Museum of Civilization taps oil patch for $1 million to help fund Canada's 150th

GATINEAU, Que. – Canada’s 150th birthday is being brought to you by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

The federal Museum of Civilization has announced it is teaming up with the oil industry lobby group as an official sponsor of its exhibits to mark 150 years since Confederation.

The $1-million, five-year sponsorship is the largest ever for the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que.

Dave Collyer, president of the petroleum producers’ lobby group, says the goal of the exercise is to promote his industry by engaging and communicating with the public.

The president and CEO of the taxpayer-funded museum, Mark O’Neill, says such sponsorships are going to become more common in future as flat government funding fails to keep up with the rising costs of exhibitions.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and Imperial Oil ran into controversy in 2011 when they sponsored exhibits at the federal Museum of Science and Technology and documents later showed they had exerted pressure to alter exhibit content they felt treated the industry too harshly.