Canada Celebrates International Museum Day

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 16, 2014 — Participating museums and art galleries across Canada will be participating in International Museum Day on Sunday, May 18. The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) is encouraging all Canadians to visit and support heritage, culture and arts institutions across the country this Victoria Day weekend to take part in this worldwide event.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) organized the first International Museum Day (IMD) on May 18 in 1977. Held annually on that day ever since, IMD raises awareness about the importance and value museums bring to society. Participating sites are encouraged to register for free on the official IMD website to promote their special IMD programming, such as free admission and special events, but they can also plan and promote it independently. Contact museums and galleries near you to find out if they are participating.

This year’s IMD theme, “Museum collections make connections“, was chosen by ICOM to “remind us that museums are living institutions that help create bonds between visitors, generations and cultures around the world”.

John McAvity, executive director of the CMA, shares this vision. “The core of our collective identity is made up of the artefacts, artwork, archival materials and intangible culture that are found in our museums,” says McAvity. “Successfully creating a connection between visitors and collections is a powerful way to positively influence individuals, their community and their culture. This year’s IMD theme reminds us how important it is to preserve and provide access to our collections, so that future generations can benefit from them as much as we do.”

Every year, Canada’s 2,600 museums attract more than 59 million visitors as well as more than half of all international tourists who visit our country. With cultural and heritage institutions facing important fiscal challenges, they are often struggling with the costs of caring for, storing and retaining their collections. The CMA urges the public to support museums in an effort to preserve our rich heritage.

For more information on this year’s celebrations, visit the IMD website and follow the activity on Twitter using the hashtag #IMD2014.

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