Canadian War Museum

Canadian War Museum

October 31, 2005 12:30 ET

'Passing the Torch' the Most Successful Fundraising Campaign by a Federal Cultural Institution in Canadian History

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 31, 2005) - The Passing the Torch campaign, organized by the Friends of the Canadian War Museum (FCWM), was the most successful fundraising effort by a federal cultural institution in Canadian history.

Thanks to the remarkable generosity of thousands of individuals, groups and organizations, the Passing the Torch fundraising campaign for the new Canadian War Museum raised a total of $16.5 million for the development of exhibitions and public programmes in the new Museum.

The FCWM began the campaign in 1995 with the original aim of raising $3 million for the expansion of the existing museum building on Sussex Drive in Ottawa. In 1999, the federal government agreed to the construction of a new facility on condition that donations from private donors cover a portion of the cost. A target of $15 million was set and the Passing the Torch campaign took up the challenge. Response was outstanding, and the objective was surpassed prior to completion of the new Museum, located on LeBreton Flats, west of Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa.

A key factor in the campaign's success was the extensive work contributed by volunteers. The volunteer chair of the campaign, General Paul Manson (Ret'd), together with individuals based in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Fredericton, worked tirelessly to approach foundations and individuals, families, friends and corporate donors.

"The response was truly wonderful," said General Manson. "Through their generosity and interest, Canadians demonstrated that they want to pass the torch of our military experience to future generations."

While the Passing the Torch campaign officially concluded with the opening of the new Canadian War Museum on May 8, fundraising efforts continue in support of the museum's mandate to educate current and future generations on Canada's rich military history, to preserve one of the world's finest collections of military art and artifacts, and to remember those who served.

The Museum is continuing its own fundraising efforts and will be holding a gala event to celebrate the Museum's 125th anniversary on November 2, 2005.

More information on the Canadian War Museum and related fundraising activities is available on the Museum's Web site www.warmuseum.ca.

High-resolution images of the Canadian War Museum are available for downloading at http://media.civilization.ca/2003/CWM_IM_e.htm

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