Canada History Week Activities

From July 1 to 7 every year, take some time to discover what has helped shape Canada into what it is. Below are suggestions of activities for each day of the week, as well as online resources.

But don’t stop there. Many other learning opportunities are available! This Canada History Week, why not wander through a museum in your community, watch a film or read a book about Canadian history, learn about a veteran’s experience or play a fun quiz to test your knowledge?

July 1 activities

Our nation’s birthday kicks of Canada History Week. On this day, you can visit one of Canada’s many national museums and institutions for free. You can also take advantage of free admission to all National historic sites across the country.

In the National Capital Region (Ottawa–Gatineau), you can visit the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canadian War Museum, the National Arts Centre and the National Gallery of Canada.

In Halifax, explore the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

In Québec City, plan an outing to the Plains of Abraham.

In Winnipeg, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is offering free guided outdoor tours of the museum between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Can’t make it there? Visit Canada’s Virtual Museum, which invites you to explore the Expedition Arctic virtual exhibit today.

This Is Your Museum Speaking, an animated short feature, is the first film chosen by the National Film Board for this Canada History Week. There are different films selected for each day of the week. Don’t miss them!

July 2

Canada’s historic sites from coast to coast to coast, including our National Historic Sites and our National Battlefields, provide an interesting window into our past. Plan your excursion to one of these sites today!

Parks Canada’s interactive tool helps you organize your visit. Use it to look for National Historic Sites in your area.

In Québec City, the National Battlefields Commission invites you to visit the Plains of Abraham and the TRACES: Listening to remnants and Student Masterworks exhibits, both of which are free! Abraham's Bus offers an inexpensive guided tour of the park for the entire family. You could also discover the uses of the Plains of Abraham over the years through the National Film Board’s film for today, My Park, My Plains.

The Virtual Museum of Canada invites you to discover the Heritage Passages exhibition that presents the history of the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

July 3

Do you find conservation and conservation science fascinating? Then don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Canadian Conservation Institute, which is open to the public today, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You will learn how objects and works of art are conserved and how science and technology are applied to the preservation of Canada’s cultural heritage.

Take some time to discover our country’s Archives. Library and Archives Canada has tons of interesting information online, about everything from genealogy and family history to Canada’s military heritage. You could also look through some of their books, past census, or atlases in person. This Canada History Week, in honour of the centennial of the start of the First World War, Library and Archives Canada is making more information on this war available online. Learn about the Battle of Passchendaele and the Canadian Expeditionary Force, or discover Mary Riter Hamilton’s Traces of War exhibit.

You could also see how Canada’s history has been mapped on the pages of Canadian Geographic with the You are here – 80 years of Canadian Geographic maps virtual exhibit.

The National Film Board’s film for today, Shameless Propaganda, explores Canada’s propaganda efforts during World War II.

July 4

Wondering about the people that have influenced our country over the years? Admission is free today to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax. The museum explores the role immigration has played in the building of Canada. Young people from 12 to 16 are invited to the Museum to participate in a free, hands-on Lest We Forget workshop. Don’t worry if you can’t make it there in person—the museum has some online resources available for you to visit.

Get to know some of the passengers of the Empress of Ireland, considered Canada’s Titanic, at the Canadian Museum of History, in Gatineau, Quebec.

You could also watch the TV series Canada, A People’s History, or catch up on the latest Heritage Minutes!

Meet two interesting Canadians in Tommy Douglas: Keeper of the Flame and Hubert Reeves : conteur d'étoiles (French only), the National Film Board’s film selections for today.

Learn the stories of seven Canadians who were awarded the Victoria Cross—the Commonwealth's highest military decoration for bravery— through the For Valour virtual exhibit.

July 5

Make some popcorn and watch the National Film Board’s film selections for today: The Promised Land and Drylanders.

Discover the CBC’s and Radio-Canada’s archives and learn about our country’s history through television and radio clips.

July 6

Art helps us discover historic events through someone else’s eyes. Today, the National Gallery of Canada is offering free admission to its collection, including The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography. The powerful images in this exhibit will transport you back in time. Also included in the free admission is the Gallery’s Masterpiece in Focus - Tom Thomson: The Jack Pine and The West Wind, an exhibit that presents two Canadian landscapes in the early 20th century.

The Canadian War Museum, in Ottawa, is holding two exhibits that reflect war experiences through art: Transformations – A. Y. Jackson and Otto Dix and Witness – Canadian Art of the First World War.

The Canada Council for the Arts is hosting an exciting exhibit entitled Land Reform(ed) in its exhibition hall at 150 Elgin in Ottawa.

The Discover Quebec and Canadian Art virtual exhibit lets you discover the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts’ collection of Quebec and Canadian art from the comfort of home.

In Ottawa, the National Arts Centre (NAC) presents a public exhibit in its foyer that includes backstage memorabilia and other noteworthy historical objects, in honour of its 45th anniversary. You can also watch this video of photos taken over the last 45 years.

Varley and Les enfants de Refus global (French only) are the National Film Board’s film selections for today.

July 7

On this last day of Canada History Week, take some time to learn about the historic contributions of Aboriginal peoples to the development of Canada.

Take a trip to the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec, and see the First Peoples Hall, or visit its online equivalent, the First Peoples of Canada virtual exhibition.

Explore the Raven’s Call, a virtual exhibit that follows artist Bill Reid’s quest to understand his Haida heritage and identity.

The Challenge in Old Crow and 360 degrés are the last two films presented by the National Film Board for this year’s Canada History Week. We hope you enjoyed their selections!