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 more than 40,000 square feet. For the first time, the entire collection will be on site and accessible as part of the visitor experience.
- Exhibition Galleries – Approximately 21,000 square feet of Class A (curatorial standard) exhibit space expected to feature up to 10 exhibition zones, including a dedicated temporary exhibit zone.
- 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.
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. An active Exhibit Design Committee, chaired by Dianne Lister, who is also a museum board member, includes volunteer experts and advisors who have come together to inform the exhibit design direction. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the decision-making process.
Exhibit Design Committee: Dianne Lister (Chair) • Victoria Grant (Vice Chair) • Jamie Benidickson • Robin Binèsi Cavanagh • Rob Clark • Darren Keith • Deb Scott • Dale Standen • Beth Stanley • Jeremy Ward
Ex-officio: John Ronson • Carolyn Hyslop • Alicia Doris • Karen Taylor • Richard Tucker
The museum has partnered with GSM Project, following a nationwide search process. The firm is working alongside staff and the Exhibit Design Committee 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.
Find out more about our exhibit design process, and our approach to collaborative relations, here.
Design & Build News
Capital campaign receives a $500,000 gift from Toronto-based philanthropists George and Kathy Dembroski
The museum’s outdoor terrace, a gathering space that connects interior and exterior, to be named in recognition of the gift The Canadian Canoe Museum is pleased to announce that George and Kathy Dembroski have made a $500,000 commitment to its capital...read more
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...read more
An anonymous out-of-province donor, who believes in the power of the canoe to connect Canadians, has invested $1.25M to support the Canadian Canoe Museum’s move to the water’s edge. This generous gift is the first of its magnitude to be received from a donor outside...read more
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...read more
The following is an introductory blog written by Robin Binèsi Cavanagh, who has recently joined the museum in the new role of Director of Indigenous Peoples’ Collaborative Relations. I did not understand the significance of my birthplace until my late twenties. I was...read more
Dalglish Family Foundation announces $1.2M investment in the future of The Canadian Canoe Museum at the water’s edge
New museum’s 1.5-acre green roof to be named in recognition of generous gift The Canadian Canoe Museum is thrilled to announce that the Dalglish Family Foundation has made a $1.2 million commitment to its capital campaign – a significant investment in the future of...read more
The Canadian Canoe Museum is pleased to introduce its National Council – a group of distinguished individuals who are champions of the work of the organization, past, present and future. These 32 individuals from across Canada and beyond, are lending their names in...read more
Nearly two decades ago, the fledgling Canadian Canoe Museum set out on a journey to develop 20,000 square feet of exhibits for nine, newly-created galleries within its renovated factory setting. Among the many remarkable people who were part of that team...read more
REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST PROCESS The Canadian Canoe Museum stewards the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft. This collection, with its more than 600 watercraft, inspires connection, curiosity and new understanding. We are...read more
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation invests $7.5 million in The Canadian Canoe Museum’s new facility at the water’s edge An historic $7.5M gift from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation for our new home at the water's edge marks the largest known private one-time gift to a...read more