Winnipeg, MB (May 1, 2020): On March 14, The Manitoba Museum made the decision to temporarily close its doors to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers, and employees. While the Government of Manitoba announced that museums may open to the public on May 4, the Manitoba Museum will not be reopening immediately. We are taking the time to assess and initiate safety protocols and we look forward to the day we can safely reopen to the public.
Due to the financial impacts resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic, we regret that today a Notice of Layoff was delivered to Manitoba Museum employees, in accordance with the terms of our Collective Agreement with MGEU. All Museum Staff will remain fully employed by the Museum until June 26, 2020. The Museum Management will continue consultations with MGEU representatives and the Museum Board Executive Committee as we advance our work on a new sustainable staffing structure for the Manitoba Museum beyond June 26.
“The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting closure has placed the Museum’s financial capacity at risk of not being able to meet its obligations to our payroll and overall operations this year and beyond. The Museum is a non-profit charity, and we take our responsibility to steward public funds seriously. There are many external variables that are currently impacting our earned and fundraised revenues. We are also awaiting final confirmation on the level of our operational funding support from the Government of Manitoba and confirmation on our application to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program.
We have made this decision with great reluctance and we will continue to assess the many variables affecting our finances. Our goal is to ensure there is a sustainable organizational framework for our future. We are grateful for the generous annual operational funding support we receive from the Government of Manitoba, our primary benefactor, as well as support from new federal aid programs, many donors and sponsors.
At all times, since the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic, our priority has been and continues to be the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, and visitors. We are extremely grateful for the diligence and dedication each of our employees has shown at this challenging time, and recognize that our success is directly related to the genuine care and passion they demonstrate toward their Manitoba Museum colleagues, and Museum visitors. We would not be who we are today without them, “ said Claudette Leclerc, Executive Director & CEO.
“The Manitoba Museum appreciates the leadership of Claudette and the senior team for all their efforts to navigate the Museum through these uncharted waters.The Board of Governors is also committed to providing continued guidance and support,” said James Cohen, Chair, Board of Governors.
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