The Canadian War Museum is 5 years old!

OTTAWA, May 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian War Museum will be celebrating the fifth anniversary of its opening on LeBreton Flats, sponsored by Bell. The anniversary takes place tomorrow, May 8.

"We're very proud of the work we've done," stated Mark O'Neill, Director General of the Canadian War Museum. "Over the past five years, the Museum has provided for over 2.5 million visitors a rewarding and enriching experience for families, veterans and others interested in Canadian military history."

"The War Museum has become the second most-visited attraction in the National Capital Region, going from around 120,000 visitors at its previous location on Sussex Drive to some 500,000 visitors yearly in its new home," explained Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. "Our visitor surveys reveal that some 65% of visitors to the War Museum are Canadians from outside the Ottawa-Gatineau area. This is a true testament to its mission as a national museum: to promote public understanding of Canada's military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions."

The Museum's exhibitions cover some 5,000 years of Canada's rich military history and present many aspects of this history, some intimate and closer to home and others more international in their dimensions and presentation. The Museum also has a travelling exhibitions program in order to share its exhibitions, research and artifacts with Canadians across the country.

"We have strived to share with visitors not only the narrative story of conflict, but also the human perspective," said Dr. Dean Oliver, Director of Research and Exhibitions. "One of our underlying principles is that Canadian military history is the story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in extraordinary times."

The Museum building also tells a story. The facility is designed to take visitors outside of their comfort zone by confronting them with angled ceilings, floors and walls to remind them of the instability caused by war. Its landscaping further reinforces this point, with its green roof and the section of terrain on the Museum's west side that reflects the Beaumont Hamel battlefield, a poignant reminder of nature's ability to recover from the destruction brought on by war and conflict.

The Museum facility, designed in a joint venture between Moriyama and Teshima Architects and Griffiths Rankin Cook Architects, has won a number of architectural prizes, including those awarded by the City of Ottawa, the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, the Globe Foundation of Canada, the Ontario Association of Architects, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Leading European Architects Forum, and the Canadian Museum Association.

To mark its fifth anniversary, the Museum is offering visitors free guided tours of its architectural features every weekend during May. Other activities are being planned to commemorate the occasion. See also www.warmuseum.ca/5years for dynamic videos of riveting stories and treasures from the Museum.

The Canadian War Museum is Canada's national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada's military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions.

SOURCE Canadian War Museum

For further information: For further information: (media): Pierre Leduc, Media Relations Officer, Telephone: (819) 776-8607, pierre.leduc@warmuseum.ca

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