Oakville Museum Exhibition Procedure

Purpose statement

The Town of Oakville Museum will offer a varied program of long and short term exhibitions of its collections, consistent with the museum’s mission statement and the objectives of the Oakville Museum Policy.


This procedure applies to all long and short term exhibitions of the Town of Oakville Museum collections.  It applies to Museum staff and volunteers, and community groups which may from time to time co-curate exhibitions.


The Oakville Museum will:

  1. Produce an exhibition program that:
    1. ensures the themes and number of exhibits are consistent with the museum's statement of purpose and the needs and interests of the communities it serves
    2. demonstrates a commitment to accuracy and fairness, inclusivity and respect in exhibit presentation
    3. demonstrates a commitment to ethical behaviour in exhibit presentation
    4. meets conservation standards in exhibit design, materials and use of artifacts
    5. meets municipal, provincial and federal legislative requirements that have an impact on exhibit presentation (e.g. safety codes, copyright, disability legislation);
  2. Ensure its exhibits are consistent with the Museum's purpose statement;
  3. Ensure it has an exhibition schedule comprising a mix of permanent and temporary exhibits;
  4. Ensure the relevance, accuracy and effective communication of each exhibit by:
    1. establishing clearly defined objectives and evaluating exhibits against their objectives
    2. using appropriate expertise, including staff, volunteers, community groups, or consultants
    3. carrying out sufficient research;
  5. Ensure that all staff (including volunteers) involved in the planning, preparation and installation of exhibits have the necessary skills and training;
  6. Ensure that exhibits are safe for visitors and staff by:
    1. placing hazardous materials in display cases
    2. adequately supporting, securing or providing barriers against heavy objects or moving parts that could cause injury
    3. training staff in the safe operation of exhibits (e.g. machinery)
    4. meeting legislated requirements in the handling and display of firearms;
  7. Ensure that exhibits meet Town of Oakville and other relevant accessibility standards and are capable of being used and enjoyed by visitors of all ages and abilities;
  8. Ensure that exhibits effectively promote learning and enjoyment through:
    1. providing a variety of interpretation methods to meet a range of visitor needs
    2. regularly replacing artifacts in permanent exhibits with other examples from storage, to refresh the exhibits for the community's enjoyment as well as for conservation purposes;
  9. Ensure a portion of the museum's budget is allocated annually for:
    1. exhibit development
    2. design
    3. construction
    4. maintenance
    5. evaluation
    6. expenses;
  10. Ensure that exhibit preparation activities that are harmful to artifacts are carried out in a workshop that is isolated from collection areas (i.e. display and storage),including activities would include those that produce dust, excessive heat or vibrations, and those that involve the use of aerosols and solvents (e.g. paints and varnishes).


The Curator of Collections is responsible for the development and implementation of museum exhibitions with the assistance of the Learning and Community Development Officer.


Procedure Number: MS-REC- 001-004
Parent Policy: MS-REC-001
Section: Municipal Services
Sub-Section: Recreation and Culture
Author: Museum, Recreation and Culture Department
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 2013 May 06
Review by Date: 2022
Last Modified: 2017 May 29