Archive for the ‘Local Community’ Category


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


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!


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’

ofdFather’s Day

By: Julie Beun

It’s not top secret and won’t involve any real commandos, but Operation Father’s Day will see the Diefenbunker overrun with the Royal Canadian Dragoons and some of the rarest Cold War vehicles ever seen.

Aimed at both raising money for the Cold War museum and the Guild of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, the event will also feature an unprecedented display of Cold War vehicles, including the ultra-rare Volvo Sugga, an unusual Swedish military based on that country’s iconic taxi cabs.

Families will also have a chance to ride on a few of the vehicles, grab a tour of the museum, buy food and enjoy beer brewed by the Big Rig Brew Pub, owned by Ottawa Senators’ Chris Phillips. Children can get involved too: the Dragoons will be running a special Kiddy Commando course, to put kids through their paces in a mock-military training camp. There will also be live Cold War era music by Adrian Butts through TETRA Speakers.

“It was a natural fit to have a partnership between the Dragoons and the Cold War Collection,” says Diefenbunker marketing manager, Megan Lafrenière.

“It’s a great chance for families to come and spend Father’s Day, and to recognize the contribution of the men and women who have served our country.”

The Diefenbunker, located at 3929 Carp Road, is a four-storey, 300 room, 100,000 square foot underground bunker built in secrecy at the height of Cold War tensions with the former USSR, between 1959 and 1961. It was named for then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, after a journalist exposed the existence of the complex. It was decommissioned in 1994.

These days, more than 48,000 visitors come through the famous blast tunnel for tours, says Lafrenière. “At Doors Open Ottawa, we’re the most popular site…thousands of people come out to Carp. We’re hoping that Father’s Day will be a similar event.”

The event is co-hosted by the Cold War Collection, Guild of the Royal Canadian Dragoons and Star Motors.

Event: Operation Father’s Day

Cost: $15 per person or $40 for a family of five. Children under six are free.

Includes: A military-themed tour of the bunker, rides on vehicles, exclusive and rare Cold War vehicle display, Kiddy Commando Course with prizes, music and access for food and beverages.

For more information, contact Megan Lafrenière, 613 839 0007. Tickets are available through or at the Diefenbunker.

20140423_114319smWith over 100 artworks to hang, we have been very busy at the Diefenbunker installing our inaugural artist-in-residence exhibition in preparation for its launch on Saturday, April 26th.

To warn other Canadians is the outcome of Gatineau-based artist Gail Bourgeois’ six month artist residency at the Diefenbunker. During this time, Gail was given exclusive access to the100 000 sq. ft. bunker, the museum collection and its archives. Invited to respond to this engineering marvel, its historical significance and its present function as a community museum, Gail developed a series of unique works that explore an overarching theme of communication.

Rather than use the bunker’s more traditional gallery spaces, Gail preferred an exhibition that allowed her to engage with the architecture, dispersing works throughout the four levels of the building as interventions into the already existing museum displays. “The works will foster alternative interpretations of the bunker and give visitors a chance to think about the issues raised by the displays in another way”.

As if to share with visitors her experience of getting to know the bunker, Gail also created a map that informs and guides visitors from floor to floor and room to room to discover her installations, alerted as well by the addition of a “logo” at the door to each exhibition room to announce an artistic intervention.­­

To warn other Canadians presents a very thoughtful perspective on this remarkable institution and the history it holds, and the Diefenbunker is proud to present this first exhibition of its inaugural artist-in-residence program.


Note: In addition to an artist-led tour of the exhibition on opening day, Gail will offer monthly public tours. For updates, please visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Diefenbunker started off strong in 2014 with a new website, new initiatives and a new vision for the year. Winter escaped us underground, and now – Spring has sprung and we’re sprouting new events like the grass above. April will close with a clever Easter Egg Hunt in our 100,000 sq/ft venue (talk about rewarding when you find the golden [chocolate] eggs!) on Saturday April 19th. This is for the young and young at heart. This event is included in the price of admission so come armed with your favourite colourful basket and pretend you’re a bunny super sleuth!

The following weekend on April 26th, we welcome for the next 6 months our resident artist, Gail Bourgeois and 125 of her cold war storytelling pieces that will be on display throughout our entire complex until the Fall. She tells a unique visual story, layering newspaper clippings, advertising and other imagery from the cold war era. “To warn other Canadians” is a title borrowed from something said by tour guide and museum Collections Manager, Doug Beaton: The bunker was put here to warn other Canadians. This refers to the role the bunker played in housing elements of the federal government in the event of a nuclear attack. Join Gail for a special tour of the facility described through the eyes of an artist.  Monthly tours are also planned so look to our website for updates.

May starts off with our first installment for this year’s Cold War Lecture Series: Canadian Cold War Submarine Patrols on May 8th. Join Commander (Ret’d) Robert Bush as he discusses the planning and execution of Canadian Cold War patrols, including some personal observations and other declassified examples of the interesting and exciting aspects of these operations. The presentation will concentrate on the Cold War period of Canadian submarine operations, during which time he served in the submarines of Canada, the UK and Australia.

On May 11th, to celebrate the mom’s of our community, we’re hosting a Mother’s Day Brunch & Tour. We’re inviting moms and their families of all ages to celebrate Mother’s Day like never before. Enjoy a buffet brunch in the Bank of Canada Vault, let the kids have an explosion of fun in Spy HQ and have a blast exploring our beautiful facility on our special women’s history themed tour. It’s sure to be a day to remember.

And finally in May we’re welcoming the long weekend by bringing back our Cold War Cinema event with a  Bond themed movie night underground. Join us for popcorn and a handsome man of mystery on our big-screen. Will it be a classic with Moore or Connery? Or something just as charming but with more gadgets like with Brosnan or Craig? We’re currently putting our feelers out to our social media community to see which movie is a fan favourite to play that night. Place your vote on our Facebook page or tweet us your suggestion!

The summer months are just as exciting with our annual “Doors Open” event, a huge and soon to be released Father’s Day event and Summer Spy Camp! With new details being populated every day, please visit our website often for complete details of all these events and information about the Diefenbunker.

Lest We Forget

On November 11th, staff, volunteers, and visitors will gather in our Building Peace exhibit to honour our veterans for Remembrance Day. As Canada’s Cold War Museum, we have a unique responsibility to those who fought in Cold War conflicts, in Canada and beyond.

In many ways, the Diefenbunker stands as a monument to the peaceful resolution of the Cold War – the fact that it was decommissioned in 1994 symbolizes the de-escalation of Cold War tension. The Diefenbunker is, in many ways, a symbol of all that we can learn from the Cold War in diplomacy, civil courage, and international relations.

We must not forget that there were hot spots in the otherwise Cold War that saw members of the Canadian Forces in active service, at home and abroad. The employees of Canadian Forces Station Carp, for example, were prepared to spend 30 days in lockdown here, in the Diefenbunker, to help preserve our government and work to aid the rest of the country in the event of a nuclear attack. Their dedication, selflessness, and bravery are what we honour today, on Remembrance Day, at the Diefenbunker.

The act of remembrance is not only focused on the past. In remembering, we are committed to learning from the past for our future. This is the aim of the peace theme we have adopted this year. We have looked at the past, with the making of 1,000 paper cranes in August, the present, with the Building Peace exhibit launch and International Peace Day in September, and now we will focus on how remembrance leads us to create peace for the future.

Please join us on November 11th, at 10:40am, in our Bank of Canada Vault.

army_runWe’re proud to announce that the Diefenbunker has been awarded a cheering station at the 2013 Army Run, Sunday September 22. We will be making noise in support our Canadian Armed Forces and its veterans.

WE ARE CHEERING STATION #7  on McKenzie Avenue at the south entrance to Major’s Hill Park.

We will be holding signs like “Quit Stalin” and “Keep Calm and Diefenbunk-On!”  while dancing to Cold War Era music and competing against 8 other teams for the grand prize of $3000!

So come out and join on our Cold War Era themed team and help us beat out the competition with – the loudest voices, brightest costumes and most creative signs you can come up with!

All winnings will go towards planning our Remembrance Day Event.

Have questions? Need directions? Don’t hesitate to ask!

Or check out the Army Run Charity Cheering Stations Website for more information.

paper craneAn ancient Japanese legend states that folding 1000 paper cranes will grant you a wish. It was this ancient legend that inspired the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl who lived during the time of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, Japan. Because of radiation exposure, Sadako developed leukemia at a young age. Her only wish was to live, and so decided to fold 1000 paper cranes to make that wish come true.

She was only able to finish 644 cranes, after which she became too weak to continue. Sadly, she passed away at the age of 12. Read her full story here. Sasaki’s paper crane story is the basis of our new exhibit entitled “Building Peace.”

The Diefenbunker has partnered with One World Dialogue (OWD) to create the exhibition “Building Peace” (September 14th – December 31st, 2013), located in the Bank of Canada Vault (level 100). The exhibit will explore how we build and create peace looking at the past, present and future.

We want you! There are three ways you can be involved with our new exhibition:

1) Submit your artwork – We are currently seeking visual art submissions for this exhibition.
For more information, click here »  The deadline for submissions is August 12th, 2013 at 4:00pm

2) Help us make 1000 paper cranes – Join us at the Bunker (or even from the comfort of your own home) and donate your paper cranes between August 6th, 2013 and August 10th, 2013. The 1,000 paper cranes will be on display in the Bank of Canada Vault as part of the Building Peace Exhibition, then donated to the Children’s Peace Monument in remembrance of the bombings.

Here is a tutorial on how to make your own paper crane.

Papercraneposter_13) Participate in our paper crane workshop– come join us on Saturday August 10th from 1-3pm in the Butler Hut at the Diefenbunker.
Learn how to fold cranes and other origami! At the end you will put your newly acquired skills to the test – we will all work together to fold two life sized cranes! The workshop is free and all origami will be donated to the Children’s Peace Memorial in Japan.

Exhibition Details

How do we build and create a ‘culture of peace’ as we move into the future?

Art is a powerful tool to express the human desire for peace. This exhibition explores different perspectives on building peace representing our past, present and a look to our future.

Date: September 14 – December 31, 2013
Launches Saturday, September 14, 2013

Location: Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, 3911 Carp Road, Carp, ON, K0A 1L0 |

Happy Birthday Canada!

To celebrate we are offering a fun-filled day of activities at the Diefenbunker Museum. Come join us between 11:00am – 4:00pm for a great celebration. Did we mention that admission is FREE all day?

Face Paiting 2012What’s Happening at Bunker

  • Take part in our Photo Scavenger Hunt and enter your family in to win a great prize
  • For the kids (or the kid-in-you): Be sure to have your face painted
  • Enjoy live music by folk band Dayton Brock
  • Have a postcard made at our Flashpoint Photobooth
  • Enjoy a BBQ (hot dogs and veggie dogs) with Freezies ($)
  • Explore our Museum by joining our guided tours, or explore the museum on your own
  • Bring your bike! The Huntley Community Association will be hosting a Bike Rodeo!!!

What is a Bike Rodeo you ask?

The event will feature a sign in and bike inspection being done by staff from Kunstadts in Kanata. There will be a series of riding tests and child friendly competitions to train/test and entertain the bikers. The bike rodeo will be held between 11:00am-1:00pm.

If you have any questions, please call the museum at 613-839-0007 or email

Location: 3911 Carp Road (Follow the Canada Flags from the Carp Fair Grounds!)
Cost: FREE
Date and Time: July 1st, 2013, 11:00am – 4:00pm

See you at the Bunker!