Celebrating a renewed Morning Star

November 1, 2014
Alex Janvier, artist and Morning Star

Alex Janvier, artist and Morning Star
Photo Patrick Woodbury, LeDroit

Canadian Museum of History experts have comprehensively restored Morning Star, the celebrated 420-square metre mural on the domed ceiling of the River Salon staircase in the Grand Hall. Seven stories up, Morning Star, or Gambeh Then’ in the Dene language, is beautifully set off by banks of windows facing the Parliament Buildings and the Ottawa River.

The renewal also included the creation of an interpretive Morning Star platform (historymuseum.ca/morningstar) featuring multimedia content that enriches the visitor experience.

On September 16, to mark the completion of the Morning Star renewal project, Museum President and Chief Executive Officer Mark O’Neill hosted a special ceremony to honour its creator, Dene artist Alex Janvier, and to thank its patrons for the past twenty years, Dr. Ralph Halbert and his wife Roslyn. In attendance were family and friends, including the Museum’s architect, Douglas Cardinal.

“It was one of the best decisions I ever made,” Dr. Halbert said about fundingMorning Star. “It is an astonishing, powerful tribute to the country and its roots from an aboriginal perspective, and its relevance has only grown since its unveiling in 1993.”

Dr. Ralph and Roslyn Halbert

Dr. Ralph and Roslyn Halbert, patrons
© Canadian Museum of History, IMG2014-0138-0015-Dm

Alex Janvier thanked Dr. Halbert and Mrs. Halbert for having the continuous vision to support a Native artwork. “Years ago Douglas Cardinal and I sat together in Edmonton and had dinner and we decided to change the world, or at least art and architecture,” he said. “And now things have started to change. Finally some native artists are widely recognized.”

“Canada has offered endless opportunities to me, to Roz and to our family,” added Dr. Halbert. “This project is our thankful response to our country and our fellow citizens.”

If you’d like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Jean-Charles d’Amours, Development at 819-776-8272.