This week The Canadian Canoe Museum was given the opportunity to provide Peterborough City Council, sitting as Finance Committee, with a progress update on the new museum.

Just over one year ago, Council made a $4 million commitment to the new museum. This incredible investment demonstrated strong support and local leadership – and was a precursor to others from the County of Peterborough in March, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation in May, and The Dalglish Family Foundation in November.

We are incredibly grateful.

We are also confident in the project, its purpose, its timelines and the benefits it will bring to the city, the county, the province and the country.

The project is progressing with increasing momentum every day, and these updates, as shared with Council by Executive Director Carolyn Hyslop, are the highlights of the journey right now.

We’re pleased to share them here.Funding Updates with funders logos


Funding: On the provincial funding front, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the museum have a Transfer Payment Agreement for up to $9 million over three years. The agreement was executed last year, and we received $2 million in 2018. We are into the second year of the agreement, and we have just received an additional $500,000 payment. We are working closely with our colleagues at the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

On the federal funding front, the Government of Canada committed $1.4 million to Phase One of the project. We have an open application for funding to support Phase Two of the project through the Department of Canadian Heritage. We are working closely with our colleagues there, and we know that Minister Monsef strongly supports this application. We understand that she has communicated her support to The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.

Last but certainly not least, on the private fundraising front, we continue to work with lead donors locally and across the country. There is incredible interest in, and support for this project as we work to ensure that our collection and all of its stories, are preserved and protected for generations to come. There are significant lead donor announcements on the horizon. But in the interim, we are very pleased to report that we have surpassed 50 per cent of our $65 million capital campaign goal, and we have many more lead donor conversations in progress.

Economic Impact chart

Economic Impact: Last year, we were able to update the economic impact of the project. The museum’s operations and its redevelopment project will have an overall economic impact on Peterborough estimated to be $111.3 million and the equivalent of 1,059 jobs by the time the museum opens in 2022.

Sustainability - annual visitorsSustainability: We also updated our Business Plan last year, based on an average of 87,000 visitors annually – more than three times the current admission. Financial stability is a key driver for the museum and the new museum allows for greater diversification of revenue sources.

National Council: Our new National Council is a group of distinguished individuals who are champions of the work of the organization. These 32 individuals from across Canada and beyond, are lending their names in support of the museum’s ambitious agenda, and serve as special advisors. This illustrious group is growing.

The Planning Process

The Planning Process: The fourth and final planning phase is underway. We’ve completed the detailed design and are currently working on construction documents. It is anticipated that the construction documents will be ready in the spring. All is moving ahead well with the plan to have tender end of Q1/early Q2 and the go-ahead by the end of Q2. Meanwhile, the Building Committee, which will oversee the construction of the museum, has been mobilized.

Exhibit Design - New Museum

Exhibit Design: Exhibit Design, a crucial component of the making of a museum, is also well underway with world-class exhibit design firm GSM Project. The Interpretive Plan, the foundational document that will inform exhibit design is complete, and we will be moving forward with the next stages of exhibit design in 2019.

2018 Educational Highlights

2018 Educational Highlights: Our education program is going strong and in 2018, we welcomed more than 5,000 students to the museum. In addition, students from as far away as Argentina, India and Vietnam, were among the more than 3,000 learners from 10 countries who connected to our educators via Skype as part of its virtual field trip program.

2019 is going to be a busy year! Our board, staff and volunteers are working hard on current operations, the capital campaign and the making of a new museum. Ground breaking is anticipated for the summer, and we look forward to working toward it in partnership.