An Illustrated Gateway to History

Chantal Amyot

View of the Gateway leading to the galleries of the Canadian History Hall. This entrance is ready to welcome visitors for the opening of the Hall on July 1, 2017

View of the Gateway leading to the galleries of the Canadian History Hall. This entrance is ready to welcome visitors for the opening of the Hall on July 1, 2017

When the Canadian History Hall opens on July 1, 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday, visitors will be led to the heart of the exhibition area via a dynamic Gateway. Featuring images of people, places and events from Canadian history, the Gateway serves as a moving and evocative introduction to the multifaceted story of Canada itself.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Museum of History ran a crowdsourcing campaign that invited Canadians to identify images of Canada in three categories: Canadians, symbols and landmarks. The response was overwhelming. Suggestions included Canadian activities ranging from powwow dancing to snow shovelling; symbols such as the Métis flag; and landmarks that included Our Lady of Victory Church in the Northwest Territories, the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto and the Mount Royal Cross in Montréal.

Approximately 60% of the final choices came from the crowdsourcing campaign, filled in with additional selections from the exhibition team. The ideas were then sent to an artist, who produced a total of 101 outstanding illustrations showcasing Canada from coast to coast to coast as seen through the eyes of Canadians.

View of the Gateway leading to the galleries of the Canadian History Hall. This entrance is ready to welcome visitors for the opening of the Hall on July 1, 2017

View of the Gateway leading to the galleries of the Canadian History Hall. This entrance is ready to welcome visitors for the opening of the Hall on July 1, 2017

The Gateway — which is already complete — surrounds visitors with an exciting montage, demonstrating in a tangible way that history is all around us. Visitors will see themselves reflected in the images, further reinforcing the idea that they are part of history. The Gateway is an introduction to the Canadian History Hall, demonstrating that history is present in our day–to-day lives — it surrounds us and includes us.

The exhibition team wishes to thank to the many people who sent in suggestions. Be sure to join us in 2017 to see how your ideas have been used and, of course, to visit the most extensive and engaging presentation of Canadian history ever produced!

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