Halifax museum expands to celebrate the stories of Canadian immigrants - New Canadian Media

Halifax museum expands to celebrate the stories of Canadian immigrants

The contributions of immigrants to Canada are endless. Their stories are an integral part of the country’s history. A new exhibition at Halifax’s Canadian Museum of Immigration, set to open in May 2015, will highlight…

The contributions of immigrants to Canada are endless. Their stories are an integral part of the country’s history. A new exhibition at Halifax’s Canadian Museum of Immigration, set to open in May 2015, will highlight these contributions.

The museum, which is housed at Nova Scotia’s Pier 21, the entry point for more than one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971, will close its doors Oct. 25 for six months as it undergoes major transformations for the better.

“As Canada’s newest (and sixth) national museum, we are now able to continue to highlight the special role Pier 21 has played in shaping our nation, while also sharing the overarching story of immigration to Canada.”

Upon reopening, the museum will feature two permanent exhibitions, one being the brand new Canadian Immigration Story gallery. This exhibition will encourage visitors of all ages to reflect on the immigrant experience, examining connections between past and present realities and thinking critically about how immigration shapes Canada today. It will combine first person stories, oral histories, artifacts and multimedia experiences to illustrate the Canadian immigration journey in an experiential way for visitors.

“As Canada’s newest (and sixth) national museum, we are now able to continue to highlight the special role Pier 21 has played in shaping our nation, while also sharing the overarching story of immigration to Canada,” said Marie Chapman, CEO of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, in a press statement. It is estimated that one in five Canadians’ family history connects back to Pier 21, where 500,000 Canadian military personnel also departed from during the Second World War. “These are momentous times at the museum and we are so looking forward to once again welcoming visitors through our doors,” Chapman added.

The almost four-year-old organization received approximately $25 million from the federal government for upgrades to happen over a five-year period in addition to approximately $1 million in annual philanthropic support for education and public programming across the country. The renovated museum will boast a space nearly double its current size and a new rental facility for private functions.

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