The Department of Canadian Heritage announced in October 2007 its intention to discontinue the Exhibit Transportation Services (ETS) on April 1, 2008. This decision will have major impact on the ability of museums and galleries to provide Canadians’ access to new exhibits. This is of particular concern in isolated regions where the cost of shipping art through private companies is prohibitive.
ETS is a federal government program which provides shipping services exclusively to public art galleries and museums across Canada. The service provides climate-controlled vehicles and trained drivers who act as the “art handlers” at pick-up and delivery points.
ETS is cost-effective, professionally sanctioned and reliable. Over 54% of all art transportation between museums in Canada is conducted by ETS, compared to 28% for all other fine-art carriers combined. In some isolated regions, ETS is the only fine-art carrier available, as others refuse to service outlining regions where the profit-margin is slim. For instance, in the Atlantic provinces, over 65% of exhibitions are delivered by ETS.
Excerpt of the Canadian Museums Association press release from October 22nd