Notes for Remarks by

the Honourable Isabel Bassett

Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation

at the

OMA Conference
October 23, 1997
Burlington, Ontario

Notes only
check against delivery

Tonight is my first chance as the new Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation to meet with members of the OMA. I welcome this chance to begin to get to know you.

I come into this new job with much enthusiasm. My heart is very much in the cultural portfolio. Clearly, the OMA and its members are at the core of the province's cultural community.

The OMA mission statement says that "museums are a integral and essential component of the cultural, social and economic fabric of the Province of Ontario". Let me go on record as saying that I completely agree with this. I'm delighted to be able to bring this conviction to my new job as Minister.

I believe that the best role Ministry can play is as one of the partners who can help achieve the goals of the OMA. My Ministry can work with the OMA to promote and develop the province's museums, galleries, and all those organizations that are "preserving, protecting and interpreting" the province's cultural heritage.

The Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation can also have a useful role in helping to form partnerships which will benefit OMA members. We appreciate that you are the custodians of unique and non-renewable resources. We can help you to demonstrate to others the value of your work.

These days, OMA members are having to respond to changing conditions. Your members are diversifying their financial bases and we are seeing some very creative and useful relationships being formed. The role of museums and the contribution they make to the community: culturally, socially and economically, is being better appreciated and understood all the time. Much of this is the result of the work of the OMA. I congratulate you on the success of your on-going consciousness-raising efforts.

The work of many other provincial ministries also has an impact on OMA members. The issues of highway signage, charitable gaming, and of course the municipal restructuring, will all have an effect on the OMA and your members. The OMA is a well organized and articulate group, and I know that you can speak very well for yourselves. However, from time to time, it may also help to have another friendly voice at the table. I think this a role that the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation can play. I can assure you that, as Minister, I will be ready to do my part.

I would like to add my congratulations to tonight's award recipients. Thank you for inviting me to be part of this evening.

I will be meeting all of you again. I look forward to that and to working with you in the future.

Thank you.

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