Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

Free Museum Admission for Children

“The OMA Council recently discussed the anticipated announcement from the Provincial government about free admission for children to Museums.  The Museum community is clearly supportive of such an initiative, that would allow access to our facilities to a much wider, and, more vulnerable, audience.

A November letter to Minister MacLeod stated the OMA “…was pleased to learn about potential expansion of free children’s admissions to museums across the province. Ontario’s museums have been working to eliminate barriers to entry for many communities, including children, through programs like free times of entry, discounted admissions, and access passes working with public libraries or other service organizations. We know that it is possible to enter 88% of Ontario museums for free, at least at some times.

We look forward to working with our members and the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries to improve access to Ontario museums for all. The Ontario Museum Association is eager to contribute to the development of a museum pass or other enhanced access programs… to ensure its success in all regions across the province.”

In anticipation of any announcement, Ontario museums must be prepared to present to the Province the associated cost of free admission to Ontario Museums, and also be prepared to deliver data that substantiates a request for funding to support this initiative.

Members need to consider any loss of current revenue, cost of additional on-site gate and gallery staff, additional maintenance, and costs of related materials and supplies. There are also longer term costs to consider such as wear and tear on infrastructure.

The anticipated announcement is forward thinking and will make us more inclusive institutions if appropriately funded.

Read more in the Fall Economic Statement HERE.”