Eaton Donation Makes History

October 3, 2016
Frederik S. Eaton, Mark O’Neill and James Fleck

The second of three galleries in the Canadian History Hall will be named the Fredrik Eaton Family Gallery.
Left to right: Frederik S. Eaton, Mark O’Neill and James Fleck.

For Fredrik S. Eaton, the Canadian Museum of History is more than just another charity. For years, Eaton has supported the Museum, donated artifacts and promoted the Museum at home and abroad. He affectionately calls the Museum “Canada’s attic” — and he wants everyone to get involved in showing off our country’s historical treasures.

“[The Museum is] a repository for the ‘stuff of history,’” Eaton says, encouraging Canadians to support the Museum’s activities. “If you have the ‘stuff of history,’ please send it to the Museum. If you do not, please send money!”

Eaton knows about walking the talk. Earlier this year, the Fredrik and Catherine Eaton Charitable Foundation generously gifted $2 million toward the new Canadian History Hall, due to open July 1, 2017 as part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations. It is the single largest donation the Museum has ever received.

Fredrik S. Eaton, great-grandson of department store founder Timothy Eaton, chaired the Museum’s board from 2007 to 2011. “He’s been very supportive of the Museum,” says Mark O’Neill, the Museum’s President and CEO. “And we are so pleased that he remains very involved with the Museum as a private citizen.”

The Eaton donation is a key part of Museum fundraising for the new Hall, which requires support for construction, conservation and operations. And it comes at a strategic time, as Museum staff ready artifacts and education programs.

In appreciation of the gift, the second of three galleries in the new Hall will be named the Fredrik Eaton Family Gallery. The gallery will tell the story of Canada from 1763 to the commencement of the First World War.

The donation also helps create excitement about the new Hall, and ongoing fundraising efforts are seeing results. “I think as more and more people learn about what the Hall will contain and the story it will tell, there is more interest,” says O’Neill.

The Eaton donation will have a direct and lasting impact on the Museum. Because of it, Canadians will be able to experience their national collection in new and exciting ways. Benefactors such as Fredrik S. Eaton help bring history to life, and the Canadian Museum of History is grateful for his historic donation.