be leveraged and how the government could help you carry on your mission, as you adapt to the reality of today and tomorrow. I'd like to know what role you think technological innovation could play in all that.

  (0945)  

    That's a good question.
    I gather you are asking whether we have the resources to organize virtual visits of the museum for schools, and the like. Is that correct?
    Actually, I was wondering whether you could picture asking the government for funding to support technological innovation, given its reluctance to increase operating funding for all sorts of reasons, which you are more familiar with than I am. That approach would bring in money, while supporting your renewal efforts and helping to attract young people and a more diverse clientele. What are your thoughts on that?
    Quebec has a program that provides funding annually for virtual exhibits. Funding is available to us through that program. In 2016, we received a tidy sum, $120,000, to develop an interactive project entitled Savoir-faire. We were able to showcase heritage trades that were in decline, such as sash making, which is phenomenal.
    For Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations, we undertook a virtual reality project. We had 165 young actors, from schools throughout the Saint-Laurent borough, participate in a seven-part retelling of the history of Saint-Laurent, beginning with the great peace of Montreal. It was wonderful. The possibility of doing those kinds of projects is always there, but it would no longer pose a challenge if the government were to provide indexed funding for operations.
    As things stand, we are forced to pursue initiatives that are in line with the programs. In the meantime, though, our first mission is being undermined. If you give us indexed operating funding, we'll be able to undertake digital initiatives anytime.
     To be completely frank, the virtual exhibit program has been around for a long time, and the budget is staggering. I'm not sure, though, that many people actually visit a museum's virtual exhibits. In some cases, those exhibits could be real as opposed to virtual. The money spent on the program could be used elsewhere. There was a time when virtual exhibits were appealing, but today, that is less the case.
    I'd like to give Ms. Lalonde—
    Mr. Di Iorio, your seven minutes are up.
    Thank you. That was very interesting.
    I'd like to thank all the witnesses. I very much appreciated all of your comments and suggestions. If you have anything else you'd like to tell the committee or additional information to provide, you can send it to the clerk.
    Thank you everyone.

[English]

     We're going to suspend for a couple of minutes while we switch over to our next witnesses.
    Thank you.

    


    

  (0950)  

[Translation]

    We are resuming the meeting.
    We will now hear from two other witnesses.

[English]

    We have, from the Vancouver Art Gallery, Mr. Hank Bull, Trustee, who is joining us by video conference.

[Translation]

    We also have Anne Élisabeth Thibault and Louise Pothier, both from Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History.

[English]

    Why don't we start with the video conference?
    If we can start with you, Mr. Bull, you have 10 minutes.
     Thank you, Madam Chair and committee members.

[Translation]

    Greetings from Vancouver.
    My name is Hank Bull, and I am a self-employed artist. I have been involved in contemporary art since the 1970s, especially through the movement of artist-run centres across the country. I have a good deal of experience with major museums in Canada and around the world. For the past four years, I have been on the Vancouver Art Gallery's board of directors.
    I have two pieces of good news to share with you today. First, we are ready to build a new museum in Vancouver. Second, more broadly speaking, Canada's museums are at the dawn of a new era with respect to federal government support.
    Now I'll say a few words about the Vancouver Art Gallery.

[English]

     We serve all of Canada with travelling exhibitions, public programs, and publications, which have won international recognition.
     We were founded in 1931. It's interesting to note that in 1931 there were five museums in Canada: the National Gallery, le Musée du Québec, le Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, the Art Gallery of Toronto, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. We might not be one of Canada's official national cultural institutions, but we are surely the next best thing.
    Over the past 10 years the Vancouver Art Gallery has experienced extraordinary growth. Its membership has tripled to over 32,000 voting members now. Its annual operating budget has grown from $7 million to now $19 million a year. Its permanent collection has grown by 60% to now over 12,000 works of art.
     It has a particularly robust social media footprint, and we're very proud of that. Just yesterday we broke 50,000 Instagram followers. As of this morning, we're at 50,100 followers. That's more than all the other arts groups in British Columbia put together. It's more than any other museum in Canada except the Art Gallery of Ontario, which is in a city five times the size of Vancouver.
    Our attendance has gone through the roof in the same period, from 180,000 people a year to, last year, 525,000 people who came through the doors. We are literally bursting at the seams.
    The current facility, which is in a former courthouse, is long past its due date. Apart from being overcrowded, it's cramped, it lacks a lecture theatre, it has no education facilities, and it fails to meet even the most basic seismic safety requirements. There are a lot of national treasures in that basement. To give you an example of how bad it is, the larger trucks cannot get into the loading bay, and it is known that large paintings have been seen being walked up the streets of Vancouver in order to get them into the building. It's entirely inadequate. The situation has become urgent.
    Now here's the good news. As many of you know, we are planning to build a new gallery. The City of Vancouver has set aside the land, a beautiful block of land in downtown Vancouver. The provincial government has already committed $50 million. It's in the bank. The board has raised over $40 million in private money so far. The architects have been engaged. The design phase is complete. We are shovel-ready. We're ready to go now. We just need the government's participation and to launch our public campaign, which we intend to do very shortly.

  (0955)  

    It's an ambitious project. It's like building a bridge across a river. It's a massive investment, but it also generates massive short-term and long-term impacts. According to an independent study, it will create 2,973 full-time equivalent jobs in the construction phase. That's more jobs than the Site C dam. It will generate tax revenues of $20 million a year and will add $28 million a year to GDP. Our goal is to raise $300 million to build the building, plus $50 million for an endowment. The federal government of course is a key player, and we're very happy to say that we've heard encouraging noises from the Minister of Canadian Heritage, from the Department of Infrastructure, and from the Prime Minister's Office. We've made a couple of trips to Ottawa already. We're encouraged by the federal response. We're also right now in very close negotiations with the Province of British Columbia, and we are hopeful that we're going to hear word of their recommitment soon to this project.
    It's a big gallery. It's a beautiful gallery. The architects, Herzog & de Meuron, are fantastic. They designed the Tate Modern in London. They designed the famous Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing. This will be a very high functioning, beautiful building. It will be really transformative for the local economy and a big historical step forward for Canada when you think back to those five museums.
    We ask you, committee members, please, to support this, to talk to your ministers, to join us as we go forward, and we look forward to welcoming you to the opening of this spectacular new facility. That's my first point.
    The second point is that it's no secret that the museums of Canada are poorly served by the federal government. The Vancouver Art Gallery, for example, receives no annual funding from the Government of Canada. The Department of Canadian Heritage does give annual grants to film festivals and to music festivals for performing arts, but it does not give any annual grants to museums. This needs to be corrected.
    There's the Canada Council. You'll say, “What about the Canada Council?” For its part, the Canada Council gives the Vancouver Art Gallery an annual grant of $300,000. This has not changed for over 10 years, despite its phenomenal growth. By comparison, the Vancouver Symphony, the VSO, receives an annual grant of $1.9 million. That's over six times more for an organization with a considerably smaller budget and a considerably smaller audience.
    Similar examples can be found across the country. The Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal receives a grant of $450,000 whereas the Montreal Symphony gets a grant of over $2 million.
    Here's the good news. We're not saying that the symphonies should receive less money. The symphonies are magnificent. They deserve every single penny. Now that the Canada Council has been endowed with new monies, there is a great opportunity for this imbalance to be corrected. There's a new competition this fall, and I for one am very optimistic that the Canada Council, in its extraordinary wisdom, will act on this issue. The Canada Council is to be lauded. I'm not here to criticize the council. The council is one of the great organizations in the world of funding.
    More germane to this particular committee is Heritage. There should be annual grants. We have access to project monies, but they're very hard to access. It's very complex. It takes years, the decisions are slow, and it's not easy. There really needs to be better support on an ongoing basis from Heritage Canada for the museums of this country.
    That concludes my presentation. Thank you very much. I'm happy to take questions.

  (1000)  

    Thank you for joining us what's so early in the morning for you. We appreciate that.

[Translation]

    We will now move on to Mrs. Thibault and Ms. Pothier, from Pointe-à-Callière.
    For those of you who are familiar with us, it may come as a surprise to hear Pointe-à-Callière described as a local museum. However, we are firmly entrenched in our community, with all the archaeological and historic sites we showcase. For those of you who may not be familiar with us, I'll give a brief overview of our institution.
    Pointe-à-Callière, the Montreal archaeology and history complex, is a young museum, established just 25 years ago, in 1992, to showcase the archaeological heritage and birthplace of Montreal. It is located on Montreal's heritage site, Old Montreal. The museum is nationally and internationally renowned for mounting large-scale exhibitions dedicated to history, as well as regional, national, and international heritage, using new technology, and showcasing historic sites and collections.
    When it was established, the museum consisted of three structures and sites, but today is made up of seven pavilions and historic sites. Last year, we opened a new pavilion, Fort Ville-Marie, the first French establishment in Montreal, which is also a Canadian national historic site. We also showcase the first collector sewer in Montreal, which visitors can explore. Not only is it a monumental example of urban infrastructure in the 19th century, but it is also the first sewer collector in Canada. Pointe-à-Callière includes the site where Montreal was founded in 1642. It features the vestiges of the beginning of the French occupation and the presence of the first settlers in the Montreal area. It is the site where the great peace treaty of Montreal was signed in 1701, one of the first continental events bringing together important figures in history including Huron-Wendat Chief Kondiaronk and Governor Louis-Hector de Callière. It is also the location of Montreal's first custom house, a historical building built in 1836.
    Pointe-à-Callière is continuing to expand. An upcoming phase will focus on the addition of two pavilions and historic sites. The first is the archaeological site of the Sainte-Anne market, which, from 1844 to 1849, served as the Parliament of United Canada. The second is Montreal's old general hospital, a Canadian national historic site, the Frères Charon and Grey Nuns' hospital, dating back to 1693.
    The museum showcases important events and sites in Canada's history, including archaeological sites, collections and buildings of symbolic value, making them accessible to the public. We preserve sites that are important to the public and tell the story of Canada's history and democratic beginnings.
    Now I will give you an overview of our situation, since that is one of the reasons you invited us here today. My comments will pertain to Pointe-à-Callière, a history museum and historic site.
    Like the previous witnesses, we are of the view that the lack of resources hinders development. As everyone knows, the obligation to be innovative and at the forefront of museography looms large in the current ecosystem. What's more, we have to deliver a diverse range of experiences that visitors increasingly expect. This means that the museum, in and of itself, must be an experience. We must stay abreast of communication trends and advances in knowledge, while building partnerships as part of our mission. Museums accomplish a lot with very little. Museums have a sweeping mission to promote culture, education, awareness, and heritage preservation, not to mention welcome the public, mount exhibits, and undertake cultural initiatives. Consequently, museums serve as spaces for dialogue and public interaction. Meeting all of these challenges can be very difficult without stable operating funding.
    Every museum institution must seek out diverse sources of operating funding, both public and private. That is our approach at Pointe-à-Callière, but programs are few and focus mainly on individual projects, an issue that was raised earlier. As we see it, operating funding is the building block necessary to fully carry out our mission. Pointe-à-Callière is one of the major museums that receives funding solely from the City of Montreal, its own city. Sixty per cent of the museum's funding comes from the city, with ticket sales, donations, and sponsorships accounting for the rest.
    More and more people are visiting museums. We heard a prime example earlier, and it is also the case for us. In 1992, the museum expected to welcome about 150,000 visitors, which was very good at the time. Today, however, Pointe-à-Callière has 463,000 visitors, a substantial increase. Our welcome centre is much too cramped for this growing number of visitors.
    When it comes to public funding, heritage is often overlooked. It doesn't fall in the art museum and artistic organization category, which is covered by the Canada Council for the Arts. By building partnerships with provinces, municipalities, and the private sector, the Government of Canada could play a larger role in supporting museums whose mission is to preserve and showcase heritage so it is accessible to Canadians.
    History museums are a category of institutions that would naturally fall under the jurisdiction of Heritage Canada. The Canada Council for the Arts is one of 12 crown corporations that report to Heritage Canada, and yet history museums are not able to access its programs. No counterpart exists to support heritage.

  (1005)  

    I'd like to draw your attention to a peculiar aspect of the broader network of national historic sites, which, as you no doubt know, are governed by Parks Canada. The agency has been part of the Department of the Environment since 2003, rather than the Department of Canadian Heritage. Parks Canada is also in charge of Canada's major archaeological collections. In our view, linkages between the Department of Canadian Heritage and Parks Canada should be established to facilitate the funding of national historic sites not administered by Parks Canada. More than 750 such sites exist across the country.
    Now I'd like to share with you a real-life example, one of our own experiences. The Fort Ville-Marie-Quebecor Pavilion, located on the site where Montreal was founded—a national historic site—was inaugurated in May 2017 in honour of Montreal's 375th anniversary. We received tremendous support from Parks Canada, through a program that provided preservation grants. This was a million-dollar project, and thanks to the grant, we were able to create an incredible preservation system to protect this extremely fragile site. Without Parks Canada's support, we would have had a very hard time achieving the level of innovation required to preserve and showcase the site. We very much appreciate the funding support, but it does not help cover the additional operating costs associated with the new pavilion. We have a new system accessible to the public, but it was paid for using our capital and preservation budgets. Now we have to look for funding to cover the operating costs.
    I'd like to end on a different topic: the threat that looms over the heritage of religious communities. In the years ahead, many of these communities will hand over the management of their heritage assets. What organizations will be called upon to take over the management of these historic buildings, collections, and archives, and with what money? A huge part of Canadian history is at risk of being forgotten. The Government of Canada needs to play a central role in preserving and promoting these historic buildings and collections, for which funding is rarely, if ever, accessible.

  (1010)  

    I will conclude our presentation this morning with some recommendations. We have four.
    First, we recommend that the government establish a fund where it would match private contributions, as is the case with the Canada Council for the Arts. Similarly, perhaps a Canada council for heritage could administer recurring funding for museums. This is an opportunity the federal government could leverage without interfering in provincial jurisdiction.
    Second, we recommend that the government create a program, administered by a federal agency like Parks Canada, to support regional museums that manage collections or buildings of national historic significance. The program would provide access to recurring operating funding. The government could play a role in preserving and promoting national collections, for example that of the Parliament of United Canada located in Montreal. We have managed to remove 350,000 artifacts from the site after two summers of archaeological digs. Special funding to facilitate the restoration, digitization, accessibility, promotion, and maintenance of heritage assets is extremely important.
    Third, we recommend that the government establish a strategy to preserve religious heritage by pooling capacity. That would involve staff optimization and the pooling of resources. It would also require the support of museums, which have expertise in managing movable, immovable, and documentary heritage assets to ensure they remain accessible to current and future generations.
    As a side note, I would point out that Canada's religious heritage makes up an invaluable part of its history. This heritage represents religious institutions that settled in Canada, and thus, America. It is all the more important that we step in to look after these heritage assets given that, thus far, they have been handled with care by their communities and remain in excellent condition.
    Fourth and finally, we recommend that the government provide support for international outreach. The federal government could actively contribute to the vitality of Canadian museums by financially supporting their international development efforts, thus raising Canada's visibility on the world stage. Currently, the museums assistance program provides similar support through its travelling exhibitions component, but only in Canada. The government should consider expanding the program to include international travelling exhibitions. We are endeavouring to diversify our funding sources, and since we produce our own exhibits, integrating travelling exhibitions is part of our plans. Funding to assist with travelling exhibits would be very welcome.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.

[English]

     Now we're going to our question and answer period. There will be seven minutes for the question and answer.
    We will begin with Mr. Hogg, please.
    Is there a correlation between the age a person first attends an art gallery or museum and their continued participation?
    I can answer that from personal experience. I grew up in Toronto. Living in downtown Toronto, at the age of eight, I used to walk in the front doors of the Royal Ontario Museum to look at the mummies and all their treasures. I had amazing experiences as a child and a young teenager in seeing major retrospectives of the work of Picasso, Van Gogh, and Mondrian, all at the Art Gallery of Ontario. They were life-changing experiences and set me on my path to being an artist.
    Today, at the Vancouver Art Gallery, we welcome record numbers of art students and public school students. Many of the students come from schools that no longer have very robust art programs within the schools and depend very much on the Vancouver Art Gallery for that aspect of their education. Education is one of the major roles played by the museum.

[Translation]

    I would add that approximately 100,000 young people visit us at Pointe-à-Callière year after year, depending on the school strikes that may occur. We realize that, for them, it is an introduction to the world of museums. In our school programs, we can see how much the teaching of history, in both elementary and high school, completely changes young people's perspectives.
    Since the museum has been around for about 25 years, we get to see the students, who had visited us during the school programs, return as young adults or later on in their lives. They do come back. We know this because they mention it to our guides. They tell us that they discovered the museum thanks to the school programs.
    The education sector is extremely important to us, not only because of how many visitors it draws to our museum, but also because young people are the future, the visitors of tomorrow. Reaching out to a wide range of visitors who come from schools is essential to us.

  (1015)  

[English]

     Those are great anecdotal reviews of it. Have there been any studies done on early participation or attendance that then continues on an ongoing basis? Do you know of any studies worldwide with respect to that?
    Worldwide in terms of statistics? We take our own statistics on visitorship at the museum, but in terms of larger visitorship, I wouldn't be able to tell. On our end, about a quarter of our visitors are students. We take them from a very early age, from five years old, and they come until the end of high school age when they're about 17.
    I would suspect there is a correlation. Certainly there is with respect to elections, and people who participate earlier in political processes tend to vote more often and continue to do so, so I imagine there is a correlation.
    Mr. Bull, I was interested in what you need to do. You're talking about getting $50 million as an endowment fund as part of your budgeting process. How far away are you from being able to get into the ground, and are you intending to get all of your funding in place prior to commencing?
    We need to have the commitment of the provincial and the federal governments before we put a shovel in the ground. We cannot proceed without that. We don't need to have all the funding in place before we start. It's a bit like making a movie. You get the money to shoot, and then you get the money to do the post-production.
    We can be raising money throughout the process, but we need, of course, to be confident that it's there and that it's forthcoming. That's important.
    Also with respect to the growth that's happened in metro Vancouver, could you talk about the impact or the participation of new Canadians in the work that you're doing?
    Absolutely. It's not only about new Canadians, but we have a very strong commitment to first nations and indigeneity. We've produced major exhibitions and major publications in that vein. We have also created what is called the Institute of Asian Art, which has been going for three years. It's been highly successful.
    There is good cultural diversity throughout the organization at the level of the board, the staff, and the artistic program, and we really see ourselves as a lead player in the Asia gateway, Canada's initiatives, not only to encourage trade and exchange across the Pacific, but also to help Canadians understand what is a massive historic change for this country.
    I have one other question. When your project gets completed, what impact do you expect to have on the smaller museums and art galleries in metro Vancouver, and indeed, in British Columbia more broadly?
    The smaller museums in British Columbia already depend on the Vancouver Art Gallery for exhibitions that we package and send out across the province. We're very much part of the cultural life of British Columbia. The soundings that we have conducted in cities like Nanaimo or Prince George have elicited very strong support for the new building.
    You still have a minute, if you like.
    I would like to say something about your educational question. International studies have been done by Pew Charitable Trusts and various other organizations around the world. I know personally from my work with Michaëlle Jean when she was the Governor General that she was fond of quoting statistics that showed the effect of museums and art education on crime prevention, citizenship, health, and all sorts of things that you don't normally associate with the arts. The arts are really one of the major humanizing forces we have as a civilization, especially in an era of fake news and all that we hear about mind-jacking and so on. Art galleries are what help you to think and help you to maintain an independent intelligence.

  (1020)  

    Thank you for that.
    We are going to Mr. Shields, please, for seven minutes.
    I'm an old guy. We didn't call it fake news in the old days. We just called it gossip and rumour. It's got a new title these days.
     I really appreciated the presentations.
    Mr. Bull, when you talked about your financing, you mentioned $40 million and $50 million numbers. Is $40 million from fundraising?
    It's $40 million-plus from board members and close friends of the gallery in a quiet phase of the fundraising campaign.
    How long did it take you to raise that?
    We've been raising that for four or five years now. Some of it goes back further, because the province came in 10 years ago with its first investment of $50 million, so fundraising has been going on for a long time.
     Do you own the property that you are currently in, and is it available, in a sense, for you as a resource to sell?
    No, it's not. The land is owned by the City of Vancouver, and the building, the former courthouse, is owned by the Province of British Columbia. We have no say over its future destiny.
    When you talk of quiet fundraising, then, are you talking now of a broader public fundraising process?
    Yes. We have a lot of potential donors. There are $150 million in asks on the table right now. A lot of donors are sitting on it, though. They're waiting for the government. They don't want to back it until they can see that there is some kind of commitment from the federal or the provincial government, so we're on the cusp of that decision right now.
    We know that the money is out there. There will be support for this. It's been demonstrated in the past that once the government comes on board, the private fundraising can really take off.
    Sometimes that works in reverse. When the private sector sees the government funds coming in, the taxpayers' money, they back off. However, you're saying that the reverse will be true in this case.
    You never know, but the economic, social, and cultural benefits of this, and the benefits to tourism, are so great. All you have to do is look at Saskatoon, which is one of the biggest tourist draws in Canada right now because of the Remai museum.
    There is a new museum in Quebec. There is a new museum in Edmonton. There is a new museum in Winnipeg. There are new museums all across the country, even in Toronto and Montreal, believe it or not. What about Vancouver? It's our turn.
    Point well made. I think you've probably made that case very strongly in many places, and you'll probably be successful at it.
    When you actually get that commitment—and you talked about needing partial funding to go ahead—what number are you looking for out of that $300 million before you put the shovel in the ground?
    I think we could if we had an expression of commitment from the provincial government, that yes, they like this project and want to go forward with it.... They've already put in $50 million, and they would be expected over the next five years to put in an equal amount. The federal government would match that with $100 million. That's the extent of our ask. Most of that would come from Infrastructure Canada. The balance of $150 million is coming from private sector support, including the $50 million endowment.
    I appreciate hearing about that ongoing $50 million endowment, because you're looking at the future in this project, at sustainability.
    Absolutely. Of course, there has been a business case prepared for how the building will operate. The current budget is $19 million. The budget of the new building would be $28 million. We're quite confident of being able to make that.
    Like I said, we have lineups around the block. The school programs are signed up for and sold out in one day. There is a huge public demand for this. It's a very, very popular organization. I don't see any problem with it, of course.
    I think that goes to the point that if you're going to build that base out there for leveraging with provincial and federal dollars, which are the taxpayers' dollars coming out of one pocket, you have built the public sector support for what you do with programming.
    Yes, that's right, and it's also what we do with taxation generation. This independent study shows that there would be, for example, $8 million in direct tax income to the Province of British Columbia per year. As a business investment, it makes sense.
    Yes, you're relating it in the sense of a broad variety of fundraising, public support, and longevity, and of a project that probably should go soon—soon would be my guess—and hopefully soon.

  (1025)  

    Yes, really, it's time critical.
    Right. Good.
    I'll go now to the archeology and history museum. I have two minutes.
    It's great in Montreal. I have been there to see it. It's super, when you talk about new, but it's looking at old.
    The part that interests me is the exhibits and moving them around. I think that's a critical piece that really can make a difference in getting those artifacts because they are artifacts and they are significant.
    You talked a little bit about funding, but could you explain a little bit more about what you'd like to do with it?

[Translation]

    Thank you for your question.
    As I said, we're looking to diversify our sources of funding. Travelling exhibitions are part of a project we are studying at the moment. We have already started to take our exhibits on the road. Some of them, which can be called local or regional exhibits, feature artifacts from Quebec and Canada.
    For about a year and a half now, we have been trying to do tours with historical exhibitions that showcase the great civilizations. We want to act as agents for European museums by organizing tours that feature objects from certain major museums. For example, next summer, we will presenting an exhibition on Egypt, in Montreal, and we want to tour it across North America, so in Canada and the United States.
    Our teams need to dedicate time towards setting up the network. This is really about getting the necessary funding for our operations. Setting up a network is time-consuming, and our teams are also very busy with the exhibitions and educational programs. We work on events and we need to rent space. We also organize many cultural activities in the community.
    Our resources are extremely busy. We have forty people or so currently working full time at our museum. We have seven pavilions to maintain. Establishing a series of international travelling exhibitions will require funding. We need people to set up this network and establish contact with these museums.
    There is also the installation of exhibitions. When we physically install exhibits, the furniture must be adapted so that it can be transported everywhere. It must be stable, steady, and easy to set up and take down. We need funding to build this furniture, and staff time to develop an efficient system. That is what we're currently working on with our resources.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Nantel, you have seven minutes.
    Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
    Thank you everyone for your participation.
    Something struck me in your testimony. By the way, thank you for giving us four very clear recommendations. We must try to clearly state our questions and the purpose of our visit, or else we will never be able to conclude this study. Museums want concrete measures, not elected officials who continually spout their good intentions by talking about the state of museums.
    The experiment you've led is in fact exceptional. As a resident of Greater Montreal, I was able to notice how much you have modernized, as my colleague Mr. Shields said, interest in history, archiving and archeology. Your second or third recommendation to build bridges between Parks Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage is very appropriate, especially since our study is focused on small museums.
    We could clearly say that a great deal of these small museums have ties to the history of the small communities in which they're based. For example, the museum in Chéticamp is surely tied to the history of the region.
    Would you like to see yourself as in the vanguard of these museums that seek to build bridges directly between Parks Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage?
    This brings us to the issue of setting up networks within the museum community and the heritage institutions.
    We are currently working very hard with the Grey Nuns of Montreal, who came to visit us at the museum. We are located right beside their community, which has a heritage building, collections and archives. The example I gave of religious communities is very concrete. We live it. This community came to see us to ask us what to do with its collections and archives.
    It's the same thing for a number of religious communities, such as the Augustines in Quebec City, the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, the Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum—

  (1030)  

    There's also the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne in Lachine, which is moving to community housing.
    Yes, there is the Collège Saint-Anne and the museum. There was a truly seismic shift, and we were not prepared for it.
    When the Grey Nuns came to see us, we told them that we didn't have the financial means to accommodate them. In terms of space, it's impossible. In terms of resources, our own operations are exhausting them. We go get our own resources. Nevertheless, we told them that we could help them. We worked with the Grey Nuns to find solutions and partners, as well as broaden our horizons. How will we work with the Ville de Montréal and the Government of Quebec? I believe that the federal government will also have a role to play.
    Medium- and large-scale museums have an extremely important role to play. I think that we have the necessary expertise, and we can work with them in many ways. That is what we are doing at the moment, particularly with this project. We love it, and, at the same time, we feel like we have a responsibility. We do not believe that the government has to have all the solutions. We see ourselves as part of the solution, with our own resources.
    Some museums are much worse off than us, and we are aware of this. We need to be very realistic here. We must renew ourselves. It's similar to a salvage operation. In an emergency situation, you first go for the elements that are easiest to save. Once you save them, you then go for the ones that are in the greatest amount of danger. That is what you do in a salvage operation. Therefore, we need to make sure that we are not imperilling those who are strong; rather, we must use them. We might need to fortify them in order to make everyone else a little stronger. In my opinion, that would be a fairly interesting way to operate.
    Thank you.
    One thing is certain: Your restoration of a collector sewer to really draw the curiosity of people from all generations was exceptionally successful. On an operational level, it might have been hard to achieve. That being said, your ability to showcase the relationship between the past, the present and the future was an object lesson. All Canadian museums that have something historical to showcase would clearly benefit from your master class, should you ever give one. Congratulations.
    I have a question for Mr. Bull. I paid a visit to your museum last spring, and saw the Susan Point: Spindle Whorl exhibition. I was utterly fascinated and captivated. The exhibition was a significant attraction in Vancouver, British Columbia. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that my card from the Museum of Fine Arts granted me free access to the exhibition.
    At the federal level, could we try to support interest by including cards from certain museums in an accessible network? I find that Canada 150 could have advertised this a little better. I hope that museum attendance will continue to increase, and that visitors' interests will go beyond the norm, though we must capitalize on that norm as much as possible. Is the network between museums well known? Could it be better supported by the federal government?

[English]

     There already are in place certain exchange agreements between museums, whereby a membership in one museum allows you access to other museums across the country. There's no global program for every museum, but I think it's a very good idea. Of course, supporting museums in that way would be cost-efficient and would definitely generate an audience. I think it's a great idea.

[Translation]

    Thank you.

  (1035)  

[English]

    All right.

[Translation]

    We will now go to Mr. Hébert, who will have seven minutes.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    I would like to thank all the witnesses, and congratulate them for the quality of their presentations.
    My question is for the ladies from Pointe-à-Callière.
    We know that Pointe-à-Callière is one of Canada's great museums of archaeology. As mentioned on your website, it owes its development to the important archaeological discoveries made in Old Montreal in the 1980s. We know that the federal government was of some help to you for these archaeological discoveries, and that it surely helped you with your operations.
    As my colleague opposite noted, you made a very interesting suggestion for the four ways of helping the museum in the future. You also talked about a collaboration with Parks Canada in your latest discovery of artifacts. I do understand that organizing travelling exhibitions with archaeological sites almost cannot be done, because they are rather immobile. After all, Egypt's pyramids aren't going anywhere.
    Yes, but fortunately, we do have artifacts.
    My question is twofold.
    First, have specific funds been put aside for the project on the Parliament of the United Province of Canada?
    Second, your museum has a very important tool, the Yours Truly, Montréal multimedia show, which traces the history of the city. Do you think that museums, in order to maintain their attendance in an age where digital technology is developing, will increasingly need to present these types of shows and exhibits that use digital technology? People could visit the pyramids from their living rooms, for example. Do you think that we could emphasize on the development of this aspect a lot more in the years to come?
    I will answer the first question, and let my colleague answer the second.
    The specific funding we got for the work done on the Parliament of the United Province of Canada came from the Ville de Montréal and the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, but mostly from the Ville de Montréal. Last year, we did the last major excavation campaign. This was a massive project, costing $6 million dollars. The visitors got access to the site throughout the whole summer. More than 25,000 people visited the archaeological site. It was a great success.
    Unfortunately, we did not receive assistance from the federal government. However, we see this project as being phase 3. It is a development project in which we want to make the site accessible, and put a new pavilion on top of it. It is a huge site that is 100 metres long. It is probably Montreal's last, still intact, major archaeological site. It is extremely rich.
    In terms of infrastructure, we have started talking with the federal government. Our director, Francine Lelièvre, has many contacts who work with federal programs. Things are going very smoothly. The same goes for our talks with the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec.
    As you know, we have a new municipal administration. Therefore, we will resume, with the new administration, the talks we started with the previous one. The project itself is going along quite well. We hope that the issues with funding will be solved this year. This project will cost more than $100 million. The problem isn't so much our infrastructure as it is our operating budget.
    With that amount, we could acquire additional equipment that would, in my opinion, reach out to all Canadians. This is about a piece of political history that took place in Old Montreal, on the grounds of the Parliament at the time when Montreal was the capital of United Canada, also referred to as the Province of Canada.
    Operations are a major issue. As practically all the witnesses have said, operations are museums' main Achilles heel. The budget we receive annually allows us to carry out our operations smoothly for now, but, if we add the equivalent of the third of our museum, we will need more resources. Of course, we are not expecting our operating budget to be increased by one-third.
    That being said, there will be needs, whether for operations, potential projects, guides we need on-site, educational programs, and exhibits that will take place in this new pavilion. It goes without saying that we will need to prepare an operating budget. As we said earlier, the Ville de Montréal is the only partner the museum has to fund its operations. We have no partnerships with either the Quebec or the Canadian government.
    The site of the Parliament of the United Province of Canada is a great example. It has all the necessary qualities to become a national historic site. It could then receive funding from the federal government. In this case, I'm not talking about the construction project, just the operations. The question is how do we proceed, given that we are working on a municipal site. We are open to the idea of talking about innovative solutions with you.
    Could existing federal agencies such as Parks Canada and the Canadian Museum of History have a role to play in this? Would an entity be created specifically for this purpose? Everything is on the table, and we hope to have good discussions with you on this issue.

  (1040)  

    Mrs. Thibault, what are your thoughts on this?
    Thank you for your question on multimedia. As Ms. Pothier mentioned, Pointe-à-Callière is a museum that was recognized from the outset when it opened in 1992. It is still recognized today for its innovative use of technology.
    You talked about how the Government of Canada helps in the multimedia sector. I can tell you that the Government of Canada has guaranteed assistance for renewing the show through the Canada cultural spaces fund, managed by the Department of Canadian Heritage. It is clear that this assistance was given on an ad hoc basis, in this case, for a high-technology project.
    In our case, we do not use multimedia to showcase virtual reality, but rather to make the museum's sites come alive. What I mean by this is that Pointe-à-Callière is a museum that features sites. We work with historical remains. How can we make these remains come to life? How do we talk about the history of this site with Montrealers and other visitors? We do so by putting visitors into contact with the people who built the sites. Digital technology allows us to convey emotions to visitors by putting them into contact with the people and the history behind the site. This is mainly what pushes us to want to use digital technology when we open new buildings and present exhibits.
    We must also take into account that visitors these days have extremely high expectations when they visit museums. They want to experience something, and connect with it. For us, digital technology is therefore a tool that both facilitates this initial contact between visitors and history, and leaves them with emotional memories.
    Thank you very much, Mrs. Thibault.
    That is all the time we have today. Thank you to all the witnesses.

[English]

     Thank you very much, Mr. Bull, from Vancouver.

[Translation]

    Thank you to the witnesses who are here with us.

[English]

    We're done. Thanks.
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