The Exhibits

Exhibit Development

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 Indigenous Languages Program is supported by TD Ready Commitment


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

Truth & Reconciliation: A Report Back to Our Community

Truth & Reconciliation: A Report Back to Our Community

Today, September 30th is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day here in Canada. This day honours all the First Nation, Metis, and Inuit children who were taken from their homes and forced to attend residential schools – the survivors and those...

Governor General grants patronage to The Canadian Canoe Museum

Governor General grants patronage to The Canadian Canoe Museum

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada. (Photo by Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall © OSGG-BSGG, 2021)The Canadian Canoe Museum (CCM) is honoured to announce that Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon,...

Connecting Canoes & Their Stories: Victor Adams’ Eagle Dugout Canoe

Connecting Canoes & Their Stories: Victor Adams’ Eagle Dugout Canoe

MaryJane (MJ) Proulx is shown digitizing the slides involved and photographing each slide with a DSLR camera on a light board. At The Canadian Canoe Museum (CCM), each watercraft carries a story of how it came into the collection. A Haida dugout canoe, housed at the...

Including Indigenous Languages in the new Canadian Canoe Museum

Including Indigenous Languages in the new Canadian Canoe Museum

Voices, languages and perspectives from Indigenous communities will be an integral part of the Canadian Canoe Museum’s new building and exhibitions. Recently we invited Waaseya-Kwe [Bright Light Woman, Turtle Clan] Kim Muskratt, a citizen of Hiawatha First Nation, one...


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