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The ROM Shines a Spotlight on Art, Culture, and Nature To Celebrate Canada 150

The ROM Shines a Spotlight on Art, Culture, and Nature To Celebrate Canada 150

TORONTO, February 2, 2017 — The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) celebrates the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation with a spectacular slate of original exhibitions and inspiring programming that explores Canada’s unique narrative and diversity of voices from multiple points of view. To mark this historic milestone, the Museum presents three exhibitions: Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story, The Family Camera, and Anishinaabeg: Art & Power, projects which showcase Canada through its art, culture, and nature.

Josh Basseches, ROM Director and CEO said, “These signature exhibitions, created by the ROM to celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary, draw on the Museum’s deep strengths in art, culture, and nature. Each exhibition tells distinctively Canadian stories, offering our visitors a vantage point to explore and celebrate the Canadian experience.”

The ROM’s Canada 150 celebration is anchored by the massive Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story. This important exhibition is the culmination of a story that began in May 2014 off the coast of Newfoundland and has since captivated millions of people around the world. With its March 11, 2017, opening, visitors will be immersed in the experience of scientific discovery as they follow in the steps of ROM scientists who worked with local communities, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and Research Casting International (RCI) to recover and prepare two rare blue whale specimens that had washed ashore in Newfoundland. This extraordinary exhibition’s centrepiece is the fully articulated skeleton of one of the recovered whales — measuring 80 feet in length.

The exhibition also highlights the important research and conservation work undertaken by the ROM, explores the evolution of blue whales, how they communicate, and how the ROM is using DNA to unlock the secrets of these elusive and endangered creatures.

Opening on May 6, 2017, The Family Camera invites us to see family photographs differently. For Canadians, family photos often document a story of migration – whether in the recent or distant past; from faraway or from across the country. Exploring the relationship between photography and the idea of family, the exhibition looks at family photographs as a cultural practice. It considers the social, political, and technological factors that impact how we conceptualize and represent family. Same-sex marriage and transnational adoptions expand our notion of family, while the arrival of Polaroid cameras, smart phones, and the digital age transform the moments we capture and how we share them. With nearly every photograph included in this exhibition coming from a Canadian home, The Family Camera sheds light on how photos reflect and shape our sense of self, family, community, and nation. The exhibition features photographs collected through The Family Camera Network, a three-year project which has brought together over 25 researchers and six cultural and educational institutions to study and preserve family photographs along with their oral histories.

From June 17, 2017, Anishinaabeg: Art & Power, takes us on a journey through the artistic lens of one of North America’s most widespread Indigenous communities, the Anishinaabeg. This exhibition explores Anishinaabeg life, traditions, sacred stories, and the powerful art of the last two centuries, including that of contemporary artists. Over time, Anishinaabeg art was keenly influenced by relationships with other Indigenous groups, as well as the arrival of Europeans to Canada. From early art forms and intricate beaded regalia to paintings and drawings from the Woodlands School art movement which flourished in the 1970s, these richly colourful and vibrant objects reveal the artistic transformation of Anishinaabeg art. By showcasing the great beauty and power of this cultural heritage, Anishinaabeg: Art & Power highlights the shared connections among Indigenous groups, and between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

These original exhibitions will be enhanced by complementary events and activities throughout their engagements, including the Season 11 finale of Toronto’s most popular destination, Friday Night Live (FNL), presented by Ford of Canada. On Friday, June 30, from 7:00 to 11:30 pm, musical performances, food vendors, and gallery activations pay tribute to our country.


Opened in 1914, the ROM showcases art, culture, and nature across time and around the globe. Among North America’s most renowned museums, the ROM is Canada’s largest with the dual mandate of natural history and world cultures. The Renaissance ROM expansion project (2007) preserved the best of the Museum’s beautiful historic architecture while merging its iconic heritage building with the Studio Daniel Libeskind-designed Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. The ROM is the country’s largest field research institution and an international leader in areas encompassing the visual arts, material culture and archaeology, biodiversity, palaeontology, and earth sciences — originating new information towards a global understanding of historical and modern change in the natural and cultural worlds. For tickets and 24-hour information in English and French, visit or call 416.586.8000. For Membership enquiries, please call 416.586.5700.

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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