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!

Cold War Songs from the 1950s playlist

Posted by Eric Espig On 18:17

The Diefenbunker Channel

Posted by Eric Espig On 14:41

The new Diefenbunker YouTube channel made its debut today with its "Cold War Music & Music Videos" playlist. Over time we will be compilling playlists of videos uploaded to YouTube relating to: pop music, protest, propaganda, news footage, film trailers, original educational films and more.

Stumbling into The Postal Service's "We Will Become Slhouettes" video was the inspiration for the creation of the: "Cold War Music & Music Videos" compilation which at the moment features a lopsided amount of electronic music produced in the 1980s. This is possibly due to the seemingly good fit of the era between new technologies in music and the technological advances in warfare which were threatening society. Those advances were too sophisticated to be fully understood by the general public (or at times, the musicians). However, there are also plenty of 1960s era protest songs yet to be mined from the youtube servers. When I get to that point I will divide the music into era specific groupings. Until then enjoy the danci-ness of the 80s outlook on Cold War!

"Cold War Music & Music Videos" Playlist

Diefenbunker Channel:

From October 5 - 7 the Diefenbunker hosted the 2009 National Historic Site Alliance of Ontario Conference. There were some very interesting, stimulating and memorable moments brought forward from the 16 guest speakers and panelists. We recorded the audio of almost all of the presentations and hope to have some available for download in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy some snapshots from the event! piuctured: Alan Latourelle, CEO Parks Canada
"Telling Old Stories with New Voices": A thought provoking and interesting combination of new approaches to historical interpretation and statistical data. Chair: Mike Sawchuck - Ontario Heritage Trust, Panelist: Charles Smith - Researcher and Consultant; Del Muise - Professor Emeritus Carleton University

CBC Radio's Darrell Dennis, the host of ReVision Quest. The First Nations celebrity comic, actor and writer entertained and enlightened the crowd as the Keynote Speaker of the conference.

Conference attendees and one of many round table discussions which took place in the Diefenbunker cafeteria.

"Conserving the Modern in a Disposable Age"  
Panel: Andrew Waldon - Canadian Registrar of Historic Places; Scott Williams - Senior Conservation Scientist, Canadian Conservation Institute; Julian Smith - Executive Director, Willowbank School of Restoration Arts


Cultural Resource Management 101 presented by "Heritage Warrior" Dr. Paul Couture of Parks Canada.


The Diefenbunker Vice-President and star Volunteer Interpreter: Brian Jeffrey.

The New Store and The New New Store

Posted by Eric Espig On 13:57

Part of what we had to get done to accomodate the beginning phase of the renovation was to relocate the Cold War Store into a new part of the building - The Allard Gallery. Fortunatley the new store looks great and the response has been very positive. From this we can determine that the New New store, which will be housed in a rejuvenated and redesigned original location, will be even better! As always we look forward to your suggestions as to what unique and interesting Cold War or Diefenbunker toys, books, posters, clothing, etc. that you may like to see us supply. The New New Store is scheduled to open by mid-December.

The expansion of the museum will also mean the expansion of our inventory to include more books and collectables. Our store inventory will also be heading online so people may shop for some of the Diefenbunker exclusive items from home and abroad.

What Increased Capacity Means

Posted by Eric Espig On 11:38

The building capacity project will allow us to truly fulfill our mandate by producing more opportunities for the general public and stakeholders to connect to our museum. Once we can allow 500 people in the building at any given time, our ability to mount exhibitions, special events, performances, research activity and educational
programs will dramatically increase. Our collection and preservation activities will also be increased. Specifically and most importanly, once the Diefenbunker is up to full occupancy we will be able to open the museum for self-guided tours. Currently, the public can only access the museum through a guided tour once per day during the week and four times daily on the weekend. Guided tours are necessary, as it is the only way that the museum can restrict visitorship to 60 people at any given time. We are not able to add more guided tours because of limitation on volunteer hours and costs associated with hiring more student guides.

The occupancy issue severely restricts the growth and development of curatorial programming, in that it makes no sense to develop exhibitions and re-creations for an audience that can only access it through a time-burdened tour. Once this issue is resolved, we can change its public hours of operation, allowing visitors to spend as little or as much time on independent viewing as they choose, as well as having the option of taking one of our specialized tours. We would expect to see a dramatic increase in its general attendance figure as a consequence of this project,which will result in an increase of revenue. Public and event-based programming will also be enhanced by this project. The Diefenbunker will develop lectures, symposiums, theatrical andmusical performances, as well as corporate and community functions and fundraising dinners and dances for the general public.We will endeavour to increase financial independence by offering corporate and private rentals of space for a fee. Potentially, we could increase our visitor numbers by 800% as a result of this ability to house more people in the building. Realisitically, we are projecting more modest numbers—50% in the five years following project completion. Increased attendance will result in increased revenue, which will in turn increase budgets for marketing, exhibitions and public programming events which we will host and organize. Facility rentals are also expected to increase by at least 25%. All revenue from non-museumrelated activity will be directed back to exhibitions, conservation and programs. This retrofit project will allow the Diefenbunker to become a fully functioning museum.This relatively modest renovation project is necessary for any future growth in the organization.