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COVID-19: CASC ADVOCACY EFFORTS 

As we all continue to navigate this rapidly-evolving global situation, CASC is here to support you in advocacy efforts to the Government of Canada, sharing helpful resources, amplifying science communication offerings of our members, and connecting our community. 

CASC is here for you. Our commitment is to:

Advocate for relief funding for our sector, to help staff stay employed and to invest in the online platforms that can help our members inform Canadians. Our sector employs the best professional science communicators across the country and relies on funds generated through programs and ticket sales. Collectively these organizations reach 10 million people across Canada in person each year and reach this audience through 1.35 million accounts on social media. Our sharing of accurate, reliable information has a significant impact.  

Advocate for creative science learning solutions that leverage our network of science and innovation engagement leaders. As a ‘new normal’ emerges for youth education over the next few weeks and months, our sector is positioned to play a critical role in a holistic and hands-on approach to science learning. Our members bridge formal and informal science learning environments. Over 90% of our science centres and science museums members have school programs, over 75% offer outreach and community engagement within local and regional communities and we have a strong online presence. How can our sector help and work with school boards to create holistic approaches to experiential science learning?

Share helpful resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will provide more e-newsletters with links to useful resources to help you and your organization navigate the pandemic and provide updates about what CASC members are doing. Please see our web page for current listings.

FEDERAL BUDGET 2021

We have been advocating for extension of the wage subsidy and sector specific support. Here is CASC's initial high-level snapshot of the supports outlined in the budget that could help aid the recovery of Canada’s science centre sector:

  • $1 billion over three years for tourism, starting in 2021-22

  • Extension of the CEWS and CERS programs to September 25, 2021, with potential to extend until November 20, 2021. The budget proposes to gradually decrease the subsidy rate, beginning July 4, in order to ensure an orderly phase-out in tandem with vaccinations.

  • A $500-million Tourism Relief Fund, administered by the regional development agencies, to support investments by local tourism businesses in adapting to the pandemic.

  • Introduction of the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program to provide eligible employers with a subsidy of up to 50% on the incremental remuneration paid to eligible employees between June 6, 2021 and November 20, 2021.

  • $595 million to make it easier for businesses to hire back laid-off workers or to bring on new staff.

  • $100 million to Destination Canada for marketing campaigns to help Canadians and other visitors discover and explore the country.

  • $80 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, to help CanCode reach 3 million more students—with an even greater focus on underrepresented groups—and 120,000 more teachers.

There are also numerous proposed programs through Canadian Heritage which may benefit our members including:

  • $200 million to support local festivals, community cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, heritage celebrations, local museums, amateur sport events, and more.  

  • $300 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to Canadian Heritage to establish a Recovery Fund for Heritage, Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors.

  • $15 million in 2021-22 to Canadian Heritage for Making Cultural Spaces Safe During COVID-19

  • $23 million over 3 years ( ($5M 2021/22; $8M 2022/23 , $10 M 2023/24) for the Museums Assistance Program to support the digitization of information and collections by non-national museums and heritage institutions, which will allow these institutions to create original content such as educational materials, apps or other virtual activities to enhance the visitor experience.

Link to the Federal Budget

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS 

Check out this aptly titled CASC session WTF 2020: Canadian perspectives during a time of disruption, which took place at the ASTC 2020 Virtual Conference. 

This session explored What the Future holds from CASC Member leaders across Canadian Science Centres, Museums, and Zoos.

Moderator: Marianne Mader, Executive Director, CASC

Presenters:Christina Tessier, President & CEO, Ingenium; Tracy Calogheros, CEO, The Exploration Place Museum & science Centre; Dolf DeJong, CEO, Toronto Zoo

On April 16, 2020, CASC participated in a Heritage Panel as part of the Canadian Museum Association’s online conference Museums Together (starts at the 1:29:34 mark.), along with representatives from the Canadian Museum Association (CMA), National Trust of Canada (NTC), the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada (ANHMC), and Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA).  

This group of associations is working collaboratively to advocate for the broader cultural and heritage sector. The panel explored common concerns and challenges and discussed what can be done by working together. It included Tracy Calogheros, CASC President & CEO The Exploration Place, Marianne Mader, CASC Executive Director, and Dolf DeJong, CASC Board Member and CEO, The Toronto Zoo. 

OP-ED CAMPAIGN

We've coordinated an Op-Ed campaign to raise awareness of the critical role of our sector plays. Thank you to Tracy Calogheros, CASC Board President and CASC Member Institution CEO's for their contributions to local and national news outlets. Please share widely!

September, 2020

Tracy Calogheros: Widening our scope for the 21st century

August 15, 2020

Tracy Calogheros et Mary Anne Moser: Doctor’s orders: Take science with a giant dose of humanity


August 7, 2020

Dr. William E. Baylis: Science has become more critical than ever in today's world

August 6, 2020

Tracy Calogheros: How museums can play a role in the fight against future pandemics

July 25, 2020

Tracy Calogheros: Critical thinking, science culture and Canadians’ superpower

July 22, 2020

Tracy Calogheros & Dov Bercovici: Science centres are beacons to guide us in cloudy future



Canadian Association of Science Centres

100 Ramsey Lake Road 

Sudbury, ON. P3E 5S9

info@casc-accs.com

The CASC office is situated in Robinson Huron Treaty territory and the traditional territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek. We pay respect to their traditions, ways of knowing and acknowledge their many contributions to the innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Clearly and overtly this gratitude must be demonstrated in our collective commitment to truth and reconciliation, by working to transform existing relationships, with open dialogue, mutual understanding and respectful collaborations

©2021 Canadian Association of Science Centres