Did you know that Canada History Week is from November 18-24 this year? The Department of Canadian Heritage conceived Canada History Week with the goal to provide “all Canadians with opportunities to learn more about the people and events that have shaped the great country that we know today.”
To travellers like you and me, it’s simply a great opportunity to visit cultural landmarks and historic sites, and educate ourselves at institutions like museums and art galleries, or even from the comfort of our own homes.
Here are 5 things you can do in the spirit of celebrating Canada History Week:
Visit national historic sites
Even though Canada is a relatively young country, compared to our European counterparts on the other side of the world (or even our American neighbours to the south), we still have our share of historic sites. With a list of over 168 national historical sites to choose from, there are plenty of destinations you can plan future travels around. Also of interest to travellers are Canada’s UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Visit national museums
Museums are great institutions that not only preserve and promote cultural and historical assets, but also serve to educate the public. They’re meant to be accessible to people of all ages and interest groups. Here are just a few of Canada’s national museums you can visit:
Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, QC
Canadian Museum of Immigration in Halifax
Canadian War Museum in Ottawa
Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa
National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa
Do your homework on any historical topic
Ever look up random articles on Wikipedia at 2 or 3am just for the heck of it? The Canadian Encyclopedia is a great resource all things Canadian—history, politics, indigenous peoples, environment, zoology, sports, you name it. With over 19,500 bilingual articles, and contributions from the likes of author Margaret Atwood, environmentalist David Suzuki, Toronto International Film Festival CEO Piers Handling and others, it’s hard not to go down a Canadiana rabbit-hole when looking up articles of interest!
Talk to an expert in your community
You might know someone who’s a Canadian history buff. Or you might even know a historian or two—strike up a conversation with them! There’s no better way to learn about Canadian history than to engage in dialogue about it. You could also reach out to groups like the Canadian Historical Association or the Association of Canadian Archivists and express your interest, as a starting point.
Bonus: Binge-watch Heritage Minutes
Many Canadians grew up watching Heritage Minutes on TV—educational 60-second short films that depict iconic figures, dramatize historic events and reveal stories about Canadian history. You can watch them all in the Heritage Minutes archive!
Have other suggestions to celebrate Canada History Week? Share them below!