Travelling show reveals impacts of influenza pandemic

unmasking influenza

The Penetanguishene Centennial Museum & Archives is pleased to announce the arrival of Unmasking Influenza, a travelling exhibition that looks at the lasting impact of the influenza pandemic in Canada — and asks if we’re prepared for the next one.

The world’s deadliest influenza pandemic — known as the Spanish Flu — swept across Canada between 1918 and 1919. With no effective vaccine or treatment available, the virus infected those living in cities, towns, and farms. The devastating aftermath took the lives of approximately 55,000 Canadians, and 50 million people worldwide.

Presented by Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation - and developed by Canadian Geographic Enterprises, Unmasking Influenzais a travelling display that showcases artifacts from the collections of the Museum of Health Care in Kingston and from the City of Ottawa. The exhibition looks at wide variety of historical effects of the Spanish Flu, including authentic, questionable, and even harmful treatments that were developed throughout the outbreak.

This thought-provoking exhibition provides visitors with insight into the history of this deadly virus and its crippling effects on Canadians, and considers how we can better prepare for future pandemics.

Unmasking Influenza is funded in part by the Government of Canada and will be available at the museum from September 15th to December 14th, 2021.

For more information on the travelling exhibition, please visit:


“Ingenium is proud to partner with the Canadian Geographic Enterprises and the Museum of Health Care at Kingston to bring Unmasking Influenza to visitors. This exhibition examines a devastating, complex, and transformative moment in history. We invite visitors to reflect on the lasting impact that the Spanish Flu outbreak has had on our history, our present, and our future approaches to flu pandemics.”

–         Christina Tessier, President and CEO of Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation

The Penetanguishene Centennial Museum & Archives is pleased to display this travelling exhibit this fall. Due to the current environment, this exhibit should give insight to the history of pandemics in Canada and how we have overcome obstacles of the past. The Penetanguishene Centennial Museum & Archives would like to thank the Government of Canada’s Exhibition Circulation Fund under the Museum Assistance Program for the funding of this project.

-          Nicole Jackson, Curator/Museum Supervisor of the Penetanguishene Centennial Museum & Archives.