Canada has invested significantly in Holocaust education, remembrance and research. This includes:
- $2.5 million for Jewish Community Historical Recognition Projects;
- the National Holocaust Monument; and
- the Canadian Human Rights Museum.
In conjunction with being the Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2013/2014, Canada supported several new initiatives to increase understanding of the Holocaust across the country. Initiatives were developed with the support of government and community partners.
Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education
In October 2013, Scott Masters of Crestwood Preparatory College in Toronto, Ontario was selected as the winner of the CIC Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education and awarded $5000 to support Holocaust education at his school.
Community Historical Recognition Program – Jewish-Canadian Projects
The Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP) funded Jewish community-based commemorative and educational projects. The projects recognize wartime measures and immigration restrictions in place during World War II.
Canada’s Baseline Study
In 2008, Canada prepared a baseline study (PDF, 674 Kb) as part of its application for membership in the IHRA. The study outlines the current status of Holocaust education in Canadian schools and provides information on initiatives in the areas of Holocaust remembrance and research.
Museums and Educational Centres
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
The Canadian Museum of Immigration is located at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It includes an online gallery of stories from Jewish war orphans who came to Canada following the end of the Second World War.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is scheduled to open in Winnipeg in 2014. There will be 12 permanent galleries, covering a wide range of issues, including human rights, mass atrocities and the Holocaust.
Canadian War Museum
The Canadian War Museum is home to an extensive permanent exhibition of art, artefacts and photographs. The museum’s “Forged in Fire” gallery includes information on Canada’s role in liberating Bergen-Belsen, a Nazi concentration camp.
Virtual Museum of Canada
The Virtual Museum of Canada contains over 600 virtual exhibits from institutions across Canada. It includes exhibits about the Second World War and the Holocaust.
Holocaust Education Centres
The Government of Canada works closely with community partners across the country. There are four major Holocaust education centres in Canada:
Raoul Wallenberg Day — January 17
In 2002, Parliament declared January 17 as Raoul Wallenberg Day, which is celebrated annually on the anniversary of his disappearance.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day — January 27
In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated January 27 as the International Day of Commemoration. This day commemorates the anniversary of the liberation by Soviet forces of over 7,000 prisoners from the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.
Yom HaShoah – April/May
Yom HaShoah is Israel’s day of commemoration of the Holocaust. It is recognized in countries around the world. It is celebrated every spring on the 27th day of the Hebrew Calendar. In 2013, it will be celebrated from the evening of April 7 to the evening of April 8. A commemorative ceremony for politicians, dignitaries, Holocaust survivors and members of the public will be held in Ottawa on April 23, 2013.
Starting in 2013, two exhibitions examining Canada’s actions toward Jews during the Holocaust were displayed in communities across Canada. The exhibits raise awareness of this dark chapter in Canada’s history.
- The Atlantic Jewish Council’s exhibit on the M.S. St. Louis; and
- The Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre’s exhibit on the internment of Jews in Canada
Raoul Wallenberg Centenary
Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat. He personally saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from extermination during the Holocaust. In 1985, he was made Canada’s first honorary citizen. In honour of the 100th anniversary of his birth, Canada supported the following initiatives:
- Commemorative Stamp
On January 17, 2013, Canada Post released a stamp in recognition of Raoul Wallenberg’s courage. The stamp also commemorates the 69th anniversary of his disappearance.
- Travelling Exhibition
The Canadian War Museum and the Toronto Reference Library, in cooperation with the Swedish Embassy in Ottawa, hosted the exhibition “To Me There’s No Other Choice.”
National Holocaust Monument
The National Holocaust Monument will be constructed in the National Capital Region. It will serve as a permanent reminder for Canadians of all faiths to stand together against intolerance and hatred.
Wheel of Conscience
The Wheel of Conscience monument is a tribute to the 937 Jewish passengers of the M.S. St. Louis. They were refused entry into Canada in 1939 and many subsequently died. The monument is located at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
International Poster Competition
Canada and international partners sponsored a poster competition. The winning posters were unveiled on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, 2014.
2013 Academic Conference
An international academic conference took place October 6–7, 2013, at the University of Toronto. The theme of the conference was New Scholars, New Research on the Holocaust. It coincided with meetings of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in Toronto.
Canadian Heritage Information Network
The Canadian Heritage Information Network will expand its publically accessible Artefacts Canada website to allow Canadian museums and art galleries to include more information on the provenance of objects. It is an important tool for researchers and heirs around the world who are trying to identify and locate artworks and other cultural material lost during the Holocaust.
Holocaust-related holdings at Library and Archives Canada (PDF, 1.5 MB)
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has developed a publicly accessible thematic guide that provides a list of Holocaust-related material in its holdings. The Research Guide to Holocaust-related Holdings at LAC provides an introduction to material from both archival and published sources that relates to a range of events and decisions before, during and after the Second World War. The guide includes both government and personal documents.
Nazi Germany, Canadian Responses: Confronting Antisemitism in the Shadow of War
Prominent scholars consider Canada’s immigration policies and anti-Semitism during the Holocaust in this recent collection of essays. It was published in May 2012 with funding assistance from CIC.
National Gallery of Canada Provenance Research
The National Gallery is committed to researching works in its collection that were purchased, sold or created during the Nazi period and have an unknown provenance.
Max Stern Art Restitution Project
The Max Stern Art Restitution Project is led by Concordia University. Acting on behalf of the executors of the estate of Max Stern, it seeks the restitution of Stern’s art holdings that were confiscated or sold by force in Nazi Germany. It is one of the most recognized art restitution efforts in the world.
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