Annual Report 2016–2017

 
 

The Year in Review: Achievements

The corporation aligns its plans, activities, performance goals, expenditures and reporting with the mandate established by Parliament and the Strategic Directions set by the Board of Trustees. The five Strategic Directions, approved in 2014, are essential in fulfilling the corporation’s national mandate, while also promoting a high standard of museological excellence.

  1. Establish the Museum as a hub of Canadian history for Canada and the world.
  2. Connect Canadians to their history and reflect this personal connection in all aspects of the Museum experience.
  3. Develop a collection that better reflects Canada’s history and distinctiveness.
  4. Engage dynamic partnerships and networks across Canada and internationally for mutual benefit.
  5. Ensure the Museum has the financial resources to carry out its mandate.
Results by performance measurement indicator
Legend
▲ Results within 10% of target or surpassing target
● Results within 10–24% of target
▼ Results 25% or more off target

Establish the Museum as a hub of Canadian history for Canada and the world

Priorities

  • Complete and launch the new Canadian History Hall on July 1, 2017 as a Canada 150 legacy project.
  • Present exhibitions and public programs to commemorate the First World War Centenary.
  • Establish successful programming of the exhibition space for Library and Archives Canada materials.

Summary of Performance

Deadly Skies

Deadly Skies: an innovative graphic novel presentation

All results were in line with the established objectives in relation to this Strategic Direction, except for audit recommendations. Onsite and paid-attendance results were exceptionally higher than expected due to a strong line-up of exhibitions, such as Thomas & Friends™ – Explore the Rails, Deadly Skies – Air War, 1914–1918 and Vikings, strong group attendance, and continued interest in Museum facilities for events. Another area of success for the Museum was in key research projects. Ninety-seven key research projects progressed as planned or were completed, compared to a target of 31. Among the key projects were The Franklin Expedition and Vimy – Beyond the Battle.

Though four recommendations were completed, including one long-standing recommendation, the one area that did not meet its target was audit recommendations. Targets were based on recommendations carried forward into 2016–17, as well as a prediction of the number of recommendations stemming from the Audit of Collections Management. The audit, however, was delayed and concluded at the beginning of 2017–18. Other contributing factors included the focus on the opening of the Canadian History Hall, which ultimately led to a realignment of priorities and changes in leadership positions, which required a transitory period.

Presenting exhibitions is a core activity of the Museum, but presenting exhibitions that help tell the story of Canada and its evolution enable visitors to understand Canadian history in a much deeper and more meaningful way. This is essential to establishing the Museum as a hub of Canadian history for Canada and the world.

Paid attendance (in ‘000s)
Result 711 ▲
Target 630
2015–16 Result 762
Analysis

Despite the closure of the Canada Hall to make way for the Canadian History Hall, the Museum exceeded its annual target of 630,000 and welcomed 711,000 paid visitors. This success can be attributed to a robust line-up of exhibitions such as Thomas & Friends, Deadly Skies and Vikings and strong group sales.

On-site attendance (in ‘000s)
Result 1,739 ▲
Target 1,435
2015–16 Result 1,690
Analysis

On-site attendance results were exceptional. The Museums received 1,739,000 visitors, compared to the target of 1,435,000. The high event attendance is mainly due to rentals and events, such as the Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony, the New Year’s Eve celebrations to mark the beginning of Canada 150, and RBC Bluesfest. It is also due to both Museums being key destinations in the schedule of tour-group operators.

Crowd-pleasing exhibitions drive strong attendance figures

Thomas the Tank Engine

Everyone’s favourite tank engine
© 2016 Gullane (Thomas) Limited, photo by Bruce Silcox

The popularity of exhibitions at both the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum produced attendance figures that exceeded expectations. For example, the popular exhibition Thomas & Friends™ – Explore the Rails, created by the Minnesota Children’s Museum, attracted large numbers of families to the Canadian Children’s Museum. Deadly Skies – Air War, 1914–1918, which used an innovative graphic novel presentation, also surpassed audience projections. Another highly popular exhibition was Napoleon and Paris, which examined how Napoleon, a man of vision, reshaped Paris and filled it with enduring institutions.

Special Exhibitions *Attendance
Canadian Museum of History
Vikings
December 3, 2015 – April 17, 2016
122,785
Thomas & Friends™ – Explore the Rails
January 29 – May 1, 2016
94,571
Horse Power – The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection
March 24, 2016 – January 7, 2018
182,230
Gold Rush! – El Dorado in British Columbia
April 8, 2016 – January 15, 2017
140,748
Napoleon and Paris
June 16, 2016 – January 8, 2017
160,914
Huicholes – A People Walking Towards the Light
February 10, 2017 – March 19, 2017
11,723
Canadian War Museum
World War Women
October 23, 2015 – April 3, 2016
51,304
Deadly Skies – Air War, 1914–1918
June 10, 2016 – January 29, 2017
122,307
*Total attendance as of March 31, 2017

Sombre centenary provides opportunity for reflection

Beaumont-Hamel memorial site

Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial
© Harry Palmer

The War Museum’s Traces of the First World War – Newfoundland and Labrador examined how the tragedy of the First World War affected people in Canada’s easternmost province, in ways that are still felt today. Alongside the main exhibition was a special photo exhibition, entitled July 1, 1916 – The Somme and Beaumont-Hamel, recounting the devastation of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel that decimated the Newfoundland Regiment.

Number of follow-up actions on audit recommendations that have been completed
Result 4 ▼
Target 16
2015–16 Result 10
Analysis

The target was based on the recommendations to be completed in the 2016–17 fiscal year, as well as the estimated recommendations stemming from completion of the Audit of Collections Management, which was unfortunately delayed and carried forward into 2017–18. This, coupled with the major priority being the Canadian History Hall, changes in leadership positions and internal operational challenges, led to these results. However, the Museum did complete four audit recommendations, one of which was long-standing. The Museum expects to get back on track in 2017–18 once the Canadian History Hall opens on July 1, 2017.

The corporation responds to audit recommendations

The Canadian Museum of History, a Crown corporation, maintains an internal audit function that is guided by a three-year risk-based audit plan. The plan was up for renewal in 2016, so the Museum conducted a review of the corporation and renewed the corporate risk profile during the 2016–17 fiscal year. A list of risks was developed and validated by the Board of Trustees, and the risk-based audit plan will be updated accordingly.

In addition, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada conducts an Annual Attest Audit of the corporation’s financial statements. In 2016–17, the corporation addressed several audit recommendations, including the completion of the 2014–15 Attest Audit recommendation regarding capital assets. As well, internal auditors completed the Audit of Collections Management and are currently working on the Audit of Systems and Practices for Performance Management, Succession Planning and Staffing, which will be completed in 2017–18.

Number of key research projects that are progressing as planned or completed
Result 97 ▲
Target 31
2015–16 Result 32
Analysis

Research was on track and far exceeded its annual target at the Museum. A total of 97 research projects progressed as planned or were completed by the end of the fiscal year. Research projects included the preparation for the opening of the exhibition Hockey, and research on The Franklin Expedition, Vimy – Beyond the Battle and The Last 100 Days. Research was completed for the exhibition Witness – Fields of Battle Through Canadian Eyes, which opened in Arras, France, in March 2017.

Original research informs new exhibitions and special projects

Ancient Inuit man

Recreation of an ancient Inuit man
CMH IMG2017-0092-0004-Dm, photo by Steven Darby

Historians at the War Museum performed exhibition-related research for World War Women, Deadly Skies, Vimy – Beyond the Battle, Preserved in Stone – Underground Art of the First World War, the travelling version of Witness – Fields of Battle Through Canadian Eyes, and the Beaumont-Hamel photo exhibition. Research was also undertaken to support upgrades to Galleries 2, 3 and 4 for content related to the Battle of Vimy, the air wars, D-Day and the period after the Cold War.

At the Museum of History, a research partnership with the community of Arctic Bay, Nunavut — part of an ongoing repatriation project with the Nunavut government — led to the recreation of an ancient Inuit man. The remains of the man, who lived 800 years ago, were excavated by Museum staff in 1959. Recently, his remains were replicated with 3D scanning and printing technology, and a forensically accurate reconstruction of his face and body was made. An Arctic Bay Elder created traditional animal-skin clothing for the mannequin, and Museum staff collaborated with community members to reconstruct his life and appearance. The reproduction and the man’s life story will be displayed in the Canadian History Hall.

Also at the Museum of History, a research project on contemporary Indigenous art movements is exploring the connections between individual artists and collective memory. The research examines artworks that are linked to current events and challenges to Indigenous ways of life.

Meanwhile, an oral-history project is documenting the experiences of Syrian refugees to Canada and the community groups that have mobilized to support them. Research on games and gaming is also being undertaken for future exhibitions.

Archaeological research unearths history’s lingering mysteries

Archaeologists at work

Mapping a 1,500-year-old house floor
Photo by Matthew Betts

An archaeological team traveled to the lower Severn River area in northwestern Ontario, where Indigenous people lived for thousands of years and where a Hudson Bay Company fort existed between 1685 and 1690. Having conducted research there between 1981 and 1984, the Museum’s curator of central archaeology returned to address remaining unanswered questions, such as whether the French returned to the area after the territory was returned to the British under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. Researchers faced challenges, including changes to the area’s landscape and the obvious disruption caused by “souvenir hunters.”

The E’se’get Archaeology Project was initiated by the Museum of History in 2008 to define the archaeological history of Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Now, it is almost complete. The most successful digs took place in 2010 and 2012, when intact wigwam floors, the first sweat lodge ever excavated in the Atlantic provinces, and over 22,000 artifacts were among the valuable items unearthed. Since then, work has continued in the laboratory, where discoveries have been analyzed, labelled, catalogued and described. Academic papers, public lectures and media engagements have also resulted from the research.

History comes to life through digital media

Soldier and protester face off

The Oka Crisis, featured in “History in 150 Events”
The Canadian Press, 698687, photo by Shaney Komulainen

From the establishment of the Hudson’s Bay Company, to Viola Desmond’s challenge to racial segregation in Nova Scotia, to the introduction of federal old-age pensions… these landmarks of Canada’s past — and many others besides — become food for thought on the Museum of History blog. The blog’s capsule reports on important events, objects and people are both learning tools in themselves and footnotes to Museum programs and exhibitions. Subject matter is often related to current events, such as the series of posts on Indigenous history that coincided with National Aboriginal History Month. As well, a series called Behind the Scenes provides a glimpse of staff favourites from the Museum collections and news on recent Museum developments.

Inside History is another special feature of both Museums’ websites. This digital magazine offers more detailed portraits of key episodes in Canadian and world history. It tackles subjects ranging from the political cult of Wilfrid Laurier, to the signing of the Magna Carta, to the defining battles of the First and Second World Wars.

Meanwhile, History in 150 Events, another website feature, counted down to the 150th anniversary of Confederation by presenting — on each of the 150 days preceding the July 1, 2017 commemoration commencement — a single portrait of a notable moment in the life of Canada. Short summaries are accompanied by a revealing, captivating image.

Another digital initiative was the installation of a 16’ x 9’ digital wall at the Museum of History, comprised of sixteen large screens that communicate Museum offerings. In addition, the Museum has shifted its websites to the cloud, providing faster response times for visitors, and has initiated an online booking program for schools.

Museum publishing hits the mark

The Museum of History has joined forces with the University of Ottawa Press to create the Digital Mercury Series, which makes a collection of 500 Mercury Series books published since 1972 available as ebooks. The Mercury Series is the Museum of History’s primary vehicle for publishing academic research, in English and French. The new digital series will offer unprecedented access to a large body of research in Canadian history, archaeology, culture and ethnology.

The Museum of History received a Gold Quill Award from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) for its souvenir exhibition catalogue series. The series was launched in 2012 and its volumes, commemorating both War Museum and Museum of History exhibitions, are distributed widely. The Gold Quill was awarded in June 2016 at the IABC’s World Conference in New Orleans.

Online database makes Museum collections more accessible across Canada

A newly renovated online collections database now provides people across the country with easier access to a virtual vault of more than 280,000 objects from Museum of History and War Museum collections. The online service has been available for almost 20 years. Now, the upgrades make the system easier to navigate through features such as advanced search support and a “more like this” button, which finds objects similar to those previously searched. Students, researchers and others can discover and share artifacts from their computers, smartphones or tablets.

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Connect Canadians to their history and reflect this personal connection in all aspects of the Museum experience

Priorities

  • Develop exhibitions on themes of personal relevance to Museum visitors, such as Hockey and The Last 100 Days.
  • Bring exhibitions to the National Capital Region from Canadian partner museums that add community perspectives to the national narrative.
  • Engage Museum visitors in the use of existing and emerging platforms.

Summary of Performance

Napoleon and Paris

The special exhibition Napoleon and Paris

The corporation was slightly below the target for travelling exhibitions but exceeded the target for special exhibitions. There were 25 new openings of travelling exhibitions, compared to a target of 28. This is attributed to the cancellation of two bookings and one deferral. Examples of new travelling exhibitions include Gold Rush! – El Dorado in British Columbia, which opened in that province, and Witness, which opened in Arras, France, for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

The Museum successfully opened 11 special exhibitions, compared to its target of seven. Targets were exceeded both corporately and by each Museum. Notable examples include Napoleon and Paris, Hockey, Deadly Skies and “Nice Women Don’t Want the Vote.”

Together, these activities added a community perspective to the national narrative. They also enabled the Museum to broaden its national and international presence, and meet its objective to reflect Canadian narratives, symbols and achievements. It is through these activities that the Museum connects Canadians to their history and leaves visitors with a sense of a personal connection to their Museum experience.

Social media links Canadians everywhere with their Museums

The Museums continued to build on their use of social media to bring the Museums to Canadians and to bring Canadians to the Museums.

All forms of social media showed an increase in the number of followers. By the end of the second quarter, English Facebook “likes” stood at 20,263 and at 7,992 for French Facebook (up 8 percent and 11 percent, respectively, from the previous quarter). Twitter followers rose to 70,772 in English and 3,312 in French (rises of 2 percent and 7 percent). The newly launched Instagram platform rose to 1,120 followers in English and to 325 in French (up 69 percent and 103 percent), with photos of the iconic Museum of History building proving especially popular.

Special events get special results

Soldiers in Memorial Hall

Memorial Hall on Remembrance Day
CWM 2011-0055-0131-Dm, photo by Steven Darby

Special events on social media generated significant success. Among them was the War Museum’s Facebook livestream of Remembrance Day events from Memorial Hall, which had an exceptional 15,000 views within the first week it was available. Canada Remembers shared our Facebook post promoting the webcast, resulting in a total reach of nearly 175,000, as well as 3,000 post clicks, more than 800 reactions and nearly 300 shares.

A Facebook Live tour of the Deadly Skies special exhibition was similarly well received. Additionally, Facebook Live was the vehicle for a 2016 Canada Day preview of the Canadian History Hall. Many social media initiatives benefited from the participation of “influencers,” such as Ottawa Bluesfest (which promoted the Bluesfest-Deadly Skies contest), the Canadian Space Agency and Canadian Geographic magazine (both of which helped promote the Canada-from-space image in the Hub of the Canadian History Hall).

The Museum of History also developed a Rio Summer Olympics twitter campaign that linked Museum artifacts to sports in which Canadians had won a medal. A Pokémon Go twitter campaign resulted in 295 different engagements. The Museum of History also partnered with #canada150 on their Light Canada Red initiative, marking the 50-day countdown to the beginning of 2017. Images of the Museum lit red at night were popular both on Twitter and Instagram.

Number of new openings for travelling exhibitions that connect Canadians to their history
Result 25 ●
Target 28
2015–16 Result 22
Analysis

The Museum opened 25 travelling exhibitions, which was slightly below the target of 28. Two expected bookings for the exhibition Fighting in Flanders – Gas. Mud. Memory. were cancelled and one booking for the exhibition of 1867 – Rebellion and Confederation was deferred. Highlights included the opening of Gold Rush! in British Columbia, a result of one of the largest History Museums Network exhibition projects, and Witness in Arras, France, on the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, with French and Canadian VIPs in attendance.

Travelling Exhibitions

This past year, 13 exhibitions travelled to 33 venues. All told, they were seen by more than 233,426 visitors in communities across the country, in the United States (Washington, D.C.) and in Europe (Greece and France).

Haida – Life. Spirit. Art.

    1. Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, Greece
      October 2015 to April 2016

Kids Celebrate!

    1. Musée des religions du monde, Nicolet, QC
      November 2015 to April 2016
    2. Manitoba Children’s Museum, Winnipeg, MB
      May to September, 2016
    3. Galt Museum & Archives, Lethbridge, AB
      September 2016 to January 2017
    4. Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre, Timmins, ON
      February to April, 2017

Snow

    1. Markham Museum, Markham, ON
      January to April, 2016
    2. Centre d’exposition d’Amos, Amos, QC
      October 2016 to January 2017
    3. Niagara Falls Museums, Niagara Falls, ON
      January to April, 2017

Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada (2D version)

    1. Glanmore National Historic Site, Belleville, ON
      February to May, 2016
    2. Diefenbaker Canada Centre, Saskatoon, SK
      February to June, 2016
    3. Nanaimo Museum, Nanaimo, BC
      July to September, 2016
    4. Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Calgary, AB
      July to December, 2016
    5. Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives, Brampton, ON
      February to June, 2017
    6. Dufferin County Museum and Archives, Mulmur, ON
      March to May, 2017

Fighting in Flanders – Gas. Mud. Memory. (2D version)

    1. Lake of the Woods Museum, Kenora, ON
      March to April, 2016
    2. Chimczuk Museum, Windsor, ON
      May 2016
    3. The Fort Museum, Fort Macleod, AB
      June to August, 2016
    4. Sooke Region Museum, Sooke, BC
      September to December, 2016
    5. Embassy of Canada, Washington D.C.
      November 2016

Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada (3D version)

    1. The Museum, Kitchener, ON
      April to June, 2016
    2. The Manitoba Museum, Winnipeg, MB
      July to October, 2016

1867 – Rebellion and Confederation (2D version)

    1. Canada Post, Ottawa, ON
      September 2016
    2. Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
      September to December, 2016
    3. Musée Héritage Museum, St. Albert, AB
      January to March, 2017
    4. New Iceland Heritage Museum, Gimli, MB
      January to April, 2017

Lace Up! – Canada’s Passion for Skating

    1. Kitimat Museum and Archives, Kitimat, BC
      September to November, 2016
    2. Elgin County Museum, St. Thomas, ON
      January to March, 2017

Witness – Fields of Battle Through Canadian Eyes

    1. Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, NB
      September 2016 to January 2017
    2. Musée des beaux-arts, Arras, France
      March to June, 2017

Fighting in Flanders – Gas. Mud. Memory. (3D version)

    1. Musée Royal 22e Régiment, Québec City, QC
      October 2016 to February 2017

Enemy Aliens – Internment in Canada, 1914–1920

    1. Museum Strathroy-Caradoc, Strathroy, ON
      October 2016 to February 2017

1867 – Rebellion and Confederation (3D version)

    1. Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg, MB
      December 2016 to May 2017

Drawing From the Past – Depicting Inuit Modernity in the North Baffin Region, 1964

    1. Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON
      January to April, 2017

Virtual Museum bolsters Canada’s online cultural presence

The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC), managed by the Canadian Museum of History, is a program that makes investments to help Canadian museums and heritage organizations present material from their collections online. The website virtualmuseum.ca showcases a wide range of stories and exhibitions. This year, the VMC invested in 10 new virtual exhibits including Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything; Dive into the Bay of Fundy; British Columbia Totems: A Diversity of Voices; and The Great War in Translation. VMC also invested in 23 new “Community Stories” projects, conducted focus groups among museum professionals across the country, and refreshed its website and improved its search capabilities.

Important initiatives strengthen the Museum’s bond with First Nations

Jessica MacLean doing conservation work

Jessica MacLean, one of the interns of the RBC Aboriginal Training Program, hard at work
Photo by Jameson C. Brant

A flourishing relationship between the Museum of History and First Nations continued to grow. The First Nations Advisory Committee on the Canadian History Hall played a key role in advising Museum staff on what stories should be included in the Hall to represent the history of Aboriginal peoples, and how those stories should be told. The RBC Aboriginal Training Program in Museum Practices also continues to build on a longstanding collaboration. The program trains First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in a wide range of museum specialties. Established in September 1993, the program has seen more than 90 trainees from 40 different Aboriginal nations across Canada successfully complete the program.

Number of special exhibitions that add community perspective to the national narrative
Result 11 ▲
Target 7
2015–16 Result 8
Analysis

The Museum exceeded its annual target of seven special exhibitions and presented a total of 11. Examples include Napoleon and Paris, which opened on June 16, 2016 and was developed in partnership with the Musée Carnavalet – Histoire de Paris and Paris Musées, and Hockey, which opened on March 9, 2017. The latter exhibition was developed in collaboration with History Museums Network partners. Other examples include Deadly Skies, which opened on June 10, 2016, and “Nice Women Don’t Want the Vote,” which opened on October 5, 2016.

The Museums are making headlines in traditional media

In the second quarter alone, the Museum of History generated 1,143 news stories with the potential to reach more than 53,230,000 people. Among the highlights of the year was a highly positive Globe and Mail feature on the Canadian History Hall exhibition, with a potential reach of more than 132,000. Special exhibitions also attracted considerable attention. Napoleon and Paris generated 13 news items with a potential reach of more than 500,900. Three exhibitions organized under the History Museums Network — Gold Rush! – El Dorado in British Columbia, The Franklin Expedition, and Horse Power – The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection — together generated 23 news items with a potential reach of more than 2,310,300.

During the same period, the War Museum generated 587 news items with a potential reach of more than 20,700,000. A media preview for the World Press Photo special exhibition drew journalists from 13 outlets. The exhibition generated 45 news items with a potential reach of more than 768,250. Special exhibitions Deadly Skies and Traces of the First World War generated 11 news items, with a potential reach of more than 472,000.

New space provides a resource for outreach

A new space has opened at the Museum of History that will enable museum professionals to better showcase their work, assets and expertise. The Resource Centre is a multifunctional area that can be used to host presentations, forums and multimedia displays on topics such as Museum activities and recent acquisitions. It is also open for use by the Museum’s partners.

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Develop a collection that better reflects Canada’s history and distinctiveness

Priorities

  • Ensure the Museums’ acquisition strategies are focused on collecting objects of historical significance.
  • Expand efforts to acquire objects by cultivating relationships with collectors and by actively pursuing donations, such as the Roué collection.
  • Position the Museums as the national repository of objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history.

Summary of Performance

An original 1917 grave marker

J. F. Ashe’s grave marker
CWM 20160084-001

The corporation surpassed the established objective in relation to this Strategic Direction. The Museums acquired 33 nationally significant artifacts compared to the target of 32. Examples of notable acquisitions include a carved medallion depicting the Honourable George Francis Gillman Stanley, a bronze statue of Queen Elizabeth II by Saskatchewan artist Susan Velder and an inkwell belonging to Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Other acquisitions include a medal set and memorial plaque for Private George Lawrence Price, the last Canadian soldier killed in the First World War, the sculpture Safe by Montreal artist Maskull Lasserre, and an original 1917 grave marker belonging to J. F. Ashe of the 26th N.B. Battalion.

These nationally significant artifacts allowed the Museums to broaden their national collections and acquire Canadian treasures that reflect historical moments in Canadian history.

New plan puts future collections on a solid footing

The Museum of History and the War Museum have finalized a new Collections Development Plan that will set priorities for the development of new collections and the enrichment of existing collections at both Museums over the next ten years. It sets out guiding principles to ensure the continued preservation of collections; the building of knowledge associated with the collections; the accessibility of the collections to Canadians; and the upholding of ethical principles. The plan also addresses issues such as digitization and repatriation of Indigenous artifacts, and establishes guidelines to determine acquisition priorities.

Collection reveals the intrigue and courage behind “the Canadian caper”

American embassy workers in Canadian staffer’s home

The American embassy workers who eluded capture
CMH IMG2016-0229-0002-Dm, © Les Harris, photo by John Sheardown

In 1980, Canadian embassy staff in Tehran risked their lives by smuggling six American diplomats out of revolution-era Iran. The episode, known as “the Canadian Caper,” made international headlines, earned Ambassador Ken Taylor the Order of Canada, and later became the subject of the 2012 Academy Award−winning film Argo. The Museum of History acquired a unique and sometimes-startling collection of artifacts related to this historic event from Canadian television producer Les Harris. The collection consists of film reels, audio recordings, transcripts and photographs, and contains rare interviews with the escapees and their helpers as well as the only known photographs of the Americans in hiding. The Museum hopes to digitize the materials to make them available to the public.

Number of nationally significant acquisitions that reflect Canadian history
Result 33 ▲
Target 32
2015–16 Result 44
Analysis

The annual target for nationally significant acquisitions was surpassed, with the acquisition of 33 artifacts compared to the annual target of 32. Overall, the number of nationally significant acquisitions for the year was lower than 2015–16, when 44 artifacts were acquired. Fiscal year 2015–16 was exceptional due to the focus on acquiring artifacts for the Canadian History Hall. Among the acquisitions are a carved medallion depicting the Honourable George Francis Gillman Stanley, a bronze statue of Queen Elizabeth II by Saskatchewan artist Susan Velder and an inkwell belonging to Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Other acquisitions include a medal set and memorial plaque for Private George Lawrence Price, the last Canadian soldier killed in the First World War, the sculpture Safe by Montreal artist Maskull Lasserre, and an original 1917 grave marker belonging to J. F. Ashe of the 26th N.B. Battalion.

Artifacts shed light on Atlantic Canada’s boat-building history

Drawing of the Bluenose sail plan

A drawing of the Bluenose’s iconic sail plan
CMH IMG2016-0300-0001-Dm, ©JER/WJRoue.ca, used with permission

The celebrated schooner Bluenose, which won the International Fishermen’s Trophy in 1921 and other races throughout the 1920s and 1930s, has long been a symbol of Canada at home and abroad. The Museum of History has acquired a collection of artifacts that belonged to the Bluenose’s designer, William James Roué, a skilled architect who designed vessels ranging from small pleasure craft to ferries, fishing boats, and sectional barges used by Britain’s Ministry of War Transport.

Designated as a collection of “outstanding significance and national importance” by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board, the Roué artifacts will contribute significantly to the study of 20th century naval architecture and wooden ship and boat building in Atlantic Canada. They come to the Museum from Roué’s great-granddaughter, Joan Roué.

McGee portrait adorns the Canadian History Hall

Artist Bell Smith’s 1868 oil painting of Thomas D’Arcy McGee, depicting the parliamentarian and Father of Confederation standing before a red backdrop with the Parliament Buildings in the distance, is now on loan to the Museum of History. It will be on display in the Canadian History Hall. The portrait was to be presented to McGee on his 43rd birthday, on April 13, 1868, but the politician was assassinated the week before, on April 7. The painting is owned by D’Arcy Quinn, McGee’s great-great-grandson.

Artifacts convey the reality of life during war

The War Museum acquired several artifacts that speak of Canadians’ experience serving in various wars. A rare wooden grave marker that once marked the final resting place of Private John Firman Ashe, a soldier at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917, was displayed as part of the Vimy – Beyond the Battle exhibition. The marker was donated by Jim Landry, great-nephew of Private Ashe.

A ventriloquist’s dummy and accompanying dog puppet acquired by the War Museum recall the variety shows that entertained troops during the Second World War. The dummy and puppet were used by Russell Whitebone, a former vaudeville performer once billed as “The World’s Youngest Trapeze Artist,” who travelled to Royal Canadian Legion halls and health facilities as part of “The Army Show.” Two plywood boards from around the hockey rink installed at the Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan were donated to the War Museum and the Hockey Hall of Fame, after being ceremonially removed from the airfield. In Afghanistan, soldiers played 30-minute games of hockey to relieve the pressure of working in hot and dangerous circumstances.

Medals, memorials recall tragedies of the First World War

The War Museum acquired the medal set and memorial plaque in honour of Private George Lawrence Price, the last Canadian solider killed during the First World War. The Nova Scotia−born Private Price, who was a Saskatchewan farm worker when he was conscripted, is believed to have been shot through the chest at approximately 10:50 a.m. on November 11, 1918, while on patrol in Ville-sur-Haine, Belgium. The artifacts were donated by the Royal Canadian Legion in Kentville, Nova Scotia, with the support of descendants of Private Price.

Varley’s Second World War work enhances the Beaverbrook Collection

Portrait by Frederick Varley

Portrait of a Naval Officer, Harry Kelman, by Frederick Horseman Varley
CWM 20150552-001

The War Museum made a significant addition to its Beaverbrook Collection of War Art with its acquisition of Frederick Varley’s Second World War portrait of Naval Officer Harry Kelman. Varley, an original member of the Group of Seven, had been commissioned by the Canadian War Records office as an official war artist during the First World War. In the following war, Varley painted several portraits of military personnel stationed in Kingston, Ontario. The portrait was acquired from an auction, with support from the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation’s gift to the National Collection Fund.

Images preserve the realities of life in a Second World War internment camp

The War Museum acquired a photo album created by Michiko “Midge” Ayukawa, a Japanese-Canadian who, as a teenager, was interned with her family at the Lemon Creek internment camp in Slocan Valley, British Columbia. More than 100 candid snapshots record conditions at the camp and capture images of the teenager’s friends, in the process casting light on how interned people coped with forced relocation, confinement and other conditions during the war and in its aftermath. Most of the photos are meticulously captioned with names, dates and locations.

Ayukawa would later work at the National Research Council in Ottawa, and she taught chemistry at Carleton University and the University of Victoria. Changing focus in the 1980s, she earned a master’s degree and a PhD focusing on the lives of Japanese immigrants. Dr. Ayukawa’s family offered the album and related photographs to the War Museum.

Ship’s wheel provides a rare reminder of the Royal Canadian Navy’s beginnings

The War Museum has acquired one of the few remaining artifacts — the ship’s wheel — from HMCS Niobe, one of Canada’s first two warships. Launched in 1897, the ship served with the Royal Navy until 1910, after which it was purchased by the Naval Service of Canada, later the Royal Canadian Navy. The Niobe saw active service early in the First World War and, while on service as a depot ship in 1917, members of its crew played a significant role in responding to the Halifax explosion. In 1920, the Niobe was scrapped in the United States. The War Museum purchased the wheel from the Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum, in New Jersey, with the support of the National Collection Fund.

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Engage dynamic partnerships and networks across Canada and internationally for mutual benefit

Priorities

  • Further develop the History Museums Network to include First Nations museums and cultural centres.
  • Initiate or participate in partnerships with like-minded institutions, such as large-scale international consortiums and local cultural institutions.
  • Continue to establish and build upon international partnerships to enhance Canadians’ awareness of world history and cultures.

Summary of Performance

Painting by R. G. Mathews

Stretcher Bearers in a Trench, by R. G. Mathews
CWM 19710261-0833, Beaverbrook Collection of War Art

The corporation exceeded the established objectives in relation to this Strategic Direction, with the exception of the number of projects initiated through the History Museums Network, which was lower than the target. The Museum partnered with a variety of institutions to offset costs, produce exhibitions and participate in loan agreements.

In 2016−17, the Museum successfully initiated a total of 78 partnerships and collaborations, far surpassing its target of 26. Among the partnerships was one with the National Maritime Museum in London to develop The Franklin Expedition, another with the National Gallery of Canada to support the reinstallation of the Gallery’s Canadian and Indigenous Galleries, and one with the Society for Military History to host the 2016 Society of Military History Conference. The Museum has also been active in promoting partnerships and collaborations throughout the larger museum community. As an example, the Museum partnered with the Department of Canadian Heritage to honour Black History Month, and it partnered with the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Arras to present the exhibition Witness. However, the Museum did not reach its target for the number of partnerships initiated through the History Museums Network, mainly due to fewer opportunities for network partners to meet. There were two partnerships initiated in 2016–17, compared to the target of 10, one with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the other with Pointe-à-Callière. Other partnerships are in the discussion phase, are on track, or have been completed.

These initiatives have allowed the Museum to be active in the community, not only nationally but internationally. These partnerships mutually benefit all parties, including visitors, by presenting exhibitions and hosting events that may not have otherwise occurred.

Museums remain central to sesquicentennial celebrations

The Museum of History partnered with the Canada 150 Federal Secretariat of the Department of Canadian Heritage to host a media event to mark the 150-day countdown to Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations. The event and the significant radio, television, newspaper and online coverage it generated helped to position the Museum as a key site for celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Archival materials move into the public eye

New gallery

The new Treasures From Library and Archives Canada gallery
CMH IMG2017-0146-0008-Dm, photo by Steven Darby

A partnership between the Museum of History and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) resulted in the creation of Treasures From Library and Archives Canada, a new gallery within the Museum. The new gallery will showcase some of the most historically significant documents from LAC’s collections, giving Museum visitors unprecedented access to some of Canada’s foundational documents.

Number of partnerships and collaborations initiated
Result 78 ▲
Target 26
2015−16 Result 79
Analysis

Overall, the Museum far exceeded its target for the year, forming 78 partnerships compared to the 26 forecasted. Among the partnerships in 2016–17, the Museum partnered with the National Maritime Museum in London to develop The Franklin Expedition, as well as with the National Gallery of Canada to support the Gallery’s Canadian and Indigenous Galleries Reinstallation. The Museum also partnered with the Department of National Defence for the biennial presentation of the Canadian Forces Artists Program exhibition and with the Society for Military History to host the 2016 Society of Military History Conference. Of note, the Hot Docs partnership presented a documentary film targeting a high-school audience, which was highly successful and unplanned at the time of the setting of the annual target.

To further establish the Museum as a hub of history and to engage in dynamic collaborations, both domestically and internationally, the Museum also partnered with the Department of Canadian Heritage to celebrate Black History Month and to host a CBC Town Hall on missing and murdered Indigenous women. As part of the joint Canada–France Vimy commemorations, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Arras launched the Canadian War Museum’s exhibition Witness on March 17, 2017.

Partnerships bring economics, history and geography together at the Museums

Two exhibitions from the Bank of Canada Museum have been on view at the Museum of History. Swindle! Canadian Phantom Banks tells the story of a “phantom bank” that peddled phony paper money in the turbulent economy of 1837. A second exhibition, Mining the Miners – Klondike Gold: It Wasn’t All Mined with Picks and Shovels, explores life and economics in the wild and woolly frontier metropolis. The Museum of History also partnered with the Bank of Canada to announce that Viola Desmond, who stood up to racism in Nova Scotia, would be the first Canadian woman to appear on the ten-dollar bill. The announcement was made at the Museum by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Desmond’s younger sister, Wanda Robson. The event generated widespread national and international news coverage.

The Museum of History partnered with Canada’s History to host the Governor-General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching. Over 80 teachers, attending the event from across Canada, saw a presentation on the Canadian History Hall. Canada’s History also partnered with the War Museum to present the Canada’s History Youth Forum and the Governor General’s History Awards.

The Royal Canadian Geographic Society and the Museum of History joined forces to host a TED talk−style event on the Inuit oral tradition and the explorer Sir John Franklin. Over 400 people attended the lecture and reception.

Royal Society bestows honour

At its Annual General Meeting held at the War Museum, the Royal Canadian Geographic Society elected Museum President and CEO Mark O’Neill and Director General Jean-Marc Blais as Fellows of the Society. They join the company of past and current fellows which include anthropologist and explorer Diamond Jenness, businessman E. P. Taylor, and television host and philanthropist Alex Trebek. The election of Mark O’Neill and Jean-Marc Blais is an acknowledgement of their work to preserve, present and share the history of Canada.

The Press Gallery marks a milestone

A collaboration with the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery saw the prestigious Press Gallery Dinner, this year marking the Gallery’s 150th anniversary, take place at the Museum of History. Along with journalists from across Canada, attendees included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ms. Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

Major events highlight the importance of Aboriginal issues

In partnership with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the Museum of History hosted a sunrise ceremony on National Aboriginal Day, June 21. The event was attended by over 300 people, including the Prime Minister, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Indigenous leaders and members of many Aboriginal communities. The Museum of History and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada also partnered on a press conference announcing the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The Museum of History partnered with the Native Women’s Association of Canada to announce the loan of Maxine Noel’s painting Not Forgotten. The painting, which honours missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, will be included in the new Canadian History Hall.

Quebec museum group meets in Gatineau

A partnership between the Museum of History and the Société des musées du Québec (SMQ) brought the SMQ’s annual meeting and symposium to the Museum. The 230 delegates from museums, exhibition centres and interpretive sites across the province received tours of collection and conservation facilities and the Canadian History Hall.

The Red Couch travels from coast to coast to coast

The Museum of History partnered with the Department of Canadian Heritage to unveil the Red Couch, one of the department’s Canada 150 Signature Initiatives. Canadians are invited to sit on the Red Couch, which is travelling across the country, and tell their stories as cameras roll. The launch generated widespread news coverage, with a combined reach of 243,000, as well as mentions on the popular travel website Lonely Planet.

Number of projects initiated through the History Museums Network
Result 2 ▼
Target 10
2015−16 Result 22
Analysis

The Museum did not reach its annual target of 10 projects initiated through the History Museums Network as there were fewer opportunities for the Network to meet this year compared to previous years. However, the Museum initiated two partnerships in 2016–17, one with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the other with Pointe-à-Callière. Though there were fewer projects initiated than anticipated, there were numerous discussions on potential projects. Examples include discussions launched with representatives from Indigenous centres to form a network of museums and associated centres. Discussions are also on track with the Manitoba Museum on an opportunity to partner on the Hockey Expo. All other partnerships are on track or have been completed, such as the Canada Day Challenge 2017 with the Department of Canadian Heritage, which was completed, with a new addition being planned for 2018–19.

History Museums Network extends the reach of national and regional museums

Drawing of Franklin’s ships in a gale

Franklin’s ships, HMS Erebus and Terror, in an Arctic Gale
CMH IMG2017-0126-0004-Dm

Through the History Museums Network, the Museum of History has continued to bring important exhibitions from across Canada to the National Capital Region, while giving Canadians across the country greater access to exhibitions created by the Museum of History.

An innovative “pop-up display,” developed by Parks Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum, brought a capsule electronic version of the exhibition The Franklin Expedition to the ten museums that form the Franklin Museum Network. The full exhibition will be on view at Great Britain’s National Maritime Museum in July 2017 and at the Canadian Museum of History in March 2018.

History Museums Network exhibitions that travelled to the Museum of History include the Manitoba Museum’s “Nice Women Don’t Want the Vote,” which celebrated the 100th anniversary of Manitoba women winning the vote; Gold Rush!, an exhibition exploring the impact of gold rushes on the province and internationally, organized by the Royal BC Museum in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of History; and Horse Power, an exhibition of exquisite horse-drawn vehicles from the Paul-Bienvenu Carriage Collection at the Musées de la civilisation in Québec City.

Additionally, Sir John A. Macdonald – Rare and Intriguing Treasures From the Vaults of Library and Archives Canada brought to the Museum of History numerous artifacts relating to Canada’s first Prime Minister, including a page from an original draft of the British North America Act, thought to be handwritten by Macdonald himself, and the telegram announcing the driving of the Last Spike at the end of construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

International collaborations bring Canada to the world, and the world to Canada

Commemoration of Canadian involvement in the Battle of Vimy Ridge during the First World War provided the backdrop for the display of the War Museum exhibition Witness – Fields of Battle Through Canadian Eyes at the Musée des beaux-arts in Arras, France. Created by the War Museum in 2014, this travelling exhibition features artworks created on the battlefield by 61 artists, including Canadian soldiers and celebrated Canadian artists such as A. Y. Jackson, Frederick Varley, Arthur Lismer and Frank Johnston, who later became members of the Group of Seven.

The War Museum also announced a new agreement with the Juno Beach Centre Association, a Canadian charity that operates the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France. The Centre is both a renowned museum and cultural centre, paying homage to the 45,000 Canadians who lost their lives during the Second World War. The agreement encourages the War Museum and the Association to collaborate on new projects to preserve the memory of Canadian involvement in the Second World War. One such collaboration was the exhibition From Vimy to Juno, covering both the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917 and the D-Day Landings on Juno Beach in 1944, which will be on view at the War Museum in May 2017.

Painting by José Benitez Sanchez

The Flood, by José Benitez Sanchez
Artes de Mexico Collection

The exhibition Napoleon and Paris, examining the link between the French emperor and the city where the crucial events in his life took place, came to the Museum of History. Adapted from an exhibition developed by the Musée Carnavalet – Histoire de Paris and Paris Musée, Napoleon and Paris featured priceless artifacts, including Napoleon’s camp bed, throne and bicorne hat, along with other personal objects, furnishings, costumes, paintings and models. The Museum of History was also host to the exhibition Huicholes – A People Walking Towards the Light, showcasing the art and lives of an Indigenous group from western Mexico whose history dates back 15,000 years. The exhibition was on loan from Artes de Mexico with support from the Embassy of Mexico in Canada and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, through the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation.

The world’s military historians gather in Canada

The War Museum and the Museum of History hosted the 83rd Annual Conference of the Society for Military History. The conference, which covers topics from the battles of ancient Greece to the latest research in cyber warfare, is one of the world’s top events for military history. The event drew 732 delegates who participated in 95 panel sessions as well as guided tours of the Museum collections.

Scholars ponder the lingering impacts of the First World War

The World at War – International Speaker Series at the War Museum featured presentations by eminent military scholars on a range of topics related to the First World War. University of Ottawa military historian Paul Robinson lectured on the life of Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich Romanov, who commanded the Russian Army during the Great War. Leading scholars Timothy Winegard, Santanu Das and Steven Purewal participated in a panel on the roles of Indigenous and colonial troops during the First World War. War Museum curator Dr. John Maker delivered a speech about aerial reconnaissance from the balloons of the First World War to today’s drones. Dr. Toby Haggith, Senior Curator at the Imperial War Museum’s Department of Research, provided his remarks following a screening of The Battle of the Somme, a UNESCO-recognized film, shot and released in 1916.

Diplomats back Canadian War Museum events

In partnership with the British High Commission and Global Affairs Canada, the War Museum hosted a screening of the documentary film White Helmets, which follows a group of volunteer rescue workers with the Syrian Civil Defense. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with Raed Saleh, leader of the White Helmets and chair of Syrian Civil Defense; Farouq Habib, the White Helmets’ Head of International Relations; and James Le Mesurier, founder of Mayday Rescue. The event attracted approximately 230 guests and was shared online by Global Affairs Canada.

The War Museum also partnered with the Australian High Commission to host the annual ANZAC Day commemorative event, and with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the Korean Veterans’ Association of Canada and the Korean War Commemorative Committee to host a commemorative event and reception for the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong.

Commemoration and dedication mark tragic world events

The War Museum partnered with Veterans Affairs Canada to host the official ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel. The event was attended by dignitaries including the Prime Minister, the Governor-General, several cabinet ministers, the Chief of Defence Staff and representatives from the diplomatic corps.

The War Museum also hosted the site dedication ceremony for the National Holocaust Monument, which will face the Museum, in partnership with the Department of Canadian Heritage and the National Holocaust Monument Council. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participated in a live television broadcast of the ceremony.

Canadian War Museum welcomes military families

The War Museum partnered with Military Family Services to host a special ceremony and celebration marking 25 years of support to Canadian military families. The Museum welcomed approximately 200 guests, who were invited to participate in the Camouflage Awesome Sunday event the following weekend.

Community festivals establish new traditions

The Museum of History played host to Gatineau’s Festibière festival, a showcase for regional microbreweries, which featured more than 30 exhibitors, more than 350 artisanal beers and numerous food trucks. Summer and winter versions of the festival attracted over 35,000 attendees. Festibière also offers a number of family-focused activities. Similarly, the 2016 Christmas Market, an event that has been held at the Museum of History since 2014, featured the work of some 90 artisans. To mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, a summer edition of the event is planned for July 5 to 9, 2017.

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Ensure the Museum has the financial resources to carry out its mandate

Priorities

  • Continue to develop innovative and responsible strategies to diversify revenue streams.
  • Continue to implement funding strategies.
  • Continue to engage the shareholder in developing a new funding model which would include inflation protection.

Summary of Performance

The Eaton family

The Eaton family

The corporation met all the established objectives in relation to this Strategic Direction. The dollar value of revenue-generating activities was $19,088,000, which far exceeded the target of $13,713,000. This was partially due to a gain in investments that was not part of the original target. There was an increase in revenues from Museum activities such as travelling exhibitions, memberships and special events.

Fundraising goals were also surpassed, by raising a total of $5,475,000 compared to the target of $4,020,000. Overall, the Museum almost doubled its fundraising goal for the Canadian History Hall due to generous donations by the Catherine and Fredrik Eaton Charitable Foundation, The Rossy Family Foundation, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and the Wilson Foundation. Together, the revenue-generating and fundraising activities made it possible for the Museum to increase financial resources through a variety of supplementary sources.

All three significant capital projects progressed as planned in 2016–17. These projects are the Canadian History Hall, the chiller-replacement project and the network upgrade. Capital projects allow the Museum to preserve and protect the integrity of its buildings.

Dollar value of all revenue-generating activities (in ’000s)
Result $19,088 ▲
Target $13,713
2015–16 Result $15,966
Analysis

The dollar value of revenue-generating activities for the year reached $19,088,000, far above the target of $13,713,000. This variance is partially due to a gain on investments of $2.5 million that was not included in the target. This left an increase of 21 percent in regular revenues on Museum activities such as travelling exhibitions, memberships, facility rentals, special events and food services.

Dollar value of fundraising activities (in ’000s)
Result $5,475 ▲
Target $4,020
2015–16 Result $2,913
Analysis

The dollar value of fundraising activities significantly surpassed its target for fiscal year 2016–17, with a total of $5,475,000 raised, compared to the target of $4,020,000. Donations to the Canadian History Hall include major gifts from the Catherine and Fredrik Eaton Charitable Foundation, The Rossy Family Foundation, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and the Wilson Foundation. The First World War Centenary campaign has also been a success, raising 97 percent of its target to date, including a major donation from John and Elizabeth Irving. The Museum’s summer appeal, which solicited support for Canadian War Museum travelling exhibitions, was also well-received and exceeded targets. These efforts are supported with the corporation’s first-ever stewardship strategy, which aims to increase stewardship activities for existing donors.

Number of significant capital projects that are progressing as planned
Result 3 ▲
Target 3
2015–16 Result 3
Analysis

The Museum met its target for the number of significant capital projects progressing as planned. All three capital projects are underway and on track, which is equal to the results of 2015–16. The Canadian History Hall project was completed on time and in alignment with the net budget. The chiller-replacement project is on track, with the chiller tender package successfully tendered and closed. The network upgrade is on track, and one area of the Canadian Museum of History has been completed.

Financial Support

In 2016–17, 4,766 individuals, foundations and corporations from across Canada and abroad contributed $5,477,409 to the Museum of History and the War Museum. The corporation is extremely grateful for their generous support.

Donor Map

Donors across Canada and abroad

New fundraising records set

W. Galen Weston and the Honourable Hilary M. Weston

W. Galen Weston and the Honourable Hilary M. Weston

The important and ambitious work that both Museums undertake is dependent upon generous financial contributions from donors. In addition to annual contributions from more than 5,000 supporters, the Museums have received significant one-time donations that have been crucial to realizing the mandate of the Museum of History and the War Museum.

This was a record-breaking year for fundraising at the Museum of History. It raised nearly $9 million for the Canadian History Hall — well beyond its $5 million target — on the strength of over 430 donations from individuals, foundations and corporations across the country. Nearly 40 donors have been moved to contribute $1,000 or more.

A donation in support of two significant First World War exhibitions

The War Museum is grateful to John and Elizabeth Irving for providing a generous gift of $250,000. Half of that sum was in support of Vimy – Beyond the Battle, and the remaining $125,000 will support the development of a new exhibition on the final 100 days of the First World War.

The J. L. Granatstein Reading Room honours a driving force behind the War Museum

J. L. Granatstein Reading Room

Unveiling the J. L. Granatstein Reading Room
CWM 2016-0058-0144-Dm

The War Museum has dedicated the central public space of its Military History Research Centre in honour of Dr. J. L. Granatstein. The author of more than 60 books, including the influential Who Killed Canadian History?, Dr. Granatstein is among a handful of people responsible for the contemporary presence of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. He was hired as the Museum’s director in 1998 after the federal government announced its intention to construct the current building, replacing the former facilities he had decried as inadequate. A tireless promoter of the Museum, Dr. Granatstein has been a force in both academic circles and in public discourse.

Resource Centre highlights remarkable acquisitions

The Museum of History’s newly opened, multifunctional Resource Centre highlighted a remarkable recent acquisition: the Stewart Collection of 150 antique waterfowl decoys from the Prince Edward County and Thousand Islands regions of Ontario. Dating from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, these articles display a remarkable craftsmanship.

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