Up to date information on the comings and goings in The Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum. Also a behind the scenes look at how the museum operates and how the museum team is working after our capacity expansion project to which grew our capacity from 60 to 420 in July 2010!

Love Under Cover: A Bunker Valentine's Day event

Posted by Programs Manager On 15:51

Hoping to find love under cover? You might want to come to the bunker this February 14th as the Diefenbunker hosts its very first Valentine's Day event. There will be a lovely meal catered by local favourite, The Cheshire Cat Pub, and specialty chocolates handcrafted for us by the chocolatier at The Swan. We will also be showing a Cold War love story film, and even have a pop-up boutique where you can purchase something for your special someone!

Single, but still think it sounds like a great event to attend? Come on out and join others at the mixer table, who knows, maybe you will find love in a hopeless place!!

Call us at 613-839-0007 to make inquiries or reservations, hope to see you there for love under cover!

| edit post

Rex Zero Author Named to the Order of Canada

Posted by Programs Manager On 10:53

On Friday, December 30, Perth-based author Tim Wynne-Jones was named to the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston.

Tim is the author of many children's books, including the Rex Zero series. The Rex Zero series, set in 1960s Ottawa, gives us a picture of the life of a young boy in Cold War era Canada. The books are the centre of the Diefenbunker's elementary school workshops and the inspiration behind our Rex Zero Headquarters, an interactive exhibition and classroom on our 400 level.

We have worked in collaboration with Tim Wynne-Jones on creating this space and many children's events based around his wonderful books.

The Diefenbunker would like to extend a huge congratulations to Tim!

| edit post

Winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award 2010

Posted by Programs Manager On 15:05

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a volunteer for a long term contribution and dedication to the value of the museum.With this award, the Diefenbunker extends a Life Membership to each individual. This year, the Diefenbunker congratulated two recipients and thanked them for their immense contributions: Gail Baird and Brian Jeffrey.

At the Diefenbunker, Gail Baird's name is synonymous with professionalism and detail to attention. She provided professional services on a volunteer basis to maintain and enhance the operations and facility of the Diefenbunker, for which such work would normally have meant significant costs to the organization.

Gail joined the Board in April 2003 and resigned in 2010. During that time, as President of Creative Bound, she was the key person who drove the production of the “On Tour” book. Without her knowledge and help it would never have been as successful as it has been.

In addition, Gail with Dixie Trenholm organized the initial tours of the bunker on behalf of the West Carleton Library System. Together, they raised more than $227,000 from tours in a space of some three weeks.

Unfortunately, Gail was unable to attend the AGM and accept her award in person.

It’s hard for anyone to remember a time at the Diefenbunker without Brian Jeffrey. Brian has been involved in the Bunker is a myriad of ways almost since the beginning. For many years, you could always find Brian here on Tuesday nights, Sunday afternoons and for every Board meeting.

Brian Jeffrey compiled the first comprehensive version of the Guide’s Guide to the Diefenbunker. This required a great amount of work, timing the tour, keeping track of points of interest and compiling all the information. He has trained and helped to train dozens of guides and interpreters. He has given countless tours – on public tours, special events and even last minute group tours.

Brian started the Volunteer Radio Group and helped acquired much of the equipment currently used in the Radio room. He coordinated and encouraged volunteer involvement in the Bunker for years. Amongst all of this, Brian was also the Vice President of the Board of Directors for several years.

Brian has been a constant presence in the Bunker, helping out with odd jobs wherever he can, from tours to maintenance projects to restoring furniture. That’s why we were honoured to award Brian Jeffrey with a Diefenbunker Lifetime Achievement Award.

| edit post

Winner of the Interpreter of the Year 2010

Posted by Programs Manager On 15:52

From left to right: Board Member, Patricia
den Boer; Volunteer, Lorne Beaton; Education
Manger, heather Montgomery. 2011

Volunteers are nominated and awarded by staff and Board Members for their efforts at the Annual General. This year, Board Member, Patricia den Boer presented the Volunteer Recognition awards for 2010. The Interpreter of the Year Award is given each year to a volunteer who has shown dedication and excellence in the role of volunteer Museum Interpreter.

Lorne Beaton has been an interpreter at the Diefenbunker for over 5 years, but he’s been around for much longer than that. He was here in 1995 to visit the Bunker and sign the petition to save it. If you’ve ever had the privilege to join Lorne’s tour, he always tells the story of how he purchased an original Diefenchunk after his first visit.

Lorne’s Tuesday afternoon tour doesn’t miss a single detail. In fact, he spent two years following his brother Doug’s tour before letting himself give one. He wanted to make sure that he had it perfect - that he could answer every question. If you walk by Lorne’s tour group, you’re sure to find the visitors eagerly asking him questions. His amazing amount of knowledge about the details of the Diefenbunker makes him an invaluable resource for visitors and for us.

Above that, Lorne is always around to lend a hand, be it a last minute tour, answering questions, or helping with safety procedures. Showing up to every tour with a smile on his face and patiently answering every question are what make Lorne Beaton the Diefenbunker’s Interpreter of the Year for 2010.

| edit post

Winner of the Professional Development Award for 2010

Posted by Programs Manager On 14:27

From left to right: Board Member, Patricia
den Boer; volunteer, J.J. Gariepy; and,
Education & Volunteer Manager, Heather
Montgomery. 2011

The Diefenbunker's Annual General Meeting for 2010 took place on December 7, 2011 in our cafeteria space. We were proud to present our Volunteer Recognition awards for 2010. Volunteers are nominated by staff and Board Members, and were presented at the AGM by Board Member Patricia den Boer. The Professional Development Award is given each year to a volunteer who uses his or her professional services to maintain and enhance the operations of the Diefenbunker.

Jean-Jacques Gariepy, better known to us as J.J., has been a volunteer at the Diefenbunker since early 2010. He began as a Library and Archives volunteer, bringing his years of experience in document and information management to our collection. He has since worked tirelessly to properly identify and label our non-historic display and exhibit items.

It wasn’t long before we took him up on another of his many skills – translation. J.J. has successfully and professionally translated dozens of documents for us, everything from lesson plans and educational programming to website text and registration forms. In 2010, he worked closely with Christine McGuire to provide the French text necessary for Project Rustic. J.J. is also the man behind the French version of our Audio Guide, our French Visitor’s Guide and countless other French texts for brochures and signs.

It’s not only J.J.’s long list of contributions that make him the winner of 2010’s Professional Contribution Award. J.J.’s attitude and endless willingness to help the Diefenbunker in any capacity make him a joy to work with. He consistently provides us with professional quality services within very short deadlines, and always does so happily.

| edit post

The Busy Bunker Bees

Posted by Programs Manager On 11:41

This month marks a new beginning for many projects at the museum. Last week, the Diefenbunker staff was busy meeting with Sarah Freeman from CTV to film a segment that aired on Monday, November 21st. Interviews were conducted last Tuesday morning with our knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff members and volunteer on some of the most popularly showcased rooms in the bunker: the Emergency Government Situation Centre (EmGovSitCen), the CBC studio, and of course the blast tunnel. Dressed in military, nursing, and Nuclear Biological Chemical uniforms, the staff offered information regarding the history of the bunker; as it was used in the time of DND occupancy and, as it is used today as a museum. An overview of our youth programming highlighted the segment, as John, one of our supervisors, mentioned Spy Camp while Sarah tried our cipher wheel! Three snippets were aired throughout the day on Monday and are now available on You Tube on the Diefenbunker Facebook page!


The busy bunker bees were also preparing for the 4th annual Cold War Memorial and Book Launch that took place on November 16th. The event commenced with a group tour of the bunker, followed by a beautiful reading from former E.D. and organizer of the event, Ioana Teodorescu, of the translated Romanian text, The Diary of Happiness by Nicolae Steinhardt. Professor David Monteyne of the University of Calgary, subsequently offered a lecture which posed as a synopsis of his book about fallout shelters in America, Fallout Shelter: Designing for Civil Defense in the Cold War. It shed light on the differences between blast and fallout shelters, geographic distributions of these shelters in urban and rural areas throughout the Cold War, and the shift in architectural design applied to the structures. The whole event ended with a wine and cheese during which David enthusiastically cut his book-themed cake.

We are also happy to announce that we are working on some family friendly holiday programming this year. On December 18th from 1pm to 3pm, families can partake in story time, arts and crafts, and indulge in our holiday goodies! Expect more specific information to come on the programming shortly. Save the date!

Lastly, during our preparations for these events, we took a pose to attend our museum’s military tour soft-launch two Saturdays ago. Volunteers and staff members a-like, gathered to hear Rob’s, a supervisor here at the museum, presentation on Civil Defense during the Cold War and how it applied to Canada and the Diefenbunker. We hope to officially launch this tour at the Annual General Meeting on December 7th.

To subscribe to our e-newsletter, please contact administration@diefenbunker.ca.

| edit post

Carp Fair 2011

Posted by Programs Manager On 11:00

Over the weekend of September 22nd to the 25th, the Diefenbunker attended the 148th Carp Fair that took place at the Carp Fairgrounds, just a stone’s throw away from bunker! A celebration of Canadian agriculture this fair brought fun rides, scrumptious food, antiques displays, the Strongman competition, as well as some great country headliners!

Five volunteers and three staff members manned the Diefenbunker booth throughout the weekend. Those who stopped by received 2 for 1 admission coupons. All together, we greeted an amazing number of over 700 visitors to the booth and collected great feedback from people who had toured our museum before. So thank you all for stopping by!

Photograph courtesy of Brian Jeffrey, 2011. From Left to Right: Mike Braham, Emily Walsh, Brian Jeffrey.

| edit post