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National museums of Canada

The national museums of Canada are a system of nine national museums operated by the federal Government of Canada. The national museums are centres of preservation, exhibition and research of Canada's human and natural history.



The concept of a "National Museum" in Canada had its beginnings on May 16, 1856, when the government of the Province of Canada authorized the Geological Survey of Canada to establish a Geological Museum in Montreal (then, the capital of the province). Once moved to Ottawa, the museum's scope gradually expanded; the National Museum of Canada was officially created from the Museum Branch of the federal Department of Mines on January 5, 1927.

National Museums of Canada CorporationsEdit

The National Museums of Canada Corporation (NMC) was created in 1967. It included: The National Gallery of Canada Corporation, the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, the Canadian Museum of Nature Corporation, and the National Museum of Science and Technology Corporation (now the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation). The Canadian Conservation Institute, the Museum Assistance Program, The National Museum Library, and other miscellaneous museum and administrative offices were also under the NMC umbrella. The corporation was formalized under The National Museums Act which took effect on 1 April 1968. The NMC operated until 1988.[1]

Present DayEdit

There are currently nine museums included in the national museums system.[2] Of these nine, seven are located in the National Capital Region, one in Western Canada, and one in Atlantic Canada. Five of the museums are incorporated as independent crown corporations that report to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. A sixth crown corporation, Ingenium, is the parent of the three museums focused on the applied sciences. The Canadian War Museum is a subsidiary of the Canadian Museum of History.

Image Museum Location Established Structure
  Canada Agriculture and Food Museum Ottawa, Ontario 1983 Part of Ingenium
  Canada Aviation and Space Museum Ottawa, Ontario 1982 Part of Ingenium
  Canada Science and Technology Museum Ottawa, Ontario 1967 Part of Ingenium
  Canadian Museum for Human Rights Winnipeg, Manitoba 2014 Independent Crown Corporation
  Canadian Museum of History Gatineau, Quebec 1856 Independent Crown Corporation
  Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 Halifax, Nova Scotia 2011 Independent Crown Corporation
  Canadian Museum of Nature Ottawa, Ontario 1968 Independent Crown Corporation
  Canadian War Museum Ottawa, Ontario 1942 Subsidiary of Canadian Museum of History
  National Gallery of Canada Ottawa, Ontario 1880 Independent Crown Corporation

There are many other museums and heritage facilities owned or operated by the federal government that are not considered national museums. These include many National Historic Sites, operated by Parks Canada; the Bank of Canada Museum, operated by the Bank of Canada, and Canada's Penitentiary Museum, operated by the Correctional Service of Canada.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bothwell, Robert (2009). "National Museums of Canada". Museums, Galleries and Archives. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
  2. ^

External linksEdit