With the 150th birthday of Canada coming up in 2017, the federal government has decided it's time we had a national museum devoted to the accomplishments, achievements and events that have shaped the Canadian identity. They're creating a Museum of Canadian History by refocusing the current Museum of Canadian Civilization. The Museum of Canadian Civilization is a huge spread in Gatineau, Quebec, just across the Ottawa River from Ottawa, Canada's capital. It overlooks the Parliament Buildings from that vantage point.
The plan is to use existing resources and to make new partnerships with museums across Canada. About 50,000 square feet of public space will be renovated, replacing exhibits on civilizations around the world with those on Canadian history. Displaced exhibits could be moved to other museums in Canada. James Moore, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, said in a statement that the transformation of the museum will cost $25-million, which will come out of the Canadian Heritage department's existing budget. The museum will also be developing new fundraising activities to get support from the private sector.
Just in case cynics think it is part of a political plot to rewrite Canadian history with a Conservative slant, there will be plenty of Canadian historians and museum officials keeping an eye on things to make sure the country's past is presented with an impartial viewpoint. Plans are under way to consult Canadians about what they want to see in the museum. Read the article to find out what's in the works and how you can contribute suggestions.
Photo: Museum of Canadian Civilization
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