CARP — The Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum embraces a light at the end of the tunnel leading to post-pandemic recovery after receiving critical funding from the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Thanks to the $104,600 Community Building Fund grant, the Diefenbunker will be able to maintain its facilities and operations and keep the museum open for visitors. As a national historic site, museum, and registered charity, the Diefenbunker relies on support from the government and individual donors to continue sharing its history with local, national, and international visitors.
Diefenbunker executive director Christine McGuire and three members of the Diefenbunker’s board of directors were joined by the Honourable Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and MPP for Kanata-Carleton, for the official funding announcement.
“The Diefenbunker is profoundly grateful to the Ontario government for its invaluable support, especially during these difficult times,” McGuire said following today’s (N0v. 19) official announcement. “The museum and its stories play a crucial role in interpreting this country’s past, and our collective future. These critical funds will allow us to keep our blast doors open and our lights on, as we continue to serve our visitors from across Canada and around the world.”
The museum re-opened to the public in July of this year. Funds from the provincial government go toward key operational costs such as building maintenance and utilities, allowing the Diefenbunker to continue providing a safe experience for visitors as the museum introduces its new exhibitions and virtual educational programming.
Visitors can once again step into history in this once-top secret, four-storey underground bunker, immersing themselves in the stories and the people of the past that offer valuable lessons to guide our future.
Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and MPP for Nepean discussed the importance of this funding for essential expenditures as organizations adapt to the pressures of the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has been a challenge for so many not-for-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations, and I am proud that our government is supporting their recovery through the Community Building Fund,” MacLeod said.
With the support of the Ontario government, the Diefenbunker will continue to thrive as an important historical, cultural, and tourist hub in rural Ottawa, the board said. Its blast doors are open, and throughout the fall and winter, a warm welcome awaits visitors ready to experience the award-winning tours, exhibitions, and programs the Diefenbunker has to offer.
Diefenbunker adds to board
The Diefenbunker also announced a new member of the not-for-profit’s board.
Mario D’Angelo has a wealth of experience in emergency management and response. He graduated with a Master’s degree in Emergency Management, and holds a Business Continuity Planning certification. He has worked at multiple levels of government and at the Canadian Emergency Management College. D’Angelo is currently a professor in Algonquin College’s Bachelor of Public Safety program. He is invested in the Diefenbunker’s connection to modern emergency management and civil defence.
D’Angelo’s interest in the Diefenbunker is rooted in the fact he was formerly a long-time resident of West Carleton and was involved in the early tours of the museum. As an emergency management professional, the evolutionary relationship between modern emergency management and civil defence is a relevant one leading him to want to support the unique and important experience that is the Diefenbunker Museum.