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Royal Ontario Museum Donates Record Number of Tickets in March

TORONTO.- During the month of March 2010, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will donate a record number of 20,000 free tickets to communities in need, valued at $380,000, through its Community Access Network, or ROMCAN. This brings the total number of donated tickets this fiscal year to a record of 32,000, a value of over $600,000. The innovative program, launched in 2008, provides free Museum access directly to communities and individuals who may not otherwise have the opportunity to visit, for a variety of reasons.

“This proactive outreach is indicative of the ROM’s commitment to overcome economic as well as physical barriers to enable people in a wide array of individual circumstances, to enjoy all the Museum has to offer,” said William Thorsell, ROM Director and CEO. “We are very pleased to enable a day of wonder and enjoyment spent exploring the ROM’s exhibitions and galleries to 20,000 people throughout the month of March, the ROM’s highest demand period for visitors.”

This month’s proactive outreach will provide these visitors an opportunity to be some of the first to visit the newly launched, refurbished Bat Cave, a perennial family favourite, as well as all of the Museum’s other galleries and exhibitions.

Communities benefiting from ROMCAN through United Way and participating community organizations include new Canadians, families on fixed incomes, children with life-threatening medical conditions, at-risk youth, abused women and physically or mentally challenged Canadians.

“Ontario cultural agencies like the Royal Ontario Museum help to define who we are and what we aspire to. The McGuinty government congratulates the ROM for this innovative program. It enables more people to explore one of Ontario’s cultural crown jewels,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture.

United Way Toronto, ROMCAN’s original partner, distributes tickets through its network of 200 health
and social service agencies throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

“In partnership with the ROM we’re providing a rich learning experience to people who might otherwise not have the opportunity to visit one of the world’s leading museums,” said United Way Toronto President and CEO Frances Lankin. “Exploring the many world history and culture galleries of the ROM helps deepen our understanding that what unites us is ultimately more powerful than what divides us, and makes our community stronger.”

In addition to 5,000 tickets distributed by United Way to its network of agencies in March 2010 (over and above its regular monthly allocation of 1,300), passes are also being administered and distributed through an extensive network of over 160 community and charitable organizations this month, including Costi Immigration Services, Reena Foundation, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, March of Dimes, Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Canada – Toronto and Central Ontario Division, Sick Kids Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto Community Housing, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC), and Toronto Police Services.

Planned participation with key umbrella organizations allows this free access to reach more diverse communities than ever before. For example, Kids Up Front Foundation Toronto, a charitable organization providing access to the arts, culture sport and recreation for children who otherwise do not have the opportunity, is providing tickets to its diverse group of 130 community groups including Down Syndrome Association of Toronto, Horizons for Youth, Jane Finch Community and Family Centre, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, Newcomers Women’s Services Toronto, South African Women for Women, World Literacy of Canada and Youth Assisting Youth.

Peel Multi-Cultural Council is also facilitating distribution of tickets to their diverse constituencies of 18 organizations which include the Afghan Woman’s Organization, African Community Services of Peel, Canadian Hate Prevention Network, East Metro Youth Services, Rexdale Women’s Centre, and Toronto District School Board Newcomer Services for Youth.

A Significant Investment from a Generous Donor
The ROM will further be able to invest in leading the way as an exemplary institution dedicated to financial accessibility with a new landmark seven figure gift from an anonymous donor. This critical funding will allow the ROM to exceed the current standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and provide financial support for children attending ROM Summer Camp and the ROM School Visits Program, free programming for children and families during March Break and ROM Kids Weekends (including hands-on activities, learning centres, live performances and special tours) and considerable enhancements to the ROM’s educational website.

Royal Ontario Museum | William Thorsell | Michael Chan |

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