Ottawa Declaration Working Group


The Ottawa Declaration is a commitment by Canada’s cultural heritage institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums [GLAMs]) to collaborate on new ways of working together to increase visibility, impact, and value to Canadians.

Launched in December 2016 following the Summit on the Value of GLAMs, the goals of the Ottawa Declaration are to enhance collaboration, catalyze new partnerships, enrich and expand access to collections, develop innovative programs and services, and adopt technologies, ensuring that GLAMs contribute significantly to the public good and sustainable development.

A Steering Committee and Working Group oversee the advancement of the Ottawa Declaration goals; with secretariat support provided by Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Meetings of the two groups take place bi-monthly or monthly, as necessary:

  • The Steering Committee is co-chaired by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada and the Canadian Museum Association (CMA). Membership is composed of professionals from across Canada representing galleries, libraries, archives, and museums, as well as the private sector. The three-year mandate of the Ottawa Declaration Steering Committee ends in winter 2020.
  • The Working Group was formed after the second GLAM Summit (Toronto, January 2018) to support the priorities set by the Steering Committee.

The activities organized by the Ottawa Declaration include:

  • Three GLAM Summits—the Third Summit was organized in collaboration with Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) in May 2019 in Montréal.
  • A value study of GLAMs, undertaken through a contract between CMA with Oxford Economics, expected to be complete in fall 2019.
  • A collaboration survey whose results will include an inventory of collaborative projects, expected to be complete in fall 2019.


It is expected that the value study of GLAMs will be ready for public release in late October or early November 2019. The Ottawa Declaration Steering Committee members have agreed on the following:

  • The need to develop a preface to the study with key messages to be signed by the Ottawa Declaration members.
  • The need to develop a communications strategy that would include extensive promotion across Canada, both within and beyond the GLAM sector such as high-visibility public launch events and presentations of the study’s results at GLAM sector conferences (e.g. Ontario Library Association (OLA) Super Conference).
  • Both documents will be developed in the fall.

It is also expected that the terms of reference for both groups will be revised given the impending end of the Ottawa Declaration Steering Committee mandate. The following questions would then have to be raised:

  • What should be the objectives of the Ottawa Declaration Steering Committee and Working Group in order to move the Ottawa Declaration principles forward?
  • Do we have the right membership/partners in terms of institutional and geographic representation? How can we engage with other smaller, and national-provincial level GLAM organizations?
  • Is the current structure the most efficient one? Are the Steering Committee and Working Group still necessary? Would the Ottawa Declaration principles be better advanced through other existing structures/organizations?

The following questions would then have to be raised for LAC:

  • How should LAC continue to contribute to the Ottawa Declaration principles?


Jessica Squires, A/Manager, Strategic Research and Policy
Tel: 343-549-4725


(Membership as of August 13, 2019)

Ottawa Declaration Steering Committee


Guy Berthiaume (Library and Archives Canada)
Jack Lohman (Royal BC Museum)


Chris Kitzan (Canada Aviation and Space Museum)
Paul Gilbert (Calliope Consulting)
Christine Lovelace (University New Brunswick)
Maureen Sawa (Greater Victoria Public Library)
Loubna Ghaouti (Bibliothèque de l’Université Laval)

Ottawa Declaration Working Group


Paul Gilbert (Calliope Consulting)


Joanne Orr (Royal BC Museum)
Chantal St-Louis (Bibliothèque Université Laval)
Daphne Wood (Greater Victoria Public Library)
Eric Chan (EEPMON)
Fiona Smith-Hale (Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation)
Anita Price (Association of Nova Scotia Museums)
David Leverton (Maritime Museum of British Columbia)
Robert Bolton (From Later)
John McAvity (formerly Canadian Museums Association)

Ottawa Declaration Secretariat

Pascale Robichaud (Library and Archives Canada)
Nelly Savova (Library and Archives Canada)

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