Skip to main content

Face to Face with Famous Canadians at the Museum of Civilization

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

larger_img_3851.a.jpgDecember 14, 2010.

Inaugurated two years ago at the Museum of Civilization, Face to Face: The Canadian Personalities Hall is the most recent permanent exhibition space developed by the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau.

larger_img_3865.a.jpgOccupying the entire fourth floor level of this undulating, open-format museum, Face to Face actually overlooks the spectacular (and hugely popular) Canada Hall, one level down.

In a nutshell, Face to Face offers up a glimpse into the lives and roles of some of the men and women who have influenced history in this country. It includes personalities from different periods in our history and from all regions of the country and all walks of life -- people who have made a difference to Canadians and to Canadian society.

As expected, there are political figures here -- people like Pierre Trudeau and Jeanne Sauvé -- but there are also explorers (Samuel de Champlain), architects (Francis Rattenbury), retailers (Timothy Eaton), writers (Mordecai Richler), feminists (Nellie McClung) and even saints (Brother André).

larger_img_3859.a.jpgFace to Face sprawls across the whole upper level of the museum, with each historic personality spotlighted in his or her own semi-open exhibition space. Exhibits combine illustrated descriptive panels, audio and video recordings, and artifacts, to introduce visitors to a broad cross-section of influential Canadians.

Exhibits are arranged thematically instead of chronologically. Historical figures are grouped into five broad themes: We Built, We Governed, We Fought, We Founded and We Inspired. The layout of the floor allows visitors to enter or exit the exhibition space in several different places.

Face to Face is interesting on many levels. Highly original, both in terms of its basic concept and in the way that it is physically structured, the exhibition is also noteworthy for the fact that the personalities featured are changed periodically. Equally unusual is the fact that the public are invited to suggest Canadians (provided they meet certain criteria) who they believe should be included in the future.