The Canadian Museum of History will present the national narrative of the history of Canada and its people. With a renewed focus on the connections between past and present in the shaping of Canada and Canadians, the Museum will explore the major themes and seminal events and people of our national experience by bringing history to life and providing the public with a strong sense of Canadian identity.
Unfolding in stages over the next five years, the Canadian Museum of History will renovate half the permanent space in the museum to create the largest and most comprehensive museum exhibition on Canadian history ever developed. A new permanent hall, with a continuous span of 50,000 square feet, will house Canada’s national treasures and contain exhibitions that comprehensively and chronologically preserve the memories and experiences of the Canadian people. It will include a new, permanent exhibition space to present exhibitions originating from other museums across the country that help complete the national story. These new galleries will complement the existing Grand Hall and First Peoples Hall, which display the remarkable history of Canada’s First Peoples and highlight the wealth of their modern-day contributions.
Canada’s history—from the fur trade to the Northwest Rebellion to Confederation, through two world wars and the Quiet Revolution, to Canada in the world—will come to life. Authentic and artifact-rich, the Canadian Museum of History will bring individuals into direct contact with the touchstones of our history: Champlain’s Astrolabe, the Last Spike, historical portraits, artifacts of our nation’s founders, ‘relics’ of our national sports and athletic accomplishments.
The museum’s transformation—to be completed by 2017, when Canada celebrates 150 years of confederation—will combine this sharpened focus on the Canadian experience with a continuing commitment to excellence. The final unveiling of the new museum will be a fitting 150th birthday present to Canadians, who until now have not had a museum dedicated entirely to our national history.
Along with its sister institution, the Canadian War Museum, the Canadian Museum of History will reach out to Canadians through our Museums in Ottawa and Gatineau and across the country through our travelling exhibitions and websites, engaging them in the historical events, places and people who influenced who we are as Canadians.
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. 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.
President and CEO