Diefenbunker Museum

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This profile originally appeared in the 2019-20 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

The Diefenbunker is a women-led charitable museum with a full-time staff of 12. As Canada’s most significant Cold War site, the Bunker is both an immersive artefact and experiential museum. Coupled with multiple award-winning programs, events and exhibitions, the Bunker draws more than 70,000 visitors annually.

In addition to regular museum visits, guided tours and group tours, we also offer educational youth workshops, corporate rentals, the world’s largest Escape Room, birthday parties and Spy Camps. An economic and tourist driver for rural west Ottawa, the Bunker is a central hub for the community and a resource for local organizations and people.

At a glance:

Year founded: 1998 (as museum)

Geographic region of focus: Ottawa (National Tourist Destination)

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $1,400,000

Top funding sources

  • Ticket sales: 75%
  • Grants: 23%
  • Other: 2%

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How you can help


Did you know? Despite our national significance, we receive no regular federal funding. We rely on ticket sales for 75 per cent of our revenue and we need champions like you to keep this National Historic Site alive. 

Your investment in the Bunker helps protect this singular and powerful physical reminder of Canada’s role in defusing world conflict. It’s a place where we encourage people of all ages – particularly youth – to learn from the past to build a better tomorrow. Consider investing with a one-time cash donation, or commit to a recurring donation, sponsoring an event or program, becoming a member or donating your professional services.


We were founded by a group of dedicated community volunteers who believed in the potential to learn from this historic site. Today, volunteers contribute thousands of hours and remain the backbone of the museum. We have volunteer guides, board members, social media ambassadors, and maintenance, event and collections volunteers. From a volunteer-run HAM radio station to special event volunteers, like zombies, there truly is something for everyone. Connect with us to discover the perfect way to build your skills and donate your time.

Two Girls One Map

Events and fundraising

Atomic Love: A Touring Wine and Cheese Tasting is held the weekend before or after Valentine’s Day. Nothing says “I love you” like exploring a Cold War bunker with wine and cheese and your main squeeze! On this tour, participants learn about the Bunker’s history while savouring delicious wine and cheese pairings along the way. You can become an event or wine sponsor for this signature event. 

Escape the Diefenbunker: The Diefenbunker and Ottawa’s premier escape room company, Escape Manor, have partnered to create the world’s largest escape room, Escape the Diefenbunker! This multi-award winning experience runs Thursday through Sunday evenings and takes place over an entire floor of our massive underground bunker.

Whisky Tasting Fundraiser is held annually in November and is always a sell-out event. The multisensory experience includes five mouth-watering whiskies paired with epicurean taste sensations provided by our food sponsor, The Swan at Carp. Tax receipts are available. Connect with us for information on corporate tables, sponsorship opportunities and silent auction donations.

Board members and executives

Executive director Christine McGuire; President of the board of directors Bernard Proulx

Susan McLeod
Vice-president and secretary

Paul Leduc

Paul Drover

Joanne Charette

David Loye

Lorraine Mastersmith

Linda Nixon

David Peters
Director emeritus and founding member

Inderbir Singh Riar

Michael Robb

Jeff Siddall

Margaret Syms

Fundraising priorities

  • Educational programming for youth. Our award-winning conflict resolution program promotes teamwork while participants navigate the actual lock-down scenario practiced in the bunker when it was operational as Canadian Forces Station Carp.
  • Conservation of a National Historic Site of Canada. The Bunker needs $3 million in specialized mechanical and electrical upgrades to meet modern building codes and to avoid catastrophic systems failures. Your investment ensures this immersive learning space remains a powerful reminder of Canada’s role in defusing world conflict. You can help ignite the next generation of peace builders to navigate our increasingly volatile world with open eyes and minds.

Get in touch

3929 Carp Rd.
Ottawa (Carp), Ont.
K0A 1L0


Facebook: /Diefenbunker
Twitter: @Diefenbunker
Instagram: @diefenbunker