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, May, and July offerings of our Certificate in Museum Studies (CMS) Program, Collections Management (CMS 20-04), Preventive Conservation (CMS 20 - 06), and Public Programs (CMS 20 - 07), 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
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 2020 has been postponed. As new information becomes available, we will notify the membership and update our schedule.

Recognized Museum Program
The deadline for participants to submit an Institutional Profile has passed. 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 museums?

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. 

Given the rapid timeline and the unique circumstances faced by museums and heritage organizations, the AMA has created Guidance for Reopening Museums to help clarify museum-specific considerations and requirements to reopen safely.

The overall guidance presented in this document draws on the Government of Alberta's Workplace Guidance for Business Owners document for businesses reopening or continuing operations, and their Guidance for Museums and Art Galleries.

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?

The AMA is distributing an ongoing 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 advancement@museums.ab.ca.

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 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, 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.

The AMA is holding bi-weekly networking and discussion events to facilitate conversations among museum workers across the province. This series of virtual events provides a chance to discuss current issues, connect with each other, and continue building a strong and resilient museum sector in Alberta. Registration is available in the Events section.

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?

Federal

The Government of Canada has announced the following programs and initiatives for organizations that have been impacted: $500 million to establish a COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations to help address the financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors so they can continue to support artists and athletes. This measure is consistent with the government's other existing COVID-19 support measures for wages and fixed costs for organizations.

  • COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations
    On May 8, the Government of Canada announced further details about the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations to help address the financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors so they can continue to support artists and athletes. Please click here for our Membership Advisory for more information. 
  • 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 per cent of wages for eligible businesses, non-profit organizations, and charities, whose revenue has decreased by at least 15 per cent in March and 30 per cent in April and May  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 10% Wage Subsidy for Employers
    The Temporary 10% 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. The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay fromMarch 18, 2020,toJune 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.
  • 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. As of April 16, 2020, to qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.
  • Canada Summer Jobs Program
    Temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program for this year include: an increase to the wage subsidy, allowing private and public sector employers to receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee; an extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021; allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services; and allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis.

 

For individuals who have been impacted, the Government of Canada has announced updates to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The CERB is available to workers who meet all of the following conditions:

  • live in Canada and are at least 15 years old;
  • stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
  • have not voluntarily quit their job; and
  • had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application.


As of April 15, 2020, updated eligibility rules will:

  • allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB;
  • extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their usual seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak; and
  • extend the CERB to workers who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.


Information about the CERB is available here.

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


Provincial

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 individuals and businesses.

 

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 gaming.useofproceeds@aglc.ca 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 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 are permitted to reopen and resume operations as of May 14. Given the unique circumstances faced by museums and heritage organizations, the AMA has created Guidance for Reopening Museums to help clarify museum-specific considerations and requirements to reopen safely.

The overall guidance presented here draws on the Government of Alberta's Workplace Guidance for Business Owners document for businesses reopening or continuing operations, and their Guidance for Museums and Art Galleries.

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 

 

Resources for Employees and Employers

 

Working Remotely

Resources


Tools for Collaboration, Work Management, and Video Conferencing:

 

External Resources and Guides Relating to COVID-19:

Twitter Flickr LinkedIn CEI News