George and Kathy Dembroski donate $500,000 to support The Canadian Canoe Museum’s new facility

New museum's outdoor terrace to be named in recognition of gift from Toronto-based philanthropists

A coneptural rendering of the outdoor terrace at The Canadian Canoe Museum's new 85,000-square-foot facility to be built beside the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway. The terrace will be named in honour of Toronto-based philanthropists George and Kathy Dembroski, who have donated $500,000 to the museum's capital campaign for the new facility. (Supplied graphic)
A coneptural rendering of the outdoor terrace at The Canadian Canoe Museum's new 85,000-square-foot facility to be built beside the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway. The terrace will be named in honour of Toronto-based philanthropists George and Kathy Dembroski, who have donated $500,000 to the museum's capital campaign for the new facility. (Supplied graphic)

Toronto-based philanthropists George and Kathy Dembroski have made a $500,000 gift to The Canadian Canoe Museum, for its new 85,000-square-foot facility to be built beside the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway.

In recognition of the gift, the museum’s outdoor terrace — a 9,700-square-foot gathering space that connects interior and exterior of the new facility — will be named in their honour.

According to a media release, the Dembroskis are strongly supportive of the plans for the new museum and are eager to see it built.

“We are incredibly pleased to support this exciting project in Peterborough, recognizing its local, provincial, and national impact,” says Kathy Dembroski. “As we learned about the plans for the new museum, we became increasingly interested.”

“And we knew we wanted to become involved as soon as we learned about the functionality of the terrace — and how it will serve as a connecting space between the indoors and the outdoors. We can envision people gathering there and taking in the views of the lift lock and the waterway.”

Toronto-based philanthropists Kathy and George Dembroski, who have made a $500,000 gift to The Canadian Canoe Museum. (Supplied graphic)
Toronto-based philanthropists Kathy and George Dembroski, who have made a $500,000 gift to The Canadian Canoe Museum. (Supplied graphic)

The new museum has been designed by the award-winning team of heneghan peng (Dublin, Ireland) and Kearns Mancini Architects (Toronto, Canada). The building, purpose-built for the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft, will blend almost seamlessly into its landscape, emerging from the drumlin and complementing and contouring the waterway.

The terrace, which is parallel to the galleria space on the interior, matching the curved shape of the building, extends the ground floor from the interior. Only a glass wall separates the two areas. This will draw outside visitors into the museum, and also invite visitors who are inside, to explore the spaces beyond.

“All of the new museum’s outdoor spaces will significantly enhance the visitor experience,” says the museum’s executive director Carolyn Hyslop. “We look very forward to welcoming individuals and families to the terrace to connect with each another and the landscape that surrounds them. The terrace provides us with a flexible, functional gathering space that will offer opportunities that right now, we can only imagine. This is thanks to the incredible generosity of George and Kathy.”

The new museum will be supported by a $65 million capital campaign, and has received foundational financial support from municipal, provincial and federal governments. In addition, the W. Garfield Weston Foundation has invested $7.5 million, building on its more than 20-year-long legacy of leadership with the museum.

For more information about The Canadian Canoe Museum’s new facility, visit canoemuseum.ca.

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