Archive for December, 2012

**Reprinted with permission from the Ottawa Museum Network
Ottawa Museum NetworkOttawa's Stories - Little boy smiling

On behalf of our member museums, the Ottawa Museum Network would like to thank the City of Ottawa, the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada for their continued support of Ottawa’s local museums and heritage community. This “Top Ten” list highlights just a few of the successful projects and accomplishments that have been made possible as a result of the generous funding provided by our supporters.

Vanier Museopark:

On November 16, the Vanier Museopark held a benefit evening at the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre. This event, which was attended by nearly 200 people, represented its principal fundraising activity. The event raised more than $ 23 000. The Vanier Museopark would like to thank the community for its support as well as its many sponsors.

Osgoode Township Historical Society and Museum:

November was a busy month for the Osgoode Township Historical Society & Museum.  Amidst museum renovations, we began with our Annual Remembrance Day Ceremony on Saturday, November 3rd, followed by an adult jewellery workshop on Saturday November 10th.  A wonderful Kids Craft Day was held on Saturday, November 17th where a great group of kids discovered how to create their very own Advent Calendars!  Several “Remember When” Seniors programs were offered off-site, including our first program done in french at a retirement residence in Limoges, Ontario!  The month came to a close with a well-attended Cheese-Making Presentation by Eugene Kyer on Saturday, November 24th.  We are looking forward to the holiday season and more great events coming up in December!

Pinhey’s Point Historic Site:

With the fire suppression and heritage stewardship in mind, an 86,000L water tank was installed underground at Pinhey’s Point Historic Site in November.  Funded by Infrastructure Services, the project guarantees an accessible year-round water source for firefighters in the event of an emergency at the site, without modifications to the heritage structures.

Billings Estate National Historic Site:

Billings Estate National Historic Site has completed the final phase of the multi-year rehabilitation of the Billings cemetery.  Initiated in 2009 using MSP funding, the project saw historical research and physical studies lead to landscape and sightline improvements, enhanced security to prevent vandalism, the installation of new interpretive signage to tell the stories of the people buried there, and the installation of commemorative markers honour the members of the Billings family who are buried there.  The project’s completion is a fitting end to the bicentennial anniversary of Braddish’s settlement in Gloucester Township.

Goulbourn Museum:

During the month of November, over 3000 visitors viewed the Goulbourn Museum’s display of wartime artefacts at the Stittsville branch of the Ottawa Public Library. In addition to medals, clothing, photographs and weapons, the display also included a series of letters written during WWI by Pte. Sefton Stewart of the village of Richmond. The Museum also held its final family craft day of the year in November which was ‘sold out’ weeks in advance.

Watson’s Mill:

In November, Watson’s Mill partnered with Museoparc Vanier, Osgoode Museum, Goulbourn Museum, Nepean Museum and Rideau Township Historical Society to participate in this year’s “Women’s Day Festival” in Manotick, an annual festival sponsored by the Manotick BIA as the Ultimate Girls’ Day Out.  Together, the participating museum colleagues developed a special exhibit featuring period clothing from each site’s collection.  The period pieces were displayed at the Carriage Shed and Dickinson House, in Historic Dickinson Square from November 1st to 12th.  During that time, Watson’s Mill also collected donations of gently used clothing for Nelson House, a women’s shelter organisation.  The collaboration was a huge success and the museum colleagues look forward to their next group project.

Bytown Museum:

The Bytown Museum partnered with Haunted Walks of Ottawa to offer fantastic tours and experiences of the Bytown Museum’s building and collection from a wondrous perspective in October and early November.  The partnership will continue in December with special Holiday tours over three weekends. The museum had a great opening for its new artist-in-residence exhibition: Rebranding Bytown with Michèle Provost, which was followed by a Curator’s Talk on November 4th and an Artist’s Talk on November 26th. The museum has also been busy preparing for next year’s stellar season – new exhibitions, partnerships and programming, as well as developing major grant applications and funding opportunities.

Cumberland Heritage Village Museum:

Christmas cheer is the focus at Cumberland Heritage Village Museum! Create some memories of your own every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from December 1 to 23, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Our family-friendly Christmas program evokes the nostalgia of Christmas past with a twist! The heritage buildings and our newly planted 20’ Christmas tree will be glittering with lights. The museum green will be transformed with the presence of an enormous sleigh and nine reindeer!  Our young visitors will send a “Santa-gram” to the North Pole and experience first-hand how communities met the needs of those less fortunate. With gingerbread decorating, vintage ornament making, a visit to Santa’s Workshop, horse-drawn wagon rides, and of course a visit with Santa Claus, visitors young and old will be filled with good cheer.

Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum:

November was all about community, partnerships and special events at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum. The Diefenbunker partnered with Huntley Parish for our first ever Remembrance Day ceremony. The Museum also hosted a well-attended book launch for Andrew Burtch’s new book, “Give Me Shelter: The Failure of Canada’s Cold War Civil Defence.” A lively presentation by the author and Q&A period followed. We are looking forward to topping the month off with our first annual Whiskey Tasting Fundraiser on November 30.

Nepean Museum:

Santa’s arrival at the Nepean Museum has created huge excitement for the Holidays! He visits for Seasonal programs much to the delight of his devoted fans. Fairfields Historic Property has seen the Family Zone programs fully attended on Sundays and the upcoming seasonal programs for the Winter include ‘ Indoor Games’ and “ Warm, Woolly and Wild” in January and February.


Bunker bomb: Peace on EarthMusings from the Executive Director

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on all our accomplishments at the Diefenbunker. Our team has had a fantastic year, and we’ve made huge efforts to reach out to the community. We’ve welcomed so many new people to the museum, and also to our newsletter, and our social media platforms. We’ve brought you art – check out the Allard Gallery to see Leslie Hossack’s eerie and haunting photographs. Cold War music was featured during the Music from the Cold War concert, with dozens of performances all over the building, including the Moscow String Quarter in our cafeteria.  We’ve had manicures for Mother’s Day, and hot sauce in the Man Cave for Father’s Day. We brought you romance on Valentine’s Day. And we recently partnered with the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum to hold a fun and lively whiskey tasting fundraiser, adding taste and smell to the Bunker experience.

We’ve given our visitors opportunities to try out different characters and styles — we’ve had a retro wedding, we’ve had zombies, we’ve had spies, and we’ve had the Easter Bunny, and of course we had the Grinch (returning by popular demand.)

This past year also saw the Diefenbunker exploring the Cold War experience from different perspectives. Our Cuban Missile Crisis commemoration looked at those tense few days when the world stood still. We launched Andrew Burtch’s book on the Canadian civil defence program during the Cold War. We reopened the Bank of Canada vault, one of the most unique and dramatic spaces in the facility. And we continued to work with our oral history project to bring you the perspectives of the people who lived and worked in the Bunker.

We’ve had a great year, and we are very grateful to our visitors, our supporters, our funders and donors, our municipal representatives, and our wonderful volunteers. And I in particular want to thank my amazingly talented staff – it’s a pleasure to work with them and we have a lot of fun together in our very own blast shelter.

We look forward to reaching out to our community and to our visitors, local, national and international. From all of us at the Diefenbunker, we wish you all a very happy and safe holiday.

People running from nuclear blast

Page from the 11 Steps to Survival guide issued by Emergency Planning Canada

Diefenbunker Team is hard at work preparing for the End of the World. December 21, 2012 is the last day of the Mayan calendar. What safer place to be at the End of the World than an underground nuclear bunker?!

December is all about preparing for the End here at the Bunker. On December 20, two hundred lucky listeners of 106.9 The Bear will be nestled safe 50-75 feet underground at midnight, listening to I Mother Earth and waiting for the End.

But what if you don’t believe that this is the End? On December 22 from 10:00am-12:00pm, we will be hosting a Survivor’s Brunch, so that the optimists can plan to attend. Join us for a brunch buffet of delicious food from the Swan at Carp. Be entertained by tales of survival, brought to you by the Ottawa Storytellers and experience our limited time “11 Steps to Survival” tour.

11 Steps to Survival

People taking cover from nuclear blastLooking for some tips on how to survive the End of the World?

This month only, the Diefenbunker brings you a special theme tour, designed around “11 Steps to Survival,” a guide published by Emergency Planning Canada during the Cold War.  This tour will take you through the Bunker, the 11 steps to surviving a nuclear attack and test your preparedness.

The tour is an hour long (give or take a few – depending on your survival skills), and will be offered following the Survivor’s Brunch on December 22 and before Cold War Cinema on December 18th at 6:00pm.

Take the tour before it’s too late!


2012 movie coverJoin us deep underground on Tuesday December 18th for Cold War Cinema. The apocalyptic movie “2012,” starring John Cusack, follows one family through a global cataclysm in the year 2012. Themes of emergency preparedness and continuity of government make this the perfect film for the end of the world at the Diefenbunker. You may even notice some similarities to Cold War planning.

The movie will begin at 7:00pm on December 18th, but be sure to join us for the 11 Steps to Survival Tour at 6pm.

Time: 7:00pm movie starts; optional tour at 6:00pm.

Cost: $8.00 for the movie, or $15.00 for the movie and tour.
As always, it is free for Museum Members & Connexion Card holders.

Complete event details can be found on our website at