Accredited Museums Association of Nova Scotia Museums

Museum Accreditation

What is Accreditation? 

Museums will receive the new ‘Accredited Museum’ designation if they meet the necessary program requirements listed below, as well as excel in the Museum Evaluation Program (MEP). This Evaluation program is now managed by ANSM, as of 2016, and replaced the former Community Museum Assistance Program (CMAP) evaluation process. The new Accredited Museum designation will provide museums with proof of meeting good standards of museological standards and practices for visitors, funders, and supporters.

A group of museum representatives from across Nova Scotia worked with ANSM on a steering committee to redevelop the museum evaluation process. The committee created an application and review process for professional caliber evaluators and developed policy and procedural guidelines for the Accreditation process that ensure industry standards are met or exceeded for all sites that receive the new designation. Museums will be able to showcase their designation on-site, as well as on promotional materials, digital platforms, and in grant applications, and will be featured on the ANSM website.

Museums must repeat the process every 4 years in order to maintain their “Accredited Museum” status. Organizations that manage multiple sites will be required to undergo evaluation for each site, as the designation is site-specific.

ANSM is a partner of the provincial government’s Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage office in the development, delivery and reporting of Accreditation. This initiative is supported by and presented in partnership with Nova Scotia Gaming Support4Culture. 

If you are a media representative, please click here to access our Media Package.


Accreditation is awarded to museums that excel in their evaluation. The designation is awarded to sites, rather than to services, collections, individuals, or umbrella groups. Applications will be adjudicated by a peer Accreditation Panel. Museums are eligible to apply for Accreditation in their evaluation year during the 4-year evaluation cycle. For full eligibility criteria please refer to the Accreditation Guide below.

Accreditation GuideDownload  

Application Process

For specific questions about eligibility requirements or the application process please contact us at and we would be happy to assist you!

Accreditation ApplicationDownload  

Accreditation Adjudication TemplateDownload  

Accreditation Panel Terms of ReferenceDownload  

Benefits of Accreditation

The Museum Evaluation Program is the professional assessment and feedback mechanism for museum operations across Nova Scotia. Accreditation is the public acknowledgement of excellence in our museums. It demonstrates a museum’s commitment to public accountability and professional standards.

2020 Accredited Museums

ANSM is excited to announce that the following museums are the first to receive the new designation of “Accredited Museum.”


The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum (ACAM), founded in 1977, is operated by a dedicated group of volunteers. Located across the highway from the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, the museum has the most comprehensive collection east of Ottawa, including 25 aircraft, armaments, uniforms, engines and thousands of other aviation related artifacts. ACAM’s mission is to be the centre of excellence for the preservation of Atlantic Canada’s aviation history, to engage with the community to celebrate that history, educate through interpretation and programming, and inspire dreams of flight for future generations. They accomplish their mission through various means, including interactive displays, annual events for the entire family, community outreach initiatives and partnerships with community organizations. Engineers Nova Scotia, one of the museum’s many partners, applauds ACAM for serving the public, generating interest in science, technology, engineering and math, and promoting the importance of professional standards. The museum’s Board of Directors takes great pride in the past and present efforts of its dedicated volunteers, and sees Accreditation as the benchmark of a well-run museum.

Media Contact:

Dave McMahon
(902) 861-4460


The Avon River Heritage Museum was founded in 1994 and is located in Avondale. Its mission is to engage and inspire the community and beyond through preserving, sharing, and celebrating Avon River area stories, heritage, arts, culture, ecology, and interrelationships among all peoples of the area and their environment. The museum hosts weekly barbecues to facilitate discussion and action on local issues, and facilitates monthly art demonstrations, among many other community initiatives. The Full Circle Festival Society applauds the museum for being its partner in bringing people together to celebrate arts and culture, while supporting the local community. The museum’s Board of Directors is also proud of the excellent collaborations they have with cultural organizations which enable them to extend their reach into new communities of people. The Board believes that Accreditation publicly validates the museum’s accomplishments and commitment to excellence, will facilitate growth and learning, and demonstrates to the local community that its efforts have been recognized externally.

Media Contact:

Tacha Reed
Facility Manager
(902) 757-2233


The DesBrisay Museum can trace its roots to 1860 when a town lawyer, Mather Byles DesBrisay, began collecting artifacts. The museum has the distinction of being the oldest municipally owned collection in Nova Scotia, with the current home being completed as Bridgewater’s Centennial Project in 1967. The museum’s mission is to celebrate the community’s heritage, arts and culture through research, preservation, interpretation and exhibits. The museum is actively engaged in its community, including providing research support to Heritage Carpentry students of the Nova Scotia Community College and holding art-related programs for young adults in cooperation with the south shore chapter of Autism Nova Scotia. The latter partner applauds the museum for being such a committed and forward-thinking organization. The museum is excited about its new community partnerships that have expanded programming, and sees Accreditation as a celebration not only for the museum’s staff, but also for the town to have recognition of the care taken and pride felt for the roots upon which Bridgewater is built.

Media Contacts: 

Patrick Hirtle
Communication Manager (Town of Bridgewater)
(902) 541-4388

Lynette de Montreuil
Culture, Heritage, And Events Coordinator


The Northumberland Fisheries Museum opened in Pictou in 1979. The museum’s mission is to bring awareness to the public as to heritage and culture of the fishing industry, past and present, by collecting, preserving, and displaying artifacts and educating the youth of the Northumberland Strait and Gulf area. The museum facilitates this through many initiatives, which include hosting Nova Scotia Community College fisheries training courses, working with researchers, and offering joint programming with other local heritage organizations. Over the last ten years, the museum has made huge progress from occupying a small space to constructing a new facility on Pictou’s waterfront which has allowed an expansion of work and opened up new opportunities for further community partnerships. One of the key initiatives made possible by this move was the Lobster Stock Enhancement Project, an open-to-the-public lobster hatchery. The Friends of the Northumberland Strait applauds the museum for always innovating and working with local partners to improve and protect the environment of the Northumberland Strait. The museum’s Board feels that being Accredited legitimizes the work that has already been done and signals to those who might not be familiar with the museum that they take its mission and operation seriously.

Media Contacts:

Victoria Thompson
(902) 410-4961

Darla MacKeil
Board Chair 
(902) 759-2792

2020 Media Package

Accreditation Logo FilesDownload  

Social Media Content ImagesDownload  

2020 Media Package PhotosDownload  

Accreditation Launch Press ReleaseDownload  

2020 Accredited Museums ProfilesDownload  


ANSM services and programs are made possible with support from the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism & Heritage.

Accreditation is supported by Support4Culture.