Canada Aviation and Space Museum: Memories of Canada Day

Parachute Go Skydive

Over the years, the staff and volunteers at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum have worked hard to make Canada Day an extra special day for visitors. Along with our partners, the museum has entertained thousands of visitors with flybys, parachute jumps, rocket launches, crafts and activities. We called on our staff and volunteers — who normally work on this special day — to share their thoughts and memories of Canada Day at the museum.

“Canada Day is always exciting; it’s a very busy day for staff but also the most exciting. More often than not we have rain — which sometimes makes things a little complicated — but we always manage to pull through. My favorite memory was probably working alongside Chris Hadfield, taking meet-and-greet pictures for visitors. I had the opportunity to chat with him all day, very interesting!”

~ Angie, Visitor Experience Hostess

“My favourite memory is of the parachutists…looking in the sky for them and watching them land with style.”

~ Marie-Josée, Visitor Experience Guide

“My favourite Canada Day memory would have to be the first time I saw the Snowbirds fly over the museum in formation. I had only heard about them before my first Canada Day with the museum, but seeing them fly in person was very impressive and something I will remember for a long time!”

~ Elisabeth, Visitor Experience Guide

Snowbirds Salute

“Canada Day at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum is always an awesome time. One of my favorite memories of this event is the skydiving team that normally drops in on the grounds of the museum.”

~ Gregory, Visitor Experience Guide

“In 20 years, I can’t pinpoint a specific moment in time that stands out as a highlight but what I will say is I have worked every Canada Day since I joined the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. What I enjoy the most is the frenzy of the day, the rush of seeing so many people gather on our site to join us and celebrate this iconic day. I love the energy of team throughout the day. I have to admit that Canada Day brings out the best in everyone for the mere fact that it is a long day, at times challenging but the reward is priceless. Having said that, I think my favorite moment is the end of the day when we get to celebrate over ice cream bars and share stories about how much fun our visitors had. That is why we do what we do. For the people!”

~ Mario, Visitor Experience Supervisor

“What makes it special for me are the new Canadians who encouraged their children to ask questions about the collection. I can show them the entries in my Dad’s log book of the four helicopters in the collection that he flew and photos of them in use.”

~ Don, museum volunteer

Don, museum volunteer

“In the late 1990’s, a family brought their grandfather to visit Ottawa on Canada Day.  A former Lancaster RCAF pilot, they brought him to the Museum.  When brought him to the “Lanc”, he looked up and started weeping, the memories flooding back.  Bill McNeill, a fellow volunteer and former Spitfire pilot, talked to him, comforting him, old pilot to old pilot, as the rest of us stood there, tears in our eyes.  I will never forget that day.”

~ Bob, museum volunteer

Bob, museum volunteer

“For a few years I would show members of the public the cockpit of the CF-100, along with my friends Al and Wib. I have good memories of the many good stories and anecdotes shared by members of the public.”

~ Mark, museum volunteer

Mark, museum volunteer

“I have lots of great memories, but if I have to pick one, it’s the unbridled joy of kids as they see the aircraft and exhibits up close and in action!”

~ David, museum volunteer

David, museum volunteer

“What I like the most about Canada Day is the energy of the crowd! Everyone is smiling, dressed in red and white and happy to discover the museum. There’s just a good vibe all around!”

~ Cedric, Volunteer Coordinator

“My best Canada Day memory is coming to the Museum as a visitor back when one could still go inside the Argus.  I slowly went up the stairs, deliberately closed my eyes and stepped into the aircraft. In an instant, I was back in 1975, the last time I had flown in this aircraft.”

~ Peter, museum volunteer

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