In Conversation With Caroline Dromaguet, President and CEO, Canadian Museum of History and Canadian War MuseumNovember 20, 2023
Congratulations on your appointment as President and CEO in December 2022. What are your main priorities for this year and beyond?
Thank you! I’m extremely humbled to have been confirmed in the role and am excited about leading the organization during my mandate. I’m proud of the work of our Museums, and eager to bring a bold vision and exciting new strategic directions to help guide us.
These renewed strategic directions were developed collaboratively with our Board of Trustees and include a focus on innovation, Indigenous rights, engagement, and technology and are intended to help us better focus, to re-energize, and to reinforce who we aspire to be as an organization moving forward.
These directions help us fulfill our role as a national museum, which comes with a responsibility and accountability to all people who live in Canada, who entrust us to keep our collective and diverse stories alive for future generations.
You recently shared a new vision with Museum employees and the general public: Dare to inspire tomorrow’s history. What does this statement mean to you?
For me, it’s an aspirational call to action, challenging us to think beyond the present, while also inspiring people to explore and understand the history of our country in a way that helps to shape our collective future.
It means that we are committed to redefining boundaries in all areas of our work. It also means being bold and innovative, while building relationships and telling stories that allow us to take risks. It means challenging assumptions and pushing beyond the limits of what we know and understand about Canada’s history.
The phrase “tomorrow’s history” may sound counterintuitive at first. Within the context of our vision statement, however, it reflects our belief that history is an ongoing process, constantly evolving and changing as we learn more about the past. It reminds us that we have a responsibility to ensure that future generations have the knowledge and context they need to understand the world around them, while also being inspired to shape a brighter future.
Speaking of the future, where do you see the Museum 10 years from now?
It often feels as though the world around us is changing at breakneck speed, and it can be challenging to keep up. Our Museums are actively working to become more nimble in their ways of working collaboratively. We want to increase our resilience and adaptability, expand our digital literacy, and continue to embed equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility within our organization’s DNA.
As we grow and move forward, I see our Museums having the ability to be more responsive and open to the world around them, while remaining a trusted source of shared and diverse knowledge, as well as a safe space for respectful dialogue. In the end, we want to reach people and communities in new and ever-more-innovative ways — wherever they may be.
I’m excited to see what our future holds!