A museum that will share the experiences of immigrants, regardless of where and when they arrived in Canada has been created following the passage of Bill C-34, an Act to establish the Canadian Museum of Immigration which received Royal Assent on June 29, 2010.
And researchers at this newest national museum at Pier 21 in Halifax are looking for stories of pre-Pier 21 written by the descendants and families of those who arrived in the 18th and 19th centuries, memoirs from Pier 21 alumni or those who arrived at any of Canada's ports or border as well as post-Pier 21 stories from immigrants and refugees who arrived between 1971 and today.
“Our Government is moving forward in establishing the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, delivering on the commitment made by Prime Minister Harper to create a new national museum,” said Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay last Monday. “With its broadened mandate, expanded space, and more comprehensive exhibitions, the new Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 will share the experiences of all immigrants, regardless of where or when they arrived in Canada.”
“One million immigrants arrived in Canada through Pier 21, and one in five Canadians can trace some relationship to it,” said Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, James Moore. “Given its significant role in our country’s immigration history, Pier 21 is a fitting location for this new national museum that will tell the story of the past, present, and future of immigration in Canada.”
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 will be Canada’s sixth national museum and the second outside the National Capital Region.
The Museum will explore the theme of immigration in Canada and showcase the experiences of immigrants as they arrived in Canada, the vital role that immigration has played in the building of Canada, and the contributions of immigrants to Canada’s culture, economy, and way of life.
The contributions of the Pier 21 Society and the Pier 21 Foundation have been instrumental in the creation of this new national museum. The Pier 21 Society will contribute its assets to the new museum, and the Pier 21 Foundation will contribute a $7-million endowment fund to enhance its educational and public programming capacity. The Halifax Port Authority, which manages the historic Halifax Seaport, will be the new museum’s landlord.
In keeping with its national mandate, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 will be bigger than the existing Pier 21 museum. The Government of Canada will invest up to $24.9 million in upgrading the Museum’s leased premises and in developing exhibitions and other programming. The Museum’s ongoing operating budget is projected to be up to $7.7 million, subject to approval of its corporate plans.