Archive for April, 2012

Elle The BunkerGirl

Although this next blog was dedicated to decoration DIYs, I thought I’d take a pause from the Mother’s Day event to remind everyone about the return of the Diefenbunker’s Cold War Cinema on April 24th! We start the movie season with the well-known cult classic, Stanley Kubric-directed Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

This dark comedy- emphasis on the comedy- treats the delicate nature of the Cold War and the frightening reality of a nuclear apocalypse with disrespect. Provoked by two demented and war hungry US generals with their finger on the trigger, played by Sterling Hayden and George C. Scott, a troop of US pilots are accidentally ordered to launch a series of nuclear attacks on Russia.

Modern audiences tend to laugh shamelessly and comfortably knowing that the movie plays on the dated fears of an American-Soviet nuclear “Doomsday”, a threat that peaked exactly fifty years ago with the Cuban Missile Crisis, taking place only two years before the release of this 1964 film. The heavy subject of nuclear warfare is approached in a comedic way with a roster of impossible and juvenile characters, some of which are ingeniously played by Oscar-nominated comedian Peter Sellers, who plays the droll US President Merkin Muffley and the bizarre and diabolical, wheel-chair bound nuclear scientist, Dr. Strangelove. The film features other absurd characters like the hooligan pilot Major T.J ‘King’ Kong, who wears a cowboy hat and bull-rides a hydrogen bomb to his death. Then there is the ultra-serious but thick-as-a-brick Colonel Bat Guano, who interferes with Captain Mandrake’s (Sellers) attempt to stop nuclear warfare. Dr. Strangelove walks the fine line between satire and sadness, peace and warfare, and the madness of humanity in an attempt to thwart a communist take-over.

Miss Scott in a bikini named after Bikini Atoll, where nuclear weapons tests were performed by the US between 1946 and 1958*.

Hydrogen bombs carried on the Boeing B52, jokingly labeled "Hi there!" and "Dear John".

The War Room in the Pentagon that holds the Iconorama. The Bunker has one too in our Federal Warning Centre!

For a younger audience, this film may be considered an inspiration for the Austin Powers comedies and includes an interesting mix of satire and the “who-done it” aspect of The Usual Suspects. (Mike Myers, similar to Sellers, played the roles of several conflicting key characters in each of his ‘Powers’ movies.) Older audiences will recognize the dramatic ending of mushroom cloud footage under the closing soundtrack of Vera Lynn’s Second World War ballad “We’ll Meet Again” which serves as its anthem.

And since the film opens with an introduction to the Boeing B52 bomber – flown for the first time on this day in 1952 – we would be remiss in not wishing Happy 60th flight anniversary to the plane that is capable, according to the film, of launching 15 megaton bombs!

Overall we know this black and white film will remain one the Bunker’s favourites as long as we have Cold War Cinema.

Major T.J. 'King' Kong bull-riding the hydrogen bomb.

Come join us for a guided tour of this one and only underground museum at 6pm followed by the screening of this equally unique film at 7pm! Prices: $15 tour and film, $8 film only.

*”Bikini.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. <>.


On Saturday April 7th, we hosted our first underground Easter Egg Hunt at the Diefenbunker and it was a huge success! Over 350 visitors came through the museum. It was so busy that the Easter Bunny had to come back and hide more eggs because we ran out!

Here is what one Mom had to say,

We had a wonderful time today…what a great way to introduce history to kids!”
Heather Waller, Mom

Eliza and her Dad walk down the blast tunnel

Eliza and her Dad walk down the blast tunnel. Photo by Julie Oliver, Ottawa Citizen

We would like to extend our thanks to Julie Oliver from the Ottawa Citizen for featuring our Easter Egg Hunt on the front page of the Life section in Sunday`s paper (photo featured to the right).

Julie also interviewed Heather Montgomery, Education and Volunteer Manager, and posted a great video on the Ottawa Citizen website.
Click here to watch the video:

Special thanks to everyone who helped us promote our event. Including: Ottawa Kiosk, Saving in Ottawa, Savvy Mom and more!

After chatting with the Easter Bunny, he agreed that next year he will come back for Sunday too!

Guess what?! You don’t have to wait a full year to come back. We have engaging events planned for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Canada Day. Visit our website for more details >>

Yesterday we hosted our first Ottawa Tourism Shop Talk.

What’s a Shop Talk?

Ottawa Tourism invites its members to networking sessions. Here hotels, attractions and tour operators can get a little taste of what the other is doing and we can help cross-promote each others’ events, activities and facilities.

A little quirky – Shop Talk at the Diefenbunker

We offered a mini tour through the medical centre, CBC Studios, the War Cabinet Room, the Emergency Government Situation Centre, OSAX and the Prime Minister’s “Suite”.Medical Center, CBC Studios & Prime Ministers Quarters

Then we treated our guests to wonderfully delicious Atomic Doughnuts from SuzyQ Doughnuts, Keurig Coffee, Atomic Chip Muffins and 60’s inspired fruit skewers.

After updates from members we handed out loot bags with a Diefenbunker mug and spy glasses. Who can resist a pair of spy glasses? Clearly not this group!

Atomic Doughnuts & Ottawa Tourism Shop Talk Guests

This could be you! Host your next corporate event at the Diefenbunker.

Want to provide a unique experience for your clients and staff? You could host your next corporate breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Diefenbunker. We can cater to a variety of interests and needs. We can also transform our spy headquarters into your party headquarters.

Here are just a few snapshots of our cafeteria and how we can transform it from corporate breakfast to a par-tay!Table decorations in cafeteria, corporate breakfast & live band

Call Katie with any inquiries and to book your next event or meeting: 613-839-0007 x.268. Be sure to ask about our team building activities and scavenger hunts!

Elle The BunkerGirl

This is blog number two on our Mother’s Day event and I’m happy to say that we have come a long way since the last blog. After some thought, and a suggestion from Jess, one of our Visitor Services Coordinators, we are relieved to announce that we have a title that properly reflects the content of what we’re offering at this event, “Bunkers, Boys, & Babies: Ladies of the Cold War”. And before your mind goes off on a tangent, I need to clarify that we are not auctioning off eligible bachelors (boys)…at least, not at this event. Wink. Wink.

Last week, I met with Ottawa’s Cold War artist, Marcia Lea, to discuss the installation of her art pieces. It was a great pleasure to meet an artist who has so much to say about the Cold War and the Diefenbunker, and rightly so. The Cold War is a hot topic and with the end of days looming, so are bunkers! The rising interest in the 60s, for instance, is emphasized with the resurgence of retro design and popular shows like “Mad Men” which have some reflection on gender roles, sexuality, and of course depictions in advertisement. To know more about Marcia Lea, and her art, please visit her website at .

On a similar note, Marcia’s art alludes to gender roles and sex during the Cold War and takes on a graphic style akin to the advertisement and propaganda of the era. Pieces from the “Portrait of a Fortress” and from the “Gender Power Agenda” exhibitions have been selected for the installation. Marcia will be on site to offer information and great discussion topics for those sitting in our lounge area, expressly created for this event!

Marcia Lea's graphic "Cold War Web". Note the lipstick and bombs.

Eames Lounge Chair, a 60s design still in style. I wish I had one of these in my office.

Popular Eames Molded Chairs that you'll find throughout the bunker!

To tie gender, sexuality and the Cold War together we are offering our custom Women’s History tour every hour on the hour. Think women only held clerical positions in the government during the Cold War era? Think again, as you will be introduced to a famous German female spy and several key Canadian femmes who made a difference during the Cold War.

Next time on the Elle The BunkerGirl Blog, it’s a DIY project! We’re making colourful carnation decorations and delicate origami bouquets, any woman will enjoy…even those with allergies to flowers!

That Sneaky Easter Bunny!!!

Posted: April 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Diefenbunker sImagetaff is having a hard time finding all of the eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny. After a day like today, during which 350 people visited the museum in search of eggs, we are surprised to find out that there are MORE to find! We were informed by THE Easter Bunny himself that, “there is still a looooad of eggs that haven’t yet been located!”. That extra generous, yet sneaky, bunny has managed to hide more of his eggs and we must retrieve them.

Continue the hunt for chocolate eggs tomorrow in our underground egg hunt. All children are welcome.

Don’t forget that there is still a chance to win a basket full of Easter goodies! Chocolates are nut-free throughout.

Eater Bunny in Blast Tunnel

Once a year the Easter bunny hops into the homes of millions of families and hides eggs & chocolate.

During his first visit to the Diefenbunker, our staff had a unique opportunity to interview THE Easter Bunny! Here is what he had to tell us:

Diefenbunker Staff (DS): Thanks for visiting us during this busy time of year.

Easter Bunny (EB): No problem! I am happy to be here.

DS: Let’s get right down to details. Where is the best place to hide Easter eggs?

EB: I love every place I go! But in all my years this is the first visit to the Diefenbunker. After hopping through 100,000 square feet and over 350 rooms, I am amazed at the number of hiding spots. The Diefenbunker is the best place ever to hide eggs!!!

DS: That is great to hear. It is quite the labyrinth in here isn’t it? What was your favourite part?

EB: Every room had its own great hiding spots but I really enjoyed hiding eggs in the Rex Zero room, the War Cabinet room, the blast tunnel, the medical centre, and even the Prime Minister’s suite (which is not so sweet).

DS:  Agreed, that single bed doesn’t scream comfort in the least bit! With millions of children to visit in just one night, how do you do it? Where do you get your eggs?

EB: Unlike Santa, I don’t employ small elves year-round to make chocolate for me. I rely on the people in each city I visit to help me. In the case of the Diefenbunker, I worked out a great deal with the kind folks at Bulk Barn, Merivale. They helped me to provide nut-free treats for the kids!

DS: A special thanks to them for sure! Any last words?Eliza and Charlie

EB: Happy Easter! There are hundreds and hundreds of treats at the Diefenbunker waiting to be found. If any kids are reading, just remember, I came early to the Diefenbunker!

DS: That’s right! Thanks for hopping by Easter Bunny!

You can come to the Diefenbunker, Saturday April 7th, anytime between 11:00am and 4:00pm. 

Kids, the Easter Bunny has been very busy hiding all of your eggs! We need you to help us find all of the nut-free eggs.

And that’s not all, you can come create a Easter craft with us and you can even come dressed up as the Easter Bunny, like Eliza (above right photo). Unfortunately, we have to leave all other furry little friends at home. The Easter bunny was our one and only special exception.

See you underground.

Questions? Please call us at 613-839-0007.

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