Canadian Museum of History scores big with the transfer of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame collection

October 5, 2023


The Canadian Museum of History is delighted to announce the acquisition of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame collection, marking a pivotal milestone in preserving and showcasing Canada’s vibrant sports history. This historically significant collection, now referred to as the Order of Sport Collection, has been physically transferred to the Canadian Museum of History and currently stewarded by the Museum.

“Canadian museums are the guardians of our past and mirrors that reflect our shared identity,” said Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “The Government of Canada is proud of the work of the Museum of History in preserving and celebrating our heritage. The acquisition of the Order of Sport Collection will enhance visitor experience with important artifacts of our country’s rich sporting history.”

The collection seamlessly complements the existing sports collection at the Museum, renowned for its comprehensive representation, notably in hockey, contemporary sports, and games. The integration of the Order of Sport Collection facilitates access to the collection for loans, study and research. Leveraging the Museum of History’s national network, the Order of Sport Collection can now be accessed by more museums across Canada, reaching wider audiences.

“We are thrilled about the Canadian Museum of History’s acquisition of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame collection,” said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Physical Activity. “This new addition will aid in the preservation of our sporting heritage for many years to come. We can now share our nation’s sports heritage with more people from coast to coast since the Order of Sport Collection is now available to museums across Canada.”

The Order of Sport Collection represents more than 100 years of Canadian history and is the Museum’s largest-ever single acquisition. The Collection boasts a diverse array of objects encompassing legendary athletes, broadcasters, coaches, teams, and iconic sporting events. The Collection contains around 100,000 objects and 60,000 archival records.

“This acquisition represents a significant opportunity for the Canadian Museum of History,” said Caroline Dromaguet, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Museum. “The Order of Sport Collection enriches our existing robust sports collection, solidifying the Museum as the premier hub for engaging with Canada’s sports history. This acquisition underscores our collective commitment to sharing the exceptional stories, shared experiences, and iconic moments that have not only shaped Canadian popular culture but continue to unite and inspire our nation, captivating audiences from coast to coast to coast.”

Some notable highlights from the Collection include Maurice Richard’s jersey and hockey stick, Barbara Ann Scott’s silver skate blades, Frances Dafoe’s costumes and related sketches, Ned Hanlan’s rowing shell, and the exquisitely detailed Wrigley Swimming Marathon Trophy standing at a whopping 1.76 m (about 5.77 ft) tall and featuring the gods Neptune and Mercury.

“This momentous agreement not only allows for collaboration between our museums to expand this incredible collection, but also guarantees that the rich heritage of Canadian sports will be more accessible than ever before for present and future generations,” said Cheryl Bernard, President and CEO of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. “This partnership is a testament to our shared belief in the importance of preserving this nation’s rich sporting history. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Canada for its unwavering support in this exciting endeavour.”

In the 2021 Federal Budget, the Museum of History received $5 million to acquire, safeguard and preserve the collection.

Visitors to the Museum will have the unique opportunity to explore a specially curated display of objects from the Order of Sport Collection, alongside the Museum’s own collection, representing the contributions of athletes from diverse backgrounds. The objects will be displayed in the Special Exhibitions Corridor at the Museum from October 5, 2023 to October 6, 2024.

About the Canadian Museum of History

Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of History attracts over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum’s principal role is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the events, experiences, people and objects that have shaped Canada’s history and identity, as well as to enhance Canadians’ awareness of world history and culture. Work of the Canadian Museum of History is made possible in part through financial support of the Government of Canada.

About Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is a registered charitable organization and has been a vital cultural institution in Canada for more than 67 years. As Canada’s only national museum of sport, the organization’s mandate is to celebrate Canada’s sport heroes who have reached the pinnacle of their careers and are going “beyond the win” and making monumental contributions to our society – helping to build Canada through the transformative power of sport. Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame awards the Order of Sport, Canada’s highest sporting honour, to an annual Class of athletes and builders of sport, which marks induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Through three guiding pillars — curation, education and recognition — Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is driven by a purpose of inspiring the leaders of tomorrow through the invaluable lessons of sport. In the community, in the classroom, and in recognizing role models.

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Media contact:

Stéphanie Verner
Senior Media Relations
and Communications Officer
Canadian Museum of History
Telephone: 613-850-3329