Vision. Modivation. Determination. Vision . These words describe Terry Fox and what he startedto help benefit Canadians with cancer perfectly. The Canadian Museum of History is marking the 35th anniversary of Fox’s Marathon of Hope Run by presenting an exhibition that focuses on this momentous event as well as the legacy that continues today. Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada opened on April 1, 2015 and runs until January 24, 2016. This exhibit is organized by the Canadian Museum of History in partnership with the Terry Fox Centre.
When I found out about this exhibit, I knew I had to check it out! I have admired Terry Fox since I was a child and became involved with the Terry Fox runs held at my elementary school. I was in awe of someone so young doing what he did. I also wanted my children to learn from Fox’s example and to come into closer contact with pieces of his memorabilia and other items that show how amazing this man was.
My kids did not know what to expect when they saw the entrance of Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada. They liked the banners that stood outside of the exhibit welcoming visitors and my younger kids began asking so many questions about Terry Fox.
The exhibit is split into four zones. The first one introduces visitors to Fox so they can get a feel for who he was and the all of the energy he put into the Marathon of Hope. The second zone is called ‘’The Runner and the Run,’’ which focuses on why Fox wanted to create the Marathon of Hope Run and what he hoped to achieve. There were also numerous items that let visitors in on Fox’s daily life on the road. The third zone was called ‘’Dear Terry’’ which displays the love and respect that Fox earned from Canadians during and after the Run. An interesting feature of this part of the exhibition is a searchable database that was put together especially for this exhibit of over 60 000 letters and cards from Canadians to Fox letting him know how much they admired him and what he was doing by putting this Run together. It also displays the many honours he received, including his induction into the Order of Canada. The final zone looks at how Canadians have kept Fox in their minds and hearts after the Marathon of Hope and visitors can hear how Fox’s example made a significant impression on them over the past 35 years.
We were all wide-eyed at how well this exhibit was laid out, as well as by all of the information centres you can visit and learn form. My eldest spent most of her visit taking in the information from as many of these stations as she could to hear the information they were sharing. For my younger children, this was their first encounter with Terry Fox, so they were excited to see a lot of the items and the information this exhibit shared. They also listened to some of the information centres and were intrigued by all of the maps and items displayed.
For me, I was in awe of the whole exhibit. I loved being greeted by the sounds of Fox’s footsteps as he ran as we entered this exhibit, and seeing all of the maps and information displayed easily for visitors to look at. I got a clearer picture of who Fox was and I felt I was going with Fox through is journey throughout the Run.
I was also able to get a better idea of what it was like for Canadians at this point in time throughout this exhibit. I was very young when the Marathon of Hope took place, so it was amazing to be taken back in time and to see what was happening all over the country and to see the love that they all share for this young man and his mission.
There were two big thrills for me as we went through this exhibit. The first one encountered was getting to see what it was like during Fox’s daily grind of the Run. Seeing the Marathon of Hope van Fox lived in on the road, looking at snippets of his journals and gazing at his personal effects made me feel as though I could understand some of what he was going through at this time. Another favourite stop in this exhibit was see some of the items Canadians from all walks of life gave to Fox to show their appreciation to him. The letters and cards were also a hit with me. I did not send him a letter, but it was fun to look at these pieces of history and snippets of the hearts of Canadians.
Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada is an exhibit I will definitely be making a point of visiting again with my family. All of us were captivated by the displays and the information shared, and we got to get a little closer to a remarkable Canadian. No matter your age, this exhibit is one to visit, and is one that will touch your heart.
Disclaimer: I received admission to the Canadian Museum of History in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.