Value of Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAMs)

Canadian galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) receive approximately 150 million visits every year, but they are much more than simply visitor attractions. They preserve and promote Canadian heritage, domestically and around the globe, while providing access to resources for education, research, learning and artistic creation.

In 2016, the Canadian Museums Association (CMA), in partnership with Library and Archives Canada, held a summit on the value of GLAMs. At the end of this first summit, participants adopted the Ottawa Declaration as an expression of their commitment to increasing collaboration within the GLAM community, developing opportunities to engage citizens in their activities, and expanding access to their collections in order to contribute to the public good.

To keep the momentum going after the first summit, a working group was created to put the Ottawa Declaration into action. Co-chaired by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada and the CMA, the working group was made up of representatives from the GLAM sector. Their mandate was to explore and study how GLAMs bring value to Canadian society, and to help identify areas where partnerships could be developed.

In early 2019, the CMA, on behalf of the Ottawa Declaration Working Group, commissioned Oxford Economics to undertake a national study looking at the value of GLAMs in Canada. Their preliminary findings were shared at the 2019 Summit.

This first-of-its-kind study sheds light on the value of non-profit GLAMs in Canada through a combination of quantitative value metrics and qualitative assessments of societal values. According to this study, for every dollar invested in the GLAM sector, Canadian society gets nearly four dollars in benefits. Key findings of this study demonstrate that Canada as a whole gains nearly $8.6 billion each year from the existence of GLAMs, in addition to a myriad of educational and social advantages.

To consult Value Study of Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAMs) in Canada, visit the CMA website.


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