ARCHIVED - Insightful. Revealing. Surprising. Double Take – Portraits of Intriguing Canadians presented at the Canadian Museum of Civilization

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Good morning.

Thank you for inviting me.

I would like to extend special thanks to those who have participated in the organization of the exhibition and the staging of today’s event.

I am very proud to be here this morning to launch, with our partner, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, our travelling exhibition Double Take: Portraits of Intriguing Canadians.

Double Take is a fine example of Library and Archives Canada’s collaborative approach to making Canada’s history and documentary heritage accessible to Canadians.

After the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection near Toronto, it seems fitting that the exhibition is on display here, at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, one of our nation’s premiere venues for a comprehensive introduction to Canada's art, its peoples, their cultures and their history.

Double Take offers a seldom-seen glimpse into this country’s documentary heritage.

Through travelling exhibitions like this one, we are demonstrating our continued commitment to bringing the materials in our collection to all Canadians.

To accomplish this, we rely on partnerships, such as the one we have established with the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The Museum has even added some portraits and artifacts from its own collection. Other important objects from the Canadian War Museum are also used to complete the presentation.

Through these collaborative initiatives, we have been able to make original works of documentary art accessible in galleries, museums and other community venues, as well as online.

Double Take showcases the richness and diversity of the national collection of portraits, and displays some of these works to the public for the first time.

With more than 100 works featured, visitors to Double Take will get an unexpected peek behind the façade of a number of interesting Canadians, from Kim Campbell to Louis Riel.

Through their depictions of Canadians, these portraits allow us to discover a myriad of documents explaining the multiple facets of Canadian life over time.

With works spanning four centuries, the portraits tell compelling stories of assumed identity, assassination, exploitation, discovery, invention, injustice, activism and achievement.

Using a variety of media, the exhibition asks visitors to do a “double take,” as the portraits reveal the many sides of individuals and public figures.

This is also perhaps a good time to ask visitors to do a “double take” on Library and Archives Canada itself, as we continue to invest in programming that allows Canadians to discover their country in bold new ways, including on the Web and via social media.

I sincerely hope that this exhibition will promote dialogue and discussion not only about some of the more memorable figures in Canadian history, but also about the possibilities that are open to us when we work together towards a shared vision of our future.
 
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Thank you.
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