rom money mo problems

Globe & Mail claims ROM has massive money problem

The Globe and Mail reports that the ROM is in big trouble. The museum is struggling to collect funds promised in aid of their ambitious renovations - including the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal - by mega donors, following an eight month investigation by the paper.

The museum's charitable donations are handled privately by the museum, and, according to the Globe, Ontario's Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport is "concerned."

Wings and galleries have been named after donors who have been slow to pay their huge pledges (we're talking in the millions), meaning the ROM has missed loan payments and may be setting a new record in Canada for philanthropy-gone wrong. Apparently even Michael Lee-Chin himself has been slow to pay up, blaming recent global economic hardships. In the meantime, the province is covering the ROM's multi-million dollar debts that their charity drive, and increased attendance post renos, were meant to fund.

Attendance to the ROM has actually dropped significantly since 2011 - and one reason might be a huge drop in the number of curators the museum employs to book crowd drawing exhibits.

The situation looks even more dire when you compare the AGO's recent successes after similarly significant architectural renos. Could it be that the ROM is now a tourist draw from the outside only?

Read the full report here.


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