One Canada: Diefenbaker's Vision

An in-house exhibit produced by the Diefenbaker Canada Centre

The Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker was a Prime Minister unlike any other who had preceded him. His progressive social campaigns and sweeping political vision culminated in the creation of the Canadian Bill of Rights, and helped to lay the groundwork for today’s Canada, including multiculturalism, Indigenous initiatives, gender equality, and a focus on northern development and sovereignty. Overseas, Diefenbaker was a staunch advocate for those who lacked political representation. His firm stance and influence in that area contributed to Canada’s current reputation as a leader in the promotion and protection of international human rights. Today, Diefenbaker’s efforts to derive strength rather than strife from Canada’s diversity remain as pressing and relevant as ever.

Presented in both official languages, “One Canada”: Diefenbaker's Vision engages visitors through narrative text, artefacts, archival material, and multimedia. “One Canada” can be viewed at the Diefenbaker Canada Centre until early-January 2019, and will travel to other facilities following its on-site exhibition. A mobile version is also available for smaller museums, schools, community centres, festivals, and special events.

Stay tuned for the upcoming online version of the exhibit, as well as supplementary, curriculum-based educational programming for schools and special interest groups. 

Fostering a Vision for Canada: The Diefenbaker Legacy

Fostering a Vision for Canada presents the life of the Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker from his childhood through to the end of his tenure as the thirteenth Prime Minister of Canada. This exhibit illuminates the character and legacy of Mr. Diefenbaker, explains his achievements and challenges while in office from 1957-1963 and highlights his close connections with the University of Saskatchewan. It charts his dedication to human rights and equality throughout his career as a lawyer and his struggle to be elected into public office. Further, the exhibit features a number of notable artifacts, including personal belongings, campaign memorabilia, and gifts received throughout his political career.

The gallery also features two replica rooms that capture Canadian political life as it was during the latter 1950s and early 1960s. The Prime Minister’s Office depicts the East Block Office as it appeared during Diefenbaker’s tenure as Prime Minister. It features original and reproduction furniture, as well as personal items belonging to Diefenbaker. The Privy Council Chamber illustrates the cabinet meeting room, featuring replications of Confederation era furniture and original signed photographs of the first twelve Canadian Prime Ministers. The replica rooms were recently retrofitted with iPads, containing speech excerpts, room descriptions and a broad selection of historical photographs adding an interactive component for visitors.

This is an ongoing exhibit.

It is also possible to view the virtual exhibit here.