For more than twenty years, as leaders of scientific museum institutions, we have fought to ensure the survival of our institutions. Remember that science museums are the most frequently visited category of museum institutions. They represent 14% of all museums in Quebec and yet they welcome 33% of all museum visitors and receive 39% of school museum clients.
The recent announcement of the Blue Space project by the Government of Quebec is of great concern to us. The project, which provides for the deployment of 17 new museum distribution sites with an investment of $259 million, to which essentially recurring funding will be added to maintain their operations, will be made to the detriment of existing museum institutions.
The initiative ignores repeated requests from Quebec museum institutions demanding more resources for their projects to bring their programs and services up to standard, improve and develop them so that they can be accessible to the greatest number of citizens. Be accessible and relevant. .
Science museums have faced underfunding being thrown from one ministry to another, without membership or recognition of their legitimacy. Although in 2001, science museums received accreditation from the Ministry of Culture and Communications, it did not come with the necessary funding for their operation, and this was unlike most museums that had previously received this accreditation. quality label. After twenty years of efforts, by the summer of 2020, science museums finally received operational support for the budget allocated for five years.
Science museums annually support our own sources of revenue, by combining sponsorships and donations, to support our missions, namely to manage the collections, deploy a dynamic exhibition program, offer innovative educational programs, and create a human and resources Responsible Management.
Although the Government of Quebec has assured that the Envelope of Assistance Program for the Operation of Museum Institutions (PAFIM) will not be affected by the Espace Blue Project and that no approved museum institutions will be affected, we ask for confirmation that the Science Museum Their funding will be preserved and extended over the next PAFIM cycle 2022-2025, so that they can further their mission of serving citizens and communities.
Moreover, this initiative to invest in a new network clearly demonstrates the extent of the problem. Unfortunately, the government does not recognize the skills and experience of the existing museum institutions that could have been entrusted to carry out these new projects. […]. He does not seem to listen or give credence to the genuine need to strengthen and upgrade the network of science museums in place, which has been reiterated many times.
As a result, we invite the Government of Quebec to review the rules and framework of the Blue Space Initiative and mandate museum institutions that wish to complete projects rather than build parallel networks from scratch.
We would like to remind you that in 2018, we presented a project similar to Blue Space, the Science and Innovation Museum of Quebec, that sparked enthusiasm, support and pride in the community. This innovative concept proposed the integration of existing science museums in areas of Quebec, rather than adding new expensive infrastructure.
This museum project was given the mandate to contribute to the common good, by reminding of the importance given to science, research, innovation as well as upstream scientific culture to create a better world for present and future generations. It made it possible to foster a scientific, technological and innovation culture for all.
They helped to develop in the citizens a sense of responsibility for the protection of nature, environment and their health. He recognized that each institution that made up the museum had a specific theme that complemented the other members. And, the project, developed in consultation, aims to ensure the sustainable and responsible development of scientific museology, a core area of Quebec museology.
As a result, we call for the creation of the Museum of Science and Innovation of Quebec to establish a working group that will aim to consolidate museum institutions and unite their forces around a diverse network. and impressive.
We would like to emphasize that our position is driven by our desire to respect and recognize the heritage of which we are custodians. We want our museums to be welcoming places, sources of wonder, discovery, reflection and work to proudly ensure the well-being of present and future generations.
* Signed this letter: Guillain Archambault, Musée Armand-Frapier; Sandra Gauthier, Inventor; Patrice Corbeil, Center for the Interpretation of Marine Mammals; Michel Manasseau, Fossil; Anne-Marie Dulude, Biofair; Sandy Letendre, City of Energy; Marie-Josie Bernard, Biopark; Stephanie Girard Beaudry, Cosmodome; Denis Clotier, Water Interpretation Center; David Rodrigue, Zoo Ecomuseum; Genevieve Destroismison, Parc Marie-Victorin; Christine Meteor, Eco-Nature | Mill-Isles River Park; Bernard Malefant, Astrolabe du Mont-Megantic.