City of Ottawa Museums and Historic Sites Membership Project

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July 18, 2023 - Update

This project has been completed.

We decided to offer: 

No membership or annual pass. 
Free General Admission for children under 18 during the summer of 2023 as part of the departmental Play Free! initiative.
Focus on providing a greater and more regular variety of paid Public Programs.

For more detailed information, please consult the What we Heard report in the Documents section.

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May 5, 2023 - Update

Upon further review of the data it was deemed that focus groups are not necessary.

We are currently in the final stages of data review and analysis.

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October 28, 2022 - Update
Upon review of data collected in the spring and summer, further research is required. Focus Group dates will be moved to early 2023.

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Background and Context

The City of Ottawa owns and operates five museums and historic sites: Billings Estate National Historic Site, Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, Fairfields Heritage House, Nepean Museum, and Pinhey's Point Historic Site. In 2021, the Recreation, Culture and Facility Services Department undertook the renewal process of its memberships, with the aim of reducing the overall number of membership types. The City of Ottawa Museums and Historic Sites were invited to participate in this process to determine if it made sense to include cultural offerings alongside recreation programming. The decision was ultimately made for museums to not participate in the broader recreation membership program and to undertake a review to determine the feasibility of a multi-museum membership program for the five City-operated museums. The start of this project was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The intention now is to develop a new membership program for multiple museums with an anticipated launch date in spring of 2023.

Prior to this project, only Cumberland Heritage Village Museum had a membership program. This membership had existed since before the City of Ottawa assumed operations of the museum in 2001, and essentially served as an annual pass (i.e. unlimited admission for a year). Declining interest in this membership program prompted the need for a review.

Our Museums

Museum ImageMuseum NameMuseum AddressMuseum Description
Billings Estate National Historic Site2100 Cabot Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1H 6K1
Ottawa's oldest standing wood-frame house, Billings Estate National Historic Site sits on 8 acres of green space in the Alta Vista neighbourhood. The museum features a modern exhibition that tells the story of the Billings family and the surrounding community. Other highlights include the gardens, heritage outbuildings, a cemetery and seasonal Tea on the Lawn service.
Cumberland Heritage Village Museum2940 Old Montreal Road
Cumberland, Ontario
K4C 1G3
Located just east of Orleans Cumberland Heritage Village Museum showcases rural life in Eastern Ontario during the 1920s and 30s. Heritage buildings, exhibitions, rare breed farm animals, vintage tools of the trade, and demonstrations transport visitors back in time.
Fairfields Heritage House3080 Richmond Road
Nepean, Ontario
K2B 7J5
Fairfields Heritage House is located in the west-end Bayshore neighbourhood. The impressive 19th century Gothic Revival farm house highlights the community-building legacy of the Bell family.
Nepean Museum

16 Rowley Avenue
Nepean, Ontario
K2G 1L9

Just off Meadowlands Road, Nepean Museum features a modern exhibition that tells the story of the local area from its earliest times to the turn of the 21st century. The new MakerStudio space bridges history, science, and the arts, making Nepean Museum a great place for hands on creativity.
Pinhey's Point Historic Site270 Pinhey's Point Road
Dunrobin, Ontario
K0A 1T0
Nestled on the banks of the Ottawa River near Kanata, Pinhey’s Point Historic Site features 88 acres of parkland, shoreline, and farmer’s fields. Inside the nearly 200-year-old manor house, visitors can discover life in 19th century March Township. Together, the house and landscape offer a picturesque destination to relax, learn, and explore.

July 18, 2023 - Update

This project has been completed.

We decided to offer: 

No membership or annual pass. 
Free General Admission for children under 18 during the summer of 2023 as part of the departmental Play Free! initiative.
Focus on providing a greater and more regular variety of paid Public Programs.

For more detailed information, please consult the What we Heard report in the Documents section.

--------

May 5, 2023 - Update

Upon further review of the data it was deemed that focus groups are not necessary.

We are currently in the final stages of data review and analysis.

----------

October 28, 2022 - Update
Upon review of data collected in the spring and summer, further research is required. Focus Group dates will be moved to early 2023.

----------

Background and Context

The City of Ottawa owns and operates five museums and historic sites: Billings Estate National Historic Site, Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, Fairfields Heritage House, Nepean Museum, and Pinhey's Point Historic Site. In 2021, the Recreation, Culture and Facility Services Department undertook the renewal process of its memberships, with the aim of reducing the overall number of membership types. The City of Ottawa Museums and Historic Sites were invited to participate in this process to determine if it made sense to include cultural offerings alongside recreation programming. The decision was ultimately made for museums to not participate in the broader recreation membership program and to undertake a review to determine the feasibility of a multi-museum membership program for the five City-operated museums. The start of this project was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The intention now is to develop a new membership program for multiple museums with an anticipated launch date in spring of 2023.

Prior to this project, only Cumberland Heritage Village Museum had a membership program. This membership had existed since before the City of Ottawa assumed operations of the museum in 2001, and essentially served as an annual pass (i.e. unlimited admission for a year). Declining interest in this membership program prompted the need for a review.

Our Museums

Museum ImageMuseum NameMuseum AddressMuseum Description
Billings Estate National Historic Site2100 Cabot Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1H 6K1
Ottawa's oldest standing wood-frame house, Billings Estate National Historic Site sits on 8 acres of green space in the Alta Vista neighbourhood. The museum features a modern exhibition that tells the story of the Billings family and the surrounding community. Other highlights include the gardens, heritage outbuildings, a cemetery and seasonal Tea on the Lawn service.
Cumberland Heritage Village Museum2940 Old Montreal Road
Cumberland, Ontario
K4C 1G3
Located just east of Orleans Cumberland Heritage Village Museum showcases rural life in Eastern Ontario during the 1920s and 30s. Heritage buildings, exhibitions, rare breed farm animals, vintage tools of the trade, and demonstrations transport visitors back in time.
Fairfields Heritage House3080 Richmond Road
Nepean, Ontario
K2B 7J5
Fairfields Heritage House is located in the west-end Bayshore neighbourhood. The impressive 19th century Gothic Revival farm house highlights the community-building legacy of the Bell family.
Nepean Museum

16 Rowley Avenue
Nepean, Ontario
K2G 1L9

Just off Meadowlands Road, Nepean Museum features a modern exhibition that tells the story of the local area from its earliest times to the turn of the 21st century. The new MakerStudio space bridges history, science, and the arts, making Nepean Museum a great place for hands on creativity.
Pinhey's Point Historic Site270 Pinhey's Point Road
Dunrobin, Ontario
K0A 1T0
Nestled on the banks of the Ottawa River near Kanata, Pinhey’s Point Historic Site features 88 acres of parkland, shoreline, and farmer’s fields. Inside the nearly 200-year-old manor house, visitors can discover life in 19th century March Township. Together, the house and landscape offer a picturesque destination to relax, learn, and explore.
Consultation has concluded

Please let us know about any questions you may have about this project.

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    Many smaller municipalities have these types of museums in their towns and often admission is free. Donations or an entry fee may be required in the case of special events. I do not think it is sustainable to expect Ottawa residents to purchase a multi-visit pass for these spaces. The information that is stated to be found in these museums could simply be provided in a library. The only subject of interest to me personally has been the tea at billings bridge but I have not had the chance to try it as registration is fussy and it is not clear what is provided. The fact that admission for these museums must be done through the "register ottawa" system is not ideal.

    Lemi235 asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback. It will be added to the other resident feedback we gathered. Your comments are in line with what we have heard from several other residents as part of this process.
    Your specific feedback about registration has also been passed on to our colleagues at Billings Estate National Historic Site.