The Canadian Museum of History (French: Musée canadien de l’histoire) is Canada's national museum of human history. It is located in the Hull area of Gatineau, Quebec, directly across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. The museum's primary purpose is to collect, study, preserve, and present material objects that illuminate the human history of Canada and the cultural diversity of its people. Formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization (French: Musée canadien des civilisations), the name of the museum was changed in 2013 to the Canadian Museum of History.
|Canadian Museum of History|
Musée canadien de l’histoire
|Former name||Geological Survey of Canada display hall (from 1859) |
National Museum of Canada (circa 1910-1968)
National Museum of Man (1968-1986)
Canadian Museum of Civilization (1986-2013)
|Location||Gatineau, Quebec, Canada|
|Type||Human and cultural history|
|Canadian Museum of History Corporation network|
The Museum of History's permanent galleries explore Canada's 20,000 years of human history and a program of special exhibitions expands on Canadian themes and explore other cultures and civilizations, past and present. The museum is also a major research institution. Its staff includes leading experts in Canadian history, archaeology, ethnology, and folk culture. The museum also organizing traveling exhibits.
With roots stretching back to 1856, the museum is one of North America's oldest cultural institutions. It is also home to the Canadian Children's Museum. It used to be the home of the Canadian Postal Museum.
The Museum of History is managed by the Canadian Museum of History Corporation, a federal Crown Corporation that is also responsible for the Canadian War Museum, the Children's Museum and the Virtual Museum of New France. The museum is a member of the Canadian Museums Association. The museum is affiliated with: Canadian Museums Association (CMA), Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), and Virtual Museum of Canada.
The museum has three permanent exhibition galleries: the Grand Hall, the First Peoples Hall, and the Canadian History Hall. The museum also operates a movie theatre, a children's museum and special exhibit galleries.
The Grand Hall on the building's first level is the museum's architectural centrepiece. It features a wall of windows 112 m (367 ft) wide by 15 m (49 ft) high, framing a view of the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill. On the opposite wall is a colour photograph of similar size. It captures a forest scene and is believed to be the largest colour photograph in the world.
The picture provides a backdrop for a dozen towering totem poles and recreations of six Pacific Coast Aboriginal house facades connected by a boardwalk (which is often used as a stage for different events). The homes were made by First Nations artisans using large cedar timbers imported from the Pacific Northwest. The grouping of these totem poles, combined with others in the Grand Hall, is said to be the largest indoor display of totem poles in the world.
The Grand Hall also houses the original plaster pattern for the Spirit of Haida Gwaii, by Haida artist Bill Reid, his largest and most complex sculpture. The pattern was used to cast the bronze sculpture displayed outside the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Located at the end of the Grand Hall, by the river, is a 19 m (62 ft) diameter dome. On the dome is the 418 m2 (4,500 sq ft) abstract painting known as Morning Star. The painting, by First Nation artist Alex Janvier a Dene Suline artist, and, with the assistance of his son Dean, was completed in four months in 1993.
Also on the Museum's first level, this permanent exhibition narrates the history and accomplishments of Canada's Aboriginal peoples from their original habitation of North America to the present day. It explores the diversity of the First Peoples, their interactions with the land, and their on-going contributions to society. The Hall is the result of a groundbreaking, intensive collaboration that occurred between museum curators and First Peoples representatives during the planning stages.
Chronicling 20,000 years of history, the hall is separated into three larger zones:
"An Aboriginal Presence" looks at Aboriginal cultural diversity, achievements and prehistoric settlement of North America. Included are traditional stories about creation and other phenomena told by Aboriginal people such as Mi'kmaq Hereditary Chief Stephen Augustine who recounts the beginning of the world in the Creation Stories Theatre film.
"An Ancient Bond with the Land" examines the relationship between Aboriginal Peoples and the natural world.
"Arrival of Strangers - The Last 500 Years" examines Aboriginal history from the time of European contact to today. It examines early relations, the Métis, the clash of Christianity and Aboriginal beliefs, intergovernmental relations, the introduction of a wage economy, and post-World War II political and legal affirmation and civil rights. It also features a ten-minute video about sustaining Aboriginal culture, and introduces visitors to Native art.
The Canadian History Hall is a permanent gallery dedicated to Canadian history that encompasses both the third and fourth floors of the museum, formerly home to the Canada Hall and the Canadian Personalities Hall and meant to be more comprehensive, inclusive and engaging than its precursors. It opened on July 1, 2017, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
The museum was designed by Douglas Cardinal, a famous Aboriginal architect educated at the University of British Columbia and the University of Texas at Austin. The museum complex consists of two wings, the public and curatorial wings, surrounded by a series of plazas connected by a grand staircase. Naturalized park areas connect the museum and its plazas to the Ottawa River and nearby Jacques Cartier Park.
The museum was founded in 1856 as the display hall for the Geological Survey of Canada, which was accumulating not only minerals, but biological specimens, and historical and ethnological artifacts. It was founded in Montreal, and was moved to Ottawa in 1881. In 1910, upon recommendation from Franz Boas, the anthropologist-linguist Edward Sapir was appointed as the first anthropologist in the newly formed anthropology division of the museum. Soon after, the anthropologists Diamond Jenness and Marius Barbeau were hired. In 1910, now named the National Museum of Canada, it moved into the brand-new Victoria Memorial Museum Building on Metcalfe Street in downtown Ottawa. The National Gallery of Canada also occupied half a floor in the building. In 1968, the museum was split into the Museum of Nature and the Museum of Man, but both remained in the same building. In 1982, the Government of Canada announced that the Museum of Man would be moved to its own separate facility in Hull, Quebec (now Gatineau).
In response to criticisms that "Museum of Man" could be interpreted as gender-biased in light of modern sensibilities, a competition was launched in 1986 to find a new name. The National Museum of Man became the Canadian Museum of Civilization. In 1989, the museum moved into the new facility. At the time of its opening, the cost of the museum had ballooned from an initial estimate of approximately $80 million to approximately $340 million. Despite initial criticisms of the perceived Disneyfication of the museum, its enormous costs, unique architecture, and unfinished exhibits from many quarters (including the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney), the museum soon became a major tourist attraction and was embraced by different political factions as a national symbol of "a pluralistic, multicultural society." In 2005, the museum attracted 1,396,000 visitors but attendance had fallen to 1.2 million in 2010.
The name of the museum was changed in 2013 to the Canadian Museum of History. Opposition parties protested the $500,000 rebranding costs during a period of austerity. The new name was accompanied by a change in purpose for the institution, namely an increased focus on Canadian history. Prior to December 12, 2013, the Museums Act had established the purpose of the prior Canadian Museum of Civilization as:
The purpose of the Canadian Museum of Civilization is to increase, throughout Canada and internationally, interest in, knowledge and critical understanding of and appreciation and respect for human cultural achievements and human behavior by establishing, maintaining and developing for research and posterity a collection of objects of historical or cultural interest, with special but not exclusive reference to Canada, and by demonstrating those achievements and behaviour, the knowledge derived from them and the understanding they represent.
Changes to the museum's visual identity were implemented gradually over the course of the following months. The Museums Act was amended on December 12, 2013 to provide a new purpose for the newly named Canadian Museum of History:
The purpose of the Canadian Museum of History is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events, experiences, people and objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history and identity, and also to enhance their awareness of world history and cultures.
|1968–1983||Dr. William E. Taylor|
|1983–1998||Dr. George F. MacDonald|
|1999–2000||Joe Geurts (acting)|
|2000–2011||Dr. Victor Rabinovitch|
|2011||David Loye (acting)|
|2011–Present day||Mark O'Neill|
The Canadian Children's Museum (CCM) is located inside the Canadian Museum of History, in Gatineau, Quebec. The CCM is among the most popular museums in the country, attracting about half a million visitors each year. It is also Canada's largest exhibition centre (3,000 m2 (32,000 sq ft)) designed specifically for children up to age 14 and their adult companions. Most of the space is devoted to the museum's permanent exhibition, The Great Adventure. The CCM also presents a changing line-up of special exhibitions curated internally or acquired from other institutions.The Children's Museum is managed by the Canadian Museum of History Corporation, a federal Crown Corporation that is also responsible for the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum, the Canadian Postal Museum, and the Virtual Museum of New France.Canadian Historical Dinner Service
The Canadian Historical Dinner Service, originally called the Cabot Commemorative State Dinner Service, is 204-piece eight-course dinner service with 24 place settings of hand-painted porcelain. It was created in 1896–97 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first visit to Canada by a European, John Cabot. The illustrations all have Canadian subjects, and no two pieces are the same.Canadian War Museum
The Canadian War Museum (CWM) (French: Musée canadien de la guerre) is Canada's national museum of military history. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, the museum covers all facets of Canada's military past, from the first recorded instances of death by armed violence in Canadian history several hundred years ago to the country's most recent involvement in conflicts. It includes major permanent exhibitions on wars that have been fought on Canadian soil, the total wars of the twentieth century, the Cold War and peace support operations abroad, and Canada's history of honouring and remembrance. There is also an open storage area displaying large objects from the Museum's collection, from naval guns to tanks, from motorcycles to jet aircraft. The exhibits depict Canada's military past in its personal, national and international dimensions, with emphasis on the human experience of war and the manner in which war has affected, and been affected by, Canadians' participation.
Much of the Museum's public exhibition space is devoted to its Canadian Experience Galleries. These displays demonstrate the effect that war has had on Canada's development and the role Canadians have played in international conflicts. Their content is a mixture of about 2,500 objects from war art to armoured vehicles, as well as audio-visual displays and many hands-on activities. As well as the permanent galleries, the museum provides a changing program of temporary or focused exhibitions, plus public programs and special events.The CWM also houses the Military History Research Centre, a leading library and archival research facility, and a collection of about 500,000 artifacts, including uniforms, medals, weapons, war art, aircraft, military vehicles and artillery. Besides exhibitions, the Museum also supports educational outreach such as Lest We Forget Project.
The CWM originated in 1880. Its current building opened in May 2005 and is located less than 2 km west of Canada's Parliament Buildings. The building's architecture has received professional and public acclaim. The CWM is part of the Canadian Museum of History Corporation, which also operates the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian Children's Museum, the Canadian Postal Museum, and the Virtual Museum of New France.Douglas Cardinal
Douglas Joseph Cardinal, OC (born 7 March 1934) is a Canadian architect based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Famous for flowing architecture marked with smooth curvilinear forms and influenced by his Aboriginal heritage as well as European Expressionist architecture, Cardinal is perhaps best known for his designs of the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec (1989) and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. (1998).L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables
L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables is a Canadian television film based on Lucy Maud Montgomery's novel of the same name. It first aired on YTV on February 15, 2016 and starred Ella Ballentine, Martin Sheen and Sara Botsford. Montgomery's granddaughter, Kate Macdonald Butler, was one of the film's executive producers. The film's world premiere was held February 2, 2016 at the Canadian Museum of History.The 90-minute film replaced the previously announced 13-part series that had been set to film in 2013. It was filmed in Milton, Ontario and Prince Edward Island (although an opening scene shows a filmed excerpt in the UK with a British train passing and disappearing from a tunnel in 2015).List of Laureates of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts
The Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts are Canadian awards given each year to recognize outstanding contribution to the fields of visual and media arts. The awards were created in 2000 by then Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. The awards are funded and administered by the Canada Council for the Arts.
An independent peer jury of senior visual and media arts professionals selects up to seven laureates to be recognized for artistic achievement and one award for outstanding contributions in a professional or volunteer role. Visual and media artists in fine arts (painting, drawing, photography, print-making and sculpture, including installation and other three-dimensional work), applied arts (architecture and fine crafts), independent film and video, or audio and new media are eligible for the annual award. Since 2007, the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in the fine crafts is also awarded by this process.In 2015, each laureate received $25,000 and recognition in the form of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada.List of tourist attractions in Ottawa
The following is a list of attractions in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and surrounding area.Mic-Mac hockey stick
The Mic-Mac hockey stick was made originally by the Mi'kmaq people of Nova Scotia, who dominated the international ice hockey market in the early twentieth century. It was first marketed by the Starr Manufacturing Company of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in the 1860s.
The Mi'kmaq practice of playing hockey appears in recorded colonial histories beginning in the 18th century, and beginning in the 19th century they were credited with inventing the ice hockey stick. The oldest known hockey stick, now owned by the Canadian Museum of History, dates to the mid-1830s and is made of sugar maple wood; it may have been made by a Mi'kmaq. (In 2006, a stick made by Mi'kmaq in the 1850s, at the time the oldest known, was sold at auction for $2.2 million; it had been appraised at US$4.25 million.
In 1863, the Starr Manufacturing Company in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, began to sell the Mic-Mac Hockey Stick nationally and internationally. Hockey became a popular sport in Canada in the 1890s, and through the first decade of the 20th century, the Mic-Mac was the best-selling hockey stick in Canada. By 1903, apart from farming, producing them was the primary occupation of the Mi'kmaq on reserves throughout Nova Scotia, particularly Shubenacadie, Indian Brook and Millbrook. In 1927 the department of Indian Affairs for Nova Scotia noted that the Mi'kmaq remained the "experts" at making hockey sticks. Mi'kmaq continued to make hockey sticks until the 1930s, when the product was industrialized.National museums of Canada
The National museums of Canada are a system of national museums operated by the federal government of Canada consisting of: the Canadian Museum of History; the Canadian Museum of Nature; the National Gallery of Canada; the Canada Science and Technology Museum; the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21; and the Canadian Human Rights Museum. The museums operate as federal Crown corporations governed by Canada's Museums Act (1990).Needlecase
A needlecase or needle case is a small, often decorative, holder for sewing needles. Early needlecases were usually small tubular containers of bone, wood, or bronze with tight-fitting stoppers, often designed to hang from a belt. Needlecases are sometimes called by the French name étui and are typically one of the tools attached to a chatelaine. A pin poppet is a similar container for pins, common in the 18th century.Nepean Point
Nepean Point is a hill with scenic lookout in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, overlooking the Ottawa River, Parliament, the Canadian Museum of History, and other features of downtown Ottawa and Gatineau. It is located between the National Gallery of Canada and Alexandra Bridge.
At the peak of the hill is a statue of French explorer Samuel de Champlain holding his famous astrolabe upside-down. It was made by sculptor Hamilton MacCarthy in 1915.Previously, the statue also featured a kneeling First Nations (Anishinabe) scout, added in 1918 to "signify how the native people helped Champlain navigate through the waters of the Ottawa River", but this has been relocated to nearby Major's Hill Park.The small amphitheatre on the point is known as "Astrolabe Theatre", presumably a reference to Champlain.Shelley Posen
Shelley (I. Sheldon) Posen is a Canadian folklorist, singer and songwriter, a member of the folk trio Finest Kind, and a former writer of the 'Songfinder' column for Sing Out!. In the 1970s, while still a graduate student, he was the Director of Mariposa in the Schools. He conducted fieldwork and recorded traditional songs extensively in the Ottawa Valley. He was Curator of Canadian Folklife at the Canadian Museum of Civilization/Canadian Museum of History from 2001 to 2015. He has written on traditional song, Canadian sports and cultural heroes, and the folklore of Canadian foods such as the butter tart.Smoky Lake
Smoky Lake is a town in central Alberta, Canada. It is located 116 km (72 mi) northeast of Edmonton at the junction of Highway 28 and Highway 855. It lies between the North Saskatchewan River, Smoky Creek and White Earth Creek, in a mainly agricultural area. The provincial historic site of Victoria Settlement is nearby. Long Lake Provincial Park is located 60 km (37 mi) north of the town. Since time immemorial, the Wood Cree Indians named "Smoking Lake" for the smoke from ceremonies performed on the shore; the name Smoky Lake may also be based in the mist that rose from the lake in great quantities at sundown.
One of its churches, the St. Onuphrius Ukrainian-Catholic, built in 1907, has been moved to the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec.Tanfield Valley
Tanfield Valley, also referred to as Nanook, is an archaeological site located on the southernmost projection of Baffin Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. It is possible that the site was known to Pre-Columbian Norse explorers from Greenland and Iceland. It may be in the region of Helluland, spoken of in the Icelandic sagas (Greenland Saga and Saga of Erik the Red).The Helluland Archaeology Project is a research initiative that was set up at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, now the Canadian Museum of History, to investigate the possibility of an extended Norse presence on Baffin Island with trading with the indigenous Dorset people. It is now on hiatus following Patricia Sutherland's ouster from the museum in 2012. Excavations led by Sutherland at Tanfield Valley found possible evidence of medieval Norse textiles, metallurgy and other items of European-related technologies. Wooden artifacts from Dorset sites include specimens which bear a close resemblance to Norse artifacts from Greenland. Pelts from Eurasian rats have also been discovered.In 2018, Michele Hayeur Smith of Brown University, who specializes in the study of ancient textiles, wrote that she does not think the ancient Arctic people, the Dorset and Thule, needed to be taught how to spin yarn, remarking "It's a pretty intuitive thing to do." In 1992, Elizabeth Wayland Barber wrote that a piece of three-ply yarn that dates to the Paleolithic era, that ended about 10,000 BP, was found at the Lascaux caves in France. This yarn consisted of three s-twist strands that were z-plied, much like the way yarn is made now. The eight sod buildings and artifacts found in the 1960s at L'Anse aux Meadows, located on the northern tip of Newfoundland, remains the only confirmed Norse site in North America outside of those found in Greenland.
Moreau Maxwell (1918-1998), professor and curator of Anthropology at Michigan State University, had previously researched the site in his study of the prehistory of Baffin island, the findings of which were summarized in his publication Prehistory of the Eastern Arctic (1985).The Queen's Beasts
The Queen's Beasts are ten heraldic statues representing the genealogy of Queen Elizabeth II, depicted as the Royal supporters of England. They stood in front of the temporary western annexe to Westminster Abbey for the Queen's coronation in 1953. Each of The Queen's Beasts consists of an heraldic beast supporting a shield bearing a badge or arms of a family associated with the ancestry of Queen Elizabeth II. They were commissioned by the British Ministry of Works from sculptor James Woodford (who was paid the sum of £2,750 for the work). They were uncoloured except for their shields at the coronation.They are now on display in the Canadian Museum of History.
There are other statues of the Queen's Beasts, sometimes referred to as the King's Beasts, at Hampton Court Palace and Kew Gardens in London, and on the roof of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.Tyndall stone
Tyndall Stone is a registered trademark name by Gillis Quarries Ltd. Tyndall Stone is a dolomitic limestone that is quarried from the Selkirk Member of the Ordovician Red River Formation in the vicinity of Garson and Tyndall, Manitoba, Canada. It is a cream-coloured limestone with a pervasive mottling of darker dolomite. The mottling gives the rock a tapestry-like effect, and it is popular for use as a building and ornamental stone.Tyndall Stone is highly fossiliferous and the fossils contribute to its aesthetic appeal. It contains numerous fossil gastropods, brachiopods, cephalopods, trilobites, corals, stromatoporoids, and others. The mottling results from burrowing by marine creatures that occurred during and shortly after limestone deposition. The identity of the burrowing organisms is not known, but fossil burrows of this type have been given the name Thalassinoides.Tyndall Stone was first used in 1832 for building Lower Fort Garry, and has since become popular for building purposes throughout Canada and the United States. The Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Ontario, the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in Regina, Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the Federal Public Building in Edmonton, Alberta, the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec, the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, les Apartements Le Chateau in Montreal, Quebec and many others include Tyndall Stone in their construction.The Tyndall Stone quarry is operated by Gillis Quarries Ltd. and is located approximately 40 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The quarry has been in operation, and owned by the same family, since 1910.Virtual Museum of Canada
The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) is Canada's national virtual museum. With a directory of over 3,000 Canadian heritage institutions and a database of over 600 virtual exhibits, the VMC brings together Canada's museums regardless of size or geographical location.
The VMC includes virtual exhibits, educational resources for teachers, and over 900,000 images. The resources are bilingual; available in both French and English. The content on the VMC is created by Canadian museums, and is administered by the Canadian Museum of History
In February 2014, the Federal Government announced its intention to transfer the Virtual Museum of Canada and the Online Works of Reference to the Canadian Museum of History. Bill C-31, an Act to implement certain provisions of the budget and other measures, has received Royal Assent confirming that the Canadian Museum of History will assume responsibility for these two programs.The museum provides an online environment for Canadian communities to tell their stories and preserve their history. One way that this is achieved is through the VMC Investment Programs, which invests in Canadian museums to create online exhibitions. The Virtual Exhibits Investment Program is geared to medium- to large-sized institutions. The other offering is the Community Memories Program, which is an investment program designed for smaller Canadian community museums, to allow them to create online exhibits about their history.Virtual Museum of New France
The Virtual Museum of New France (French: Le Musée virtuel de la Nouvelle-France) is a virtual museum created by the Canadian Museum of History. Its purpose is to share knowledge and raise awareness of the history, culture and legacy of early French settlements in North America.
The site includes interactive maps, photos, illustrations and information based on current research into New France. This encompasses the French settlements and territories that spread from Acadia in the East through the Saint Lawrence Valley, the Great Lakes region, the Ohio Valley, and south to Louisiana from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
The content is written by historical and archaeological scholars and reviewed by other experts. Different sections are devoted to colonies and empires, explorers, economic activities, population, daily life and heritage.
The articles in the Virtual Museum of New France cover a variety of topics pertaining to New France, including important historical figures, territorial expansion by France and competing colonial powers, immigration, social groups, slavery, religion, food, entertainment, science, medicine and governance.
The site was launched in 1997 and expanded in 2011.William Leach (Canadian Army officer)
Lieutenant-General William Charles Leach CMM, CD (November 6, 1942 – April 1, 2015) was the Chief of the Land Staff of the Canadian Forces.
|National Gallery of Canada Corporation|
|Canadian Museum of History Corporation|
|Canadian Museum of Nature Corporation|
|Canadian Museum for Human Rights Corporation|
|Canadian Museum of Immigration|
Federally administered museums not under the Museums Act
|Bank of Canada|
|Library and Archives Canada|