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Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada

Relive 5,373 km of Heroism – Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada to Open July 14

Winnipeg, MB March 18, 2016 — The Manitoba Museum is commemorating Terry Fox’s heroic Marathon of Hope by presenting the most comprehensive exhibition ever organized, depicting the run and Terry’s remarkable and continuing legacy. Terry Fox– Running to the Heart of Canada opens on July 14, 2016. The exhibit provides an in-depth look at Terry’s epic 143-day, 5,373-kilometre journey from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Thunder Bay, Ontario. It explores Canadians’ deep and abiding affection for Terry and examines his unique place in our collective memory.

Developed by the Canadian Museum of History, in partnership with Terry Fox’s family, Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada features a wide array of artifacts and archival materials, displayed together. They include Terry’s journal and artificial leg, and press clippings and media interviews.

“During the Marathon of Hope and the months that followed, Canadians filled our home in Port Coquitlam, BC with scrapbooks, written tributes and gifts reflecting a collective compassion and admiration for Terry’s unselfish act,” said Darrell Fox, Terry’s brother, about the development of the exhibit. “Thirty-five years later, it was time to share the Terry Fox collection and the compelling story that the memorabilia evokes with the world.”

Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, in the suburb of Transcona. He was known to be a determined and tenacious child – traits that would fuel his fortitude and strengthen his commitment to bringing attention to, and raising money for, cancer research. In 2015, the Province of Manitoba passed a bill making the August long weekend, formerly known as Civic Holiday, Terry Fox Day in the province. Terry Fox Day is a commemoration of Winnipeg as his birthplace and ensures that his legacy of hope, courage, commitment and strength in adversity continues to be an inspiration to school children and communities in Manitoba.

The Marathon of Hope began with little fanfare on April 12, 1980, when Terry dipped his prosthetic leg into the Atlantic Ocean at St. John’s and began his grueling marathon-a-day cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. His determination, courage and integrity soon drew the attention — and won the hearts — of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. His journey ended near Thunder Bay, when the cancer that had claimed his leg returned, forcing Terry to abandon the project.

Terry Fox died a national hero in June 1981 at 22 years of age. He collected some $24 million — achieving his goal of raising $1 from every Canadian. Since then, close to $700 million has been raised in his name for cancer research.

“Terry Fox has moved countless Canadians and his heroism continues to inspire us today,” said Claudette Leclerc, Executive Director of the Manitoba Museum. “As Manitobans celebrate Terry Fox Day and Canadians prepare to participate in the Terry Fox Run, we can offer them a unique opportunity to better understand the context of the original Marathon of Hope and the spirit of the man who ran it.”

The Manitoba Museum is asking Manitobans to help create a mini-exhibit by loaning artifacts and memorabilia that may be tucked away in basements and attics, whether it’s a class picture or a valentine signed by Terry. “If you have anything related to the early days of Terry’s childhood, or if you have something from a Terry Fox Run that you think is special, please contact us,” requests Dr. Roland Sawatzky, Curator of History at the Manitoba Museum. Two items have already been loaned to form the core of this mini-exhibit, a plaster bust of Terry Fox by sculptor Leo Mol, along with a poster that was printed to announce Terry’s arrival in Winnipeg which was never distributed.

Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada was organized by the Canadian Museum of History, in partnership with the Terry Fox Centre. It was first presented at the Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, Quebec.

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