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Education and Outreach

With donor support, the Museum reaches thousands of Canadians each year through its extensive educational programs. On-site curriculum-based school programming, online resources such as the Canada and the First World War module and travelling resources like Supply Line encourage lifelong learning about our military history.

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Support the Museum

As Canada’s national museum of military history, the Canadian War Museum safeguards this country’s military history for current and future generations, but we need your help.

We rely upon support from people like you to advance research, to acquire and preserve artifacts, to develop on-site and travelling exhibitions, and to create educational resources — all of which help make connections to personal stories and critical moments from Canada’s military history.

Your donation makes military history accessible to Canadians right across the country. Most importantly, your support will help preserve a proud, collective memory of our past.

Your support can take many forms — make a one-time gift, become a monthly donor, donate in honour of a loved one, or make a gift through your estate.

Donating Objects and/or Archival Material to the Canadian War Museum

The Canadian War Museum accepts select offers of donation for addition to its national collection. The national collection is an assembly of military artifacts, archival and photographic material, and works of art that represents the Canadian military experience and promotes public understanding of Canada’s military history in its personal, national and international dimensions. Donated artifacts are recorded and cared for to the highest standards.

The Canadian War Museum also collects published works (for example: books, magazines, technical manuals) that support the research of Canada’s military history. For more information, please contact

The Canadian War Museum requires that all potential donors complete an Offer of Donation form.

Please do not send your objects or archival material to the Museum until requested to do so by Museum staff.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a tax receipt for my donation?

If requested, the Canadian War Museum will issue a tax receipt for the total value of a donation if it is over $100.00. A tax receipt may take several months to be issued. Please clearly indicate if you would like a tax receipt at the beginning of the acquisition process.

I have something I’d like to donate. Can I drop it off at the Museum?

No. We are very interested in hearing more about your objects and/or archival material, but unfortunately — for reasons of security and public accountability — Museum employees including security officers, gallery assistants, hosts, and Library staff are not allowed to accept donations “over the counter.” Unsolicited donations will not be accepted.

What is the Offer of Donation form and why is it necessary?

The purpose of the Offer of Donation form is to gather more information about the offer, and for the donor to confirm that they are the legal owner of the objects and/or archival material on offer. A team of Museum experts will review the information provided to reach a decision or ask more questions if needed. The accuracy and completeness of the information provided will help speed up the review.

Can I send my completed Offer of Donation form by mail rather than electronically?

Yes. Please post your physical copy of the Offer of Donation Form (doc file) to:

Supervisor, Collections Information and Management
Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa ON K1A 0M8

Can the Museum tell me if it is interested in the objects and/or archival material I am offering before I complete the Offer of Donation form?

No. The completion of the Offer of Donation form is the mandatory first step in the acquisition process. The Museum cannot evaluate an offer without a completed form.

How does the Museum decide what it would like to acquire?

Unfortunately, the Museum is not able to accept every donation that is offered. Decisions to acquire objects and/or archival material are based on several factors, including the Museum’s collections criteria and mandate; whether the objects and/or archival material fill a gap in our collection or are sufficiently represented; the availability of space and resources for appropriate care; and whether the current ownership is unknown or might be disputed. Please note: The Canadian War Museum accepts all medals awarded to Canadian service persons who represented Canada in times of conflict, if the current ownership is not disputed.

How long will it take to process my offer of donation?

It may take several months to review and process your offer after we receive the Offer of Donation form and supporting images and documentation. Providing accurate and complete information helps to speed up the decision-making process. All offers are reviewed by Collections staff and must go through multiple stages before the process is complete. We consider each offer in turn and strive to keep the process as smooth and straightforward as possible.

What can I do if the Canadian War Museum is not able to accept my offer?

If the Museum is not able to accept your offer, we will try to recommend other institutions that may have an interest in the objects and/or archival material you wish to donate.

Will my objects and/or archival material be displayed?

Acquisition does not guarantee public exhibition, and the Canadian War Museum does not accept donations offered with conditions. While artifacts are rotated in and out of exhibition, only a small percentage of the Museum’s collection is on display at any one time. The remainder of the collection is held in storage designed for long-term preservation.

If my objects and/or archival material are not displayed, what happens to them?

The artifacts in storage are available for consultation on site to Museum staff, researchers, genealogists, students, writers, artists, media and many others. Artifacts may also be loaned to other qualifying museums, and many of the artifact records can be accessed or viewed through various online resources. The collection helps Canadians discover, understand and share stories, and is preserved for future generations to do the same.

Can I visit the objects and/or archival material that I have donated?

We always make our best effort to accommodate requests to see artifacts. Please send us advance notice of your visit so that we can retrieve the artifacts from storage or inform you if they are on display, in conservation, or if special scheduling is required.

What if I change my mind once my donation has been accepted?

Once ownership has been signed over, the artifacts are the property of the Crown and cannot be returned. If you have concerns, please discuss them with us prior to signing over ownership.


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