Workshops

The Diefenbunker is one of the most unique educational sites in Canada. Come tour the museum with your class or school tour group and let participants experience the complexities of the Cold War first-hand.

Tours of the Diefenbunker allow students to immerse themselves in the Cold War and experience Canadian history from a perspective unlike any other. The Diefenbunker offers curriculum programs with links to social studies, language arts, science, mathematics, and visual arts.

To reserve, please fill out our School Program Registration.

Description of Programs

Art and Peacebuilding (Grades 4-12)

What was the role of art in the Cold War? How can art be used to build and promote peace? This workshop will encourage dialogue and discussion not normally thought of when students learn about the Cold War. Students will learn how art transformed from propaganda to peace and how it became a way for people to express their values for all to see. Students will get to view examples from the Cold War and make their very own piece of art.

Continuity of Government (Grades 7-12)

Something has gone wrong. Air raid sirens are sounding and you have to move quickly. It is time to make decisions for Canada and potentially the world. Students will assume the role of key members of the War Cabinet and navigate the tough decision of making a choice for the country they lead. Using a real scenario done here when the bunker was active, students will use this primary source to be brought back in time to September 1986. 

 

Daily Life in the Diefenbunker (Grades 5-9)

Students will become the government council and have to choose who they believe gets a spot inside the bunker during a nuclear crisis. Through exploring the bunker, students will have to pick who they feel Canada would need inside to continuing the country during the time of crisis.  

 

Emergency Preparedness (Grades 6-12)

You’ve heard on the radio that power is out all over the province, no one is certain about what is happening. Nobody knows for how long. What do you do? Are you prepared for an emergency?
The emergency preparedness workshop is designed to highlight the bunkers role as an emergency preparedness center for Canada and show what people during the Cold War could do. Learn about what the government suggested people do in an emergency and what the differences are in today’s world and how to prepare. Finish with a viewing of 11 Steps to Survival, a video created by the government to prepare citizens of Canada for a nuclear attack.

 

Conflict Resolution Workshops (Grades 7-10)

Our award winning Conflict Resolution program uses the backdrop of the Cold War to teach youth the importance of conflict resolution. The Cold War was seen as a giant conflict that over time was resolved. Youths will learn about different ways to resolve conflict, how to view different situations or issues, get to become members of the War Cabinet to resolve an international crisis, get a tour of the bunker, and learn new skills they can use in life.

How does Conflict Resolution work?

  • Throughout the day, students will take part in three activities focused on resolving conflict
  • Youth participants will learn vocabulary and skills necessary for successful conflict resolution.
  • Participants will take on the roles of key government and military officials during the emergency, and learn to communicate and make decisions on a global scale, applying the conflict resolution skills taught by the Diefenbunker’s trained instructors.
  • The session will culminate in a debriefing and self-analysis session that encourages youth to reflect on the activities and how to apply conflict resolution skills in their daily lives.
  • Conflict resolution skills follow the model developed by YOUCAN Ottawa, who have been successfully teaching conflict resolution skills to youth for over 20 years.

The museum is open year-round, excluding select holidays. School Programs are offered daily Monday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (special requests can be accommodated after 4:00 pm).  Programs are offered in English or French (with advance notice) and can be schedule for 60 or 90 minutes.  Please book at least two weeks prior as space is limited.

Please contact Justin Williams, Conflict Resolution Coordinator, with any questions  at j.williams@diefenbunker.ca or (613) 839-0007 x274.

Teacher’s Checklist

  • Facility:
    The Diefenbunker is a 100,000 square foot historic site. As such, please ensure all participants bring closed toed shoes and a sweater for their tour or program.
    Please note that our washrooms are original to the facility and use is limited. If possible, we recommend large groups take this into account prior to arrival.
    If you would like to self-guide following your tour or program, we require a ratio of 1 chaperone per 5 students.
  • Do you require a lunch facility?
    If you would like to reserve an indoor space for your group to have lunch in our historic cafeteria, please note that there is an associated $60 cleaning and supervisory fee for use of the space.
  • Book the tour
    Call our Conflict Resolution Program Coordinator to book a tour at 613-839-0007  or email j.williams@diefenbunker.ca. We require advance notice of at least two weeks.
  • Final numbers
    Have the final participant numbers ready one week before the tour.
  • Payment
    Please remember that we require payment upon arrival.
  • Arrival and Departure
    Please check in at our Guard House prior to entering the museum. The Guard House is located on the left side of the road, across from the library prior to entering the second gate. If the Guard House is closed or you are arriving before 10:30am, use the doorbell located next to the yellow doors and ‘Museum Entrance’ sign to gain access to the museum.We do not have a dedicated entry and departure area for groups. Please arrange for your bus to be ready at the stated end time for your program
  • After your tour
    Please fill out a comment form and tell us what you thought of the tour