Alberta Museum Association |
Collecting Perspectives on Canada’s Museums

At a time of increased urgency around discussions about social change and with lives disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the museums sector wanted to explore the role of Canada’s museums in an uncertain future.

As a partner of the Alberta Museums Association (AMA) and their provincial + territorial museum association partners throughout Canada, H+K designed a national public engagement process to gain perspective on the perceived value of museums and gain visibility into the barriers Canadians face in engaging with museums.

The digital-first engagement program implemented in late 2020 and early 2021 reached more than half a million people in Canada, inviting members of the public and museum professionals alike to share their experience and expectations of museums, now and in the future. Using surveys, dialogue sessions, public opinion research and social media engagement, we were able to gather input from more than 3,000 people from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Of these participants, more than 1,400 were youth and members of diverse cultural communities.

H+K’s What We Heard Report provided guidance for further, targeted public engagement to address knowledge gaps and became the basis for a second phase of work to develop a new narrative for Canada’s museums, shaped by the value Canadians see in them personally, as well as to their communities and broader society.


The insights gleaned from the engagement process were foundational to the development of communications, engagement strategies and tools that were deployed throughout the process. This work has been foundational to the development of a refreshed vision for Canada’s museums, as well associated communications + engagement tools launched in March 2023 that aim to further solidify the important role of museums to facilitate discovery, engagement, inspiration, and truth-telling in our communities. Learn more at

Sector: Government + Public Sector
Specialist expertise: Public Participation
Office: Ottawa

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