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Program that allows free access to Hamilton museums may be extended for 2 more years

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Program that allows free access to Hamilton museums may be extended for 2 more years

A report approved by Hamilton’s General Issues Committee (GIC) at Monday’s (June 15) virtual meeting is calling for a popular program that allows for free access to some local museums to be extended for two more years.

In February 2019, Hamilton launched a one-year pilot program offering Hamilton Public Library cardholders free general admission to City of Hamilton-operated museums.

Monday’s report, prepared by staff of the city’s Tourism and Culture division back in March, said that the one-year pilot was a big success.

According to the report, there were 12,292 local resident museum visitors who were admitted free with HPL cards (5,605 adults; 3,236 children; 2,677 family members; 541 seniors and 233 students).

The Hamilton Public Library reportedly recorded their best eight months for new library card registrations since 2015 in the nine months following the launch of the program, and their year-over-year new card registrations were up 48.8 per cent from 2018.

“This program benefits Hamilton Civic Museums by removing a barrier for access to museum visitation by residents,” the report states.

“Based on the limited data currently available on the profile of users of the library card and anecdotal visitor feedback, the pilot program successfully increased access to museum visitors for whom the price might otherwise have been a barrier.”

The museums that were part of the pilot are:

  • Dundurn National Historic Site
  • Hamilton Military Museum
  • Fieldcote Memorial Park and Museum
  • Griffin House Museum
  • Whitehern Historic House and Garden
  • Hamilton Children’s Museum
  • Battlefield House Museum and Park
  • Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology

Hamilton’s museums, along with all municipal buildings and services have been closed since the State of Emergency was declared in Ontario back in March due to COVID-19.

When Hamilton is permitted to enter into Phase 2 of reopening later this week, museums and heritage sites will be allowed to reopen but with restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

To learn more about what you can do with your Hamilton Public Library card, read this.

To get a card, visit here.

Photo courtesy Whitehern Historic House and Garden Facebook page

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