COVID Recovery Strategy: Textile Museum of Canada November 16th, 2020
About the Organization
The Textile Museum of Canada (TMC) is the only museum in Canada that delivers programs and exhibitions dedicated solely to the art of textiles, presenting the work of local, national and international contemporary artists. The museum was founded in 1975 as the Canada Museum of Carpets and Textiles, by Max Allen and Simon Waegmarkers. Originally located in Mirvish Village, The museum now hosts a 40,000 square foot space at 55 Centre Ave in the heart of Downtown Toronto. 2020 marks 45 years of the museum.
The COVID-19 public health crisis and subsequent provincial mandates forced the museum to close in March 2020. The closure resulted in significant financial setbacks as TMC’s main sources of revenue come from the museum’s in-person gift shop and educational programming. With businesses increasingly relying on offering online services, TMC had been working to digitalize the museum experience with some, yet inconsistent, success. TMC’s Executive Director Emma Quin notes, “We are the only museum to truly digitalize our entire collection…but it has been difficult to continuously engage our audiences for the long-run in a financially sustainable way”.
To sustain the museum, TMC approached Endeavour to build a recovery model that would help mitigate the immediate financial setbacks of the pandemic by driving profitable online engagement, which would also serve to keep people interested in eventually returning to the museum when it’s doors are open again.
The core of the recovery strategy centers around enhancing programming as the main driver of financial resiliency and audience engagement. Endeavour consultants aimed to create the ‘The TMC of Tomorrow’ by embedding digital into the DNA of the museum. To help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and set up a new revenue stream for the future, Endeavour consultants developed three key recommendations to enhance the museum’s current offerings and identify new opportunities:
Stitching the Gaps: looking at existing programming and exploring how to digitize high-potential offerings, through:
- Refining the targeted marketing approach through tailored guest profiles
- Layering digital & fashion elements on existing programs to fit new needs
- Exploring monetization models to drive earned revenue opportunities
Fashioning the Fabric: introducing new fashion-focused programming and content to support the core funding of TMC. New content would focus on:
- Discovering the use cases and applications of textiles for fashion
- Designing fashion-focused principles to support a new content pipeline
- Delivering a fashion textiles experience through a mixture of channels
Extending the Cloth: creating a more modernized museum experience to foster audience loyalty, through:
- Integrating new touchpoints to drive recurring visits and engagement rates
- Implementing digital tools and initiatives to promote social media shareability
- Creating simple post-event survey to bolster data quality and guest insights
At the beginning of September 2020, the Endeavour team presented their plan to TMC and were met with a positive response. TMC Executive Director Emma Quin notes,
“The Endeavour team was brilliant to work with! A cohesive group of intelligent, creative and thoughtful consultants that listened to our needs asked meaningful questions, develop sound recommendations and articulated their findings with clarity. The team worked flawlessly together, and our project manager demonstrated excellence in communication.”
The project’s Engagement Manager, Vivian Ma notes,
“The overall feedback was very positive, they appreciated our thorough analysis and recommendations, as well as some practical execution tools and methodologies. They commented that the strategy is well aligned with the museum’s future strategic direction.”
The Textile Museum of Canada is a nonprofit in the Greater Toronto Region and a former client of Endeavour Consulting for Nonprofits. Read more about Endeavour’s probono services at: https://endeavourvolunteer.ca/non-profits.
Written by: Mallory Thompson