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
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all upcoming CMS courses have been postponed. For more information, please contact learning@museums.ab.ca.

Grants Program
Grant Applications
In response to reductions to our funding allocation, the AMA has made the following changes to the Grants Program for the 2020 - 2021 granting year

  • The September 2020 Grant Run has been eliminated. 
  • The November 2020 Grant Run for Operational Staffing Grants will proceed as normal. 
  • The February 2021 Grant Run will be reduced to accept applications for Professional Development Grants only. 


Please read our Membership Advisory for details.

Grant Evaluations
In light of the impacts of COVID-19 on the museum sector, the AMA has made adjustments to the Grants Program for all open and unspent grants to allow flexibility in the use of funds. If your grant-funded project, learning opportunity, or staff position has been affected by the pandemic, please contact Jennifer Forsyth at grants@museums.ab.ca.

Grant Evaluations can be submitted through the Members Only section of the AMA website. Please note that processing evaluations will be delayed. Please contact us at grants@museums.ab.ca if your evaluation submission will be affected by the ongoing pandemic.

Learning Opportunities
The Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) workshop scheduled for June, as well as the Social Responsibility Workshop scheduled for July, have been postponed. As new information becomes available, we will notify the membership and update our schedule.

Recognized Museum Program
The upcoming deadlines for the Recognized Museum Program are: 

  • Candidate Upgrade Evidence: November 2, 2020
  • Application, Reapplication, and Leader Applications: November 30, 2020

If your participation in the Recognized Museum Program is affected by COVID-19, please contact recognized@museums.ab.ca.

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 advisory@museums.ab.ca.

 

Museum Community

What impacts has COVID-19 had on the museum sector?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Alberta declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act that included the closure of all museums across the province.

On April 30, the Government of Alberta announced that museums and art galleries would be permitted to reopen in Stage One of Alberta's Relaunch Strategy.

As of May 14, museums are permitted to reopen to the public. 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. 

 

What resources are available for museums as they reopen?

With funding support from Travel Alberta, the AMA is working to produce physical and digital resources to support organizations in the museum and heritage sector to reopen and operate safely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Health & Safety Toolkits
Health & Safety Toolkits contain physical wayfinding signage and floor stickers to direct visitors and encourage physical distancing, as well as free access to digital resources. Toolkits are available to order through the AMA Bookstore. Learn more about the project here.

After museums were allowed to reopen in Stage 1 of Alberta's Relaunch Strategy, the AMA published the advisory document, Guidance for Reopening Museums, to help clarify museum-specific considerations and requirements to reopen safely. We are working to expand on and develop this document with additional information and resources about reopening and operating during a public health crisis. 

In reviewing this guidance, museums should strongly consider if, how, and when they should reopen to the public in any form. The reopening of sites and renewed offering of services must ensure minimal risk to the safety of staff, volunteers, and visitors and may require modifying plans, staggering relaunch activities, or even postponing opening or launch dates entirely as circumstances evolve. Museums must ensure they are considering all the factors when making the decision to reopen.

 

What if my museum remains closed?

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

 

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

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.

The AMA is working to collect information in order to advocate for museums and museum professionals who have been affected by closures in our sector, and is regularly distributing surveys to our members. If you have any questions about our surveys, please contact Jennifer Forsyth at advancement@museums.ab.ca.


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

The AMA is working with provincial and federal 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 the temporary order suspending deadlines to hold annual general meetings and file annual returns has been lifted. These requirements reverted to normal as of August 15, 2020Please read our  Membership Advisory for details.

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 supports can I access for my museum and staff?

The Government of Canada has announced a number of programs and initiatives for organizations and individuals that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see their website for more information. 

 

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 the temporary order suspending deadlines for corporations, partnerships, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations to hold annual general meetings and file their annual returns has been lifted. These requirements reverted to normal as of August 15, 2020. Please see our Membership Advisory for details.

The AMA recognizes that many of our members will be affected by these changes and will need to begin planning immediately to address these updated requirements. We are working with the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (ECVO) and other service providers to gather more information and address questions about how these changes will impact your institution.

Please share your specific questions with us through this form.

 

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

In March, Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC) 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 COVID-19 Information for current information.

 

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 ensure my organization is prepared to respond to the pandemic?

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:


Under the Government of Alberta's Relaunch Strategy, museums and art galleries were permitted to reopen and resume operations as of May 14. Given the unique circumstances faced by museums and heritage organizations, the AMA created Guidance for Reopening Museums to help clarify museum-specific considerations and requirements to reopen safely.

We are working to expand on and develop this document with additional information and resources about reopening and operating during a public health crisis. 

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

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

 

Staff and volunteers at our museum are continuing to work 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 those 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.

The ABTraceTogether mobile app is a contact tracing tool intended to let you know about potential exposures to COVID-19 and to facilitate contact tracing. More information is available here

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:

Alberta


Canada


International

 

 

Further Resources

Advocacy

 

COVID-19

Official Information

Alberta


Canada


International

 

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

 

Reopening Your Museum 

In reviewing the guidance below, museums should strongly consider if, how, and when they should reopen to the public in any form. The reopening of sites and renewed offering of services must ensure minimal risk to the safety of staff, volunteers, and visitors and may require modifying plans, staggering relaunch activities, or even postponing opening or launch dates entirely as circumstances evolve. Museums must ensure they are considering all the factors when making the decision to reopen.

 

Resources for Employees and Employers

 

Working Remotely

Resources


Tools for Collaboration, Work Management, and Video Conferencing:

 

External Resources and Guides Relating to COVID-19:

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