Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Admission Impossible: Canada’s museums are among the world’s most expensive

Leah SandalsWebsite

“Arts For All”: that’s the motto of Winnipeg’s 2010 reign as the cultural capital of Canada. While the idea is a worthy one, the fact is, our nation is home to some of the most expensive, least accessible museums and galleries in the world.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Index of Wellbeing reported that expensive fees and lack of inclusion in the cultural sector are hurting citizen wellness across the board.

Though some politicos are beginning to twig to the problem—an Ontario government committee has asked that Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum deliver an improved access plan by December—there are still lots of barriers to experiencing culture at our large institutions.

Here’s a rundown of the most and least open, and comparisons to their international counterparts. Click to enlarge:

Admission Impossible

Museum Single general admission to permanent collection Family admission to same (2 adults, 2 kids 5–14) Number of free hours open per week
Royal Ontario Museum
$24 $80 1 permanent (Wed 4:30–5:30pm) 1.5 temporary (Wed 3–4:30pm until Dec. 22)
Museum of Modern Art
New York
US$20 US$40 4 (Fri 4–8pm)
Vancouver Art Gallery $19.50 $50 4 (Tue 5–9pm)
Ontario Science Centre
$18 $58 0
Art Gallery of Ontario
$19.50 $49 2.5 (Wed 6–8:30pm)
Art Institute of Chicago US$18 US$36 3 (Thu 5–8)
Museum of Anthropology at UBC
$14 $35 0
Glenbow Museum
$14 $32 0
Art Gallery of Alberta
$12 $26 0.75 (last Thu of month 6–9pm)
Canadian Museum of Civilization
$12 $30 4 (Thu 4–8pm)
Walker Art Center
US$10 US$20 4 (Thu 5–9pm)
National Gallery of Canada
$9 $18 3 (Thu 5pm–8pm)
Winnipeg Art Gallery $9 $22 0
Prado Museum
€8 €16 13 (Tue-Sat 6–8pm & Sun 5–8pm)
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts 0 0 38
Getty Museum
Los Angeles
0 0 48.5
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York
0 0 55
National Gallery of Australia 0 0 57
Tate Modern
0 0 64
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