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Government of Canada invests $10 million in the new museum project


The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, announced today that the Government of Canada is investing $10 million to support the construction of the new museum.

“It is an historic day, and on behalf of the entire canoe museum community, I cannot thank you enough,” said Carolyn Hyslop, expressing her gratitude to Minister Rodriguez, and The Honourable Maryam Monsef, MP for Peterborough-Kawartha. “This, is the largest investment the museum has ever received.”

More than 110 guests gathered in the galleries, and many more watched a live stream of the event. The announcement began in a good way with a land acknowledgement and welcome song by Rebecca Loucks of Curve Lake First Nation. Chief Laurie Carr of Hiawatha First Nation welcomed guests to the traditional territory of the Williams Treaties First Nations. Andy Dufrane, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Peterborough and District Wapiti Métis Council, also welcomed guests in the spirit of partnership.

“We have a full house here in the gallery, and our friends have come from near and far. And in some cases, very far…We welcome Pamela Gross, Mayor of Cambridge Bay in Nunavut! You are our members and our volunteers, our partners and our supporters – and you are the reason we are moving forward – to the water’s edge – with such momentum,” said John Ronson, Chair, Board of Directors.

Support from the Department of Canadian Heritage has, and continues to be, central to the success of the new museum project. In 2017, and on behalf of Canadian Heritage, Minister Monsef announced $1.4 million in funding that allowed the museum to proceed in earnest with the pre-construction phase of the new museum.

“…The canoe also tells us the story of our country. The story of Indigenous Peoples who lived here long before the settlers arrived. So, as keepers of our collective memories, cultural spaces like this one, are really, really, really important and as we all know, museums are great for our local community: they bring people together, they attract tourists, they create jobs, and they help keep our cities and our communities vibrant places to call home,” said Minister Rodriguez, adding the announcement marks the second-largest cultural investment in Ontario.

“The decision to move the collection to the water’s edge was a courageous dream that the board and the team at the canoe museum had,” said Minister Monsef. “And, you get your courage knowing the community has got your back. The community that has wrapped around the canoe museum is from coast to coast to coast. And, the story of how we’ve gotten here is a success story that I hope we all continue to tell and retell because this is how big dreams come to life.”

The new museum will be built next to the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway – both National Historic Sites. This is thanks to a partnership with Parks Canada and Williams Treaties First Nations. Together, we are creating a world-class cultural and recreational destination right here in Peterborough.

Unveiled for the first time publicly, was a fly-through video of the new museum.

MPP Dave Smith, Warden J. Murray Jones and Mayor Diane Therrien also brought greetings. The Government of Ontario has invested $9 million in the new museum project; the County of Peterborough has committed $500,000; and the City of Peterborough has committed $4 million.

The project’s lead private donor, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, has committed $7.5 to support the museum’s move to the water’s edge.

The construction of the new museum will be supported by a $65 million fund raising campaign.

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The Canadian Canoe Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on the Treaty 20 Michi Saagiig territory and the traditional territory covered by the Williams Treaties First Nations. The Canadian Canoe Museum also recognizes the contributions of Indigenous Peoples including First Nations, Inuit and Métis, in shaping this community and country as a whole.

As an organization that stewards the world’s largest and most significant collection of canoes, kayaks & paddled watercraft, we will honour and share the cultural histories and stories within the collection in all that we do.

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