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October 13, 2016

A New Exhibit on the “Applebox Belles”

Applebox Belles

Meet the belles of the early apple-packing industry in British Columbia. Known by names such as the Summer Girls, and the champion “Apple Wrapper Flappers,” these determined women became the workforce of the packinghouses — sorting, wrapping, packing, and stamping. They transformed a routine job into a highly skilled profession over the course of a half-century, until technological changes altered their roles. The exhibit was developed by the Lake Country Museum and Archives.

Applebox Belles: The Women of Lake Country’s Packinghouses


October 4, 2016

New Community Memories Exhibits in Development

New virtual exhibits created by community museums and heritage organizations across Canada will soon be online following the last call for proposals for Community Memories projects. The 21 winning projects are listed below. Congratulations to all!

Note: Some titles are subject to change.

Bingo Hauser – Trading Fur for Iron

The Carnival Museum

Mid-20th century carnivals underwent profound change as fairgoers demanded more thrill rides. As a result, live performances, the mainstay of early carnivals, went into a slow decline, becoming less profitable. Trading Fur for Iron follows the evolution of modern carnivals through the life of lion-tamer Bingo Hauser, one of Canada’s greatest showmen.

Captain A. Roy Brown – A Reluctant Hero

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

This exhibit showcases the life of First World War flying ace Captain A. Roy Brown (1893–1944), a major figure in Canadian aviation history. Twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross while flying with the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Air Force, he was a skilled combat pilot and an acknowledged leader among his fellow airmen.

Chilliwack’s Chinatowns – A History

Chilliwack Museum and Archives

This exhibit follows dual trials of arson in 1921 and 1934 in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Based on the book by historian-detective Chad Reimer, Chilliwack’s Chinatowns profiles the historical characters and stories that shaped the city’s two Chinatowns before and after the devastating fires, and brings to life accounts of success, labour, leisure and family in Chinatown North and Chinatown South.

Coast Mountain Gothic – A History of the Gothic-Arch Mountain Hut

Whistler Museum

During the 1960s, the British Columbia Mountaineering Club designed and built a series of gothic-arch-shaped shelters to support alpine adventures in the Coast Mountain wilderness. The huts proved so successful that other outdoor clubs soon began to replicate them. Today, more than 20 of these huts have been built, serving as home base for a prolific array of adventures. This exhibit recounts the ingenious design, aesthetic charms, and rich mountain lore associated with these modest yet iconic structures.

Eel Fishing on the South Shore

Musée de la mémoire vivante

First Nations practiced eel fishing long before the arrival of the first colonists in New France. Because of the knowledge passed down by Aboriginals, the Côte-du-Sud region is home to a large number of historical eel-fishing fascines. Fishing techniques and the use of eels from early times to the present day will be explored in this exhibition via first-hand accounts.

Fernie’s Italian Pioneer Heritage (1880s to 1921)

Fernie Museum

This is the story of Italian immigrants who came to southeastern British Columbia’s Elk Valley to work in the rapidly developing industries of railway construction and coal mining. Although many suffered discrimination, they were determined to make a place for themselves and their families. This exhibit is also a reminder of the important contribution of the Italian community to the building of Fernie, as well as to the building of British Columbia and Canada.

Gold Rush: Stories of Big Mines and a Little Town Called Malartic

Musée minéralogique de Malartic

This story of the town of Malartic is a remarkable tale of two gold rushes, the displacement of two entire communities and a national mining tragedy. It willchronicle the 75 year history of a mining town that bears the marks of both the mine’s past and its future.

Growing Pains: The 1867 Crisis at Kingston General Hospital

Museum of Health Care at Kingston

This exhibit will recount a little-known event in Canadian history. In 1867, when an administrative error deprived hospitals of ongoing funding, and several hospitals were forced to close. The exhibit will describe how Kingston General Hospital faced the crisis and will illustrate how health care in the hospital of yesterday differs from health care in the hospital of today.

Hamilton’s Nine Hour League and the Nine Hour League Parade of 1872

Workers Arts and Heritage Centre

On May 15, 1872, in the streets of Hamilton, large crowds jostled to watch the hundreds of workers who bravely took to the streets and marched through the city. On that day, Hamilton’s Nine Hour League and its 1872 parade signified a new way for workers to make their voices heard in the fight for a nine-hour workday and other workers’ rights. This exhibit will recount that historic event and show how the effects of the movement can still be felt today.

Life is an Expedition – Travelling Wemindji Cree Lands and Waters

Cree Nation of Wemindji, Culture and Wellness Department

Our Wemindji ancestors depended on their traditional Cree knowledge to survive, as they traveled our lands in every season to hunt and fish. Today we undertake different journeys while still respecting the old ways. This exhibit’s stories of travel and change introduce the Cree Nation of Wemindji, past and present.

On the Down Beat – 70 Years of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra

Niagara Symphony Orchestra

Presented as part of the celebrations of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra’s 70th anniversary season in 2017–2018, this exhibit will trace the Orchestra’s development from a community ensemble founded in 1948, to a fully professional regional orchestra.

Rivière des Prairies and Rivière des Mille Îles: Their Impact on Regional Development

Centre d’archives de Laval

The Rivière des Prairies and Rivière des Mille Îles waterways have had a major impact on the lives of the residents of Jésus Island in the City of Laval, near Montréal. Over the years, the two rivers have had considerable influence on the economy and on recreational activities. This exhibition shows how the rivers have reflected the development of Laval’s communities.

Sir John A. and Lady Macdonald and Les Rochers, Their Summer Residence

Héritage canadien du Québec

Did you know that Sir John A. Macdonald — Canada’s first prime minister and one of the Fathers of Confederation — made Rivière-du-Loup the “Summer Capital of Canada”? Between 1872 and 1890, he and his wife spent every summer at their residence named Les Rochers. In its heyday, the house welcomed a parade of notable figures, but was later more or less forgotten. This exhibition helps visitors explore the property and its surroundings, along with the daily lives of the Macdonalds.

60th Anniversary of the Grimsby Co-Operative Housing Project – Homes and a Community Built by Owners

Grimsby Museum

The Grimsby Co-operative Housing Project is based on the Co-Operative Housing movement initiated in Nova Scotia. In the early 1950s, 200 families from Hamilton, Ontario, seeking to own their own homes, completed the Movement’s initial requirements. Among the original 200, 59 decided to build in Grimsby. The first homes were constructed from 1955 to 1956 and, 60 years later, some of the Project’s original members still live there. This exhibit focuses on the Co-operative Housing Movement, as demonstrated in the Grimsby experience.

The Footwear Industry in Contrecœur

Culture C

For many years, the footwear industry drove the economy in Contrecœur. Supported by the Papin, Charron and Cook families, it was an active employer from 1883 to 2004. Through photographs, documents and videotaped interviews, you will discover what life was like inside the factories and how footwear adapted to the new realities of the 20th century.

The Making of a Small Town – A Glimpse of Lumby’s Pioneers

Lumby and District Historical Society

Imagine what it was like to be a pioneer in a small rural town at the turn of the 20th century. What would your home look like? Where would you work? What would you do for fun? This exhibit travels back in time to explore the lives of three founding pioneer families, describing how their lives influenced the development of today’s Village of Lumby in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

The Story of Ste. Marie II

Museum of Ontario Archaeology

The story of Ste. Marie II is one of struggle, sacrifice, and change during one of the most significant periods in early Canadian history. Although the site was only occupied for one year, the events surrounding its construction, occupation and abandonment are fascinating. Using archaeology, oral history, and historical accounts, the fort and village of Ste. Marie II come to life through this exhibit, which will explore the complex relationships between the Jesuits and the Haudenosaunee and Wendat peoples.

The Verdun Auditorium: A Source of Pride — Past, Present and Future

La Maison Nivard-De Saint-Dizier, musée et site archéologique

Get to know the oldest arena on the island of Montréal, along with key moments in its history. A legendary building in the borough of Verdun, over the past 75 years the Auditorium has hosted numerous events that have been a source of pride to the local community. Its unbelievable story will bring back many memories — some funny, some sad and all surprising.

The Women of Nistawoyou

Nistawoyou Association Friendship Centre

This exhibit highlights the contributions of Aboriginal women leaders, past and present, in the Wood Buffalo Region. Through a century of considerable change, Aboriginal women left their mark on politics, health and the economy as business-owners, midwives, trappers and mentors. Members of a strong matriarchal culture, the women used their talent and ingenuity to play a key role in building vibrant and prosperous communities across the region.

Topography of Grief – Mapping the Great War Dead in London, Ontario (1914–1921)

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

During and after the First World War, neighbourhoods in the city of London, Ontario were converted in places for collective commemoration and remembrance. This exhibit will map the homes of London families who mourned the loss of loved ones killed overseas in 1914–1918, along with cenotaphs and other commemorative sites located throughout the city today.

Town Park – A Community Storybook

Aurora Museum & Archives

Aurora’s historical Town Park is a carefully planned green space that, throughout its history, has been bordered by a mix of residential, industrial and commercial buildings. Through archival material, artifacts and community reminiscences, this exhibit explores the changing characteristics of Town Park, and its role as a community space.


September 28, 2016

Call for Proposals Ends Today

The 2016 Call for Proposals for Virtual Exhibits ends today. Thank you to all who submitted projects.

Next up: Call for Proposals for Community Memories Investment Program opens on October 26.


September 22, 2016

Discover the Stories of Newfoundland’s Migrant Workers

Away from Here

There are times when fishing doesn’t pay the bills, and Placentia West residents — like so many other Newfoundlanders — had to leave their hometown for long periods to find employment. This exhibit features the personal stories of these migrant workers and the families they left behind.

Away from Here


September 13, 2016

St. Lawrence Scavenger Hunt: A Virtual Journey via Stunning Images

St. Lawrence Scavenger Hunt

Did you know that, in the St. Lawrence River, you can actually encounter blue whales — the largest mammals on Earth? Discover the St. Lawrence River through this exciting virtual journey via stunning photographs taken along — and even under — the river’s waters.

St. Lawrence Scavenger Hunt


September 9, 2016

Your Feedback Matters

The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) is hitting the road this fall to hear from representatives from museums and heritage organizations of all sizes. Please join our consultation sessions to share your needs, challenges and opportunities around having greater online presence and to provide feedback on the VMC’s new vision and direction.

The sessions will take place at the:

AMA Conference in Calgary on September 17 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
SMQ Conference in Gatineau on October 4, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m., and from 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. (Sessions will be in French).
BCMA Conference in Whistler on October 12, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., and from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.
AMBHNB Conference in Saint John from October 26 to 28.
OMA Conference in Mississauga from November 2 to 4.

The Fine Print

  • You don’t have to be a conference delegate to participate in the sessions.
  • Participation is free of charge.
  • No preparation is needed.
  • The feedback you provide will remain anonymous in the final analysis and report.

Please register now by contacting Eva Gastelum at or 613-983-5837.

We hope you can join us — the VMC values your input!


September 5, 2016

New exhibit explores the history of nursing education in Canada

Memories of the Women's College Hospital School of Nursing

Explore the history of nursing education in Canada through Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing. The school opened the door for Canadian women in the 20th century to pursue a nursing career. Using oral recollections, writings, and photographs from the hospital’s archives, this exhibit tells the stories of nursing students over a sixty-year period — including the story of the school’s very first student in 1915! Follow in the footsteps of a student nurse: first day of school, first time on the wards, daily life in residence, and the making of friendships that last a lifetime!

Memories of the Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing


August 26, 2016

A new tool to help you submit a proposal

Tutorial video

We’re currently inviting museums and heritage organizations to submit a proposal for online products. All eligible projects are evaluated on a competitive basis.

Having problems getting started? Stuck mid-way? Watch our new tutorial videos! They answer frequently asked questions and provide tips to help you develop a strong proposal.

The deadline for the current call is September 28.

Click here to view videos.


June 22, 2016

Virtual Exhibits : 2016 call for proposals is now open

Create a unique online experience and reach new audiences with the support of the Virtual Exhibits investment program.

Small to large museums and a wide range of heritage organizations are eligible. They could receive an investment of up to $250,000 to create an online product.

The 2016 Call for Proposals is now open. For more information and to submit your project, click here.

Deadline to submit a proposal is September 28, 2016.


June 20, 2016

Approval of 11 new projects confirmed

The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) is investing in 11 new virtual exhibits highlighting Canadian history, heritage and culture through the Virtual Exhibits Investment Program. Now in its 15th year, the program provides museums and heritage organizations with funding to create new online content.

The range of institutions and organizations developing these exhibits reflects the diversity of the country — linguistically, geographically and culturally. From established museums to experimental design initiatives, VMC grant recipients are located across the country.

The projects approved — described below — are all currently in development and will go online between 2018 and 2019 as they are completed.

APPROVED PROJECTS (Note: Some titles are subject to change.)

Archaeo-Saga: The Original People of the Eastern Townships
Sherbrooke Nature and Science Museum

Archaeo-Saga showcases exciting new archaeological discoveries that are making it possible to study Quebec’s earliest peoples, who arrived in the province some 12,000 years ago. The exhibit features a wealth of information that is sure to interest general audiences, as well as experts and educators alike.

Cape Breton Island in Service: Nurses and Tunnellers During the First World War
Beaton Institute

Explore Canada’s involvement in the First World War through the lives and stories of the Cape Breton nurses who treated the sick and wounded in field hospitals, as well as the stories of coal miners who worked as tunnellers overseas. Packed with original archival content, this dynamic and interactive experience is presented in a graphic-narrative style and includes a field hospital re-enactment.

Francophone Life in the Capital, 1867–2017
Centre for Research on French Canadian Culture

Explore the little-known Francophone history of Ottawa in this exhibit. Through 50 events, both large and small, well-known experts reflect upon the dreams, desires and prominence of Ottawa’s Francophone community. This series of events is supported by a unique collection of images, text, sound recordings and film clips.

From Vimy to Juno
Juno Beach Centre

In anticipation of the Centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017 and the upcoming 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019, From Vimy to Juno will bring two nation-defining events to life for a new generation. This large-scale interactive exhibition explores Canada’s role on the world stage from 1914 to 1945 through a rich and immersive virtual environment.

Meeting Places
La Boîte Rouge vif

Enjoy a dynamic virtual encounter with Quebec’s Indigenous and Inuit communities. Aboriginal youth invite visitors into their communities to show their special gathering places, some significant life moments and their favorite cultural activities. A warm, festive and immersive interaction within a cultural milieu whose roots date back thousands of years.

Partners in Design: Understand/Discover/Explore
The Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design

In the late 1920s, two young curators discovered “modern” in Europe and the world changed forever. Partners in Design uses the power of digital experiences to tell the story of Alfred Barr and Philip Johnson and to engage visitors in a conversation about how design affects their lives every day. The experience includes an interactive activity helping visitors to assess the quality of design in their own environments.

Photostories Canada, 1955–1971
National Gallery of Canada

This exhibition will feature images created by some of Canada’s foremost photographers. These unique pictures from the National Film Board’s Still Photography Division reflect an essential chapter in the history and practice of documentary photography in Canada and are an important part of Canada’s visual arts heritage.

Sanaunguabik (The Place Where Things Are Made)
McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Sanaunguabik (The Place Where Things Are Made) is the Inuit name for the print shop in Cape Dorset, where drawings were transformed into prints for sale in the South. In 1992, the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative in Cape Dorset transferred 100,000 drawings and prints to the McMichael Collection in Ontario for preservation and accessibility. This unique exhibit will give Inuit artists, youth and elders a platform to interact with the collection and share their virtual curatorial projects.

Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes
Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston

Some of Canada’s most intriguing and historically rich artifacts lie at the bottom of the Great Lakes, inaccessible to the average Canadian — until now. In this interactive exhibition, visitors will become virtual archaeologists, diving beneath the waves to explore real Canadian shipwrecks, as they learn more about the art and science of underwater archaeology.

Stories from BC’s Salmon Canneries
Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society

Developed in partnership with the North Pacific Cannery and the Canfisco Fishing Company, this exhibit will present fascinating historical information and archival documents related to the salmon-canning industry, along with interactive maps, timelines and a “Build Your Own Cannery” game.

Wilfrid Laurier: Father of Modern Canada
Laurier Museum

Across Canada, numerous streets, bridges, performance halls and even a university bear Wilfrid Laurier’s name. The likeness of this memorable Prime Minister even appears on Canada’s $5 bill. But what do we really know about this important public figure? Discover the man behind the headlines in this fascinating exhibit.


June 15, 2016

New Virtual Exhibit Explores Small Town Canada During War

Exploring Small Town Canada at War

How do you describe the impact of two world wars on small-town Canada? This poignant interactive exhibition shares the powerful and heartbreaking stories of those who served. Through film clips, artifacts and firsthand accounts, discover nearly forgotten stories of the people who helped make history. The exhibit was developed by the Bunker Military Museum.

Exploring Small Town Canada at War


June 6, 2016

A New Exhibit Retraces Salmon Arm’s Massive Civil Evacuation

Flight From the Flames

In the summer of 1998, a runaway forest fire near Silver Creek, BC forced 7,000 people from their homes. Relive this massive civil evacuation — the largest the province had yet seen — through this photographic account. This exhibit by the Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association also shares some of the stories of courage and dedication from those who helped.

Flight From the Flames


April 27, 2016

New Community Memories Exhibit on Inventor and Entrepreneur Forman Hawboldt

Forman Hawboldt – Inventor and Entrepreneur

Find out how one man’s vision, ingenuity and perseverance shaped the future of the small community of Chester, Nova Scotia at the beginning of the 20th century. Forman Hawboldt was an extraordinary inventor, entrepreneur and community builder with many enterprises and achievements to his credits. This exhibit by the Chester Municipal Heritage Society tells his story in details.

Forman Hawboldt – Inventor and Entrepreneur


April 19, 2016

New Community Memories exhibit features our new design

Fish Stories

Les Amis des Jardins de Métis just launched a new exhibit and are the first to use the new design for Community Memories projects.

Fish Stories retraces the history of salmon fishing on the mythical Mitis River in Quebec’s Lower St. Lawrence region. Discover how the Mitis River contributed to the region’s development, changing from a wild paradise to a private one, before becoming a protected salmon river today.

Fish Stories


February 24, 2016

Community Memories Projects: Call for Proposals Ends Today

Today is the last day to submit a proposal for the Community Memories program.

Thank you to all who submitted proposals. Selected projects will be announced in the Spring of 2016.

Next Call for Proposals: Virtual Exhibits Investment Program, in June 2016.


January 26, 2016

“How-To” Webinar on Submitting Proposal for Community Memories Projects

Our recent webinar on how to submit a Community Memories proposal is available on YouTube. We are currently inviting community museums and heritage organizations to submit proposals as part of the Community Memories Investment Program. The deadline for proposals is February 24, 2016.


January 6, 2016

“How-To” Webinar on Submitting Proposal for Community Memories Projects

We are currently inviting community museums and heritage organizations to submit proposals as part of the Community Memories Investment Program.

If you have a great story to share about your community, why not submit a proposal?

Join us on January 20, 2016 for a “How-To” webinar on Google+ Hangout. We’ll explain what we’re looking for in a proposal and answer your questions.

Date: January 20, 2016
Time: 1 p.m. EST
Language: English
Join us on Google+ Hangout or YouTube.

December 18, 2015

Listen to The Soundtrack of Our Lives

The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Take a pleasant stroll through Quebec’s soundscape and listen to the soundtrack of our lives. From nursery rhymes and pop music to the din of factories and the noise of video games, sounds form a backdrop to all of life’s moments, both big and small. They even shed light on the evolution of Quebec society from the last century to the present day. The exhibition is produced by Médiat-Muse.

The Soundtrack of Our Lives


November 30, 2015

Share Your Local Stories Online – The Call for Proposals for Community Memories Projects is now open

Every community has a unique and fascinating history. Share yours with Canadians, as well as online visitors from around the world. The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) is currently inviting community museums and heritage organizations across the country to submit proposals sharing the stories, past and present, of their communities.

A wide range of institutions are eligible for this program, including museums, art galleries, historic houses and sites, libraries, archives, and more.

Click here to learn more or to fill out an application form.

The deadline to submit a proposal is February 24, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.


November 27, 2015

Become part of the Great Canadian Quilt

Narrative Threads: Crafting the Canadian Quilt

Produced by the Textile Museum of Canada in conjunction with local museums across the country, this new exhibit showcases a rich and diverse array of handicrafts and folk art. Explore a wealth of story-rich artifacts, then contribute your own special belongings to one of the most dynamic and distinctive Canadian cultural archives ever created.

Narrative Threads: Crafting the Canadian Quilt


October 28, 2015

New “Community Memories” exhibits in progress

Following the last Call for Proposals for Community Memories virtual exhibits, we’re pleased to announce the new projects in development.

Community Builders: The Organisations, Groups and Fraternities of The Pas

From the Sam Waller Museum

The exhibit has been developed around the local chapters of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, Freemasons, Kinsmen, Knights of Columbus, Lions, Order of the Eastern Star, Rotary, Order of the Royal Purple and Shriners.

A Glimpse of the Guard

From the Firefighters Museum of Calgary

This exhibit takes a close look at the experiences, stories and procedures behind the Calgary Fire Department’s Honour Guard. With a front-facing role of paying tribute to fallen comrades, the Honour Guard acts as ceremonial guards in parades, funerals, weddings, graduations, sporting events and even royal visits.

The Paper Mill Structures: Symbols of Vision and Innovation

From the Destination North Discovery Group

The exhibit focuses on the construction, use and significance of a collection of heritage structures that were previously part of St. Mary’s Paper. It captures the story of Francis H. Clergue, the St. Mary’s founder who transformed late 19th century Sault Ste. Marie through his vision and industrial innovation.

Celebrating Jewish History in Saint John

From the Saint John Jewish Historical Society

This exhibit shows the growth, development and subsequent decline of the Jewish community of Saint John, New Brunswick, from 1783 to the present.

Applebox Belles: The Women of Lake Country’s Packing Houses

From the Lake Country Heritage and Cultural Society

The stories of the Applebox Belles bring you to the heart of the role of women in the early fruit industry and their influence on packing house work in a thriving central Okanagan community. The pioneers, the Summer Girls and the champion Apple Wrapper Flappers are celebrated through stories, vintage photographs and personal recollections.

Memories of the Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing

From the Miss Margaret Robins Archives of Women’s College Hospital

This exhibit is an introduction to the history of nursing education in Canada through the story of the Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing, which operated from 1915 to 1975. Using historical material from the hospital’s archives, accompanied by the oral recollections of its former students, the exhibit tells the stories of Sarah Jane Glenn — the school’s first student, of student life in the residence and of the friendships formed during training.

Cobourg’s Harbour: A Story of Small-Town Ontario, Settlers to Sailors, Car Ferries to Condos

From the Cobourg Museum Foundation

From its humble beginnings as an open swampy shore, Cobourg Harbour has over 200 years of stories to tell, reflecting the industrial and social development typical of southern Ontario, but with a unique twist. Historical photographs, news clippings, vintage film and interviews with the citizens of today reveal the harbour’s rich history.

Away From Here

From the Placentia West Heritage Committee

This exhibit focuses on how the need for employment and the need to supplement fishing income led Newfoundlanders, in particular those from Placentia West, to go away from their homes for long periods of time. The exhibit shares the very personal stories and memories of migrant workers and the families they left behind.

World War I – A Commemoration of Residents From Trinity and Area

From the Lester-Garland House

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in July 2016, the Lester-Garland House is refreshing their recounting of the stories of the men and women of Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador who served, and those who preserved the home front during the First World War.

Forman Hawboldt – Entrepreneur and Inventor

From the Chester Municipal Heritage Society

By highlighting Forman Hawboldt’s many enterprises and achievements, this exhibit tells the story of how one man’s vision, ingenuity and perseverance shaped the future of a small rural Nova Scotia community at the beginning of the 20th century.

Flight From the Flames

From the Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association

In 1998, the Silver Creek Fire — a runaway forest fire — caused the largest civil evacuation British Columbia had seen. Seven thousand people were forced from their homes while the Princess Patricia Light Infantry — along with other community firefighters, the RCMP, Search and Rescue, and the BC Ambulance Service — were enlisted to help. This exhibit tells their stories.

Memories of Fraser Manor

From the Manoir seigneurial Fraser

Fraser Manor played an important role in the development of Rivière-du-Loup and the surrounding region. In this exhibit, the words of the people who lived in the manor, and of those who worked to preserve it, trace its rich and captivating history.

The Village of Fatima, Its Inhabitants, and Its Institutions

By the Comité de revitalisation du village de Fatima

This exhibit focuses on the history of the village of Fatima, the last place to be settled on the Magdalen Islands. It covers every aspect of the village: its geography, its founding families, its architecture, its place names, and even its folk tales and legends.

Saint-Pierre de La Vernière Church in the Magdalen Islands

By the Fabrique Saint-Pierre de La Vernière

This exhibit presents the history of the oldest church in the Magdalen Islands, the second-largest wooden church in North America, from the start of construction in the 1870s to the present day.

A Committed Community, a Living Mill

By the Corporation du moulin Légaré

This exhibit explores the social commitment of a community over the past 40 years to ensure the survival of the Moulin Legaré in Saint-Eustache, a water mill built in 1762 on the banks of the Chêne River.

Antoine Labelle — The Man and His Work

By the Société d’histoire de la Rivière-du-Nord

Nicknamed “the advocate of settlement” and “the King of the North”, Labelle was an indefatigable promoter of agricultural development in the Laurentians. A colourful character, the famous priest from Saint-Jérôme was close to his parishioners and very active in his community. His many contributions helped build his community in the 19th century and are explored in this exhibit.

Fishing Stories

By the Amis des Jardins de Métis

The Reford Gardens are known mainly as the gardens created by Elsie Reford, who left her mark on the world of horticulture with her unique vision. Museum collections, however, reveal another story related to the gardens: that of the Atlantic salmon fishery. In this exhibit, the fishery serves as the backdrop for exploring the region’s history from a new perspective.

The Birth of Rouyn and Noranda: A Mining Story

From the Corporation de la Maison Dumulon

The exhibition focuses on the singular development of two cities that sprung up and mushroomed during a mining rush but developed independently of one another. Their story is told by prospectors, mine and smelter workers, pioneers and immigrants.


September 29, 2015

Introducing Canada’s first virtual exhibit on avalanches

Land of Thundering Snow

Just in time for avalanche season comes a new virtual exhibit from the Revelstoke Museum & Archives, called Land of Thundering Snow. Learn everything about avalanches and discover the secrets hidden within the stillness of a snowpack and the fury of a snow slide.


September 25, 2015

Call for Proposals for Virtual Exhibits ends today

Today is the last day to submit a proposal for the Virtual Exhibits Investment Program. Thank you to all for your submissions. Results of evaluations will be announced in the spring of 2016.

If you’re part of a small museum or local heritage organization, the next call for Community Memories projects is set for November.

Subscribe to our email list to receive reminder notifications.


June 26, 2015

Call for proposals for virtual exhibits is now open!

Showcase your best stories—virtually anywhere! The Virtual Museum of Canada invites Canadian museums and heritage organizations to pitch inspiring and innovative ideas for online products and experiences as part of its Virtual Exhibits Investment Program.

Why take your content online? Your museum has the stories—seize this opportunity to reach a wider audience.
Who can apply? Any Canadian museum or heritage organization (e.g. art gallery, botanical garden, zoological park, historical house, library, etc.) can propose a project.
What qualifies for funding? The VMC will consider proposals for online exhibitions, tours, games and resources.
When should you apply? Proposal deadline is September 25, 2015.
How can you get started? Get more details and submit your proposal here.

Don’t miss the next Calls for proposals and other updates, subscribe to our mailing list now.


June 16, 2015

Stay tuned!

The next call for proposals for Virtual Exhibits will open on June 26. Check back then for all the details and the updated proposal form.

In the meantime, gather your ideas — and your collections and partners — for innovative online experiences around Canadian history, heritage and culture.

We look forward to hearing from you!


June 9, 2015

Virtual Exhibitions: 8 new projects approved

Following the 2014 Call for Proposals, eight new virtual exhibitions will be developed with investment from the Virtual Museum of Canada. The awarded projects come from a wide range of heritage institutions and will be launched between Fall 2016 and Winter 2017. Congratulations to all the recipients!

Note: Some titles are subject to change.

Canadian History and Society: Through the Lens of Sport

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Sport has impacted and been woven into the fabric of Canadian history and society since the very early days of Canada. Canadian History and Society: Through the Lens of Sport will identify and present, through galleries, mini-documentaries and webisodes, the inspiring and educational sport stories of individuals, teams, sport development, and sport creation.


Fondation du Centre des sciences de Montréal

BioShock takes place in the Grosse Île region, an island in the St. Lawrence River where, a century ago, immigrants were quarantined before being allowed to enter Canada. As a deadly disease begins to spread among the population, play as a member of one of three teams involved in this race against the clock: the Public Health team, the biotechnology laboratory, and the biohacker, a loner scientist. Throughout the game, your team will have to carry out several delicate missions.

150 Years/150 Artworks : Art in Canada as an Historical Act

La Galerie de l’UQAM

To mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 2017, you’ll be invited to experience the virtual exhibit 150 Years/150 Artworks: Art in Canada as an Historical Act. This project aims to highlight notable works from the great museum collections of Canada as part of the nation’s history. The exhibit will pair the historical and artistic dimensions, in order to underscore the accomplishments of artists who lived north of the 49th parallel and helped define our country’s cultural identity.

Images in Stone

Les Musées de la civilisation

Embark on a discovery of Canada’s Aboriginal rock art. Stunning and mysterious, these images are drawn, painted or carved on rock faces and represent the cultures of First Peoples from across Canada. Explore five archaeological sites in different regions of the country and discover a rich, yet little-known heritage thousands of years old. Come discover these “images set in stone”!

Building New Lives: Stories of Holocaust survivors’ immigration to Canada

Montréal Holocaust Memorial Centre

The exhibition will bring to light the history of the immigration of Holocaust survivors to Canada, through oral history, artefacts and interactive maps. Canadians will gain new perspectives on the immigration of Jewish refugees during and after the Nazi regime. After the Holocaust, Canada became home to over 31,000 survivors; visitors will understand who these refugees were, what they had faced before they immigrated and how they managed to build new lives after they settled in Canada.

Destination St. Laurent

Musée maritime de Charlevoix

Destination St-Laurent will provide families a with unique way to explore the St. Lawrence Seaway, showcasing partner museums while conducting visitors along captivating thematic routes, and through breathtaking landscapes. Users will be guided on this journey of discovery by the naturalist Kalikasan, who has just returned from an extraordinary expedition on the St. Lawrence aboard a revolutionary vessel.

Canada on Screen

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

In anticipation of the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, TIFF is planning an ambitious online experience that explores the history of Canada on screen. Canada on Screen will be a large-scale virtual exhibit that identifies, restores, interprets, and makes available to the public a range of seminal Canadian moving image works. Including feature and short films, documentary heritage, music videos, commercials and TV, this exhibition will explore how the moving image has represented, shaped, and been shaped by, Canadian culture, identity, and history.

Aller aux eaux salées

Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent

Dive into the vacation spirit and experience the atmosphere of seaside summers gone by with Aller aux eaux salées. An invitation to explore sites along the St. Lawrence river; to better understand an era, the industrial revolution and the romanticism of the Victorian age; and to encounter an urban bourgeois culture vacationing along the majestic St. Lawrence. This virtual exhibition is intended to be a fascinating and engaging experience that will allow visitors to discover little known facets of the region’s history.


June 2, 2015

Two new exhibits launched on the Virtual Museum of Canada website

Fort Odanak, 1704-1759 — The Search for Traces of a Fortified Abenaki Village

Fort Odanak, 1704-1759 — The search for traces of a fortified Abenaki village

The Musée des Abénakis has launched a new online exhibition on a once-fortified village inhabited by the Abenakis. Built in 1704 to serve as a rampart against Iroquois and British raids, Fort Odanak now reveals its secrets through archaeological digs. Relive the history of this unique fort, explore its physical remains and learn about the Abenakis First Nations in:

Fort Odanak, 1704-1759 — The Search for Traces of a Fortified Abenaki Village


Nikkei Tapestry: Japanese Canadians in Southern Alberta

Nikkei Tapestry: Japanese Canadians in Southern Alberta

The Galt Museum & Archives has launched a new virtual exhibition on the history of four generations of Japanese Canadians in southern Alberta. The site tells how each generation in its own way retained its culture and heritage while seeking to assimilate into Western society.

Nikkei Tapestry: Japanese Canadians in Southern Alberta


November 28, 2014

Notice of Call for Proposals for Community Memories Investment Program

We’re inviting small community museums to develop online local history exhibits to share with all Canadians through the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC).

To be eligible, your museums must be a not-for-profit organization, be an institution with no more than five permanent full-time paid staff, and have completed, if applicable, any previous exhibit financed by the VMC.

Community Memories is not a Grants and Contribution program. The Canadian Museum of History (CMH) enters into contracts with participating museums for the creation of Community Memories exhibits.

The deadline for receipt of proposals is 27 February 2015 at 5:00 EST.

For all the details and to complete the proposal form, click here.

For further information, please contact

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June 20, 2014

Virtual Exhibits Investment Program – Advance Notice of Call for Proposals

In February 2014 the Federal Government announced its intention to transfer the Virtual Museum of Canada and the Online Works of Reference to the Canadian Museum of History. Bill C-31, an Act to implement certain provisions of the budget and other measures, has received Royal Assent confirming that the Canadian Museum of History will assume responsibility for these two programs.

We are pleased to inform you that a Call for Proposals for the Virtual Exhibits Investment Program is planned for June 30, 2014. The call will be posted on the Canadian Museum of History website and, as in previous years, on MERX.

The Canadian Museum of History is delighted to have been entrusted with this responsibility. The Virtual Museum of Canada is a vital tool for Canada’s museum community, and we are committed to keeping it that way. This platform provides a unique opportunity for collaboration and knowledge-sharing. In the coming months, the Museum will call on Canada’s museum professionals to collectively reflect on possible future offerings of the Virtual Museum of Canada. We look forward to working with you as we build on existing partnerships and create new ones with museums and other cultural institutions across the country.

The purpose of the Virtual Exhibits Investment Program is to engage Canadians in their history and heritage by assisting the development of virtual exhibits and other online resources by public, not-for-profit Canadian museums and heritage organizations. Eligibility, funding criteria and total funds available under the Program will remain essentially unchanged. To be eligible, a heritage institution must be:

  • public;
  • not-for-profit;
  • a permanent physical establishment;
  • exempt from federal and provincial government income taxes;
  • administered in the public interest for the primary purpose of conserving and preserving, studying, interpreting, assembling and exhibiting objects and specimens of educational and cultural value. This includes artistic, scientific (whether animate or inanimate), historical and technological material;
  • a museum, art gallery, art exhibit centre, botanical garden, zoological park, aquarium, planetarium, historical society museum, historical house, preservation project or site which meets the aforementioned requirements.

The transfer of the Virtual Museum of Canada and the Online Works of Reference from the Department of Canadian Heritage to the Canadian Museum of History is being worked out. All parties will be working in concert to ensure a seamless transition and as details get confirmed we will continue to communicate them to you.

A Call for Proposals for the Community Memories Program is planned for the Fall. More details will follow shortly.

For further information, please contact


May 23, 2014

The Virtual Museum of Canada at the Canadian Museum of History

The Virtual Museum of Canada and the Online Works of Reference will be transferred to the Canadian Museum of History later this year, and the Museum is working with representatives from Canadian Heritage to ensure a seamless transition for everyone involved.

The Virtual Museum of Canada is a vital tool for Canada’s museum community, and we are committed to keeping it that way. The Canadian Museum of History will continue to fund museum initiatives across the country. The date of the next call for proposals will be determined shortly. Funding will be maintained and we will encourage innovation and the further integration of digital technology into museum activities.

This period of change is also an opportunity for renewal. In the coming months, the Canadian Museum of History plans to call on Canada’s museum professionals to collectively reflect on possible future offerings of the Virtual Museum of Canada. The digital world is advancing at a staggering rate, and this platform provides a unique opportunity for collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Please feel free to send us your ideas and suggestions at any time.

The Canadian Museum of History is delighted to have been entrusted with this responsibility. This online resource will help the Museum in its mission to raise the profile of Canadian history and culture on the national and international stage. What’s more, the arrival of the Virtual Museum of Canada is perfectly in line with our new mandate, which includes broadening our focus by presenting Canadian history in greater detail.

The Virtual Museum of Canada will also give us a chance to build on existing partnerships and create new ones with museums and other cultural institutions across the country, another one of our priorities.

Bill C-31, an Act to implement certain provisions of the budget and other measures is currently before Parliament. Once it receives Royal Assent and it is confirmed that the Museum will assume responsibility for the Virtual Museum of Canada and the Online Works of Reference, we will be able to provide you with more information regarding the next steps.

In the meantime, for further information, please contact