We collect and share stories that matter to our community.

Since 1984, the Canmore Museum has collected material that represent the culture, history and landscapes of our region. Every item is acquired into the collection with the intention that it should be used to learn, understand, spark curiosity and inspire.

Our goal is to collect and share stories that matter to our community. Each object holds a story (or many!). They can also inspire new stories and a greater understanding by those who come to encounter them in our exhibits, programs and online collections.

The collection at the Canmore Museum focuses primarily on the human history of Canmore. We collect and care for objects that represent the history, culture, and lifestyles of all of the people who have called the Bow Valley (from Morley to the Banff National Park Gates) home. We welcome new additions to our collection. Here’s how to decide if your object might be a good fit for our collection, and how to begin the potential donation process.

We have several criteria that help us decide when an object is a good fit for the Canmore Museum. Since we have limited resources, each object we accept must fit in with our collecting mandate and serve a particular purpose within the museum’s work.

Objects must:

  • Hold a story: each object we accept must tell a story about life in the Bow Valley, be it past or present.
  • Be of high quality: the object must either be in good condition, or be so essential to the history of the Bow Valley that we feel justified in expending resources to care for/restore it.
  • Have no conditions placed upon them: once an object becomes part of our collection, and you sign a gift agreement, the Museum is able to handle that material in whatever way we deem necessary. This may include adding it to our teaching collection, selling it, or deaccessioning it should it no longer be a good fit for our goals or if the cost of taking care of the object exceeds its usefulness to the museum’s mission.

To donate to us, there is a specific process that artifacts and donors must follow. Firstly, the potential donor must provide the collections management team with as much information about the history of the object as possible, including provenance (how the donor acquired it), where and when it was made, who used it, how it was used, and especially why it was important to that person’s, event’s, or organization’s story. The collections management team and committee will then determine if the object fits the collection, and if the object is deemed suitable the donor will sign the object over to the permanent and legal care of the museum with a gift agreement.

If you have an object that you believe is a good fit for our collection, please email our Collections Officer. It is helpful if you are able to include a short description and history of the object as well as a photograph.


Collections Officer
(403) 917-1702