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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
Toronto
$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
Toronto
$18 $58 0
Art Gallery of Ontario
Toronto
$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
Vancouver
$14 $35 0
Glenbow Museum
Calgary
$14 $32 0
Art Gallery of Alberta
Edmonton
$12 $26 0.75 (last Thu of month 6–9pm)
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Hull
$12 $30 4 (Thu 4–8pm)
Walker Art Center
Minneapolis
US$10 US$20 4 (Thu 5–9pm)
National Gallery of Canada
Ottawa
$9 $18 3 (Thu 5pm–8pm)
Winnipeg Art Gallery $9 $22 0
Prado Museum
Madrid
€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
London
0 0 64
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