The new museum is vital to the care of this world-class collection and the realization of all that it can inspire. A collection of this calibre deserves the very best possible home – to preserve, promote and protect, and to foster skills and traditions for generations to come.
At the core of the new museum will be the Exhibition Galleries and Collection Centre – spaces totalling 20,000 square feet. For the first time, the entire collection will be on site and accessible as part of the visitor experience.
- Exhibition Galleries – Approximately 20,000 square feet of Class A (curatorial standard) exhibit space expected to feature thematic exhibition zones.
- Collection Centre – Approximately 20,000 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, as well as small artifacts storage.
Visitors will also see and hear Indigenous languages and voices from the moment they enter the Museum, with the local Michi Saagig dialect of Anishnaabemowin used throughout the building and within its exhibits alongside English and French, with additional Indigenous languages featured in relation to specific watercraft.
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
Before us, is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design and develop exhibits for this collection of national scope and significance. This new suite of exhibits will determine how the stories the collection carries will be presented to all those who visit.
With this opportunity, we realize and accept our responsibility. We must, and we will honour the cultural histories and stories within the collection. Guided by the canoes in our collection, we will be reaching out across the country to consult, and to build relationships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals and communities.
As we work to shape the exhibits for the new museum, we will create the conditions for collaboration, and the foundation for long-term relationships. These reciprocal relationships are the new beginnings that will chart the course for every facet of the Museum’s future.
A critically important component of this work, we will be broadening and deepening our collaborative relations with Indigenous Peoples.
The Museum’s curatorial staff team is working with experts, thought leaders, and community members from coast to coast to coast to ensure that the collection is experienced to its fullest in the new exhibit spaces.
CCM Exhibits Design Team
Jeremy Ward (Curator) • Dr. Laura Peers (Exhibits Project Manager) • Beth Stanley (Associate Curator) • MaryJane Proulx (Exhibits Project Coordinator) • Karen Taylor (Director of Programs) • Carolyn Hyslop (Executive Director)
As part of our commitment to collaborative relations, the Museum is beginning to work directly with eight Indigenous communities and with an emerging Indigenous museum professional to ensure that Indigenous knowledges, perspectives, and voices are directly represented in the exhibitions and educational programming. We will be announcing these roles shortly.
Exhibits Design Firm
The Museum has also partnered with GSM Project, following a nationwide search process. The firm is working alongside staff to create truly unique visitor experiences. The Museum has joined GSM Project’s repertoire of more than 1,000 exhibit designs in more than 120 cities worldwide. GSM Project was the lead designer of the new Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History – the largest exhibition about Canadian history ever developed.
Learn more about our exhibit design process and our approach to collaborative relations here.
The development and installation of the exhibits are funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
Le développement et l’installation des expositions sont financés en partie par le gouvernement du Canada par l’intermédiaire de l’Agence fédérale de développement économique pour le sud de l’Ontario.
Design & Build News
Photo: Our team has begun transferring canoes and kayaks to the new Collection Hall. On the left, empty racks line one of the five aisles, while canoes and kayaks fill the right side from floor to ceiling. Once complete, the Collection Hall will be home to more than...
2023 The Canadian Canoe Museum seeks leadership volunteers | 2023 Le musée Canadien du canot cherche des bénévoles pour des postes de leadership
Background The Canadian Canoe Museum, located on the Traditional Territory of the Williams Treaties First Nations, in Peterborough, Ontario, stewards the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks, and paddled watercraft. More than 600 in number and with a...
Sharing Inuit Knowledge and Language: A Partnership between The Canadian Canoe Museum and Iqaluit’s Qajakkut Society
Photo: Elder Eemeelayou Arnaquq writes Inuktitut words relating to the qajaq on chart paper. As an organization that stewards the world’s largest and most significant collection of canoes, kayaks & paddled watercraft, The Canadian Canoe Museum honours and shares...
Canadian Canoe Museum Sets Grand Opening Celebrations for Spring 2024 | Les célébrations pour l’ouverture officielle du nouveau Musée canadien du canot auront lieu au printemps 2024
The Museum continues to reach significant moving and fundraising milestones.Photo: The Canadian Canoe Museum will embark on new adventures at its lakefront location along Little Lake in Peterborough, ON when it opens in this winter with exciting new visitor...
In the Media (kawarthaNOW): New Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough will grow regional tourism and the local economy
kawarthaNOW editorial August 12, 2023 "As The Canadian Canoe Museum awaits the completion of its new state-of-the-art facility on the shores of Little Lake and begins the monumental project of relocating its world-class collection of paddled watercraft, it’s becoming...
CBC News, Radio & The National August 4, 2023 "It's a portage unlike any other. Hundreds of canoes belonging to the Canadian Canoe Museum — some as long as a transport trailer — are being moved from their previous location in a former outboard motor factory in...
The campus will feature a Gathering Circle, a Canoe House, an accessible boardwalk, two seasonal canoe docks, and an adaptive canoe and kayak launch. Photo: Jeremy Ward (Curator), Rodger Wright (Fundraising Cabinet volunteer), Carolyn Hyslop (Executive Director), Stu...
How to make a big impact with a not-so-big impact to your wallet!Photo: Graphic that reads "2023 The Year of The Canoe Museum!" overlaid on a photo of our new museum site's waterfront taken from a canoe. Down the left side, 3 other photos are overlaid.Photo 1: Carolyn...
Steady progress has been made, but industry-wide construction challenges have delayed the Museum’s opening to late summer or early fall.A photo of the new Canadian Canoe Museum on 2077 Ashburnham Drive under construction, taken January 20, 2023.2023 will begin a new...