Canadian Museum Celebrates Canadian History Hall Grand Opening

Thousands of Canadians filled the Canadian Museum of History today to inaugurate the Museum’s new signature exhibition — the Canadian History Hall. Opening celebrations included colourful performances by more than 300 participants, showcasing the richness and diversity of the Canadian experience. Visitors of all ages enjoyed musical performances by Canada’s award-winning duo Twin Flames and by the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir, who were joined on stage by multicultural performing groups from the capital region.

Adding to the excitement, the Hall officially opened to the public after a regal ribbon-cutting ceremony performed by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, currently on a royal tour of Canada.

Exploring our collective history from the earliest human habitation 15,000 years ago to the recent arrival of Syrian refugees, the Canadian History Hall tells Canada’s story through authentic artifacts, multiple perspectives and the experiences of real people. This innovative approach casts new light on all sides of our history, from major achievements to some of our darkest chapters.

“Canadians can be very proud of how this exhibition — our legacy project on the 150th anniversary of Confederation — presents our shared past with balance, honesty and candour,” said Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of History. “We hope visitors from within Canada and around the world will come away from the Canadian History Hall with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of who we are today and how we came to be, both as a country and as a people.”

“For Canada 150, the Canadian Museum of History is highlighting our rich past and our heritage,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “I invite everyone to visit the new Canadian History Hall, which recounts the fascinating stories that have shaped our past and our present.”

Visitors were able, for the first time, to look at the events, personalities and historical currents that have shaped the country as presented in the Hall. Occupying 4,000 square metres (40,000 square feet), the exhibition provides a stunning showcase for more than 1,500 artifacts, including many of Canada’s most important historical treasures, that visitors of all ages can enjoy.

Incorporating the experiences of many groups, the new Hall’s narrative is both compelling and inclusive, making the exhibition a vibrant and living testament to who we are, where we’ve come from and where we’re going.

Development of the Hall took five years of research, planning and renovation. The process was informed at every stage by unprecedented public outreach and community consultation, and included input from scholars and experts throughout the country.