VICTORIA, British Columbia, February 21, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced the signing of a partnership agreement between the future Canadian Museum of History and the Royal BC Museum. This is the first in a series of partnership agreements that will allow the new Canadian Museum of History to fulfill its mandate.
"I am delighted to see the efforts being made to create links between museums across the country," said Minister Moore. "Canada has many great museums that showcase particular aspects of our country's history, and these collections are of interest for people across the country. On the road to Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, let us celebrate all of the things that make Canada the united, strong, and free country we are today."
These partnership agreements will increase collaboration in producing and presenting exhibitions and programs across Canada. They will give Canadians from coast to coast to coast the chance to benefit from the collections safeguarded by museums across the country, and will help enhance Canadians' knowledge and understanding of our shared history. As a partner, the Royal BC Museum will have access to important pieces from the Canadian Museum of History's collection, which includes some three and a half million items. The new museum will also have the benefit of regional perspectives from partners like the Royal BC Museum.
"The Royal BC Museum is an outstanding museum, and I am both pleased and honoured that they have accepted to join this newly created network of history museums," said Mark O'Neill, President and CEO, Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. "Our two museums have a history of great collaborations, and I look forward to many more fruitful endeavours together."
"We are pleased to be forging a strategic partnership with the Canadian Museum of History," said Professor Jack Lohman, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal BC Museum. "Working with a network of the country's top history museums allows us to increase our audiences, develop innovative new programs, share expertise, grow our staff, and maximize resources and impact."
The Government of Canada is an occasional funding partner of the Royal BC Museum, through programs of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
On October 16, 2012, Minister Moore announced the Government of Canada's intention to create the Canadian Museum of History.
The new Museum will highlight the national achievements and accomplishments that have shaped our country, including the "Last Spike" from the construction of the Canada Pacific Railway, Maurice "Rocket" Richard's hockey jersey and items from Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope. Through existing resources and new partnerships with museums across Canada, the Canadian Museum of History will renovate over 50,000 square feet of public space. This renovation, to be completed before Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, will provide the public with the opportunity to appreciate how Canada's identity has been shaped over the course of our history.
The future Canadian Museum of History is seeking input from Canadians on the major themes, events, and accomplishments that have shaped our country. So far, approximately 20,000 people have shared their ideas by participating in an online forum (www.civilization.ca/myhistorymuseum/) and in public engagement sessions in nine Canadian cities.
The Museum is leading the establishment of a nation-wide museum network that will greatly enhance the production and reach of exhibitions focusing on Canadian history.
The creation of a pan-Canadian network of history museums will provide greater access to our heritage and our shared history, allowing Canadians from coast to coast to coast to benefit from the exquisite collections safeguarded by museums across the country. Partnership agreements will allow artifacts and collections, which might otherwise be stored in the museums vaults, to circulate between partnering institutions.
The network will promote collaboration and co-productions, the sharing of artifacts, the development of new online projects and tools, and the exchange of professional expertise. The ultimate goal is to enhance public understanding of Canadian history from both a national and regional perspective, and to foster a common sense of identity throughout the country.
Through the network, museums across the country will have a national showcase in the new Canadian Museum of History, which will devote a permanent space to exhibitions produced by network members.
In addition, the Government of Canada is supporting museums through the Museums Assistance Program and the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program. These programs will also continue to work with museums and galleries across the country to offer maximum opportunities to Canadians to enjoy access to international and Canadian treasures.
The Museums Assistance Program funds projects to provide access to heritage, facilitate the circulation and borrowing of exhibitions, promote and preserve Aboriginal heritage, and help in the professional management of Canada's historical legacy.
Recently, the Government of Canada doubled the financial capacity of the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program in Economic Action Plan 2012 to $3 billion. This program helps Canadian museums and art galleries reduce their insurance costs when hosting major exhibitions. It has two objectives: to increase access for Canadians to Canada's and the world's heritage through the exchange of artifacts and exhibitions in Canada; and to provide Canadian art galleries, museums, archives, and libraries with a competitive advantage when competing for the loan of prestigious international exhibitions.