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Canada’s national museum of military history

  • 3 millionArtifacts and items in its collection
  • 500,000Visitors every year
  • 2005Opened new location on Lebreton Flats
  • #1Of 299 things to do in Ottawa (TripAdvisor 2018)

About the Corporation

The Canadian Museum of History is a Crown corporation as defined and established by the Museums Act. The corporation oversees the operation of three museums: the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum and the Virtual Museum of New France. The corporation’s overall mandate is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events, experiences, people and objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history and identity, and also to enhance their awareness of world history and cultures.


Virtual Annual Public Meeting

The Annual Public Meeting of the Canadian Museum of History’s Board of Trustees will be held online on Wednesday, September 16 at 7 p.m.

If you would like to participate, please RSVP at and provide your name and e-mail address*.

The Museum will contact you to confirm your reservation and provide you with a link to join the meeting.

*All personal information held or collected by the Canadian Museum of History is protected under the federal Privacy Act.


President and Chief Executive Officer

Mark O’Neill

Mark O’Neill

Mark O’Neill works to bring Canada’s stories to Canadians. As President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum, he believes that the central purpose of our national history museums is to inspire, engage and connect Canadians throughout the country—and visitors from around the world— in a greater understanding of Canada’s unique cultural heritage.

Mark has led the Museums since June 2011. During that time, the Museums have placed increased emphasis on telling the stories that have shaped Canada’s history and identity, and on close collaboration with Indigenous communities to ensure that their stories are told in their own voices. In recent years, the Museums have fostered increasingly innovative partnerships within Canada and internationally, and they have continued to develop collections that reflect the country’s complex and unfolding history.

Under Mark’s leadership, the Museum of History developed and unveiled the Canadian History Hall, the groundbreaking signature exhibition that presents Canada’s national story as never told before, from the dawn of human habitation to the present day.

Prior to joining the Museums in 2001, Mark worked for several government departments, particularly in the areas of social and cultural policy. He also has a long-standing history of community involvement, notably his leadership in the establishment of 911 emergency phone service and a paramedic system in the Ottawa region, for which he received the Mayor’s City Builder Award.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the fulfilment of the purposes and the management of the business, activities and affairs of the corporation. This responsibility is carried out in accordance with a variety of legislation, notably the Museums Act and the Financial Administration Act. In fulfilling its responsibility, the Board as a whole oversees the development and application of policies concerning corporate governance.

Board of Trustees – Biographies

Interim Chairwoman

  • Jean Giguère, Winnipeg, Manitoba


  • Dean Brinton, St. John’s, Newfoundland


  • Andrea T. Bobkowicz, Westmount, Quebec
  • Narmin Ismail-Teja, Calgary, Alberta
  • Amanda Kingsley Malo, Sudbury, Ontario
  • Alex MacBeath, Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island
  • Rodney Nelson, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Jennifer Pereira, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Laurier Turgeon, Québec, Quebec
  • William Young, Ottawa, Ontario

Board Profile for the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of History


The Canadian Museum of History (CMH), and its affiliate the Canadian War Museum, is a Crown corporation established by amendments to the Museums Act of 2013. Under the Museums Act, the CMH is a distinct legal entity—wholly-owned by the Crown—that operates at arm’s length from the government in its day-to-day operations, activities and programming. The corporation reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The mandate of the CMH and its affiliate the CWM is to “enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events, experiences, people and objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history and identity and also to enhance their awareness of world history and cultures.”

General Roles and Responsibilities

The Board of Trustees’ provides broad strategic direction and oversight with the assistance of 6 committees and a working group. They are the Executive, Audit, Development, Finance, Governance and Canadian War Museum committees, and the Canadian History Hall Working Group. The Board holds management accountable for the day-to-day administration of the Museums’ performance, long-term viability and the achievement of objectives. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall governance and financial sustainability of the Museum, which includes:

  • Strategic oversight to ensure the Museum is meeting its mandate and strategic objectives;
  • Ensuring ethical behaviour and compliance with laws and regulations;
  • Approval and monitoring of corporate performance through the corporate plan and quarterly performance reports, including financial statements;
  • Ensuring the integrity of internal controls, including the endorsement of audit plans and risk management frameworks and mitigation strategies;
  • Board succession planning and maintenance of a skills matrix;
  • Assessment of the Board of Trustees performance and effectiveness, as well as a performance evaluation of the CEO;
  • Appropriate orientation and training to Trustees;
  • Maintenance of corporate governing documents such as the corporate by-law and terms of reference of committees of the Board of Trustees; and
  • Input to and query management on emerging trends and issues.
Challenges, Issues and Initiatives

Global economies, coupled with travel and tourism trends, continue to be an area of uncertainty. Tourism levels appear to have risen slightly; therefore, the Museum remains optimistic that this trend will continue or that levels will at least be maintained. Financial pressures due to an aging infrastructure is also a challenge. Budget 2016 provided relief to assist with health and safety capital pressures and payments in lieu of taxes. However, the inflationary impacts of the Museum’s substantial fixed operating and building maintenance costs continue to be a challenge. The Museum will continue to maintain or build its philanthropic support base and proactively seek out funding solutions to offset the inflationary impacts on its operations. Given the competition for leisure activities, the demographic shift and rapid technology development, the Museums need to continue to appeal to diverse audiences locally, across Canada and abroad.

Although Trustees may continue to serve until they are replaced, 7 of the 11 Trustees, terms will have expired by December 31, 2016. At this point, continuity and corporate governance are of the utmost importance to ensuring the Museum meets its corporate obligations and objectives, particularly given the opening of the new Canadian History Hall by July 1, 2017. Philanthropic giving is also an ongoing challenge; however, the current fundraising campaigns are well on their way to meeting their targets.

The Museums will continue to maintain and build relationships with major stakeholders, including Indigenous Peoples, veterans, veteran groups, academics, museum practitioners, donors and partners.

Core Attributes, Competencies and Experience

The following is a list of key attributes, competencies and experience that should be considered in the renewal of Trustees:

  • Leadership
  • Commitment
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Integrity and honesty
  • Sound judgment
  • Respect
  • Flexibility
  • Influential
  • Financially literate
Specific Skills, Knowledge and Experience

The list below are the key skills, knowledge and experience for consideration in the renewal of Trustees:

  • Financial literacy/accounting
  • Information technology
  • Government relations
  • Human resources
  • Museums
  • Legal
  • Risk assessment
  • Strategic/Corporate Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Communications
  • Governance
  • History
  • Military
  • Board of Directors
  • Leadership
  • Education

Legal Acumen has been identified as the primary skill gap. Opportunities also exist to increase representation of Indigenous Peoples, visible minorities, and northern Canadians. Ideally, age demographics and gender balance should be more representative of the Canadian population.


The 11 Trustees, from across Canada, are appointed by the Minister of Canadian Heritage with the approval of the Governor-in-Council. They are representative of Canada’s regions, linguistic duality, and cultural diversity.

Working Conditions

The Board of Trustees’ meet four times per year in Ottawa/Gatineau, and once in another Canadian city. There can also be approximately 3-4 teleconferences per year between Board meetings. Trustees are expected to attend Board meetings and be available for teleconference calls. The average annual time commitment is approximately 21 days for Board meetings and teleconferences, including preparatory meetings in advance of meetings, representation at events, and the involvement of a Trustee hosting an out of town Board meeting. Trustees are entitled to be compensated at the rates set by the Governor-in-Council, and be reimbursed reasonable travel and living expenses consistent with policies established by the Board of Trustees. All activities related to and involving the Board of Trustees are in accordance with the Official Languages Act and according to the language preference of the Trustee.


The Canadian Museum of History is a Crown corporation established by the Museums Act (Statutes of Canada 1990, Chapter 3), and conforms to and is influenced by federal and provincial legislation. The corporation is a separate employer, with the majority of its staff represented by two unions: the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada. Appointed by the Governor-in-Council, the 11 members of the Board of Trustees are part-time appointees representing different regions of Canada. The Board in turn appoints the corporation’s full-time President and Chief Executive Officer, who directs all of the corporation’s activities.

The corporation’s primary responsibilities are the management of Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum and the Virtual Museum of New France. The Canadian Museum of History is recognized as one of the premier cultural facilities of the 20th century, and is home to the Canadian Children’s Museum and an CINÉ+. It houses more than 4 million artifacts spanning the disciplines of history, archaeology, folk culture, ethnology, postal communications and various other areas of heritage studies. Formed in 1880 around a local collection of Canadian Militia battlefield mementoes, the Canadian War Museum has since become Canada’s national museum of military history. On May 8, 2005 the War Museum reopened in a stunning new building on LeBreton Flats.

Through its activities, the corporation practices museological excellence, thereby promoting a greater understanding of Canadian identity, history and culture. In addition to its presence within the National Capital Region, the corporation disseminates its knowledge throughout Canada and the world through its website, travelling exhibitions, conference participation, publications, social media, engagement activities and other forms of outreach.

The corporation is a member of the Canadian Heritage Portfolio and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Along with other Portfolio members, the corporation protects and exhibits Canada’s heritage for current and future generations. It also plays a vital role in fostering a sense of Canadian identity, reaching a diverse — and growing — audience through its research and public programming activities.

For further information, see Corporate Reports.

Doing Business With Us

The Canadian Museum of History’s Contracts section is responsible for managing the corporation’s procurement process. In addition to issuing purchase orders, developing standing agreements, issuing and overseeing the competitive bid process, negotiating and awarding contracts and arrangements, the section is also mandated to ensure that the procurement is compliant with relevant governmental and institutional procurement policies and procedures. If you are a supplier wanting to do business with the Canadian Museum of History, the following sections offer information about purchasing procedures, practices and policies.

Buying Practices

It is the corporation’s policy to contract for goods and services in a way that ensures best overall value. The corporation contracts with those suppliers who satisfy the objectives of obtaining quality goods and services in a timely manner and meeting specifications with competitive prices. In so doing, the corporation, as a matter of principle, conducts its expenditure contracting activities with due regard to applicable laws, regulations, trade agreements, internal policies and competitive tendering processes. The corporation does this in such a way as to convey its high standards of professionalism and business ethics to the external community. As a Crown corporation, the Canadian Museum of History’s procurement is conducted with due regard to the requirements of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Purchases subject to these Agreements are published via MERX online tendering system. Bid packages for procurement subject to AIT and NAFTA must be ordered through MERX.

Sourcing Suppliers

Purchases not subject to AIT or NAFTA may still be published on MERX for open bidding; Nevertheless, this type of sourcing usually uses close bidding processes which involve suppliers that may be identified from past experience with the corporation, industry directories, Internet, industry and associated information sources including catalogues and journals, trade shows and conferences. Eligibility standards have been developed for suppliers:

  • auditable financial strength,
  • proven capacity to meet contractual obligations,
  • guaranteed capability for full and continuous supply,
  • assurance that requirements will be met through implemented, auditable quality plans and
  • reputable track record in supplier’s area of expertise.

If a business qualifies, it may be in a position to bid for the corporation’s work.

Tender Opening

The corporation does not open tenders in public, nor does it reveal any information contained in the responses to its requirements, except as required by law. The corporation firmly believes this would have an impact on its ability to conduct business in a fair and competitive bidding environment.


With the exception of Letter of Agreements, which have low monetary value and are limited to small services needs, all purchase orders and contracts for the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum are issued through the corporation’s Contracts section. End users are not authorized to enter into agreements with suppliers. Suppliers should not supply goods or services before a purchase order/contract is in place, and they should not perform work beyond the scope of the existing contract unless authorized by the Contracts section.


The corporation values the special relationship it has with its suppliers and welcomes initiatives by suppliers that contribute to increased productivity and good purchasing management. The corporation is always willing to discuss developments, improved performance or lower costs if these help meet the objective of reliable, cost-effective services to the Canadian public.

Canadian Museum of History Terms and Conditions

General Conditions For Services (PDF file, 1.1 Mb)

Application for Vendors – Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) (PDF file, 90 Kb)

Purchase Orders — Goods

General Conditions for Letter of Agreement (LOA) – Services (PDF file, 898 Kb)

General Conditions For Goods (PDF file, 1.1 Mb)

Corporate Reports

To view the documents in PDF format you will need to use the (free) Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Quarterly Financial Statements

Annual Reports

Corporate Plan Summary

Special Examination Report — Office of the Auditor General

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