Design and development of the new museum’s exhibition spaces to begin in earnest


The Canadian Canoe Museum is pleased to announce that Dianne Lister will lead the organization’s Exhibit Design Committee.

A community leader and member of the organization’s Board of Directors for four years, Lister will chair the committee that will oversee the design and development of the new museum’s close to 50,000 square feet of exhibition spaces for the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft.

The committee, consisting of stakeholders and subject matter experts, will work alongside staff and world-class exhibition design firm GSM Project to create visitor experiences in two key areas of the new museum:

  • Exhibition Galleries – Approximately 21,000 square feet of Class A (curatorial standard) exhibit space expected to feature 10 to 12 galleries.
  • Collections Centre – Approximately 28,000 square feet of Class A (curatorial standard) open storage space, featuring more than 500 full-sized watercraft stored on individual mounts and arranged on racking systems, and artifacts.

For the first time, the museum’s entire collection will be on site and accessible as part of the visitor experience.

“The new museum project brings with it once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to examine and interpret this world-class collection and national cultural asset,” says Lister, who is also a Trustee of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and Chair of the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council. “I am honoured to take on this new role. I look forward to working with experts, thought leaders and community members from coast to coast to coast to ensure that this extraordinary collection is experienced to its fullest in the new museum.”

Lister practiced law as a social justice lawyer and has held executive roles in Canada’s charitable sector since 1986, including immediate past CEO of ROM Governors, Vice-President External Relations at Trent University, and President and CEO of Sick Kids Foundation. She is the Principal of The Dianne Lister Group and a senior associate of the Hutchinson Group. Dianne is an author, a photographer and an amateur kayaker, as well as a sessional instructor at the University of Victoria.

“We are very fortunate as a museum and as an Exhibit Design Committee to be the beneficiaries of Dianne’s varied arts and culture experience,” says Jeremy Ward, Curator, The Canadian Canoe Museum. “She is building a dynamic team whose members are moved by their interest in working to interpret our world-class collection.”

About the new museum

As part of The Canadian Canoe Museum’s responsibility for its collection, a cultural asset of national significance, the organization is building it a new home that aspires to be as innovative as the canoe itself. The new museum will care for the collection the way it deserves to be cared for – preserving, protecting, and showcasing for generations to come. In the future, visitors will explore the canoe’s leading role in Canada’s past, present and future alongside the world’s highest hydraulic lift lock on one of the country’s most celebrated waterways.

The new museum is designed by an award-winning team of heneghan peng architects (Dublin, Ireland) with Kearns Mancini Architects (Toronto, Canada).