TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, along with Ms. Janet Carding, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) Director and CEO, today announced a partnering arrangement to create the Franklin Outreach Project. This innovative project aims to share the story of the Franklin Expedition and all of the unfolding discoveries with Canadians over the next three years.
The Franklin Outreach Project will include pop-up displays, lectures, and exhibitions and incorporate contemporary research and technology and Inuit traditional knowledge to bring the Franklin story to life. The centrepiece of the travelling programme is a 3D printed replica of the bell recovered from HMS Erebus. A nationwide program hosted by the ROM is also in development with members of the History Museums Network and Parks Canada to bring to life this important part of Canadian history.
On May 19, 1845, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror of the Royal Navy departed Greenhithe, England, under the command of Sir John Franklin on a much-heralded Arctic expedition in search of a Northwest Passage. The two expedition ships were last seen entering Baffin Bay in August 1845. Franklin's ships are an important part of Canadian history given that his expeditions, which took place nearly 200 years ago, laid the foundations of Canada's Arctic sovereignty. The fate of the Franklin expedition was one of Canada's great mysteries.
The incredible tale of the historic Franklin expedition and the recent discovery of one of his two ships, HMS Erebus, will be presented to even more Canadians thanks to a new collaboration between Parks Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).
- Since 2008, the Government of Canada has conducted six major Parks Canada-led searches for the lost Franklin Expedition ships, painstakingly covering many hundreds of square kilometres of the Arctic seabed.
- The Government of Canada's partners for the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition included Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Hydrographic Service), the Royal Canadian Navy, Defence Research and Development Canada, Environment Canada (Canadian Ice Service), and the Canadian Space Agency, as well as the Governments of Nunavut and the United Kingdom. Private and non-profit partners included the Arctic Research Foundation, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society who additionally brought in The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Shell Canada and One Ocean Expeditions as partners.
- The initial discovery of a ship belonging to the Franklin Expedition, made by side-scan sonar towed from the Parks Canada research vessel Investigator, was confirmed on September 7, 2014, using Parks Canada's remotely operated vehicle. On September 30, 2014, it was confirmed that the ship is HMS Erebus.
- On November 6, the bell recovered from HMS Erebus was unveiled. A 3D printed replica of the bell makes it accessible to Canadians while the original is undergoing conservation work.
- Opened in 1914, the ROM is Canada's largest museum of natural history and world cultures with over six million objects in its collections and galleries showcasing art, archaeology and natural science. The ROM is the largest field research institution in the country, and a world leader in research areas from biodiversity, palaeontology, and earth sciences to archaeology, ethnology and visual culture – originating new information towards a global understanding of historical and modern change in culture and environment.
"The Franklin Project will allow Canadians across the country to learn about and enjoy the mysteries of the Franklin Expedition. The discovery of this legendary vessel reveals so much about who we are as a nation and I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the Royal Ontario Museum so that Canadians can be inspired by this remarkable story as it continues to unfold."
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
"The ROM is delighted to be partnering with Parks Canada to help tell the unfolding Franklin story over the next three years. This is a tremendous opportunity during the ROM's Centennial year for our visitors and people across the country to learn more about one of Canada's most enduring mysteries."
Ms. Janet Carding
CEO and Director of the Royal Ontario Museum
Parks Canada: www.pc.gc.ca
Royal Ontario Museum: www.rom.on.ca
SOURCE: Parks Canada
For further information: Office of the Minister of the Environment, 819-997-1441; Media Relations, Parks Canada, 1-855-862-1812; ROM Media, Marnie Peters, 416-586-5858, [email protected]