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Updated: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 14:03:26 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Canada oil lobby group donating $1M to Ottawa-area museum



Employees at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (© above)

Employees at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (above) and the Canadian War Museum have been without a contract since April. Rebecca Zandbergen/CBC

The lobby group for Canada's oil industry is contributing $1 million over five years to the Canadian Museum of Civilization to sponsor exhibits.

The museum made the announcement alongside representatives of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) Monday morning.

"It's a major partnership for us," said Mark O'Neill, president and CEO of the museum in Gatineau, Que. "It's the largest corporate sponsorship in our corporation's history."

It's not the first time the oil industry has given money to a museum in the National Capital Region.

Imperial sponsored energy exhibition

In 2011, Imperial Oil sponsored an energy exhibition at the Museum of Science and Technology by contributing $600,000 over six years.

Emails obtained by CBC News at the time uncovered that Imperial Oil was actively involved in the message presented to the public.

But the science and technology museum defended its decision, saying it received funding from a number of energy industry sources and that the final decision about what was presented was up to the museum.

O'Neill said Monday that won't happen again.

Museum approached lobby group, says CEO

He said the museum approached CAPP, not the other way around, and that CAPP won't be influencing any content.

"CAPP knows that it will not in any way be involved in any of the content development of these exhibitions, or developing any of the programs in the museum," he said.

The sponsorship support will help fund 1867, an exhibition under development that explores how Canada came to be.

CAPP will also be recognized as an official partner of the museum’s special exhibitions and programming between now and the end of 2018.

The Canadian Museum of Civilization is in the process of rebranding itself as the Canadian Museum of History, and plans to open new sections of the museum dedicated to Canadian history in 2017, when the country celebrates 150 years since Confederation.

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