Campus lecture explores the making of the Canadian History Hall

By Costa Maragos Posted: March 28, 2017 10:30 a.m.

This artist’s drawing shows an area of the Canadian History Hall, which opens July 1, 2017. It is the largest project undertaken by the Canadian Museum of History.
This artist’s drawing shows an area of the Canadian History Hall, which opens July 1, 2017. It is the largest project undertaken by the Canadian Museum of History. Photo courtesy of Canadian History Hall

Here’s a challenge: How do you tell the history of Canada – over 15,000 years of stories – in a national museum?

Welcome to the Canadian History Hall, set to open July 1, 2017. Fittingly, opening day coincides with Canada’s 150th birthday.

The making of the Hall, housed within the Canadian Museum of History in the Ottawa area, is a story unto itself and will be told on campus Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Leblanc museum
Lisa Leblanc is director of creative development and learning at the Canadian History Hall. Her talk at the U of R will focus on how the exhibition was shaped.
The guest speaker is Lisa Leblanc, director of creative development and learning at the Canadian History Hall.

“My talk will provide an overview of the Canadian History Hall and will focus primarily on how we shaped the exhibition, who we spoke with, and who we designed it for,” says Leblanc.

The History Hall project began in 2012. Museum researchers and designers worked with and sought feedback from Canadians across the country.

The museum, located in Gatineau, Quebec, across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, is 3,700  square metres  and separated into three galleries. Within those galleries are 18 chapters that tell Canada’s stories.

Visitors will have access to dozens of interactive elements and maps, digital productions and custom illustrations. The Hall will feature 1,200 images and 1,500 artifacts.

It is the largest project undertaken by the Canadian Museum of History.

“We are looking to ensure that the Hall is meaningful to Canadians, and that they feel connected to its stories, so we spoke to and consulted with many people across the country, from visitors, to stakeholders, to experts, and communities,” says Leblanc.

Leblanc’s talk is part of the Department of History’s “Canada 150 Lecture Series,” marking Canada’s sesquicentennial.

“While the Canadian History Hall is structured to tell a national story, one that is comprised of multiple stories, and as such we do not dive into regional or local histories, Saskatchewan does feature quite prominently in the latter half of Gallery 2, Colonial Canada,” says Leblanc.
History Hall
The Canadian History Hall was designed by Douglas Cardinal, who also designed First Nations University of Canada.

“We feature stories related to the birth of the Métis within the fur trade, then of course, as related to the 1885 Rebellions and the hanging of Louis Riel, and also as part of the settlement of the prairies at the turn of the 20th century.”

Following her lecture, Leblanc will take questions from the audience. Her talk is free and open to the public.
 
The Canada 150 Lecture Series is organized by the department of history and generously supported by the Office of the President and the faculty of arts at the University of Regina.
 
Event:   Making the Canadian History Hall
Date:    Thursday, March 30
Venue:  Education Building – Room 191
Time:     7:30 p.m.