The Virtual Museum of Canada has opened up application to their Virtual Exhibits funding program, where heritage organizations can apply for up to $250,000 to do digital history projects.

Institutions can “develop online products that engage audiences of all ages, interests and abilities” – “a new virtual exhibit, virtual tour, interactive resource or educational resource on the subject of their choice.” Projects should be “a dynamic exploration of Canada’s diverse history, heritage or culture in ways that appeal to a broad spectrum of Canadians.”

Funding will cover every step of exhibit development: research, identification of relevant media, digitization of that media, copyright and permissions, writing and editing texts, promotion, and hosting. This is a great opportunity to digitize and present that small collection you wish could reach a wider audience!

Canadian museums and other Canadian historical, heritage and cultural organizations, including equivalent Indigenous peoples’ organizations, are eligible for submission to the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) Investment Programs.

To be eligible an institution must:

  • be public or private;
  • be not-for-profit;
  • operate a permanent physical establishment open to the public;
  • be administered in the public interest for the primary purpose of collecting, preserving, documenting, interpreting, exhibiting and disseminating physical collections (objects, documents and specimens of educational and cultural value) and/or intangible cultural heritage. This includes artistic, scientific (inanimate or live), cultural and historical material;
  • a museum, art gallery, exhibition centre, cultural centre, botanical garden, zoo, aquarium, planetarium, historical society, historic house, library, archives, preservation project or site, professional cultural association or group, or other organization which meets the aforementioned requirements.

The VMC accepts multiple project proposals per institution but will only fund one per applicant. The resulting digital projects must be offered in both English and French.

Virtual exhibits proposals can also take advantage of the “quick pitch” option, where applicants can receive feedback on their idea before the full application goes in. But hurry – this opportunity is only available until July 18th.

They also have a Community Stories program, for small organizations with fewer than five full-time staff. Projects can receive up to $15,000 and will use a predefined template to create an exhibit hosted by the VMC.

The deadline for virtual exhibits applications is October 24th; community stories open in the fall. See past approved virtual exhibit projects and community stories projects to get an idea of what gets funded.

We’d love to be part of your virtual exhibit solution. Our VITA Digital Toolkit comes with an Exhibits module that’s flexible and customizable, and it’s bilingual too! Send us a message if you’d like a tour of the tool or have questions about how we can work together.