New exhibition shares newcomers’ first day in Canada

June 1, 2017


For immediate release

Gatineau, Quebec, June 1, 2017 — As Canada celebrates 150 years since Confederation, the Canadian Museum of History will be presenting Canada: Day 1, an exhibition that shares the personal stories of newcomers’ first steps, first impressions and first experiences in Canada, from Confederation to the present day.

“We are very pleased to be offering visitors the opportunity to reflect on 150 years of immigration through first-hand accounts from the people who experienced it,” said Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of History. “These stories are part of what defines us as a country, and what better way to enrich our understanding of our country’s history than by hearing these stories about newcomers.”

In Canada: Day 1, newcomers’ unique and shared experiences — across time and across cultures — are highlighted through oral histories, archival images, original artworks, personal objects and visitor participation. Organized into themes of Transitions, Arrival, Encounters, Finding Your Way, and Reflections, these personal narratives allow visitors to see the country through an immigrant’s eyes — or to relive their own first day in Canada.

While immigration has shaped our country from its earliest days, the exhibition focuses on newcomers’ experiences from Confederation, in 1867, to the present.

This travelling exhibition has been produced by the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 as a legacy project for Canada’s 150th anniversary and is supported by RBC Foundation.

“We are delighted that Canada: Day 1 will be in the National Capital Region for July 1, 2017,” said Marie Chapman, CEO of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. “As this exhibition travels across our country, Canadians are transported back to their first day in Canada, or inspired to imagine themselves in an immigrant’s shoes. Our Canada 150 Legacy project allows visitors to reflect on the historic impact that first impressions and welcomes have always had on newcomers arriving in Canada.”

Canada: Day 1 will be presented at the Canadian Museum of History from June 2, 2017 to January 7, 2018.

Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of History welcomes 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.

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 collects, shares and pays tribute to the Canadian immigration story. The Museum is situated in Halifax, Nova Scotia, at Pier 21 — the National Historic Site that served as the gateway to Canada for one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971. The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 enhances public understanding of the experiences of immigrants to Canada, and highlights the vital role immigration has played in the building of our country and the contributions of immigrants to Canada’s culture, economy and way of life. It is Canada’s sixth national museum and the only one located in Atlantic Canada.

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