GATINEAU, June 11, 2013 - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today introduced a series of new measures to help promote Canadian history, including the first ever Government of Canada History Awards.
“Canadians want to know more about our history, and these new measures will make our history more accessible to all Canadians, particularly our youth,” said Minister Moore. “This is especially important as we approach Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, which provides an unprecedented opportunity to celebrate our history and the achievements that contributed to the united, strong, and free Canada we know today.”
New measures being announced today include the following:
“With so many significant anniversaries in the coming years, the historical community has a unique opportunity to change a whole generation of Canadians’ attitudes toward their past in much the same way Expo 67 transformed our view of Canadian arts and culture,” said Deborah Morrison, CEO and President of Canada’s History. “The Canada History Fund will provide us with the resources we need to seize that opportunity—to create new content and actively engage young Canadians in the telling of our stories.”
“Canadian history is all around us. However it is rarely taught in schools; it is not seen, not heard, and is forgotten by most Canadians. These new measures will greatly help bring our history alive,” said John G. McAvity, Executive Director of the Canadian Museums Association. “This includes not just formal or academic history, but more importantly the stories of Canada, pleasant and unpleasant as they are, of everyday Canadians, whether it is found in our art, artifacts, or documents.”
A description of all of the measures announced today is included in the attached backgrounder. The total investment, funded from existing resources, is $12 million annually. To learn more about what the Government of Canada is doing to enhance Canadians’ access to their history, visit www.canadianheritage.gc.ca.
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BACKGROUNDERThe Harper Government will invest $12 million in existing funds to promote Canadian history. Today’s announcement includes the following measures:
I. Canada History Fund ($4.3 million per year in 2013–2014, $6.3 million per year as of 2014–2015)
Beginning in 2013, July 1 to 7 will become Canada History Week. Starting on Canada Day, this week is an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about their history through local and national activities and events.
Also, Canada History Week will be an opportunity to get Canadians actively involved in learning more about our country’s history by providing them with access to information on history-related activities and events, starting on July 1 with local and the national Canada Day celebrations organized by those in our country most passionate about the subject. Canada History Week will be a special occasion to create a focus and opportunity to celebrate and experience Canada’s history.
III. Support for Existing Canadian Heritage Programs
Five existing programs at Canadian Heritage will be strengthened to improve access to funding for local organizations that wish to promote Canadian history in their communities, including local museums and youth groups.
a) Exchanges Canada Program – $3.6 million per year
The Exchanges Canada Program will provide young Canadians with more opportunities to take part in history-themed events. The program will also support enhanced historical content during all reciprocal exchanges and forums attended by youth so they can discover the people, places, and events that make our country unique.
b) Canada Book Fund – Up to $200,000 per year
The Canada Book Fund will encourage collective projects with a dedicated focus on promoting Canadian history titles. These projects will provide opportunities for Canadians to enhance their knowledge and experience of Canadian history through books.
c) Canada Periodical Fund – Up to $375,000 per year
Through the Business Innovation and Collective Initiatives components, the Canada Periodical Fund will support the promotion of and access to history magazines and history content, as well as the creation of new history content.
d) Museums Assistance Program – Up to $1 million per year as of 2014–2015
The Museums Assistance Program will make it easier for institutions to create and share history exhibits by eliminating the requirement that they must circulate beyond their province or territory of origin. The program will also support museums, including small museums that wish to borrow objects for exhibition from the national collection of the future Canadian Museum of History.
e) Virtual Museum of Canada – Up to $500,0000 toward key historical milestones
The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) will fund 2017-themed online exhibits and podcasts through its Virtual Exhibits Investment Program. The VMC will also renew its Teachers’ Centre to make lesson plans accessible through tools such as tablets and smart boards, and add new historical content for teachers and students.
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