Thursday, May 27, 2010

Noticed: Still no Museums Day for Toronto... or Vancouver... or Calgary...

Earlier this week, a notice about Montreal Museums Day--a day of free admission to and transportation between museums--landed in my inbox. Once again, this annual event (happening May 30 this year) prompted me to wonder, why no event like this in Toronto? Or Vancouver for that matter? Or Calgary? Though Montreal Museums Day has lost a couple of participants along the way--the Montréal Insectarium and Montreal Botanical Garden are not offering MMD this year--the access-focused event still outshines initiatives (and/or highlights a lack thereof) in other parts of the country.

What's more, this event further highlights the general lack of action (as far as I know, feel free to correct me) around International Museums Day in our other major cities. MMD is inspired by IMD on May 18 of each year, which "provides the opportunity for museum professionals to meet the public and alert them to the challenges that museums face if they are to be - as in the International Council of Museums definition of museums - "an institution in the service of society and of its development"."

I know Toronto has Doors Open this weekend, which has strongarmed the ROM into actually providing a free Friday evening, but that event has an architectural focus. We need to bring this type of access initiative into the gallery and museums realm as well.

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