Sisters United: Women’s Suffrage in Saskatchewan

The struggle for women’s suffrage took root differently in each of Canada’s provinces — sometimes with much debate and other times with relatively little opposition. In Saskatchewan, the franchise was secured against a background of shifting attitudes toward class, gender, religion, citizenship and politics. Sisters United explores these changes, the roles of notable suffragists like Violet McNaughton as agents of change, and how the establishment of farming organizations such as the Saskatchewan Women Grain Growers’ Association advanced the movement in the province.

Through narrative text, artefacts, images, documents, newspaper articles, and the use of multimedia, visitors will explore the history of women’s enfranchisement in the province.

Sisters United celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the winning of women’s suffrage in Saskatchewan.  It was open July 20, 2016 - March 15, 2017 at the Diefenbaker Canada Centre in Saskatoon and will travel to museums around the province from March 2017 – March 2018.


Along the Road to Freedom: Mennonite Women of Courage and Faith (2016)

Along the Road to Freedom was an artwork exhibit done by Ray Dirks from Winnipeg, with paintings and panels that tell the stories of Mennonite women who led their families out of persecution and suffering, to freedom and peace in Canada. The Diefenbaker Centre also curated a small adjunct exhibit called Flight & Resilience: Mennonites of Saskatchewan, which featured local stories and artifacts of Mennonite families who migrated from Europe to Saskatchewan. This exhibit shared the experiences of three different women and the tragedies they faced, but focused on the strength they had throughout their experiences.



Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada (2016)

This exhibit was from the Canadian Museum of History, organized in partnership with the Terry Fox Centre. The exhibit marked the 35th anniversary of Terry’s cross-Canada run, the Marathon of Hope, and included artifacts, photographs, interviews, press clippings and journal entries that allowed visitors to retrace Terry’s 143-day, 5,300 kilometre journey from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Visitors discovered how Terry’s legacy continues to inspire and impact Canadians as they explored the story of a young man with a courageous heart and a desire to find a cure for cancer.



1812: One War, Four Perspectives (2015)

1812: One War, Four Perspectives is a travelling exhibition produced by the Canadian War Museum. It explores the War of 1812 from the contrasting perspectives of the four main participants: the United States, Canada, Britain and Indigenous peoples. Visitors gained a multidimensional understanding of the war by looking at the triumphs and struggles as experienced by the four major players in the war.
The Canadian War Museum has a virtual version of this exhibition; follow the link below to visit their website.


Expedition: Arctic (2014-2015)

Expidition: Arctic was travelling exhibition produced by the Canadian Museum of History in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Nature. The exhibit revisited the triumphs and tragedies of the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913–1918, which claimed the lives of 17 men—most lost to exposure, mishap or starvation—but also contributed immensely to our understanding of Canada’s Western Arctic, and the cultures of its First Peoples. The exhibit highlighted the crucial contributions of local Inuit peoples to the successes of the expedition including providing food and clothing to help the expedition team survive the harsh conditions. The gallery saw close to 3000 visitors during Expedition: Arctic.


A Queen and Her Country (2014)

The Diefenbaker Canada Centre presented A Queen and Her Country, a travelling exhibit from the Canadian Museum of History, through the winter and spring. This beautiful exhibit, created in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, featured significant artefacts and images that told the story of Queen Elizabeth II and her many visits to Canada throughout her 60-year reign. Many visitors fondly remembered her coronation, or watching her grow into the world-renowned monarch that she is today. These personal experiences expressed by visitors merged with the narrative of the exhibit, often resulting in deep feelings of increased or restored national pride. The DCC saw a marked increase in gallery visitors throughout the showing of A Queen and Her Country with close to 4000 patrons viewing the exhibit.


Touch the Sky: The Story of Avro Canada (2013)

Opened June 26th, 2013, this exhibition, which was researched and produced in-house, focused on the history of Avro Canada and the lasting impact its innovative research has had on aviation. The exhibit encouraged visitors to look past the decisions and controversy surrounding the Avro Arrow cancellation in 1959 and to focus on the accomplishments made by the company. The show presented a number of artifacts on loan from the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation (Canada Aviation and Space Museum) and included one of only three surviving original Arrow nose cones and an instrument panel.



Unity, Diversity, and Justice: Canadian Approaches to Human Rights (2013)

This exhibit, researched and produced in-house, expanded on the critical theme of human rights explored in The Canadian Bill of Rights. It examined the origins of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and underscored the impact of the Charter on Canadian citizens today. Weaving Diefenbaker’s legacy throughout, it traced Canada’s human rights approaches over the twentieth century, touching upon milestones which include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Saskatchewan Bill of Rights, and the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords. Special consideration is given to the concerns of First Nations people, as well as the Quebec Charte des droits et libertés de la personne. The exhibit delves into broader global themes that include ideas of justice and equality – encouraging visitors to think about how we as Canadians achieved freedoms, and how we view human rights.



The Canadian Bill of Rights (2013)

This in-house researched and produced exhibit details the history of the Canadian Bill of Rights, which was one of Diefenbaker’s proudest achievements. The show described how tragic human rights violations during the Second World War led to an international shift in recognizing and protecting human rights which further served to inspire John Diefenbaker’s legal and political actions. It also emphasized the importance of the document’s creation and historic enactment in 1960, as well as the legacy of national concern regarding human rights issues that remains with us today.



Freedom of Expression in Broad Strokes

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom launched a traveling exhibition of editorial cartoons entitled “Freedom of Expression in Broad Strokes.” It traveled across Canada, hosted by member cities of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination. The DCC partnered with the City of Saskatoon to host the exhibit, present an opening event, and promote it to schools. Freedom of Expression resonated strongly with visitors of all ages and served to advance the DCC’s human rights educational programming, as it became the foundation for a new program.