Temporary Exhibitions

Peace – The Exhibition

Come explore Peace – The Exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21! Presented from May 5 to June 7, 2015, you will experience peace through a diversity of viewpoints: peace activists demonstrating to prevent war, soldiers fighting to end war and immigrants coming to Canada to escape war and its aftermath. Don’t miss the rare iconic peace objects featured in the exhibition such as an American immigrant’s draft card from the Vietnam War and an original record of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s "Give Peace a Chance" recorded in Montreal.

Peace – The Exhibition, a travelling exhibition developed by the Canadian War Museum and adapted by the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, vividly illustrates the rich diversity of Canadians’ choices and actions for peace, and how these actions have helped shape Canada’s history.

Visitors will experience the personal stories of Canadians as combatants, activists, diplomats, humanitarians and more. They’ll encounter stories and perspectives that may be unfamiliar. They’ll learn about major historical events, as well as the stories of individuals and families caught up in them. And ultimately, they’ll discover that Canadians facing the same event or issue have often made very different choices for peace.

The issues of peace, violence and war have been central to the history of immigration to Canada. Many immigrants have come to Canada to escape violence caused by war and conflict or to avoid forced military service.

The exhibition’s themes — Negotiate, Organize and Intervene — are represented by major historical episodes including: Treaty 7, Canada-U.S. border disputes, Canada and the First World War, Canada and Vietnam, the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War, and Post-war reconstruction in Europe.

Past Temporary Exhibitions

aerial view of German port

Pop Up Exhibition
To Canada: Farewell and Welcome – Cuxhaven and Halifax
March 5 to May 2

Come explore the story of emigration from the port of Cuxhaven, Germany to Pier 21. You will also discover the personal stories of several German immigrants who settled in Canada.

An exhibition and project of the Hapag-Halle Booster Club of Cuxhaven, To Canada: Farewell and Welcome – Cuxhaven and Halifax is presented in the Museum lobby across from the Scotiabank Family History Centre.

Migrating Landscapes

Who we are is shaped by where we live. Where we live is shaped by who we are. This is the essence of the Museum’s upcoming exhibition, Migrating Landscapes. Visit us from May 30 to November 11, 2013 to experience how migrations, and the simultaneous process of settling and being unsettled is expressed through the built environment that surrounds us.

Migrating Landscapes showcases a series of model ‘dwellings’ by young architects and designers, inspired by their personal experiences of immigration and migration. These ‘dwellings’—from model skyscrapers to cabins—are nestled in an impressive, abstract wooden landscape made of 28,680 feet of lumber. The architectural models are brought to life by accompanying videos that draw on the artists’ cultural memories.

Curated by Winnipeg-based 5468796 Architecture and Jae-Sung Chon, Migrating Landscapes was Canada’s 2012 entry to the prestigious 13th International Architecture Exhibition–la Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy.

Dawit L. Petros, Sign, 2001, Digital print. © Dawit L. Petros and Dr Kenneth Montague / The Wedge Collection
Dawit L. Petros, Sign, 2001, Digital print. © Dawit L. Petros and Dr Kenneth Montague / The Wedge Collection

Position As Desired / Exploring African Canadian Identity: Photographs from the Wedge Collection

What does it mean to be African Canadian? Explore the topic of Black identity in Canada in the context of immigration and multiculturalism through Position As Desired / Exploring African Canadian Identity: Photographs from the Wedge Collection. The exhibition was featured from January 22 to March 30, 2013 in the Ralph and Rose Chiodo Harbourside Gallery at the Museum.

Position As Desired presented photographic works from the Wedge Collection, ranging from rare vintage portraits of the first African immigrants to Canada, to contemporary works by four emerging artists that document the experiences of African Canadians. The exhibition also featured a local component, incorporating works produced by African Nova Scotian artists that express personal interpretations of African Canadian identities.

To learn more about the exhibition’s themes and the inclusion of artworks by African Nova Scotians click here.

Sikh Motorcycle Club - Photo by Naomi Harris

Shaping Canada: Exploring Our Cultural Landscapes
June 8 to November 18, 2012

Are you a part of a cultural landscape? The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 invited visitors to find out by exploring the temporary exhibition Shaping Canada: Exploring Our Cultural Landscapes. Visitors discovered the ways groups and individuals maintain and produce their cultural identities in Canada.

The exhibition featured contemporary portrait photography by Naomi Harris, archival images, oral histories, artifacts and visitors’ participation. It highlighted Canada’s cultural landscapes through seven case studies around key ideas like family, faith, food, recreation and neighbourhood. The result showed aspects of how people create, maintain and experience cultural landscapes across Canada.

Community Presents Program

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21’s Community Presents program encourages cultural groups to create their own exhibitions and tell their own stories, while celebrating themes related to immigration, cultural diversity, cultural heritage and identity.