Branding History at the Canadian Museum of Civilization

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  • Brady, Miranda J.
  • Aronczyk, Melissa




In October 2012, the Canadian Heritage Minister announced that the Canadian
Museum of Civilization, the country’s largest and most popular museum, would be renamed
the Canadian Museum of History. In addition to the new name, three strategies—a strategy
of engagement, a strategy of authority, and a strategy of expansion—were elaborated by museum
and government officials as part of the transformation. We examine these three strategies
as an example of the Harper government’s attempt to “brand” Canadian identity and
history in its own image, arguing that the strategies were designed expressly to paper over
near-unilateral changes in the museum’s mandate and transformation. Ultimately, these
changes have problematic implications for the democratic management of cultural production
in Canada.

KEYWORDS Heritage policy; Marketing; Branding; Museums; National identity


Canadian Journal of Communication

Peer Review: 

Published in Peer Reviewed Journal

Faculty Name: 

Faculty of Public Affairs

Department Name: 

School of Journalism and Communication

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