GSM Project to design exhibition spaces for new Canadian Canoe Museum

The Canadian Canoe Museum will partner with design firm GSM Project to create one-of-a kind visitor experiences at the museum’s new building beside the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway.

GSM Project will work with the organization to ensure that the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft is not only exhibited, but experienced, by all those who visit the new museum at the water’s edge. The new museum building is designed by the international team of heneghan peng architects (Dublin, Ireland), working with Toronto’s Kearns Mancini Architects as architects of record.

Rendering of the new museum. Image via Canadian Canoe Museum
Rendering of the new museum. Image via Canadian Canoe Museum

Following a nationwide request for proposals and an in-depth selection process, GSM Project has been chosen to work alongside staff and the Exhibit Design Committee to create visitor experiences in two key areas of the new museum:

  • Exhibition Galleries – Approximately 21,000 square feet of Class A (curatorial standard) exhibit space expected to feature 10 to 12 galleries.
  • Collections Centre – Approximately 28,000 square feet of Class A (curatorial standard) open storage space, featuring more than 500 full-sized watercraft stored on individual mounts and arranged on racking systems, and artifacts.

For the first time, the museum’s entire collection — which includes over 600 watercraft —  will be on site and totally accessible as part of the visitor experience.

Rendering of the new museum. Image via Canadian Canoe Museum
A closer look at the new museum. Image via Canadian Canoe Museum.

“We are proud to have been in a position to meet with some of the world’s leading exhibit design firms as part of this selection process,” says Jeremy Ward, Curator at The Canadian Canoe Museum.

“The GSM Project team members will bring their international experience, a deep affinity for Canadian heritage, and an appreciation of our unique collection and its incredible potential to the table. Together, we aspire to strengthen the museum’s connections with communities across the country and are confident that the result of our work will be something very special that will engage our visitors in new and surprising ways. We cannot wait to get started.”

“A great community deserves a great museum,” says Yves Mayrand, President and Chief Creative Officer of GSM Project. “The renewed Canoe Museum will serve as a nucleus not only for Peterborough but also for all those who are passionate about canoes, Canada’s waterways, and that love of the outdoors that unites us all.”