Komagata Maru story being told across Canada - Exhibit travels to Western Canada to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the tragic incident

OTTAWA, Sept. 30, 2014 /CNW/ - People across Western Canada will soon be able to experience "Lions of the Sea," a powerful and visually-engaging exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident, announced Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism) today.

The exhibit kicked off in Halifax on September 21, 2014, and will soon be available for public viewing in three Western Canadian cities. From October 2-4, 2014, "Lions of the Sea" will be at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. On October 5, 2014, it will move north to Edmonton, Alberta and be featured at the Days Inn & Suites, West Edmonton from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Finally, the exhibit will be available in Winnipeg at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on October 27, 2014.

In June 2014, Minister Uppal announced Government of Canada funding for the Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada (SHMC) through the Inter-Action program to create this exhibit. The national exhibition, with original artifacts made available by the SHMC, tells the story of the Komagata Maru and explores contributions of Sikh immigrants to Canada. Once completed, "Lions of the Sea" will be made available to schools, libraries and places of worship across Canada.

Quick facts

  • The Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver harbour in 1914 carrying 376 passengers of Indian descent, most of whom were not allowed to land. This was because the ship did not make a direct journey to Canada, as prescribed by Canada's Continuous Journey clause, which was in place at the time. After two months under difficult conditions, the ship and most of its passengers were forced to return to India where, in a subsequent clash with British soldiers, 19 passengers died.
  • In May 2008, the Government of Canada passed a unanimous motion in the House of Commons, recognizing the Komagata Maru incident and apologizing to those who were directly affected. On August 3, 2008, Prime Minister Harper conveyed that apology.
  • Inter-Action is Canada's multiculturalism grants and contributions program.
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada has provided previous funding, through the Community Historical Recognition Program, toward a number of projects that recognize and raise awareness of the Komagata Maru. For example, the Khalsa Diwan Society received a total of $1.4 million for the development of two projects, a monument and a museum that commemorate the Komagata Maru incident.


"Through our government's investment in this project, we are recognizing Canada's past and helping educate Canadians on the Komagata Maru incident to ensure that tragedies like this do not happen again. I'm proud to see that this powerful exhibit is being featured across the country, and I encourage all Canadians to visit the exhibit and to remember the lessons we have learned from this tragic moment in Canada's history."

Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism)

"From being barred by the tug boat Sea Lion to being courageous "Lions of the Sea," the remarkable story of the primarily Sikh passengers on the Komagata Maru will truly come to life with a national exhibition and lecture series. The Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada is proud to take the lead in sharing the legacy of the Komagata Maru and invites all Canadians to come see this exhibit first hand."

Pardeep Singh Nagra, Executive Director, Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada

Related products 

News Release-Bringing the lessons of the Komagata Maru to life

Learning from Canada's Past

Associated links

Inter-Action: Multiculturalism Grants and Contributions Funding

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident

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Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.


SOURCE: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

For further information: Contacts: Joe Kanoza, Minister's Office - Minister Uppal, 613-954-1064, Joe.Kanoza@cic.gc.ca; Media Relations: Communications Branch, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 613-952-1650, CIC-Media-Relations@cic.gc.ca



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