Just because we’re staying apart physically does not mean we cannot come together. As Canadians, we are resilient and strong, and we will continue to find ways to connect while we #StayHome. So on May 18, join us in celebrating International Museum Day – from the comfort of your home!
Museums do not only offer us facts about the history and the cultures that make up our Canada, but they also offer an immersive experience where visitors are invited into these past worlds to learn and grow. Nothing makes me feel more Canadian than walking through the totem poles at the Museum of Anthropology or the First Nations gallery at the Royal Ontario Museum. Both these spaces — and others across the country bring together all Canadians to expand their knowledge of our history together and to connect with each other.
Although these spaces are not physically accessible right now, they continue to offer us a lens into the history and cultures of our country. They are opening their virtual doors to all Canadians through online tours, exhibits, activities, performances, and more. Take the time this month to support these institutions and experience Canada by engaging with museums online — see just a few suggestions below!
Additionally, like many other charities, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship is facing unexpected and unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. Donate here to help us keep connecting you to museums and other arts and culture spaces through Canoo.
Anja, Canoo’s Membership Officer
P.S. Just a quick reminder that we are currently considering various options in regards to supporting Canoo members like you who have had their membership affected by the COVID-19 crisis. As a small non-profit, we must consider impacts on all of our stakeholders during this process. At this time, we are working with our stakeholders to assess options, and we will let you know when a decision has been made in the coming weeks.
Visit these venues virtually! Each of these museums and art galleries offer extensive online collections – search through and explore their objects, artifacts, and art!
1. The Royal Ontario Museum
2. The Royal Alberta Museum
3. The Western Development Museum
4. The Canadian Museum of Nature
5. The Royal Tyrrell Museum
6. The Manitoba Museum
Caravans of Gold 3-D tour
Relive the The Aga Khan Museum exhibition Caravans of Gold: Fragments in Time on this 3-D virtual tour. Experience the first major exhibition to reveal the shared history of western Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe from the 8th to 16th centuries. Immerse yourself in art and artifacts from the western Sahara’s unsung golden age, where African kingdoms possessed riches the Earth had never seen. For more virtual activities from the Aga Khan Museum, check out #MuseumsWithoutWalls.
The Group of Seven at 100: Virtual Curatorial Talk
Join the McMichael Canadian Art Collection on May 7 for a virtual presentation celebrating the centenary of the group’s founding with Ian Dejardin, executive director of the McMichael and curator of the exhibition “A Like Vision”: The Group of Seven at 100. The talk will be followed by a special musical performance by Bruce Cockburn. Register for free here.
Every (indoor) life has a story to tell, and the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) wants to hear yours. In an effort to learn how Canadians are adapting to quarantine existence, the museum would like to know your stories, testimonies, performances, art and confessions of your new reality. Share with them your videos, writings, and performances, and MOV will post the submissions online! Your submission will also be accessioned into MOV’s virtual database for use in a future project, such as a small exhibition or lobby projection. Learn more here.
Visit the Power Plant Gallery Contemporary Art Gallery from home
One of the premiere galleries of contemporary art for more than three decades, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery has a rich archive chronicling past exhibits, including writing, video, and other content related to the gallery’s programming. In particular, I recommend their Virtual Tours, which provide an in-depth, 360-degree look into all of their current and past exhibits, bringing the full art viewing experience into your home.
Explore the Parliament Buildings
Start your virtual experience by learning about the history and significance of the Parliament Buildings, a National Historic Site of Canada located in Ottawa, on the Parks Canada website. Then, tour the glories of the Senate of Canada’s rooms in a state-of-the-art virtual tour, The Senate Virtual Tour: Your Digital Admission to the Red Chamber. Viewers will enjoy a peek into rarely accessible rooms, with the opportunity to learn more about objects, paintings, and maps.
Meet Canoo member Mariam Ghaffar, who became a Canadian citizen in June 2019 in Calgary. What Mariam loves most about Canada is the friendly people, the vast diversity and multiculturalism, and the clean environment and natural areas. In particular, she loves to visit national and provincial parks with her family. Learn more about Mariam’s experience with Canoo here.
6 Degrees, the global forum for inclusion, is going live! Every week, we’ll be bringing the 6 Degrees network to you. Tune in to our Instagram (@inclusion.ca) on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. EDT to hear from our global network on the big issues, as they happen. This week’s guest is John Ralston Saul, author and co-chair and co-founder of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. Join him live on our Instagram on Tuesday, May 5.
Video Opportunity for Canoo Members
We at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship want to highlight the commitment and bravery of our Canoo members, who are truly inspiring us all by being active citizens and working for all Canadians. If you are a new Canadian currently working as an essential worker in any field across Canada, then we want to hear from you! We have an exciting opportunity to highlight the amazing work of our essential workers within Canoo, so if you are interested in taking part in our new video campaign, please complete this Google Form.
A word from our Co-Founder and Co-Chair John Ralston Saul
Fifteen years ago, Adrienne Clarkson and I set up the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. 15 years! It grew fast. The Institute for Canadian Citizenship has now helped hundreds of thousands of you as new citizens, through the Canoo app and the Cultural Access Pass, get engaged at the heart of Canadian Citizenship. But our work is equally to make sure all of us – no matter how long we’ve been here in Canada – are awake to what citizenship involves, particularly in times of crisis. Please consider making a donation of $10 a month to our work. We want to accelerate our digital presence, standing up to the spreaders of misrepresentation and division. We are developing new ways to elevate the voices of new Canadians. To stand with you and defend our shared idea of citizenship. To oppose the fearmongers wherever they operate. This is a critical moment and we want to be there for you. For all of us.
There will be no citizenship ceremonies this month
Typically, we at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship invite you to attend community citizenship ceremonies organized by us; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; and other partners all over Canada each month. However, at this time, all citizenship ceremonies are on hold. Please keep an eye on our social media and website for updates as to when we will resume our enhanced citizenship ceremonies.