Ottawa to rebrand Museum of Civilization, focus more on Canadian history
Published Tuesday, October 16, 2012 1:06PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 16, 2012 1:24PM EDT
The federal government is rebranding the Canadian Museum of Civilization, shifting the focus from civilizations around the world to Canada's own history and achievements.
Heritage Minister James Moore announced the change Tuesday at the museum, which sits across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, in Gatineau, Que. He said the government will introduce legislation to rename the country's largest museum the Canadian Museum of History
Moore said the transition is in anticipation of 2017, which will mark 150 years of Confederation.
"It offers us an unprecedented opportunity to celebrate our history and those achievements that define who we are as Canadians," Moore said in a statement. "Canadians deserve a national museum of history that tells our stories and presents our country's treasures to the world."
The move appears to be part of a broader strategy by the government to focus on Canadian history and achievements. The government's recent campaign to raise awareness of Canada's role in the War of 1812 is another recent example.
The statement said the new Canadian Museum of History will highlight major milestones throughout Canada's history, such as the completion of the Canada Pacific Railway and 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 transformation will cost $25 million and funds will be drawn from the existing budget for Canadian Heritage, therefore "will come at no additional cost to taxpayers." The renovations will be complete, Moore said, by Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.
The Canadian Museum of Civilization was previous known as the National Museum of Man, before being re-branded in 1986 with its current title and focus.
It's unclear what will be done with exhibits at the museum that don't fit the new mandate, but according to one report they will be moved to other museums across Canada.
While many of the current exhibitions are already Canadian in nature, there is also a permanent exhibit on Mayan civilization, as well as one focusing on “Amazing Caves” around the world.
As part of the transition, the government says it will launch a new website to seek input from people across Canada on the major events and accomplishments they believe have shaped the country.