GATINEAU, QC, June 11, 2013 /CNW/ - 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:
A Canada History Fund will connect youth to their history through the first ever Government of Canada History Awards, which will honour outstanding students and teachers who show an
interest in celebrating Canadian history. The awards will be
administered by Canada's History, an independent national organization
with a mandate to make our nation's past relevant and accessible to all
The Harper Government will partner with the Historica-Dominion Institute
to create two new Heritage Minutes per year between now and Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.
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.
Starting in 2013, July 1 to 7 will become Canada History Week, an opportunity for Canadians from coast to coast to coast to get
actively involved in learning about our country's history.
"History teaches us how we got to where we are as a country, along with
a sense of where we are headed. These new measures give Canadians
important new tools to discuss and debate those lessons from our past.
We at the Historica-Dominion Institute fully support these important
initiatives," said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President of the
"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,
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.
The Harper Government will invest $12 million in existing funds to
promote Canadian history. Today's announcement includes the following
I. Canada History Fund ($4.3 million per year in 2013-2014, $6.3 million
per year as of 2014-2015)
The Canada History Fund will connect youth to their history through the
first ever Government of Canada History Awards, which will honour
outstanding students and teachers who show an interest in celebrating
Up to 225 secondary school students and up to 30 secondary school
teachers will receive awards of $1,000 and $2,000, respectively, and
winners will be selected from across Canada.
The awards will be administered by Canada's History, an independent
national organization with a mandate to make our nation's past relevant
and accessible to all Canadians. Canada's History will draw on its
experience in administering the Governor General's History Awards.
The Awards will be provided across the country, with fair distribution
for all provinces and territories. They do not interfere with
provincial and territorial educational systems, but rather promote an
appreciation of Canadian history by rewarding excellence from teachers
and students who choose to compete.
The Canada History Fund will also provide increased funding to the
Historica-Dominion Institute for the production of new Heritage Minutes
The Speakers Bureau of the Memory Project, also administered by the
Historica-Dominion Institute, will receive an increase in funding to
allow for more veterans and serving soldiers with students in the
classroom. The investment in this program will increase from $100,000
to twice this amount. For more information on this program, visit www.thememoryproject.com.
Programs like the Dictionary of Canadian Biography and The Canadian Encyclopedia will receive enhanced total support from $2.25 million to $2.61 million
for additional Canadian history content. For information on these
programs, visit www.biographi.ca and www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com.
II. Canada History Week
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
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
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
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.
SOURCE: Canadian Heritage
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Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages
(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.)