The Diefenbunker team is pleased to announce the appointment of Christine McGuire as our new Executive Director for the museum.

Christine has more than 13 years of experience in the museum and heritage sector here in Ottawa. Throughout her career, Christine has brought her creativity, drive and passion to redefining exhibitions and enhancing audience engagement. She is known for pushing the boundaries of experiential exhibitions rooted in innovation, public engagement and social responsibility, as well as providing leadership to organizations through transformation and growth.

Christine was most recently an Exhibition Planner with Aga Khan Foundation Canada, specializing in project management, exhibition development and audience engagement.  Christine is not unfamiliar with the Diefenbunker Museum, having been involved with our museum in 2009 as the organization’s Education and Volunteer Manager. She is thrilled to be back as the new Executive Director.

“I am honoured to be entrusted with the leadership of this dynamic museum. I look forward to working with the talented staff, dedicated board and growing community to create an exciting new chapter for the Diefenbunker Museum.”

Christine holds a Master’s degree in Public History from Carleton University, specializing in public memory and immigration history.  I encourage you to welcome her and we wish her all the best with her new position.

~The Diefenbunker Team


Picture this: it’s 1960, you’re 19 years old and you’ve just been appointed as Canada’s youngest radar technician and you’re now on your way to spend the next three years in the freezing cold Artic Circle. Sounds like a pretty exciting adventure, right? Well, have we got a story for you!

Join us at the Bunker on Thursday April 12, 2018 at 7:00pm to hear the real-life adventures of Bunker volunteer, Brian Jeffrey, as he shares his experience working on the Distant Early Warning Radar Line (DEWLine) in the Artic. From polar bear hunting, off-the clock hi-jinks, and dealing with bogies, Brian saw it all and he wants to share it with you! 

Hear history come alive for one evening only, right here at the Diefenbunker. Don’t miss “Adventures from the Coldest Part of the Cold War”! Tickets are only $6.00 and can be purchased through the Eventbrite link here (here) 









We here at the Diefenbunker could not be more excited to welcome Ottawa artist Marc Adornato underground for his newest exhibition, Ruined Landscapes which opens with a special event on April 5, 2018. Come check out Marc’s exploration of modern Canadian landscapes as he ‘hijacks’ vintage, mass-produced works of art with disasters taken from Canadian headlines. One of the pieces featured in the exhibition even originated from our very own Bunker!

There are still a few tickets available for the April 5, 2018 opening Vernissage available (Click here for tickets)! This is a free event so to avoid disappointment book your tickets and shuttle today! Can’t make the Vernissage-You’re in luck because the exhibit runs to July 15, 2018 but will be subject to museum admission fees.

Events like this wouldn’t be possible without a little help from our friends. The Diefenbunker would like to thank the Ruined Landscapes Vernissage sponsors: The Hintonburg Public House, Matt Love-Royal Lepage Team Reality, Nick Bachusky- Mortgage Agent, Mint Hair Studio, Maker House Co., Brew Donkey, Shitty Shades and ASAP pm.

Classified: Top Secret

Agent ‘X’:

Status Report: Egg Hunt Training to Commence

Reports around the Bunker confirm that Peter Cottontail codename “Easter Bunny” will be entering the Bunker on March 31, 2018. Reports confirm that he will be hiding special eggs which spies-in-training will be required to hunt.

I understand that codename Easter Bunny will be attaching the special camouflaged eggs to parts of the Bunker, so hunters will not be able to remove them but will be required to solve clues to locate these eggs and use their special checklist to find them all! Once the new recruits have tested their powers of observation their checklist will be turned into command and they will be awarded a treat bag with nut-free goodies.

I will be present during the training exercise to observe the new recruits and will report back on their level of skill.

Further reports to follow. 

Can you find them all

Agent ‘H’


Are you up to the challenge of hunting the Easter Bunny’s hidden eggs at the Diefenbunker? Check out the Eventbright link below to reserve your spot and get all the details on this fantastic event!

Link  —  Posted: March 24, 2018 in Bunker Kids!, Events, Local Community, Public Programs

It’s March 14 which can only mean one thing- it’s Pi Day! In honour of this most nerdy of holidays we here at the Bunker got to thinking about what you can buy for $3.14. All though some of the things we found are pretty cool, what is cooler than an underground bunker? Did you know that donating $3.14 to the Diefenbunker as a non-profit museum we can actually turn your donation into about $19.72 worth of value? As a non-profit charitable museum we rely on support from our visitors and friends to keep our museum up and running and even a small donation of $3.14 can do some pretty wonderful things! So please consider helping us celebrate March 14 (3/14) aka PiDay by making a donation in support of the Diefenbunker-Canada’s Cold War Museum! (To Donate: Please click this link to be directed to our Canada Helps Page)

$3.00 Rubber Duckie

Something Sweet

Mini Candle

























Want to know more about how the Diefenbunker can maximize donations- check out the link!

Image  —  Posted: March 14, 2018 in Uncategorized


High-security Zone

Agent ‘H’

January 11, 2018


Agent ‘X’:

Status Report: Mission Success.

Integration into my new assignment at the Diefenbunker was successful. I have established my identity as intern Agent ‘H’. I have been granted full access to the Bunker and archives.

In accordance with mission perimeters I will thoroughly document all classified operations and report details to you directly. All information contained in my mission briefs should be considered ‘Top Secret’ and handled in accordance with proper security protocols.

Orientation provided the opportunity to observe the machine room which remains operational. Hazards were present as the floor surfaces were often uneven, ceilings low and visibility limited in many sectors. Infiltration of the machine room is not advisable under current conditions. The machinery is uniquely structured to withstand direct impact, with generators being mounted to spring boards allowing movement to occur in case of ground impact. Venting also includes accordion style structures allowing the venting to shift and contract. As a result, a direct assault on the Bunker from ground level will likely have little impact on power and internal operations.

Further reports to follow once more information has been acquired.

Agent ‘H’

Welcome to Spy Camp!

Posted: June 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


Is your child spy material? Do they ever notice things others have overlooked? Find riddles and codes to be no challenge at all? The Diefenbunker is offering a chance to perfect those spy skills by training young spies all summer long.
Spy Camp gives campers the opportunity to complete week-long missions while training to obtain the mysterious status of a Bunker Agent. Every week there will be a different theme to perfect a specific spy skill set, so don’t be afraid to sign up for more than one!

The Art of Espionage
The Art of Espionage is a how-to guide to becoming a spy. From creating new identities, to learning about famous spies to embarking on your own mission, our spy instructors will tell all. At the end of training, our spy trainees will be ready to take on spy missions of their own and will go down in history as masters of all spy trades.


Making And Breaking Codes
Does your child know how to break a top secret code using nothing but their own knowledge? Can they send secret messages in Morse Code? This week of Spy Camp will focus on training young spies to use their top-notch spy intelligence to create, break and design their own codes. After completing daily missions, spies will be master coders.

Master of Disguise
Does your child ever pretend to be someone else? To take on a different identity? Spy Camp’s Master of Disguise training will perfect those skills by using several different methods of disguise to complete daily missions. Spies who graduate from this week of spy training will be completely undetectable to enemy spies with the skills they acquire, and will truly become masters of disguise!

Investigation: Hunt for the Mole
There is a mole among the bunker staff; a spy gone bad is leaking inside information to the evil Agent X! This week in spy camp, young spies will attempt to sniff out the mole by solving mysteries and looking for clues. Learning sneaky spy techniques will help them on their mission.

The Science Behind Spying
This week in spy camp will focus on experiments to aid in solving Agent X’s riddles. Using the power of science, spies will learn various skill including fingerprinting to improve their spy techniques.Training will allow the spies to use their smarts as well as their stealth to put an end to Agent X’s reign of evil!

The Case of the Missing Spy
Help! One of the Bunker Spies has gone missing and it’s up to the young spy trainees to help us locate them. Using masterful problem solving and wonderful stealthy moves, the spies will be put to the test to try to save the missing spy before they’re taken by the evil Agent X!

Whichever week your child attends, they will be gaining valuable spy experience, learning about the Cold War and the bunker, as well as creating fun memories they’ll never forget! We look forward to having your child join the ranks of the Diefenbunker Spy Academy!

For more information, see our website!

by Noelle Wielowieyski (Bunker Guide and Spy Master)

Can you believe it’s nearly April?  This past month flew by so quickly for us here at the Museum.  With two weeks of steady family visits during the Quebec and Ontario March breaks, and a sold out week of Spy Camp, we have happily had our hands quite full.  Now, we’re looking forward to the many great programs and events we have planned over the coming months:

Artist-in-residence Jesse Stewart will begin installing his first sound installations throughout the Museum in April. Come see how an award-winning musician interprets our spaces. We are sure he’ll encourage you to hear things in a whole new way!

The Easter Bunny will be hopping from floor to floor at the Bunker on April 4th, leaving behind nut free chocolate eggs for the kids. Join us for the hunt!


Afghanistan, Unordinary Lives, an exhibition of photographs by Slovenian photographer Manca Juvan will launch on April 23rd. The exhibition has traveled to venues in the United States, France, Brussels, Luxembourg and more, and we are proud to partner with the Embassy of Slovenia in sharing Juvan’s photographs with Ottawa audiences.

   children playing

We are pleased to be hosting two very special private events in April:

Our amazing volunteers will be honoured with a with an evening of appreciation on April 14th.  From tour guides and facility maintenance, to zombies and members of the Diefenbunker Volunteer Radio Group, we are fortunate to work with such dedicated and generous community members.

The Diefenbunker Alumni Association is meeting for their annual reunion on April 25th.  What stories they must have!  Visit our website to learn more about the Association.

“And the winner of Ottawa Tourism’s 2015 Partnership of the Year is …”  Fingers crossed our names will be called at the awards ceremony on April 30th!  We are finalists with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany for our 25|Berlin exhibitions and graffiti workshop.  We’ve extended the dates for German Canadian Graffiti Jam: The Bunker Reunion and The Wall, Niederkirchner Strasse by Leslie Hossack to May 3rd so come out to see what has us in the running for this award.

Deutsche Kuenstler (640x82)

Already a dramatic space, our blast tunnel will boom with the sound of an extended piece for solo bass drum and percussion by Jesse Stewart on May 3rd. There are still a few tickets left for the second performance that evening so don’t miss out!  It’s sure to be a memorable event.


May is also the month in which we welcome our new summer staff.  We look forward to getting to know them all and invite you to come out for a tour with the new recruits!

Roses and brunch are great, but how about adding a visit to the Diefenbunker with mom on Mother’s Day?  We’ll be offering a special Women’s History Tour and discounted admission for that special lady.  Dare to be different!

Happy Spring!

The Diefenbunker has something to offer everyone this fall so plan to join us in Carp in the coming weeks.

For the art lover, Breaking Barriers continues to January 31, 2015.  Organized in partnership with One World Dialogue, the exhibition explores the lessons of breaking barriers and the symbolism of the Berlin Wall in its efforts for peace.  Come and see how the Bank of Canada Vault has been transformed into a dramatic exhibition space for works by local artists, youth, and community members.

For those who enjoy scary tales and even a little gore, we offer Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure. Organized in partnership with The Haunted Walks Ottawa, Incident at the Bunker is an interactive adventure with the undead, deep inside the labyrinth that is the Museum.  With over 140 volunteer zombies this year, it may be our scariest Halloween season ever.  There are still three tour dates left, including a special after hours tour on Sunday, October 26th.  Tickets can be purchased online through The Haunted Walks Ottawa.  It would be ‘ghoulish’ for you to miss out!

For the history buff, we are recognizing the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall through a trio of exhibitions organized in partnership with the German Embassy to Canada.  25 | Berlin brings together the photography of artist Leslie Hossack, bold works by graffiti artists from both Berlin and Montreal, and a dramatic overview of the story of 20th century Europe as told through rare photographs, newspaper clippings and political cartoons from different European archives.

For those who are into the ‘underground’ party scene, we are proud to be hosting a Free Europe Party in partnership with Nature Nocturne Productions.  With a German DJ, food and drink from across continental Europe, and a range of fun, interactive activities, it’s sure to be a party like no other.  Tickets are available online through the Canadian Museum of Nature.  Let’s show them how we do it in Ottawa’s West End!

For all proud Canadians, we are honoured to host our annual Remembrance Day Ceremony in recognition of the sacrifice of those fallen during the Cold War.  Join us for this moving ceremony followed by a tour of the Museum.

And for those with a taste for fine spirits, we are happy to serve up our 3rd Annual Whisky Tasting Fundraiser. Guests will taste the wide range of flavours, aromas, and colours available in single malts and learn how various influences determine the distinct characteristics in particular whiskies, the importance of ageing, and the process of maturation.  Part travelogue, part history lesson, and certainly a multi-sensory experience, guests will taste five different whiskies with five different food pairings.  Whisky Business is a delectable event that is sure to sell out so reserve your tickets today!

Still looking for more?  The Diefenbunker offers daily public tours, spy themed birthday parties, a Cold War store and more all within the thick concrete walls of our National Heritage Site.  There really is no place else like the Diefenbunker.  We hope to see you soon!

On September 20, 2014, One World Dialogue, in collaboration with the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, present the exhibition Breaking Barriers. This exhibition is the second the two organizations have collaborated on to mark International Peace Day (September 21). While this is the fourth year One World Dialogue continues to build this exhibition around Peace Day and working with the arts community in Ottawa for peace dialogue, it is an exciting year with the Diefenbunker to explore an aspect of history and intriguing theme!

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This exhibition explores through visual art, interpretations, expressions and lessons learned of breaking barriers and the symbolism of the Berlin Wall in its efforts for peace. For One World Dialogue, working with the Diefenbunker and connecting peace to the Cold War context has provided the opportunity to delve deeper into areas of peace dialogue that can connect generations and diverse sets of contexts. One World Dialogue aims to build a culture of peace. The organization is dedicated to re-thinking how social challenges are solved through art, design and the process of integrative thinking to build strong, integrated and vibrant communities.

Breaking Barriers is displayed within the Bank of Canada Vault in the Diefenbunker. For One World Dialogue, a major part of the organization’s work is to design and transform spaces to build dialogue and peace in communities. It is wonderful to see how the Vault can once again be transformed from what normally may feel like a cold, damp, empty place once built to store the gold reserves of Canada, into a colourful space for creativity and cultural innovation.

In early 2014, six artists were brought together  to commission pieces for the exhibition: Sarah Barbary, Carol Howard Donati, Jaime Koebel (curating works by Howard Adler, Heather Campbell, Rebekah Elkerton, Peter Purdy, and Tim Yearington), Randolf McMillan, Marie-Paule Thorn, and Sandy Woods.

Each artist explored the theme of the exhibition from a different perspective. The purpose was to explore how, through visual art and the storytelling, various artists representing different ‘voices’ in our community can connect with the idea of breaking barriers for peace. Randolf McMillan has direct connections to the Berlin Wall as an artist who painted on the Wall before and after it was taken down. Sarah Barbary explores through animation how the next generation may explore this theme in today’s context and through a modern lens. Sandy Woods walks us through personal connections to peace and how to build peace through a series called Positive Peace. Carol Howard Donati takes a unique exploration of breaking barriers through historical research and personal stories from the Cold War to messages on food security as present day challenges to global peace – all presented via textile art using recycled plastics, fabrics and dying techniques. Marie-Paule Thorn takes visitors on a vibrant journey of interpreting images form the Berlin Wall and the playfulness of youth open to your own interpretations. Finally, local Aboriginal artists, curated by Jaime Koebel, share Canadian stories of connecting peace to our natural surroundings, the voice and protection of women in our communities, the challenges around identity and hope for Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

In addition to the amazing art and stories created by our artists, One World Dialogue and the Diefenbunker worked with youth in the Ottawa area over the summer of 2014 to engage in dialogue on breaking barriers to peace. The groups included: CHEO School, Manotik Public School, H’Art of Ottawa, Taggart Family YMCA, Odawa Native Friendship Centre and Miwaashin Lodge.

Breaking Barriers WRECKING BALL

This journey brought us into a number of schools and community groups to lead a visual thinking workshop centered on dialogue. Using photos of graffiti art from the Berlin Wall, before and after the fall, we asked the question: If there was a wall between you and peace, what would you write or draw on it?

Visual thinking is a way to open up dialogue and create a safe space for learning and sharing, a space without barriers! Each group discussed the ideas of walls and barriers, from tangible barriers like the Berlin Wall that divided a country, to intangible barriers of ideology, perception, ability and culture. The workshops inspired a greater dialogue, demonstrating the power of alternative, creative learning as the mechanism to empower youth in the community.

These programs were inspiring and demonstrated how, when given an opportunity, young minds are ready and willing to delve deep and creatively into all subjects. Some moments that stand out in particular are, when a kid in grade 5 walked up and bluntly shared ‘peace is relative’, seeing how kids who normally do not speak up in class feel they have a voice worth sharing, the pride youth have in creating messages about peace through art to be displayed in the exhibition or hearing the messages that come out from groups with developmental disabilities expressing the need to more understanding, less bullying, respect and more – not only demonstrate that peace is relevant, but that there is more work to be done in providing power to more people to express their ideas and build a culture of peace.