Collection from a Canadian icon makes its way to the Canadian Museum of History

The Canadian Museum of History is delighted to announce the acquisition of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour Collection. Artifacts from that epic tour have now become part of the Museum of History’s National Collection, where they will be preserved to help tell the awe-inspiring story of Rick Hansen and his team.

Rick Hansen and the Man In Motion World Tour are an important part of contemporary Canadian history,” said Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of History. “This collection shows how Mr. Hansen rallied public support in Canada and internationally, forever changing public perception of people with disabilities. We are delighted and grateful that Mr. Hansen has donated this valuable collection to the Museum, where it will help to tell his remarkable story, and inspire generations to come.”

This important announcement was made during a virtual event earlier today. The event is posted on the Museum at Home webpage and includes a conversation with Rick Hansen, archival photos, highlights of the collection, and videos with never-before-told stories about artifacts of the Tour from the people behind them.

Rick Hansen set out 35 years ago, in 1985, on an amazing 26-month, 40,000-kilometre journey around the world in his wheelchair. Hansen, a Paralympian and advocate for persons with disabilities, aimed to raise awareness of the potential of people with disabilities and to research a cure for paralysis resulting from spinal cord injuries.

“It’s a tremendous honour to have the Canadian Museum of History accept all the archival materials that were collected from my Man In Motion World Tour,” said Rick Hansen, Founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation. “This collection of historical memorabilia is a representation of the many people — including friends, family and supporters from all walks of life, across this great country and around the world — who helped me turn my dream into a reality. It is inspiring that the collection is considered a part of Canadian history because the Tour’s purpose reflects Canadian identity and values. The Tour was just the beginning of the ultramarathon of social change. It will take many in motion, over generations to come, for the dream of a world without barriers for people with disabilities, and a cure for paralysis after spinal cord injury, to finally come true.”  

The Rick Hansen Collection includes 1,700 artifacts and thousands of archival documents, photos and videos linked to the Tour and to Hansen’s athletic career. The collection, maintained by Mr. Hansen until its transfer to the Museum, tells his story, as well as those of volunteers and members of the public from around the world who supported the Tour.

The objects and archival materials in the collection have been designated by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board as being of “outstanding significance by reason of their close association with Canadian history and close association with national life.”

In 2017, Hansen donated one of his well-used gloves from the Tour to the Museum. The glove is on display in the Museum’s signature exhibition, the Canadian History Hall, alongside an image from Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour visit to the Great Wall of China in April 1986.

In honour of the Tour’s 35th anniversary, the Rick Hansen Foundation invites the public to share memories of the Tour and download a free commemorative poster, desktop or mobile wallpaper at

About the Canadian Museum of History
Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of History welcomes over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum’s principal role is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the events, experiences, people and objects that have shaped Canada’s history and identity, as well as to enhance Canadians’ awareness of world history and culture. Work of the Canadian Museum of History is made possible in part through financial support of the Government of Canada.

About the Rick Hansen Foundation
The Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) was established in 1988, following the completion of Rick Hansens Man In Motion World Tour. For more than 30 years, RHF has worked to raise awareness, change attitudes, and remove barriers for people with disabilities. Visit to learn more.

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