Staff Picks: Favourites from the Canadian Museum of History
Sarah’s Pick: Did You Hear That?
Sarah Woods, Manager, Client Services
There’s an unassuming spot between the Grand Hall and the First Peoples Hall that most people don’t even notice, unless they’re standing in exactly the right place. It’s a small dome built into the architecture, right at the entrance to the Canadian Stamp Collection, which creates a perfect echo. If you stand in the centre of the circle on the floor and speak, you will hear the echo of your own voice. I love seeing people discover this spot by accident, as they pass it on their way to one of the exhibitions. All of a sudden they’re surprised to hear their echo, and stop to say something else.
Your mission: The next time you’re at the Museum, try standing directly under the dome in the centre of the circle and whisper a secret message to a friend standing outside the circle. Can they hear the echo?
Guy’s Pick: View From Above
Guy Larocque, Director, Facility Management and Security Services
I love riding the escalator from the David M. Stewart Salon down to the Grand Hall. Your perspective of the Grand Hall changes as you descend, giving you an opportunity to marvel at the extraordinary architecture and volume of the space. The canoe-shaped ceiling, the three-dimensional forest backdrop on the scrim, the tall windows and the paddle-shaped columns, the granite flooring that emulates ocean waves, the totem poles and Aboriginal house façades — these features create an amazingly dynamic display from your viewpoint on the escalator.
Your mission: The next time you visit, check out Guy’s favourite view of the Museum. Go down the escalator and try to pick out all of the architectural details he has listed.
Claire’s Pick: Artistic Crossroad
Claire Champ, Creative Development Specialist
The sculptural installation Personnages, outside near the Ottawa River, still has a fresh, engaging appeal nearly half a century after Louis Archambault created it for Expo 67. There are 11 abstract figures, each with its own personality, arranged just as they were at Expo. I love standing with the sculptures and feeling linked to many times and places: Canada in the 1960s, with all its optimism and growth; the Ottawa River, with its timeless connections to the geography and history of this region; Parliament Hill, with all its old-fashioned grandeur; and Douglas Cardinal’s majestic architecture, echoing the surrounding landscape.
What about you? What’s your favourite thing about the Canadian Museum of History?