Politics and Memory in Canada’s New History Museum
Dean, David <Carleton University>
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This contribution traces the transition of Canada's national history museum from the Canadian Museum of Civilization (CMC) to the Canadian Museum of History (CMH) due to open on 1 July 2017 in time for national celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. The article examines the very different approaches to museology and historical representation that became visible as the CMC's Canada Hall was demolished to make way for the CMH's Canadian History Hall. This significant change in the Canadian commemorative landscape was seen by many as part of a deliberate refashioning by the Conservative government and by others an as opportunity to tell new stories in new ways. The making of the new history hall is situated in the context of larger debates about history and memory, the role of museums in shaping national identity, and public perceptions about museums.