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Annual Report 2018–2019


The Corporation and Its Governance

The Canadian Museum of History is a federal Crown corporation, with responsibility for two national museums: the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum. Together, the Museums showcase this country’s human history, exploring the experiences of Canadians through the events, people, themes and objects that have helped shape the country, from earliest times to the present day.

In addition, the Corporation administers two virtual museum sites: The Virtual Museum of New France, and the Virtual Museum of Canada.

Canadian Museum of History

The Canadian Museum of History

The Canadian Museum of History is located on the banks of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, across from the country’s seat of national government on Parliament Hill. Welcoming more than one million visitors a year, the Museum’s primary role is to enhance knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Canada’s human history and identity, while also exploring other world cultures. The Museum is home to nearly four million artifacts and specimens, including some of Canada’s most important national treasures. Permanent exhibitions include the iconic Grand Hall, the thought-provoking First Peoples Hall and the dazzling new Canadian History Hall. The Museum is also home to the Canadian Children’s Museum, the Canadian Stamp Collection, and the CINÉ+ theatre, which screens large-format IMAX films.

Canadian War Museum

The Canadian War Museum

As Canada’s national museum of military history, the Canadian War Museum promotes understanding of that history in its personal, national and international dimensions. Home to an outstanding collection of artifacts — including the internationally renowned Beaverbrook Collection of War Art — the Museum welcomes more than 500,000 visitors each year to its striking and iconic building. As a national centre for remembrance, education and historical research, the Museum also facilitates informed discussion of military affairs past, present and future.

Virtual Museum of New France

This innovative online project explores the history, culture and living legacy of early French settlements in North America. Covering an area from Acadia through the Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley to Louisiana, the site examines the human history and legacy of New France through themes that include economic activity, population and aspects of daily life ranging from food and entertainment to medicine and travel.

Virtual Museum of Canada

Administered by the Canadian Museum of History, this online showcase shares online exhibitions from regional museums and historical societies, presenting important local narratives from every corner of the country. The program has recently been revamped with a new streamlined submissions and funding system being launched in the upcoming fiscal year.

Board of Trustees

Members of the Board of Trustees

The Corporation is governed by an 11-member Board of Trustees, selected from across the country. Its members are appointed by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, with the approval of the Governor in Council. The Board is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and provides the Corporation with broad strategic direction and oversight, with the assistance of committees and a Working Group. The Board is responsible to evaluate the performance of the Chief Executive Office in an annual basis.

Board of Trustees Committees

  • The Executive Committee assists in making decisions between Board meetings, if necessary.
  • The Audit Committee advises the Board on audit-related matters; ensures the maintenance of sound internal controls; and reviews internal audit plans, financial statements, and observations made by the Auditor General of Canada in relation to the Corporation.
  • The Development Committee advises and supports the Board and senior management in achieving greater self-sufficiency through fundraising.
  • The Finance Committee advises the Board on accountability and planning in relation to financial matters such as financial reporting, the Corporation’s investment policy and contracts, and transactions over $500,000.
  • The Governance Committee advises the Board on matters related to corporate governance.
  • The Canadian War Museum Committee provides advice on matters related to the Canadian War Museum, and includes members of the Board of Trustees as well as representatives from veterans’ groups.
  • A new Canadian Children’s Museum Working Group will provide advice on matters related to the reimagining of the Canadian Children’s Museum.

Members of the Board of Trustees

Dr. James (Jim) Fleck, C.C., Chair
Toronto, Ontario
(2017-12-14 to 2019-12-13)

Dr. Fleck is an entrepreneur, academic and leading cultural philanthropist. In business, he founded Fleck Manufacturing Inc. and was Chairman of ATI Technologies and Alias Research. He is Professor Emeritus at The Rotman School of the University of Toronto and taught at both Harvard and York universities. In the non-profit sector, Dr. Fleck was President of the Art Gallery of Ontario and was Chairman of Business for the Arts, a national association of business leaders supporting the arts. He chairs the Board of Directors of the University of Toronto Schools, the only high school affiliated with a university and located on campus. In government, he served as Deputy Minister of Industry and Secretary of Cabinet for former Ontario Premier Bill Davis. Dr. Fleck’s many honours include Companion of the Order of Canada, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Edmund C. Bovey Award for Leadership Support of the Arts, the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts and the International Society for the Performing Arts’ Angel Award.

Chair — Executive Committee and Governance Committee
Member — Audit Committee, Development Committee, Finance Committee and Canadian War Museum Committee


Dean Brinton, M. S. M., M.A., Vice-Chair
St. John’s, Newfoundland
(2017-12-14 to 2020-12-13)

Dean Brinton studied Philosophy and Comparative Religion at the universities of Calgary and Toronto, receiving a master’s degree from the University of Toronto in 1987. He has worked in the arts and culture sector for over thirty years and was appointed CEO of The Rooms Corporation in St. John’s, NL in 2005. He sat on the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for six years, in which he served on the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Governance Committee. He served on the sectoral committee of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and as the Council’s representative on the Public Lending Rights Commission. Between 2001 and 2008, he was on the Board of Governors of the National Theatre School of Canada and the Nova Scotia College of Art Design University, where he chaired the Development Committee. He is presently on the Board of Directors of the Salvation Army and is serving as Chair of the Capital Campaign for the Centre of Hope. In 2017, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation and as Vice-Chair of the Canadian Museum of History Board of Trustees. Mr. Brinton has received the Meritorious Service Medal as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Member — Executive Committee, Audit Committee, Development Committee, Finance Committee, Governance Committee, and Canadian War Museum Committee


Andrea T. Bobkowicz, Trustee
Westmount, Quebec
(2012-11-22 to 2021-03-11)

Andrea Bobkowicz is an Investment Advisor with National Bank Financial, Private Wealth Management. Ms. Bobkowicz previously worked in Global Institutional Equity Sales at RBC Dominion Securities in New York and, as a result, has business experience in South Africa, Australia and Latin America. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish. Her volunteer work in the community includes leadership positions with the Foundation of Catholic Community Services, Kinkora Activity Camp and the St. Patrick’s Society of Montréal. In addition, Ms. Bobkowicz has served as a member of several major professional and policy-shaping organizations, including the Canadian Council for the Americas, the Canadian Society of New York, the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs, Women in Capital Markets and the Financial Women’s Association of New York. Recently awarded Investment Advisor of the Year award 2016, Social Commitment Award of Excellence 2018 and Finance Monthly Wealth Management Advisor of the year 2019 – Canada.

Chair — Finance Committee
Member — Executive Committee and Development Committee


Jean Giguère, C. M., Trustee
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(2013-12-17 to 2022-03-11)

Jean Giguère has a long and distinguished record of leadership and achievement within the Canadian cultural community. A founding member of Culture Days, she is past Vice-Chair of the National Culture Days Board as well as founder and past chair of Culture Days Manitoba. Ms. Giguère was appointed as Director of Business for the Arts in 2009. She was elected to the Board of the prestigious Royal Winnipeg Ballet, where she served as the company Chair for five years after which she was appointed Chair Emeritus. After serving five years on the Canadian Arts Summit Steering Committee, she chaired the 2009 Summit in Montréal. At the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, she has served as Vice-President responsible for fundraising, sponsorship and Chair of Special Events. She is currently a member of RMTC Advisory Board. Ms. Giguère is a founding member of the Winnipeg Theatre Awards and sits on its Advisory Council. She also serves on the Board of the international ballet company Q Dance, from Winnipeg.

Ms. Giguère was the inaugural recipient of the Winnipeg Art Council’s Making a Difference Award and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her “outstanding contribution to artistic life in Canada.” She received the Ramon Hnatyshyn Governor General award for Voluntarism in Performing Arts in 2014. She is a Member of the Order of Canada.

Member — Executive Committee, Development Committee, and Governance Committee


Narmin Ismail-Teja, Trustee
Calgary, Alberta
(2019-01-02 to 2023-01-01)

Narmin is a Principal of impact@work Inc. Consulting, training, and facilitating, since 1992, she brings a solid package of commitment, motivation and skills in creating highly effective training and consulting with a depth of experience working across the three sectors, locally & globally.

Narmin is an active member of the community. She currently serves as Board Member with Canadian Forces Liaison Council, Board Member with Theatre Calgary, Board Member with the National Social Welfare Board of the Ismaili Council, as Chair of the Board for Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, and as Senator at University of Calgary. She recently finished her term as a Board member and as Board Chair with YMCA Calgary. Her past work has included working with the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance in Switzerland, Famous 5 Foundation, Vertigo Theatre, and several other Calgary-based organizations.

Member – Governance Committee member and Canadian War Museum Committee


Amanda Kingsley Malo, Trustee
Sudbury, Ontario
(2018-03-12 to 2021-03-11)

Amanda Kingsley Malo is an elementary school teacher and community organizer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in history from the University of Ottawa, as well as a Bachelor of Education from Laurentian University. Having long ago discovered that she feels most like herself when giving back to others, Amanda has dedicated herself to the betterment of her community. She is the founder of PoliticsNOW, a grassroots organization that is dedicated to getting women in Northern Ontario more involved in politics in their communities. She is involved with numerous local organizations, has volunteered in and organized Sudbury’s first Women’s March. In recognition of her efforts, Amanda was a Samara Everyday Political Citizen nominee, as well as the winner of CBC’s #WeAretheChange contest, which highlighted innovative community changemakers all across our country in honour of Canada150. Amanda lives in her hometown of Sudbury, Ontario with her husband Jeffrey and their newborn daughter.

Member — Governance Committee and War Museum Committee


Dr. Rodney Nelson, PhD, C.Dir, PAED, CAPA, Trustee
Ottawa, Ontario
(2018-03-12 to 2021-03-11)

Rodney Nelson is an advocate for economic development within Indigenous communities’ worldwide and is passionate about retaining traditional knowledge. He is a professor at Carleton University where he teaches within the Centre for Initiatives in Education within the Faculty of Social Science and co-coordinates the Indigenous Enriched Support Program. He is also the current CEO and Principal of Governance for the Global Governance Group. His interests include; board governance, economic development, education, ethics, traditional knowledge and Indigenous relations. Rodney is a corporate anthropologist with over 25 years’ experience working with both the public and private sectors including many Indigenous organizations and communities. He is the current co-chair of Carleton University’s Indigenous Education Council and is the outgoing chair of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association.

Rodney’s PhD is in Indigenous/Canadian Studies through Carleton and Trent universities with a concentration on economic development and traditional governance. He holds a master’s degree in medical and corporate anthropology and two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and anthropology. He is a certified Chartered Director from The Directors College at McMaster’s Degroote School of Business. He is also a Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator (CAPA) and a Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer (PAED).

Member — Audit Committee. Governance Committee and War Museum Committee.


Jennifer Pereira, Trustee
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
(2018-03-12 to 2021-03-11)

A partner at Robertson Stromberg LLP, Jennifer’s practice focuses on legal disputes that may ultimately end up in court. She has been recognized by Lexpert magazine as a leading Canadian Lawyer under 40 and by Best Lawyers in the area of Insurance Law.

Jennifer is an active member of the Court of Queen’s Bench Bar Judicial Committee. She is Past President of both the Saskatchewan Trial Lawyers Association and the Saskatoon Bar Association and has sat as the Chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s (Sask) Professional Image Committee. She has shared her knowledge of the law as a speaker with many organizations including the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan.

Jennifer’s commitment to her profession is mirrored by her commitment to giving back to her community. She is presently the Vice Chair of the board of TCU Place and volunteer with the Children’s Discovery Museum and Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon. In 2014, Jennifer was recognized by the CBC as one of Saskatchewan’s Top 40 under 40 and the University of Saskatchewan has honoured her with an Alumni Achievement award.

Member — Audit Committee and Development Committee


Claude Thibault, Trustee
Mont-Royal, Quebec
(2012-06-21 to 2019-05-20)

Mr. Thibault is Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Alithya Group, one of the most prominent strategy and digital technology consulting firms in Canada. Mr. Thibault is a seasoned finance executive with close to 20 years’ experience as Chief Financial Officer of publicly listed and private companies. He previously worked at DCM Group, an engineering and industrial construction company with activities across Canada. Mr. Thibault has served on a number of boards of directors, including that of the Old Port of Montréal Corporation. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Business Valuator and holds an MBA from McGill University. Mr. Thibault recently completed the Directors’ Program of the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations.

Chair — Audit Committee
Member — Finance Committee


Dr. Laurier Turgeon, Trustee
Québec, Quebec
(2018-09-28 to 2022-09-27)

Dr. Turgeon is a full professor of ethnology and history in the historical sciences department at Université Laval. He has been directing the Laboratoire d’enquête ethnologique et multimédia (LEEM) since 2004 and held the Canada Research Chair in Heritage from 2003 to 2017. In 2013, he conducted research as a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab in Boston. He was Director of the Institute of Cultural Heritage at Université Laval from 2005 to 2012 and, in 2006, he held the William Lyon Mackenzie King Chair in Canadian Studies at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He was also a visiting professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales at Université Paris 1-Sorbonne, at Université de Provence, and a fellow at the Newberry Library (Chicago), at Beinecke Library at Yale University, and at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. In his career, he has published many books, peer-reviewed articles, and book chapters and articles in composite works. Mr. Turgeon received the Luc-Lacourcière Medal, awarded for the excellence of a French-language work in the field of ethnology published in North America (Patrimoines métissés, 2003); the Summit International Awards for Creative Media—Visionary Award Category (2014); the Office québécois de la langue française award (2014) for the Découvrir Québec mobile application; the Marius Barbeau Medal in 2016 from the Folklore Studies Association of Canada; and the Excellence in Teaching Prize from Université Laval in the Graduate Coaching category (2017). In 2018, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Member – Audit Committee and Canadian War Museum Committee


Dr. William Young, Trustee
Ottawa, Ontario
(2018-06-01 to 2021-05-31)

In December 2011, Bill Young completed a six-year term as Parliamentary Librarian of Canada where, as deputy minister, he was responsible for research, information, public outreach and education for the Canadian Parliament. He received his PhD in history from the University of British Columbia (1978) and taught at York, Simon Fraser, and McGill universities, and is a By-Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. Bill authored or co-authored four books, in addition to parliamentary publications, conference papers, academic and popular articles.

After joining the Library of Parliament in 1987, Bill conducted and supervised research for parliamentarians, as well as prepared reports for parliamentary committees dealing with social issues. He served as Director of the Library’s Political and Social Affairs Division and in 2004 was seconded to the public service as the senior policy adviser to the Minister of Social Development and Minister of Canadian Heritage. When he returned to the Library as CEO in 2005, he initiated and carried out a process of organizational renewal and refocused the Library’s services to Parliament and the public.

Member — Audit and Finance Committee


Executive Management

The President and Chief Executive Officer, supported by an Executive Management team, is accountable for the day-to-day administration of the corporation’s performance, its long-term viability and the achievement of its objectives.

Corporate Officers

From left to right:
Chrissie Unterhoffer, Director of Strategic Planning and Corporate Secretary; Mark O’Neill, President and Chief Executive Officer; and David Loye, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice-President

Mark O’Neill, President and Chief Executive Officer

David Loye, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice-President

Chrissie Unterhoffer, Corporate Secretary and Director of Strategic Planning

Executive Management Team

In addition to the Corporate Officers, the Executive Management cadre also includes, as of March 31, 2019:

Jean-Marc Blais, Director General, Canadian Museum of History and Vice-President of the Corporation

James Whitham, Acting Director General, Canadian War Museum

Yasmine Mingay, Acting Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Development

Megan Richardson, Director, Virtual Museum of Canada

Julie Sylvestre, Vice-President, Human Resources

Governance Structure

Corporate Planning Group: Provides overall direction to the corporation’s planning; ensures performance measurement and risk-management frameworks are effective and integrated into the planning processes; monitors performance and makes course corrections as required; ensures that the Museums have effective practices in place for sound governance and workplace values and ethics.

Resource Planning Group: Ensures resources are aligned with corporate priorities and that effective stewardship practises are in place.

Human Resources Planning Group: Provides advice and assists in the management of the Museum’s human resources.

Research and Collections Planning Group: Provides advice and assists in the management of the Museum’s research and collections activities.

Exhibitions Planning Group: Provides advice and assists in the management of the Museum’s exhibitions, including special and travelling exhibitions.

Together, these five groups — comprising a cross-selection of executives, directors and managers — provide a forum for strategic discussions of corporate planning and management, and for the alignment of resources with corporate priorities. These groups also provide a mechanism to further integrate risk management into all of the corporation’s planning, monitoring and decision-making activities.

To ensure flow of communication throughout the Management cadre, the governance structure also includes a Managers’ Forum. Including all executives, directors and managers in the corporation, the Managers’ Forum meets throughout the year for information-sharing purposes.

Human Resources Practices and Official Languages Policy

The corporation follows human resource management practices. It is committed to a learning culture that promotes continuous development and training, and provides the necessary tools for adaptation in an ever-changing environment. It works proactively with labour unions to address and resolve issues of concern, and to maintain a meaningful, professional and positive work environment.

In addition, the corporation actively promotes official languages through linguistic evaluation and appropriate second-language training, as well as ensuring high client-service standards to the general public in both official languages. The corporation continues to meet the high standards of client services to the general public in both official languages.

Employment Equity and Multiculturalism

The corporation is committed to a talent-management culture that recruits, engages and retains a talented workforce by promoting continuous development in an inclusive and engaging environment dedicated to museological excellence. The corporation provides a diverse and inclusive workplace committed to the principles of employment equity and multiculturalism that is complementary to our mandate of preserving, promoting and exploring Canada’s rich history and cultural diversity.

There has been significant activity with respect to employment equity at the Museum. The Museum reports annually on its employment equity requirements to Employment and Social Development Canada. These requirements are defined by the Employment Equity Act, which requires employers under federal control to engage in proactive employment practices to increase workplace representation of women, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people and visible minorities. The Canadian Human Rights Commission is responsible for conducting equity-compliance audits, and has selected the Museum for an audit. The Museum recently approved a three-year Employment Equity Action Plan. A Diversity and Inclusion Consultation Group has been formed, with representatives from management and the Museums’ unions.

The Contribution of Volunteers

Volunteers make an important and valuable contribution, not only to the Museum but also to the hundreds of thousands of visitors each year that benefit directly from their knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment. In 2018–19, about hundreds of volunteers worked on variety of projects in the areas of research, archives, library services, special events, programs, mailing and administration.