Learn more about the personalities and events that have shaped Canada

June 4, 2024


For immediate release

Would you like to learn more about important people and events that have shaped Canada? Visit historymuseum.ca to explore a brand-new resource that will help you better understand history!

Shaping Canada is a new Web module featuring interview clips from influential public figures about their unique contributions to, and reflections on, Canadian society. This invaluable resource enables Canadians, wherever they may be, to learn more about the profound influence and life stories of 11 individuals who have made a demonstrable and extraordinary impact on contemporary Canada.

 Through this captivating oral history project, the public can better understand the stories and achievements of the participating personalities, such as human rights activist Wanda Robson, the youngest sister of Canada’s civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond; Douglas Cardinal, the renowned Indigenous architect who designed the Canadian Museum of History; Perdita Felicien, the hurdling athlete and now TV host and author; and Jeremy Dias, the founder of the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

The prominent industrial designer, Karim Rashid; the singer, host and businesswoman, Mitsou Gélinas; the former Minister of National Health and Welfare, and one of the first  women from Quebec elected to the House of Commons, Monique Bégin; the disability rights advocate, Olympian and Paralympian, Rick Hansen; the musician, children’s entertainer and early childhood education advocate, Fred Penner; one of the first Indigenous female athletes (with her twin sister) to represent Canada at the Winter Olympic Games, Sharon Anne Firth; and the former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, complete this impressive list of influential Canadians.

Shaping Canada not only highlights the achievements of these impactful individuals, but also documents their lived experiences,” said Dr. Laura Sanchini, Manager of Research, History and Cultural Expression at the Canadian Museum of History. “This project constitutes a unique, multi-disciplinary living archive of contemporary Canada.”

Shaping Canada is an evolving project, and the stories of other Canadian personalities will be added over the years. In the meantime, you can learn more about the participants through a variety of Museum resources, such as the blog, the Teachers’ Zone, our YouTube channel, and our exhibitions.

Shaping Canada is supported by Arthur B.C. Drache, C.M., K.C. and Judy Young Drache.

More information is available at historymuseum.ca or by calling 819-776-7000 or 1‑800‑555-5621.

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.

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