By banding together to form museum networks, individual museums can gain a wider hearing and greater influence. The following article is adapted from the Spring 2010 issue of our newsletter, Au courant, and details a successful museum network in the Ottawa area.
Since its inception in 2007, the Ottawa Museum Network has worked on initiatives involving the 11 museums funded by the City of Ottawa. These museums include 3 city-owned and operated sites – Billings Estate Museum Historic Site, Pinhey’s Point Historic Site and the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, as well as 8 community museums — Bytown Museum, Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, Goulbourn Museum, Nepean Museum, Osgoode Township Historical Society & Museum, Vanier Museoparc, Watson’s Mill and Workers’ Heritage Museum. The OMN develops centralized marketing and advertising campaigns to provide a level of exposure that would be impossible for each of the 11 sites to accomplish on their own. A pilot project organized and administered by the OMN to share the services of a professional conservator to assess collections and undertake artefact treatments is currently underway. Funded in part by MAP and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the project is another example of how sharing resources across a network of museums can provide each site with services that are out of reach of individual sites working in isolation.