Canadian War Museum


The Canadian War Museum (CWM) is Canada’s national museum of military history. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, the museum covers all facets of Canada’s military past, from the first recorded instances of death by armed violence in Canadian history several thousand years ago to the country’s most recent involvement in conflicts. It includes major permanent exhibitions on wars that have been fought on Canadian soil, the total wars of the twentieth century, the Cold War and peace support operations abroad, and Canada’s history of honoring and remembrance. There is also an open storage area displaying large objects from the Museum’s collection, from naval guns to tanks, from motorcycles to jet aircraft. The exhibits depict Canada’s military past in its personal, national and international dimensions, with special emphasis on the human experience of war and the manner in which war has affected, and been affected by, Canadians’ participation.
Much of the Museum’s public exhibition space is devoted to its Canadian Experience Galleries, its main permanent exhibition space. These displays underline the profound effect that war has had on Canada’s development and the significant role Canadians have played in international conflicts. Their content is a rich mixture of some 2,500 objects from war art to armored vehicles, as well as scores of audio-visual displays and many hands-on activities. A changing program of temporary or special exhibitions, plus public programs and special events, complement the experience offered in the permanent galleries. The CWM also houses the Military History Research Centre, a leading library and archival research facility, and a large collection of some 500,000 artifacts, including uniforms, medals, weapons, war art, aircraft, military vehicles and artillery.
The CWM originated in 1880. Its current building opened in May 2005 and is located less than 2 km west of Canada’s Parliament Buildings. The building's architecture has received professional and public acclaim. The CWM is part of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, which also operates the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canadian Children's Museum, the Canadian Postal Museum, and the Virtual Museum of New France.
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