TWO Organizations, TWO Surveys, Working TO-GETHER


Museums in Ontario are coming together to realize the full potential of a more collaborative, forward-looking and responsive sector for all communities across the province. As part of the Looking Ahead initiative, the OMA is working with sector leaders, stakeholders and community members towards developing strong evidence-based strategies and recommendations to improve sector capacity, communication, and accountability.

As part of the community of 700+ museums across Ontario, we are asking you to work with us to advance your own and the sector’s collective interests.

Our Institutional Profile Survey seeks to provide a more comprehensive profile of the sector. This profile will be shared with Ontario’s museums. Just as important, this “evidence” can be used to communicate broadly why museums matter.  Along with other research, this information can be used to demonstrate our collective economic impact AND our pivotal role to the quality of life of our communities.  It could support the development of recommendations on how we can address current challenges and meet future needs.

To get there, we need your data, your information. A high level of participation by Ontario’s museums not only improves the relevancy of the findings, but also indicates the commitment of the sector to work together — to proactively seek solutions, pursue common interests, and determine our own future!

To date, 159 organizations have completed their Looking Ahead surveys. Because we believe this is so important, we will continue to accept Institutional Profile Surveys. Staff is here to help! Contact Josh: toll-free in Ontario: 1-866-662-8672 or 416-348-8672, or email:


The Looking Ahead Task Force meets on May 29th to begin drafting recommendations in key strategic areas. Preliminary findings suggest six main areas of focus, among which asset management and infrastructure maintenance is noted as a huge challenge.

The OMA seeks to work closely with partners in meeting this and other challenges. To that end, we support the work of ArtsBuild Ontario and ask our members to do the same. ArtsBuild is collecting information on capital needs. This information is more detailed and specific to facility and building needs than what is being asked by the Looking Ahead survey. The OMA and Artsbuild are committed to sharing information with each other for the benefit of the sector.


ArtsBuild Ontario is the only organization in Ontario dedicated to realizing long-term solutions for building, managing and financing the sustainable arts facilities needed in Ontario communities.

In 2006/2009 ArtsBuild commissioned two in-depth Facilities Needs Assessment surveys to understand the capital infrastructure challenges facing nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. These surveys left ArtsBuild thinking of a more efficient way to collect the data needed around arts facilities for advocacy and to keep the data dynamic.

In 2013 ArtsBuild’s Bricks&Mortar went live – which is an online database created to house the profiles, needs and plans of our arts organizations and their facilities across the province. The questions in Bricks&Mortar are all centered around the current state of our organizations’ facilities and the needs and the plans that they have for those facilities. To date we have collected information from over 340 organizations province wide including 94 museums. This incredibly valuable information allows us to understand what is needed in our sector around facilities. ArtsBuild has tasked dedicated staff since April 2013, to speaking one on one with organizations across the province and entering their valuable data. Once entered the data can be accessed by the organization and edited so that it stays current and relevant. Organizations can also enter their data by simply registering! You can visit Bricks&Mortar on ArtsBuild’s website or contact Gina at to have your facility included in Bricks&Mortar.

We are now able to begin developing our first Executive Summary of the data collected so far in Bricks&Mortar, that will outline the needs and plans of our sectors’ facilities. Our hope is that in the future ArtsBuild can work with other Arts Service Organizations in sharing this rich data set that continues to grow.

ArtsBuild has been working closely with OMA to discuss ways that we might partner in the future in sharing/using each other’s data for the betterment of the sector.