Oh Canada! Celebrating our history

Posted: July 2, 2013 - 16:16 , by Kelvin Browne
Buffalo Seed by Jane Ash Poitras

Recently, the Hon. James Moore, federal Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced the creation of a new initiative: Canada History Week. Its goal is to help make history more accessible to all Canadians and particularly to youth.

It is only fitting that we should mark this occasion starting Canada Day, July 1. For already on this day, across the country, millions of people joined in gatherings both large and small to celebrate this country, its history, its diversity, and its values.

It doesn’t take much to convince us at the ROM that history deserves celebration, examination, and remembrance. It is what we do. And we are doing it now in new ways: Recently the ROM announced that we have begun the process of organizing access to our collections differently, making it easier for our audiences to engage and explore. Central to this idea is the creation of Centres of Discovery, broad and exciting themes that stretch across the full breadth of our collections, highlighting all that is relevant.

Among the primary themes to be represented is… Canada. Whether it is in our archaeological work in the Burgess Shale, our extensive First People’s collections, our amazing geological content, our paintings, our textiles and costumes, to name only a few, the ROM will be clustering this disparate yet related content. We will be doing it in ways that will enable visitors to the museum and to the ROM website to learn and examine our history in a living and complete way. It is a big task and we will be working on it for quite awhile. The work though has commenced and we invite you to check out the first steps on our new Canada Centre of Discovery page on the ROM website. Although just underway, it already opens many doors to our collection and to our curators and their expertise and knowledge.

Also on our website, visit our Activities and Programs pages to see the kind of daily programming we offer that is all about Canada and Canadiana. Among the events are expert-led tours almost every day, ongoing exhibits and more.

Make sure you check out the special public event on Saturday, July 13: Inspired by the themes so spectacularly explored in the ongoing Sebastião Salgado exhibition Genesis, the ROM is hosting Our Home & Native Land: Canadian Biodiversity Before & After Contact. It is an exclusive and intimate workshop including in-depth tours of the First Peoples Gallery and the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity, and rare hands-on examinations of artifacts from various regions and cultures of First Peoples across Canada.

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