New Opportunities to Explore the Franklin Expedition

News Release

Royal Ontario Museum and Parks Canada launch interactive Franklin Expedition exhibit in museums across Canada

March 24, 2016                                Toronto, Ontario                                                      Parks Canada Agency

The story of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the search for HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and the discovery of one of Franklin’s lost ships will be explored in the new micro-exhibit The Franklin Exploration, a collaboration between Parks Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). The exhibit launched on March 23, 2016, at 10 museums from coast to coast to coast, including the Nattilik Heritage Centre in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, the community closest to The Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site.

The exciting discovery of HMS Erebus in the waters of Queen Maud Gulf in 2014 was made possible through a multilateral partnership from public, private and non-profit sectors. The discovery solved part of the intriguing mystery of the lost Franklin Expedition and ignited renewed interest in the history of Arctic exploration. In The Franklin Exploration, the narrative turns to Inuit knowledge and clues collected during the initial search efforts and allows visitors to create links with contemporary research in the Arctic.

Over the next three years, the interactive display and digital content will be periodically updated as new information is uncovered about HMS Erebus and as the search for HMS Terror continues. Throughout this time the ROM and the Franklin Museum Network will be able to expand the exhibit’s content and share the evolving Franklin story with their communities. Current themes include the “2015 Ice Dive on HMS Erebus”, the “Franklin Bell” and an “Underwater Guided Tour of HMS Erebus”.

To celebrate the launch of The Franklin Exploration, Parks Canada hosted a Google Hangout with Parks Canada experts including an underwater archaeologist and a conservator. During the Hangout, they presented HMS Erebus artefacts and never-before-seen video footage of the interior of the ship captured last summer. For more details on the event and on the Franklin story, visit Parks Canada’s website at:



“The compelling story of the Franklin Expedition and the modern exploration to discover the location of the missing ships has captured the imagination of people around the world. This micro-exhibit is a reflection on how combined efforts of multiple organizations and of Inuit historical accounts led to one of Canada’s most important archeological finds. Parks Canada is pleased to work with its partners to present The Franklin Exploration to Canadians across the country.”

Marc-André Bernier
Manager, Underwater Archaeology Team, Parks Canada


“The ROM is proud to partner with Parks Canada to share the remarkable story of the search for the lost ships of the Franklin Expedition. The Franklin Exploration, our new interactive display, launched today at ten member venues of the Franklin Museum Network, connects visitors from coast to coast to the contemporary Arctic investigation and ongoing scientific research in Canada's North."

Dr. Mark Engstrom
ROM Interim Director and CEO


Quick Facts

  • The Franklin Exploration will feature information about the 1845 expedition to map the Northwest Passage and Parks Canada’s archaeological missions and will include audio and video interactive panels, unique hands-on programming, special events and speaking engagements.
  • The Franklin Exploration will be displayed at the Royal Ontario Museum as well as at nine Franklin Museum Network sites across Canada: Canadian Museum of History - Gatineau, Quebec; Glenbow Museum – Calgary, Alberta; The Manitoba Museum – Winnipeg, Manitoba; Nattilik Heritage Centre – Gjoa Haven, Nunavut; Musée Maritime du Québec – L’Islet, Quebec; New Brunswick Museum – Saint John, New Brunswick; Nova Scotia Museum – Halifax, Nova Scotia; Royal British Columbia Museum – Victoria, British Columbia; Vancouver Maritime Museum – Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • Canadians will be engaged in the Franklin story thanks to the generosity of donors, including The W. Garfield Weston Foundation; the Government of Canada; Arctic Research Foundation; Isles Foundation Incorporated–The John E. Irving Family; The WB Family Foundation; and Andrew and Valerie Pringle. It is a testament to their vision that Canadians from coast to coast to coast have the opportunity to learn about this important piece of our history.
  • Located in Toronto and established in 1912 by the Museum Act, the Royal Ontario Museum opened its doors in 1914 and is Canada’s largest museum of natural history and world cultures.
  • The ROM is home to over 30 galleries showcasing art, archaeology and natural science, and has more than six million objects in its collections.

Associated Links

The Franklin Exhibition

The Royal Ontario Museum

Inuktitut Version

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Caitlin Workman
Office of the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change


Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency


ROM Media Contact
Wendy Vincent, Bilingual Publicist

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