Grand Theft Terra Firma
An exhibit of artwork created by David Campion and Sandra Shields. Produced and circulated by The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford. Curated by Laura Schneider.
Grand Theft Terra Firma is an unflinching redress of Canada’s colonial narrative. By combining contemporary popular culture with historical source material, artists David Campion and Sandra Shields disrupt the celebratory mythology of nation building and invite us to critically evaluate our own continued and complicated relationship to colonial practices. As the title suggests, the exhibition appropriates the language of digital gaming to reframe the settlement of Canada as a complex heist. Specifically, the title refers to Grand Theft Auto, a series of popular video games considered highly controversial, in part because they require players to commit violent and immoral acts to achieve gaming success. Borrowing from this, the exhibition unfolds as a strategy guide to an imaginary video game based on historical events occurring within S’ólh Téméxw, now more commonly known as British Columbia's Fraser Valley.
The artists’ use of gaming, satire, and humour provides entry points into difficult knowledge. These strategies encourage us to consider how history can become mythologized in its telling. The exhibition thus supports discussions around emergent notions of personal awareness and responsibility in the process of decolonization, and emphasizes the potential for art to promote critical discourse in divided societies.
The Diefenbaker Canada Centre would also like to recognize and thank the University of Saskatchewan's departments of History and Indigenous Studies for their financial and in-kind support of the exhibit.
The Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker dreamed of creating “One Canada.” While serving as Canada’s 13th Prime Minister he passed the Canadian Bill of Rights, secured First Nations suffrage, appointed the first female Cabinet minister and First Nations person to the Senate, and stood against apartheid. It is this legacy that the Diefenbaker Canada Centre (DCC) celebrates through the One Canada exhibit. By interpreting the culture and heritage of the nation’s many peoples, and Canada’s role in the international community, the DCC furthers Diefenbaker’s vision of diversity and national unity – a vision that remains as relevant as ever.
Hockey: A Common Goal
Hockey in Canada is more than simply a game - it is part of our identity and a symbol of our nation. From frozen ponds and local rinks to stadium arenas and the NHL, hockey has the power to unite Canadians from coast to coast.
The Diefenbaker Canada Centre is proud to present Hockey: A Common Goal, an in-house produced exhibit that explores Saskatchewan’s connections to the sport. This exhibit examine the importance and influence of hockey in the daily lives of Canadians, incorporating stories of local heroes, historic moments, one of a kind artefacts, and personal connections to Canada’s favourite winter pastime.
This exhibit was on display from January 21st - April 22, 2018.
Hockey is many things — shinny on a frozen pond, the sweat-soaked smell of a locker room, a winning wrist shot, a roaring crowd. But most of all, it is an enduring national passion that brings Canadians together regardless of geography, language, gender or age. The Diefenbaker Canada Centre (DCC) is celebrating Canada’s game with a one-of-a-kind travelling exhibition from the Canadian Museum of History.
Hockey revisits game-changing moments and players. By highlighting tabletop hockey games, Roch Carrier’s classic story The Hockey Sweater, and Shania Twain’s NHL-inspired stage outfits, the exhibition also reminds us of how deeply hockey is woven into the tapestry of Canadian life.
The exhibition is an engaging two-dimensional display that uses photographs and reproductions of key artifacts, memorabilia and works of art to present hockey highlights from yesterday and today. Listen to audio archives from hockey history and get into the game by recording your own running commentary, just like legendary sportscaster Foster Hewitt.
This exhibit was on display from January 21st - April 22, 2018.
Deo et Patriae - For God and Country: The University of Saskatchewan and The Great War
The Great War profoundly altered the University of Saskatchewan and perminately transformed its sense of identity as an institution. This exhibit highlights the achievements and sacrifices of individuals from the University, and examines the U of S community’s role in the war effort, the War’s impact on campus life and education, and the legacy of the War that is evident in the memorials throughout campus.
This exhibit was on display from April 2017 - December 15th, 2017. It is possible to view the online exhibit here.
Vimy - Battle. Memorial. Icon.
A travelling exhibition from the Canadian War Museum
For Canadians, Vimy Ridge is layered with multiple meanings: a bloody battlefield victory at the height of the First World War in France, the site of Canada’s best-known memorial to the conflict and a symbol of evolving nationhood. This new graphic presentation richly illustrates these three themes on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation.
Opening April 9, 2017, on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
This exhibit is on display until December 15th, 2017.
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)
Expedition: Arctic (2014-2015)
A Queen and Her Country (2014)
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.