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Making Medicare online exhibition wins Honourable Mention in the Canadian Historical Association’s Public History Prize


Posted on: 23/06/2011


Making Medicare online exhibition wins Honourable Mention in the Canadian Historical Association’s Public History Prize


Gatineau, Quebec, June 20, 2011—The Canadian Historical Association has awarded an Honourable Mention for its Public History Prize to Heather MacDougall, Associate Professor, Department of History at the University of Waterloo and one of the authors of the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s major online exhibition Making Medicare: The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914–2007.


The online exhibition examines the birth and development of Medicare, one of the country’s pre-eminent social programs and a defining feature of our modern society. Making Medicare describes the people, politics and events that led to the publicly funded medical system that Canadians know and value today.


The exhibition shows that the development of Canada’s Medicare program was neither smooth nor rapid. It took the better part of a century, gave rise to passionate debates, and left a trail of abandoned proposals and policies in its wake.


“This exhibition is a unique resource for all Canadians who want to understand the origin and evolution of our current health care system,” said Mr. David Loye, Acting President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “Through such online resources, Canadians learn of key historical events and policies that have shaped their country. As a national Museum, it is gratifying to see our work recognized as such by the Canadian Historical Association and it emphasizes the importance of our mandate of reaching out to Canadians coast to coast.”


“The story of Medicare is a perfect illustration of how political and social change occurs, and how public attitudes shift over time,” said the Museum’s curator emeritus, Dr. Dan Gallacher. “Medicare has always been a program in flux, influenced by the ever-changing tides of economics, technology, public sentiment and political will.”


The first Medicare legislation was passed in 1957, but the push for publicly funded, universal health insurance in Canada began about four decades earlier. In between, the country experienced two World Wars, the Great Depression, a revolution in medical technology, and many political and social changes. All facets of the Medicare story are explored in the online exhibit.


Organized chronologically, Making Medicare: The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914–2007 comprises more than 300 web pages of text and archival images. Its central storyline is complemented by numerous sidebars that introduce key players in the Medicare saga, explore the impact of geography on Medicare’s evolution, and highlight the costs and benefits of publicly funded health care.


The exhibition also provides extensive resources for teachers and students, including lesson plans, learning activities, a discussion guide and Webquests.


Making Medicare is accessible online at www.historymuseum.ca/medicare.

Making Medicare was organized with the assist

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