Awards of Outstanding Achievement

The Awards of Outstanding Achievement recognize exceptional museum projects in a variety of different categories. The CMA awards committee assesses all submissions and winners are selected by majority vote. If the committee is unable to identify a suitable achievement, no award is given. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.


Conservation: For excellence in preservation and conservation practices.

Education: For programming that advances knowledge and understanding by reaching new audiences or enhancing existing ones.

Exhibitions: For temporary, permanent, or traveling exhibitions that effectively and distinctively contribute to increased public understanding.

There are two sub-categories:

  • one for museums with less than $1M annual operating budgets, and
  • one for museums with annual operating budgets over $1M.

Marketing: For effective marketing tools, including advertising campaigns, public relations and promotional programs, which increase public awareness, and visitorship.

New media: For innovation in accessibility, engagement and participation by way of virtual publications, virtual exhibitions, online educational resources, social media initiatives and other technologies.

Research: For research activities carried out in museums or applied to museum practice that contribute to the development of new knowledge and understanding. This category also includes publications and collection management practices.


Open to any individual, team or institution in the museum field, with the exception of the members of the CMA awards committee. Projects must be completed during the year of application.


November 15 each year.


Projects will be assessed against the following:

  • Diffusion: Promotes physical, intellectual and social outreach.
  • Inclusion: Reflects upon and represent both accessibility and diversity.
  • Innovation: Promotes new and creative ideas.
  • Practices: Exceeds the current standards of museum practice.
  • Relevance: Demonstrates relevance to the communities served.
  • Resources: Demonstrates an effective use of available resources.
  • Vision: Advances a vision of the future of museums, of what could be.

Nomination instructions

Nominations may be made by the person or group who carried out the project, or by a third party, and must be sponsored by someone with individual or institutional membership in the CMA.

Complete the nomination form and attach the following:

  • A full project description, max. 750 words. Attach as Appendix 1.
  • A project explanation, max. 1,500 words, that details what makes this project an outstanding achievement, how it meets the selection criteria. Attach as Appendix 2.
  • 10 digital photos or images (jpeg or TIFF format) presenting the project / program nominated with the appropriate copyright clearance.
  • Relevant support material — OPTIONAL.
  • If you are submitting a publication nomination, please ensure to send 6 copies by mail.

Note that support materials submitted will NOT be returned.

Questions? Contact: