The New Canadian Museum of History

October 17, 2012


For immediate release

Gatineau, Quebec, October 17, 2012 — As announced on October 16 by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable James Moore, the Canadian Museum of Civilization will become the Canadian Museum of History. This new Canadian Museum of History will present the national history of Canada and its people. This transition will take place gradually over the next several years to be ready for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

The storyline for the Canadian Museum of History will be developed by the Museum’s historians and researchers, in collaboration with renowned historians from across the country. In addition, the Museum will seek input from Canadians across the country on the stories, themes and events that have shaped our country.

This allows this museum to sharpen its focus and explore the major themes and seminal events and people that have shaped who we are today. Preserving and presenting our nation’s history is vitally important to national life and to our national sense of self.

“Canadians have created a society not like any other; a country that is economically viable, is based on fairness and justice, and that promotes the participation of all of its citizens. That is the great Canadian story,” said Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Museum.  “And our vision at the Canadian Museum of History is to showcase the touchstones – those seminal experiences, personalities, and objects – that have brought us here.”

Fast facts

The Canada Hall, the Canadian Personalities Hall, and Canadian Postal Museum will be combined to create a new, permanent exhibition on Canadian history. Many of the artifacts, collections and stories currently found in these spaces will be re-integrated into the new gallery as they form part of our national story.

Included in this new exhibition is a space dedicated to presenting exhibitions from museums across the country to complete the national story. This will be done through the development of a network of museums across the country.

The First Peoples Hall and the Grand Hall will continue to tell the remarkable history of Canada’s First Peoples and highlight the wealth of their modern-day contributions. The stories of Canada’s First Peoples will also be part of the new gallery, as these stories are an important part of our history and our national identity.

The Museum will continue to present international exhibitions from museums around the world that present world history and cultures.

The Canadian Children’s Museum will not be affected by this change.

The Museum will also embark on a major fundraising initiative to complement the Government’s one-time contribution of $25M.

The Museum will remain open throughout this transition. Work will be done progressively. The spaces will change gradually, therefore remaining accessible to visitors for as long as possible during this transition. 

The Canadian Museum of Civilization is the centre for research and public information on the social and human history of the country. Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Museum is Canada’s largest and most popular cultural institution, attracting over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum of Civilization’s principal role is to preserve and promote the heritage of Canada for present and future generations, thereby contributing to the promotion and enhancement of Canadian identity.

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