COVID-19 Pandemic

The AMA will be updating this section as new information and resources become available. 

Alberta Museums Association

Is the AMA office closed?

In order to be proactive in following public health guidelines, AMA staff will mostly be working remotely. As such, there may be some delays in our response time.


How can I contact the AMA?

AMA staff continue to have access to email and voicemail. A staff directory is available through the AMA's main phone line, at 780.424.2626. Individual AMA staff member emails can be found here

As of April 1, the AMA has relocated to a new office space. Our new address is:

Suite 120, 12420.104 Ave NW
Edmonton, AB  T5N 3Z9


What is the status of the AMA's programs and services?

Certificate in Museum Studies Program 

In response to the latest recommendations from Alberta Health Services and the Government of Alberta, the April and May offerings of our Certificate in Museum Studies (CMS) Program, Collections Management (CMS 20-04) and Preventive Conservation (CMS 20 - 06), have been postponed. We are evaluating our remaining 2020 offerings on an ongoing basis. As new information becomes available, we will notify the membership and update our schedule.

Grants Program
Notifications of results for the February 2020 run of the Grants Program  have been distributed. Evaluations can be submitted through the Members Only section of the AMA website. Please note that processing evaluations will be delayed. We understand that circumstances surrounding COVID-19 may result in the delay or cancellation of funded projects and opportunities. If you believe your grant will be impacted, please contact

Learning Opportunities
The Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) workshop scheduled for June 2020 has been postponed. As new information becomes available, we will notify the membership and update our schedule.

Leadership Awards
In these difficult times, it is all the more important to celebrate excellence, innovation, and creativity in the Alberta museum community. Nominations for the Leadership Awards are now open. Submissions are accepted in three categories: Engagement, Sustainability, and Education. The Awards recognize exceptional work and innovative thinking in the museum community through the collection, research, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of the world around us, which contribute to the social, cultural, and educational fabric of Alberta. Read about past Award recipients here.

Recognized Museum Program
Notifications of results for the Recognized Museum Program are expected to be distributed in April. The deadline for participants to submit an Institutional Profile is May 31, 2020. If you believe your submission will be impacted, please contact

Online Orders
We continue to fill orders made through our online Bookstore; due to the AMA staff working remotely, shipping may be delayed.


Who should I contact at the AMA for more information, support, or advice around managing my museum's response to COVID-19?

The AMA has an Advisory Team working to ensure that members have access to shared information and resources. You can request advisory support through the Advisory Services form in the Members Only section or by email to


Museum Community

What impacts has COVID-19 had on museums?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Alberta has declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act. As part of these measures, stringent rules and recommendations have been put in place regarding public gatherings to protect the health and safety of all Albertans.

These new public health measures include the closure of all museums across the province, including those not operated by the Government of Alberta. All museums in the province will remain closed until further notice.

For advice on closing your museum safely and efficiently, please refer to the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) Note 1/3, Closing a Museum for the Winter.


What information should my museum be tracking about the impacts of COVID-19?

The AMA is distributing a monthly survey to Institutional Members about the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their institution, staff, volunteers, and the museum community as a whole. The AMA is working to collect this information in order to advocate for museums and museum professionals who have been affected by closures in our sector. If your institution has not received this survey, please contact Jennifer Forsyth at

We strongly encourage you to document your experiences, and in particular financial and human resources impacts, to help us understand the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on the museum sector in Alberta.

The Government of Alberta has created a framework to assess the various needs of Alberta's non-profits. This chart includes a list of concerns, anticipated impacts, and current mitigation tactics. As the AMA will be collecting information on these issues, please use this guide as a reference for the information your museum should be tracking.


What is being done to support the museum sector during this time?

The AMA is working with provincial representatives to ensure that museums are supported through this time as well as moving forward.

The AMA has joined with the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations and Volunteer Alberta, signing on to a letter to the Government of Alberta with questions as non-profits approach reporting deadlines and legislation requirements to host Annual General Meetings. UPDATE: The Government of Alberta has announced that, in keeping with public gathering restrictions, deadlines are suspended for corporations, partnerships, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations to hold annual general meetings and file their annual returns.

The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) is also working with the federal government to secure support for the museum sector during the response to COVID-19; more information is available here.

Imagine Canada has created a template letter you can use to communicate your concerns about the impacts of COVID-19 on the non-profit and charitable sector to your Member of Parliament.

Click here for additional advocacy efforts by non-profit and charitable organizations in Alberta and Canada.


How can I stay connected with the AMA and the museum community?

Community matters more than ever as the museum sector responds to this unprecedented pandemic crisis. We strongly encourage you to reach out to your professional colleagues, co-workers, and friends in the field.

You can connect with the AMA online via our website, email, Facebook, and Twitter. Use and follow the #ABMuseums hashtag to connect with us and members of the Alberta museum community.

Ensure that we can connect with you by reviewing your AMA membership profile in the Members Only section and confirming that your contact information is up-to-date.

Join the AMA's email discussion list, MAIN-L. MAIN-L is a tool to keep the Alberta museum community connected, engaged, and informed. We encourage you to share what you are doing to maintain connections with your community and the public while your site is closed.


My museum has supplies such as N95 masks and nitrile gloves that could support our province's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. How can we donate them?

The Government of Alberta has announced the launch of the Alberta Bits and Pieces Program, an initiative to shift production from normal operations to critical healthcare supplies, and offer a way for Alberta organizations to donate existing and unused supplies to support our province's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can submit your offers to the Alberta Bits and Pieces Program through the form available here. If there is a need for your product or service, you will be contacted by a representative of the Government of Alberta.

If you are considering donations within your community, please consult with your local health officials or community service providers about potential donations, what is needed, and how to safely provide these items before going to a hospital or distribution centre.


Support for Individuals and Employers 

What federal and provincial support can I access for my museum and staff?


The Government of Canada has announced the following programs and initiatives: 

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
    On March 30, 2020, the Government of Canada announced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, intended to support organizations to keep and return workers to the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will fund up to 75 percent of wages for eligible businesses, non-profit organizations, and charities, whose revenue has decreased by at least 30% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The maximum subsidy amount is $847 per week per employee, for up to twelve weeks. The program is backdated to March 15, 2020.
  • Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers
    The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers - including non-profit organizations and charities - to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • Business Credit Availability Program, Canada Emergency Business Account
    The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.


Please see the Government of Canada's website for federal supports available for individuals and businesses


The Government of Alberta has announced the following programs and initiatives:

  • Emergency funding for charities and not-for-profit organizations
    On March 17, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced emergency funding to charities, not-for-profits, and civil society organizations to support their COVID-19 response. This funding will be provided immediately and will support social services in enabling social distancing, as well as supports and services for at-risk seniors and families facing homelessness, poverty, and social isolation. Charities, not-for-profits, and civil society organizations looking to help Albertans during the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for this funding.


Please see the Government of Alberta's website for provincial supports available for employers and employees.


We are a Registered Charity. When is my Registered Charity Information Return due?

As part of the Government of Canada's actions in dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charities Directorate is extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2020, for all charities with a Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return, due between March 18, 2020, and December 31, 2020. For more information, click here.


What are the provincial deadlines for holding Annual General Meetings and filing annual returns?

The Government of Alberta has announced that, in keeping with public gathering restrictions, deadlines are suspended for corporations, partnerships, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations to hold annual general meetings and file their annual returns. Please see their guide here.


Are there any changes to how charitable gaming proceeds may be used during the COVID-19 crisis?

Yes,  Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC) has recognized that charitable groups may need expanded use of proceeds in order to maintain key charitable programs while addressing impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Please see AGLC's guide for the uses of these proceeds that are eligible without the requirement for submission of forms normally used for these requests. Inquiries may be directed to with the subject line, "COVID 19 UOP Request". 


What other supports are available?

Please refer to the list below for more information, resources, and tools for a range of issues your museum may be facing.


Common Workplace Concerns

What can I do to make my organization more prepared for pandemics?

The AMA has compiled resources to help museums respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. For information on managing your museum's pandemic response, please see our Membership Advisories:

Please see the list below for additional resources for Emergency Preparedness and Response, and Supports for Employees and Employers.


My site has closed, but staff are still working remotely. What services can I use to facilitate meetings and continued work online?

For information about working remotely, please see:


Techsoup, a non-profit that connects Canadian charities, non-profits, and libraries to affordable technologies, recommends Nonprofit Resources for Remote Work. Some additional tools for collaboration, work management, and video conferencing include:


How can I support staff who are struggling with anxiety during this time?

The stress that arises from an emergency situation can be overwhelming, and each person will be affected differently. This graph from HELP! An Emergency Preparedness Manual for Museums, 2nd Edition, illustrates stress reactions post-disaster.

While stress can actually drive performance in responding to an emergency situation, there comes a point when that stress can be dangerous to both the individual and the response. This graph from HELP! illustrates responder exhaustion.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released a guide for managing stress and anxiety, as well as advice for self-care, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Alberta, you can call 211 for information about mental health supports and services available. Near the bottom of this page, you will find regional talk, text, or chat services for Albertans seeking support.


Information about the COVID-19 Pandemic

How can I assess whether I or somebody I know may be infected with COVID-19?

Alberta Health Services has created a self-assessment tool to help you determine if an individual should be tested for COVID-19.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, please view this resource for steps you can take to protect yourself and others.


Where can I go for updates about COVID-19? 

For accurate and up-to-date information regarding current recommendations relating to COVID-19, please refer to official sources:






Further Resources




Official Information





Emergency Preparedness and Response


Engaging Online: Resources for Museums


Health and Well-being


Measuring the Impacts of COVID-19


Programs and Supports Available to Museums and Non-profit Organizations

Resources for Employees and Employers


Working Remotely


Tools for Collaboration, Work Management, and Video Conferencing:


External Resources and Guides Relating to COVID-19:

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