History of the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum
The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum is Atlantic Canada’s only museum devoted to preserving all aspects of Atlantic Canada’s aviation heritage. Granted “Local Museum” status by the Nova Scotia Museum in 1989, it is owned and operated by local volunteers since its inception in 1977.
Both civilian and military aviation history is depicted in the extensive displays found within our facility. Included are hundreds of artifacts, large and small, from books, badges and uniforms to engines and aircraft. Designed to be informative, from a heritage standpoint, a visitor will leave with a greater knowledge of aviation. From the earliest balloons and gliders up to modern aircraft.
Atlantic Canada has a rich aviation heritage, beginning with the first powered flight in Canada and the British Empire in 1909. However, it is a heritage that, until the formation of the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum and our sister organizations at Shearwater and Greenwood, was largely forgotten. Indeed, many priceless artifacts have been removed from the area, never to return. It was the recognition of this loss that lead to the formation of our Museum. Initially restricted to shopping center displays and storing of many items at CFB Shearwater, the Museum moved to its present location in 1986, with the co-operation of the province of Nova Scotia.
Over the next ten years, our Museum has continued to grow as did our visions for the future. During this time we sought and received a great deal of encouragement and support from a large number of individuals, corporate sponsors and government agencies. With their support and the efforts of our dedicated volunteers, we were able to construct and open a 100′ x 140′ hangar in the fall of 1995. Attached to the existing original building it provided the museum with an additional 14,000 square feet of exhibit space. We now showcase a wide selection of aircraft, engines, armaments and other artifacts. All within a half hour drive of downtown Halifax.
Visitors to the museum will be impressed with our attractive, informative displays, which they can browse through at their leisure. Our Museum also features a gift shop which sells the expected aviation souvenirs and some of the more traditional knick-knacks sought by visitors to our wonderful province. We also have ample parking, set in an attractive natural element complete with picnic tables to lunch on. Over the years we have been visited by thousands of people and judging by the comments in our guest book, they have not been disappointed.
The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, now and in the past, has been blessed with a growing group of resourceful and enthusiastic people who contribute countless hours of their own personal time restoring and displaying our aviation treasures. With the exception of a few students employed in the summer months, the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum is a volunteer organization and is strictly non-profit. Any funds that we raise are turned back into the growth and further development of our beloved museum. Membership at the Museum is not limited to pilots and aircrew, in fact, many of our members have only one common bond – the love of aviation!