Revisit Canadian children’s television at museum in Gatineau
Whether your television memories are of watching puppets Casey and Finnegan on a grainy 1980s screen or veer more towards the teen angst of Spike and Wheels on Degrassi Junior High, a new exhibition at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau will likely satisfy your nostalgia and delight many youngsters.
Opened in September, From Pepinot to PAW Patrol – Television of Our Childhoods highlights popular and much-loved characters in television shows dating back 70 years.
The Canadian children’s television exhibition primarily highlights programming for children ages 2 to 11 and features nearly 100 shows in English. French, and Indigenous languages. It showcases live-action, animation, and puppet shows chosen for their timeless affection by viewers, artistic quality, and innovation.
Television favourites of the young and young at heart
The exhibition will appeal to the youngest fans of Ryder and his four-footed friends in PAW Patrol to those more familiar with Pepinot, Capucine and Mr. Black who starred in the first Canadian television show for children in 1952. Visitors can view hundreds of excerpts from shows featured in 33 audiovisual productions. They can also check out 80 original costumes, puppets and props, and explore the evolution of children’s television through images and content.
“Since 1952, Canadian children’s television has educated children, entertained them, stimulated their imaginations, and helped them to understand their communities and the bigger world,” explained Caroline Dromaguet, acting president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Museum of History. “Over the years, all of these beloved television characters have inspired children to connect with their emotions and the adults in their lives, while also preparing them for school.”
Developed by the Canadian Museum of History in collaboration with CBC/Radio-Canada and with the participation of Télé-Québec, the exhibition will continue until September 1, 2023.
Spend the day
After touring the exhibit, which takes approximately one hour, families can spend time “travelling the world” in the Children’s Museum, which is housed within the Museum of History. There is fun to be had in the port of entry and its large ship, the market bazaar, bus, theatre, and Kid’s Café. There are family activities such as theatrical mask-making in the Studio, and a new “look-and-find passport” activity booklet with stickers and puppet-making for hands-on fun.
Families can also pick up free handouts at the information desk that feature self-guided activities in the Grand Hall, a Museum Quest-ory in the History Hall, a Stamp Find exploration, and an Architectural Tour Outdoor Museum Quest.
Capacity is limited and admission tickets (with set arrival time) must be purchased online. To guarantee a spot, visitors must reserve tickets in advance. Admission will also be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the box office. Visitors may stay as long as they like during the museum’s regular opening hours.
The Canadian Museum of History is located at 100 Laurier St., in Gatineau and is about a two-hour drive from Montreal.
For more information, visit historymuseum.ca