ADVOCACY: Meeting with Hon. Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

In continuing its advocacy efforts, OAAG has kept engaged with the offices of both the Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage and Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

Today, the Executive Director had a teleconference meeting with Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. 

A  resumé of initiatives, actions and priorities of OAAG were presented and how it was leading on the national issues pertaining to the Public Art Galleries and Art Museums sector.

The 30-min call discussed how the emergency relief measures and supplementary new funds from the Federal government are addressing the Public Art Gallery sector.  The two OAAG’s impact surveys were discussed and salient insights were shared to identify the depth of the impact including the conservative estimate of $13 Mn revenue loss till June.

Some gaps were identified. It was highlighted that the Public Art Gallery sector is not a homogenous sector and pointed that member galleries from the Municipal and University fall in the MUSH sector which is exempted in the emergency wage subsidy. 

It was identified that the working capital ratio is less than 1 for Public Art Galleries across the nation. This clearly demonstrated the fragility of the sector and why business continuity is paramount in working out the strategy to address gaps in relief measures.

The Parliamentary Secretary was briefed about OAAG’s advocacy efforts and the ASOs precarious situation where OAAG’s survey indicated that upto 50% of these could close down. 

Further, in alluding to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage work on new Museum Policy, the Parliamentary Secretary was updated about how OAAG is already accomplishing work on 7 out of the proposed 15 Recommendations made in the 12th report submitted to the 42nd Parliament, 1st session in 2018. OAAG will submit an updated report on its initiatives and priorities to the Office.

Keep safe!

Zainub Verjee
OAAG Executive Director

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