BMO Financial Group invests $650,000 in new Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough

New facility's research and knowledge centre to be named after bank in recognition of donation

A conceptual rendering of the new Canadian Canoe Museum, an 85,000-square-foot facility to be built alongside the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway. (Illustration: Heneghan Peng and Kearns Mancini Architects)
A conceptual rendering of the new Canadian Canoe Museum, an 85,000-square-foot facility to be built alongside the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway. (Illustration: Heneghan Peng and Kearns Mancini Architects)

On Friday (October 11), BMO Financial Group announced it would be investing $650,000 in the new Canadian Canoe Museum, to be built alongside the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway.

In recognition of the gift to the museum’s capital campaign, which is the first from a financial institution, the museum announced the new facility’s archives and archives workroom will be named the BMO Financial Group Research and Knowledge Centre.

“As Canada’s oldest bank, serving communities for more than 200 years, BMO is proud to support The Canadian Canoe Museum,” says Sheri Griffiths, BMO’s regional president of business banking for Ontario. “The new BMO Financial Group Research and Knowledge Centre will offer a unique opportunity for visitors to connect with and gain a deeper understanding of our country’s history.”

The archives and archives workroom, which doesn’t exist at the museum’s current facility at 910 Monaghan Road, will be a dedicated space housing the museum’s growing collection of rare books, maps, and archival materials, as well as film, video, and recorded oral histories.

It will include a reference library with access to individual study spaces and large work surfaces, and will be built to a Class A controlled environment standard designed for the materials it will house.

“The research and knowledge centre is an integral space in the new museum, one that will offer opportunities to learn and collaborate that right now we can only imagine,” says the museum’s executive director Carolyn Hyslop. “The centre will be an inclusive and safe space for First Peoples, Métis and Inuit, indigenous knowledge holders, and academics to share, encourage understanding, and conduct cultural and ceremonial practices.”

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Stephen Fry, BMO’s head of indigenous banking for North America, notes the $650,000 gift to the museum reflects the relationships the bank nurtures with indigenous communities across Canada.

“We’re proud to pay tribute to the indigenous communities and their intergenerational knowledge of the canoe that has been shared for many generations,” Fry says.

The new 85,000-square-foot museum has been designed by the award-winning team of Heneghan Peng Architects of Dublin, Ireland and Kearns Mancini Architects of Toronto. The facility, which has been designed specifically to house the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks, and paddled watercraft, will blend almost seamlessly into the surrounding landscape.

A conceptual rendering of the new Canadian Canoe Museum at the Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site. (Illustration: Heneghan Peng and Kearns Mancini Architects)
A conceptual rendering of the new Canadian Canoe Museum at the Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site. (Illustration: Heneghan Peng and Kearns Mancini Architects)

BMO Financial Group’s $650,000 gift is another private contribution to the museum’s $65-million capital campaign, which has already received foundational financial support from municipal, provincial, and federal governments. The largest private donation to date has been a $7.5 million investment from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation.

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