Virtual Museum of Canada helps museums and heritage institutions across the country

June 12, 2017


For immediate release

Gatineau, Quebec, June 12, 2017 — Each year the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) presents an exciting slate of new exhibits from museums and heritage organizations large and small. This year is no exception, with 33 engaging new projects recently approved for support under the VMC’s investment programs.

“The Virtual Museum of Canada has become an invaluable asset, both for institutions and for their online visitors,” said Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of History. “Technology changes these days at the speed of light, and the VMC not only provides a place to showcase regional stories and specific events, but also serves as an important resource for institutions seeking to thrive in a digital world.”

The projects are being supported through the VMC’s two investment programs: Virtual Exhibits, which helps museums and heritage organizations develop medium- to large-scale online content exploring Canadian history, heritage and culture; and Community Stories, which helps smaller museums and heritage organizations work with local communities to share important regional stories.

Presented in a range of styles, and reflecting institutions from every part of the country, the new projects offer unique and compelling content, such as small-town histories, fascinating glimpses into cultural traditions, and explorations of local landmarks and institutions.

Once completed, these projects will be accessible on the VMC website,

The Canadian Museum of History operates the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum and the Virtual Museum of New France. Together, these Museums function as centres for research and public information on the history of Canada. Their 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. Work of the Canadian Museum of History is made possible in part through financial support of the Government of Canada.

With more than 500 virtual exhibits, the Virtual Museum of Canada is the largest source of online content and experiences shared by large and small Canadian museums and heritage organizations. These online exhibits explore history, culture, science and the arts, and feature fascinating stories and treasures from communities across the country.

–­ 30 –­

Below, the complete list of the 33 approved projects.

Media contacts:
Stéphanie Verner
Media Relations Officer
Telephone: 819-776-7169

Éliane Laberge
Social Media and Media Relations Officer
Telephone: 819-776-7097

Virtual Museum of Canada Investment Programs


Note: Some titles are subject to change

Virtual Exhibits

British Columbia Totems: A Diversity of Voices
Royal British Columbia Museum
The Royal BC Museum and Archives is home to one of Canada’s largest collections of totem poles. This exceptional resource will make accessible hundreds of totems carved from argillite — a dense, black shale reserved for the exclusive use of Haida carvers — as well as the many wooden poles displayed both inside the Museum and across its grounds. As well, this site will also make accessible the First Nations voices, the stories and the traditions that accompany the totem poles.

Buildings Past: Our Architectural Heritage
Heritage Winnipeg
This exhibit introduces the building traditions in Manitoba over the past 150 years — building styles that are found across Canada. In addition to providing visitors with the tools they need to identify architectural styles and their impact on local history, the website includes an upload feature where visitors can share their favourite structures.

Dive into the Bay of Fundy
Huntsman Marine Science Centre
Join scientists to explore the fascinating undersea world of the Quoddy region in the Bay of Fundy, where the ocean is forced past islands, shoals and underwater ledges to produce the highest tides in the world. Visitors will also enjoy a rare opportunity to learn more about this internationally significant marine ecosystem and its abundant sea life.

Irish Famine Migrant Stories in Ontario
Ireland Park Foundation
Learn more about one of Canada’s first immigrant crises, and the compassion of those who welcomed the new arrivals to our shores. Eyewitness accounts of the 1847 influx of Irish immigrants, fleeing famine in their homeland, will be supplemented by the personal stories of some of the migrants and their descendants, as well as those of their Canadian caregivers.

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Immerse yourself in the sounds and visual world of Leonard Cohen and explore the major themes in his work while discovering artists he inspired and works from the MAC’s collection. The exhibition will look at this Canadian cultural icon who left a lasting impression and how he influenced countless artists from all disciplines generations and backgrounds.

Navigation on the St. Lawrence
Relive the fascinating history of navigation on the St. Lawrence River, the “water route” taken by First Nations, followed by Europeans and Canadians. The exhibition will also highlight the wealth of ingenuity displayed by Canadians in the 19th and 20th centuries, attracting attention throughout the world.

The Art of Ozias Leduc: Between Heaven and Earth
Musée des beaux-arts Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Inspired mainly by nature, local legends and spirituality, the paintings of Ozias Leduc (1864–1955) had a profound impact on Canadian art in the 20th century. This exhibition will help you discover the artist, and especially the importance of his family members, friends and parish as subjects and sources of inspiration.

The Great War in Translation
The Military Museums Library and Archive
Explore how the transformation in popular media from print to digital has impacted how we cover, communicate, and talk about war over the past 100 years. Create new content by translating historical material, such as propaganda pamphlets and war art, into new-media formats. The site will feature many examples of transformed media where historians and curators translate and juxtapose First World War documents with contemporary social media versions of the same content.

Western Arctic Ethnobotanical Garden
Aurora Research Institute, Aurora College
Take a virtual tour of the unique Western Arctic Ethnobotanical Garden, which showcases local plants and their traditional uses. As you navigate the garden in this interactive walk-through, you will learn about each species and its cultural significance. The garden features 25 species of plants from a variety of arctic habitats, preserving a treasure trove of traditional knowledge and terminology.

Writing Wrongs: Japanese-Canadian Protest Letters from the 1940s
Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre
This moving collection of more than 300 recently discovered letters of protest bring to life the story of Japanese-Canadian internment and dispossession during the Second World War. This outstanding archive reflects extreme hardship and injustice, vividly evoking the emotion and helplessness of displaced people the world over.

Community Stories

Advance with Courage: Lord and Lady Aberdeen in the Okanagan Valley
Central Okanagan Heritage Society
In 1890, Scottish aristocrats Lord and Lady Aberdeen purchased land in the Okanagan Valley, sight unseen. Explore their profound impact on the Valley as they spearheaded commercial fruit cultivation and helped build the local community.

Anne Langton: An Anglican Church Woman in Fenelon Falls
St. James the Apostle Anglican Church
Relive early pioneer life in Upper Canada through the rediscovered diaries and sketches of Anne Langton, who arrived in the region in 1836, settled in Fenelon Falls, and helped build St. James the Apostle Anglican Church.

Charity and the Society Girls of Toronto: The Story of the Cradle Club of Women’s College Hospital
The Miss Margaret Robins Archives of Women’s College Hospital
Explore the history of women’s volunteer organizations in Canada through a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the Cradle Club: a group of women volunteers who came together at the beginning of the 20th century to improve the quality of women’s healthcare in Toronto.

Church Bells of Yesterday and Today: An Artistic and Socioreligious History of the Churches of Vaudreuil-Soulanges
Société d’histoire et de généalogie de l’île Perrot
Visit the churches of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region and discover their history, from their construction to today. At a time when these buildings and the works they contain risk disappearing, the exhibition will recall the role churches played in Quebec’s history at the social, community and artistic levels.

Crossing Cole Harbour: From Ferry to Dyke then Rail to Trail
Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum
Explore the human history of Cole Harbour Marsh, from early Mi’Kmaq society to later agricultural, industrial and transportation activity. Criss-crossed over the centuries by canoe, ferry, dyke and rail, the Marsh is now part of the Trans-Canada Trail.

Education in Magog: Devoted Women and Men
Société d’histoire de Magog
This exhibition will trace the evolution of the education system in Magog, which was in keeping with the specific needs of the city’s Anglophone and Francophone communities. We will hear from teachers who have made a lasting impression on generations of young people, as well as from some of their former students.

François-Xavier Lachance: The Last Outstanding Representative of a Long Tradition of Wooden Shipbuilding in the St. Lawrence Estuary
Parc maritime de Saint-Laurent
This exhibition presents François-Xavier Lachance, the last representative of a long tradition of boat builders in Saint-Laurent-de-l’Île-d’Orléans. Discover the background of this master longboat builder, who also built highly sought-after pleasure craft for nearly 50 years. Governor General Vincent Massey conferred upon him the title of Best Longboat Builder in Canada.

Ingenious Coaticook
Musée Beaulne
Many people who were born or lived in Coaticook have made important inventions in various fields. This exhibition will help us discover those people and pay tribute to the little-known history of the inventiveness and creativity in Coaticook and of its citizens.

January 1998 in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu: At the Heart of the Great Ice Storm
Musée du Haut-Richelieu
The 1998 ice storm resulted from a meteorological phenomenon that brought 100 mm of freezing rain within the space of a few days, but also resulted in an exceptional show of solidarity. This exhibition will tell the story of the disaster by taking a look at the daily life of the people it affected, the work of the various tradespeople involved in the clean-up and the mutual aid network that emerged in the Upper Richelieu region.

John Philip Jackman: From Royal Engineer to Reeve
Langley Centennial Museum
Learn how the Royal Engineers shaped the country, as both engineers and as community leaders, through the life of Philip Jackman — who came to British Columbia in 1859 as a Royal Engineer, and later became Mayor of Langley.

Keepsakes of Conflict: Trench Art and Other Canadian War-Related Craft
Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery
In wartime, soldiers often occupy themselves between battles by sketching or making objects from available materials — as showcased in this exhibition, which features extraordinary souvenirs made by Canadians from the Boer War to the present day.

Knee High by the First of July
Agassiz Harrison Historical Society
Corn lies at the heart of the Agassiz Harrison community. This exhibition explores the cultivation and development of a crop that has ultimately fuelled the region’s large and successful dairy industry.

Mount Hermon Cemetery: Memoirs of Superintendents
Société d’histoire de Sillery
Mount Hermon Cemetery and garden in Québec City was founded in 1848 and administered by the Treggett family for 149 years, , and is one of the oldest of its kind in the country. Discover this fascinating place, the history behind it and its unique landscaping. The exhibition will allow you to visit the grounds through the eyes and memories if its superintendents.

Memories of 1942: Stories of the Almonte Train Wreck
North Lanark Historical Society
In 1942, a troop train and passenger train collided at the Almonte Train Station, resulting in 39 deaths and over 150 injuries. This exhibition explores one of the worst rail disasters in Canadian history, and how local residents rushed to provide aid and comfort.

100 Years Ago in Abitibi: Tracing the Footsteps of Ivanhoë Caron, a Settler and Missionary
Société d’histoire d’Amos
Discover the work of Abbot Ivanhoë Caron, an important, but little-known, figure in the history of Abitibi. This clergyman who did not fear adventure was assigned the responsibility of settling the region from 1911 to 1924. The exhibition will focus on his life, his work and how he had to put his skills as a political strategist, organizer, publicist and inspector to good use to fulfill his mandate in spite of the many obstacles he encountered.

Paleontology on Vancouver Island: How one man’s passion for science, nature and learning inspired a community — with Graham Beard, collector and curator
Qualicum Beach Museum
Discover the paleontology of Qualicum Beach through some of the Museum’s world-class fossils, as well as through the story of retired local schoolteacher, Graham Beard, whose passion and knowledge continue to inspire the community and enthrall Museum visitors.

RetroSpectacle: The Kawartha Lakes from Anne Langton’s Sketches to Digital Photography
Maryboro Lodge: The Fenelon Museum
Through various visual media, this exhibition explores how the popular Kawartha Lakes region has been transformed over time. Once key to the fur trade, this area of cultivated natural beauty later became a nexus of forestry, farming and tourism.

The Origins of Pointe-aux-Outardes: Tracing Its Early Inhabitants
Archéo-Mamu Côte-Nord
Drawing on recent archaeological and historical research, the exhibition will paint a portrait of the early inhabitants of Pointe-aux-Outardes, in Quebec’s Côte-Nord region. You will discover who those people were, how they lived and how they survived from an Innu perspective.

The Paris Crew of Saint John, New Brunswick: Canada’s First International Sports Heroes
New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame
On July 8, 1867, three fishermen and a lighthouse keeper from Saint John took the rowing world by storm when they won the coveted International Rowing Regatta in Paris. Discover the fascinating story of the famed Paris Crew, whose underdog victory galvanized a brand-new nation.

The RCAF in Claresholm During the Second World War
Claresholm Museum
This exhibition examines the role of Alberta’s Claresholm airbase during the Second World War, as one of several facilities built across Canada to train pilots for overseas service under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

Top-Secret War: London, Ontario’s Hidden Radar History
Secrets of Radar Museum
Discover the secrets behind London, Ontario’s highly classified Allied radar program during the Second World War. This exhibition presents and celebrates the city’s significant but little-known contributions to the advancement and use of radar technology.

The Tour de la Gaspésie: 90 Years of Discovery
Jardins de Métis
Enjoy a Tour de la Gaspésie and discover the origins of this mythical sightseeing circuit. The exhibition will show how the road that encircles the Gaspé Peninsula contributed to the development of eastern Quebec’s tourism industry and economy. It will also take a look at the famous people who have made the circuit and the different organizations it has helped create.

Times, Times, Times!
Placentia West Heritage Committee
Through the memories of local residents, this exhibition describes the observation of special days from Christmas to Valentine’s Day. Collectively referred to as “times,” each celebration had specific customs, many of which have since been abandoned or forgotten.