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Welcome Home to Pier 21: Canadian Museum of Immigration

On July 5, 2010, a major milestone was reached in creating Canada’s newest national museum, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. An intimate group of Pier 21’s friends and supporters gathered inside Rudolph P. Bratty Exhibition Hall for the special celebration of milestones. Remarks were made by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament (Central Nova), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and John Oliver, Chair of Pier 21’s Board of Directors.

“I personally cannot think of a more fitting tribute for this very special site than establishing Canada’s sixth national museum here,” said Minister MacKay. “This site symbolizes Canada’s proud history of immigration.”

The Minister also honoured two exceptional people in the establishment of Pier 21 as a museum, the late John Paul LeBlanc and Ruth Goldbloom, O.C., O.N.S., Chair of the Pier 21 Foundation. He also acknowledged the combined efforts of Mr. Oliver and the many, many other volunteers and supporters who have dedicated so much to the Pier.

“Canada’s new national museum will tell the fascinating, compelling and often heart-rending stories of people who were once newcomers to Canada and who now call it home,” stated the Minister.

Following Minister MacKay, Mr. Oliver presented thanks to the Government of Canada, particularly to the Department of Canadian Heritage, on behalf of Pier 21.

The journey to create a national museum at Pier 21 began just over one year ago, and since that time many exciting steps have taken place.

On June 14 the Government of Canada introduced legislation to amend the Museums Act to add Pier 21 to the list of national museums governed under the act. The legislation unanimously passed through the House of Commons and the Senate, and received Royal Assent at the end of June.

The new Museum will explore the theme of immigration to Canada along with the vital role immigration played in the building of Canada and the contributions of immigrants to Canada’s culture, economy and way of life.