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Narrative Threads: Crafting the Canadian Quilt offers a dynamic vision of Canadian heritage, presenting an engaging virtual space for cultural institutions and the public to share artifacts of material culture that have been part of everyday lives. Integrating unique collected and personal objects through an interactive online platform, this project embraces the myriad of experiences and histories that make up our country. With each quilt “block” added, Narrative Threads reflects the unifying power of embracing the richness of our differences.
At the core of the website are 175 textile, folk, and handicraft artifacts selected from permanent collections of the project’s lead institution – the Textile Museum of Canada – and five regional museum partners across Canada: Saskatchewan Western Development Museum, Niagara Historical Society & Museum, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Delta Museum & Archives, and Manitoba Crafts Museum & Library. Inviting user submissions as well, the site creates an inclusive experience for all participating.
Enriched with documentary sources, each object contributes to a larger Canadian story and speaks to living histories, deepening understanding of key historical moments – from early settlement and immigration, to the war of 1812, the World Wars, and more. The metaphor of the quilt – the quintessential traditional Canadian handicraft – captures what the project is about: an evolving collection of materials and experiences captured in each detail.


Is there a fee to use or contribute to the Narrative Threads website? No.

Who can use Narrative Threads? Anyone can use Narrative Threads, whether they are in a museum, school or a member of the general public. The website is a rich repository of historical, cultural and social information and can be accessed anywhere in the world. Museums and cultural organizations may want to use the Narrative Threads website to introduce their own collections to new audiences. Teachers may want to use the website as a source of social, historical and artistic information communicated through material culture and then book a school tour. For more information on educational resource guides available to schools across Canada or to book a school tour, please email

How can I participate in Narrative Threads? You can be part of the story and participate in Narrative Threads by adding to our collective knowledge of our mutual cultural history. You can respond to artifacts you find online and submit personal objects and documentary materials by using the form for public submissions.

What kind of objects should I add?
 Any personal object – textile, folk or handicraft – that relays a story that is part of the Canadian cultural and historical fabric is ideal for Narrative Threads. Objects that capture stories of people, events, and places are perfect candidates. All entries will be reviewed and will be deleted if they contain inappropriate content.

Is Narrative Threads and its content accessible on all systems?  Content has gone through a rigorous assessment to ensure all aspects of the website follow accessibility guidelines and best practices as directed by the Virtual Museum of Canada program. We are committed to enhancing the ease of use and accessibility of this website for all, regardless of visual, hearing or mobility challenges. If you have any concerns, questions, or advice on how we can meet your particular needs, please contact us at

Who can I contact about Narrative Threads? If you have questions or comments, send an email to





Main sponsors

  • Logo of the Imperial Oil Foundation with accompanying characteristic oval 'Esso' symbol.

Institutional partners