May 9, 2024  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Ontario Provincial Air Service (OPAS): Celebrate a Century of Aviation Innovation at the Bushplane Museum  

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario — The oldest, continuously-flying, non-scheduled government air service in the world will be celebrated this summer in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. 

The Ontario Provincial Air Service was launched on March 1, 1924.  It and its successor, the Aviation, Forest Fires & Emergency Services in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, have provided a century of flying operations in support of resource management, emergency response, and consequently, advances in bush plane development.  

To honour this significant milestone, the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre (CBHC) will be hosting a series of events and exhibits. 

“Our museum is dedicated to telling the story of bush flying in Canada, but specifically that of the Ontario Provincial Air Service. We are thrilled to be able to recognize and celebrate this amazing moment in aviation history in the waterfront hangar where it all began 100 years ago,” said Jamie Hilsinger, Executive Director of the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.   

The OPAS was a pioneering force in 1924, combining aviation with environmental protection. By developing its own fleet and skilled workforce, the Department of Land and Forests established new methods of resource management and development with unprecedented efficiency. 

“It’s the bush flying pioneers, and the thousands of pilots, air engineers and support staff who have contributed to 100 years of resource management, emergency response, and technical innovation who we are honouring this summer.” – J. Hilsinger 

Anniversary exhibits and events represent chapters in the OPAS’s notable history and are designed to engage, educate, and inspire attendees of all ages.  

For more information and updates on the OPAS 100th Anniversary Celebration, visit OPAS 100th Anniversary & Celebration or contact Robin Wilson at rwilson@bushplane.com. 

Explore the Skies and Rails: Bushplane Adventures Meet the Agawa Tour Train in Sault Ste. Marie

This summer, Sault Ste. Marie hosts a unique blend of history, nature, and adventure. The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre and the Agawa Canyon Tour Train are joining forces. They offer a special experience on August 6th and 22nd. This package highlights Northern Ontario’s landscapes and bushplane heritage.

The Agawa Canyon Tour Train is a highlight of Canadian rail tours. It embarks on a 10-hour trip through the Great Canadian Shield. This area, known for its ancient rocks, showcases rugged beauty and exploration history. The train travels through tough terrain, revealing stunning, remote scenery.

agawa canyon tour train

This Summer’s Collaboration Goes Beyond Just Observing.

It immerses. During the tour train journey, enjoy 90 minutes of programming. This comes from the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre and Entomica Insectarium. The sessions aim to enhance the trip. They offer interactive learning on the region’s ecology and the Shield’s geology. Plus, they cover the history and future of forest management and bush flying in Canada.

The package also includes: a 25% off voucher for admission to both the Bushplane Heritage Centre and Entomica. As well as a 10% discount at the Centre’s gift shop. It’s an invitation to take a piece of the experience home, and to support the preservation of this rich heritage.

Situated in Sault Ste. Marie, these tours offer more than just a trip. They present a narrative of human ingenuity, ecological wonder, and the history of a region that is challenging and beautiful. The Canadian Shield, serves as the perfect backdrop to stories of adventure, exploration, and conservation.

The Agawa Canyon Tour Train and the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre Preserve History and Nature.

This partnership celebrates their educational and enjoyable roles. Visitors gain new insights by exploring landscapes and aviation stories.

This summer’s event appeals to the curious and adventurous. It invites them to explore bushplane stories and Northern Ontario’s ecology. The journey takes you through rugged terrain and deep into the wilderness.

As August approaches, excitement grows for this blend of education and natural beauty. Sault Ste. Marie is set to host this unique event, offering lasting memories and deeper appreciation for Canada’s heritage.

This partnership is more than a collaboration. It connects past and present, land and sky, through meaningful stories. This summer, embark on a journey that offers new perspectives and adventure in Sault Ste. Marie.

This event is for history buffs, nature lovers, and anyone seeking a memorable summer adventure. It’s a chance to experience Northern Ontario’s landscapes and legacies. Book your tickets and prepare for an adventure that spans from rails to skies, all set against Sault Ste. Marie’s stunning scenery.

TICKETS

Exploring the Cultural Corridor: Your Gateway to March Break Adventure

Are you ready to embark on a March Break journey through Sault Ste. Marie’s rich cultural corridor? Look no further than the Bushplane Museum, your ultimate hub for exploration, learning, and family fun! As we gear up for the exciting March Break, we’re thrilled to unveil a spectacular lineup of activities that will captivate minds of all ages.

Cultural Corridor Connection: Where Adventure Awaits

The Cultural Corridor Connection is a unique initiative that brings together some of the city’s most treasured cultural institutions. From the historic charm of the Ermitinger Old Stone House to the captivating exhibits at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, the corridor offers a tapestry of experiences waiting to be discovered. Other participating venues include the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library, the Art Gallery of Algoma (AGA), the Sault Ste. Marie Museum, and Entomica.

One-Stop Shop for Adventure: Get Your Tickets Here!

Planning your cultural escapade has never been easier! Purchase your tickets online and gain access to all participating locations. Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast, or nature lover, there’s something for everyone along the corridor. Get your Family Pass here “Family Pass”

Unlock Programming Details: Download Your Guide Here!

Stay ahead of the curve and download our comprehensive programming guide, available right here at the Bushplane Museum or download here. Discover a myriad of workshops, guided tours, and hands-on activities designed to ignite curiosity and spark imagination. Considering there’s an abundance of sights and activities, it probably good to plan your itinerary beforehand to fully maximize your cultural excursion experience.

Family Fun Galore: March Break Extravaganza

Calling all families! Dive into a world of excitement during the March Break with special activities tailored just for you. From interactive exhibits to engaging workshops, there’s no shortage of ways to create lasting memories together. And here’s the best part – with our exclusive family pass priced at just $40, you’ll enjoy free access to all participating programs throughout the week. It’s the perfect opportunity to bond, learn, and explore as a family. Get your pass here.

Don’t miss out on the adventure of a lifetime! Join us at the Bushplane Museum and let the Cultural Corridor Connection be your gateway to unforgettable experiences. Get your tickets, download your programming guide, and get ready to embark on a journey like no other. We can’t wait to see you there!

Get into the Holiday Spirit with Bushplane Museum’s Gift Shop Extravaganza!

Are you ready to dive headfirst into the holiday shopping season? Look no further than the Bushplane Museum’s Gift Shop for a festive and fun-filled shopping experience like no other! With Late-Night Shopping events and special Kids Shopping Adventures, we’ve got your holiday gift-giving covered.

Late Night Shopping on November 30th & December 7th

Mark your calendars for two unforgettable evenings of late-night shopping at the Bushplane Museum’s Gift Shop. On November 30th and December 7th, we’re keeping our doors open late, until 8 PM, so you can browse our unique selection of gifts, decorations, and holiday treasures at your leisure. We’ll have gift wrapping, spin the discount wheel with every purchase and a kids club table. It’s the perfect opportunity to find that one-of-a-kind present for your loved ones.

holiday shopping at the bushplane
holiday treasures at the bushplane museum

Kids Shopping Adventure on Sundays

November 26th, December 3rd, 10th & 17th

We understand that holiday shopping can be a family affair, and that’s why we’re excited to offer our special Kids Shopping Adventure on Sundays throughout December. Here are the dates you won’t want to miss: November 26th, December 3rd, 10th, and 17th, from 2 PM to 4 PM.

How it Works:

  1. Register Your Child: Please register for a half-hour shopping spot at the front desk. Hurry, as we have a limited number of spots available!
  2. Set a Budget: Give us a budget for your child to spend. This will help them learn the importance of budgeting while selecting thoughtful gifts.
  3. List of Recipients: Provide us with the names of the people your child is buying for and indicate their relationship (e.g., grandparent, parent, sibling, etc.).
  4. Arrive at Your Scheduled Time: Bring your child to the museum at the designated time, and while they embark on their shopping adventure, you can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and explore our fascinating museum exhibits.
  5. Personalized Assistance: Our friendly staff will be on hand to help your child select gifts that will bring joy to the recipients. We’ll even assist with wrapping, ensuring each present is beautifully prepared for the big day.

The Bushplane Museum’s Gift Shop is your one-stop-shop for unique and locally-sourced gifts that will make this holiday season unforgettable. Plus, by participating in our Kids Shopping Adventure, you’ll be creating cherished memories and teaching your child the spirit of giving.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to combine holiday shopping with family fun at the Bushplane Museum. Join us for late-night shopping and Kids Shopping Adventures to make your holiday season merry and bright. See you there, and happy holidays!

Or! If you are an online shopper, check out our online store here.

Keep up with all the happenings at the Bushplane Museum on Facebook.

Exploring the Bushplane Museum Gift Shop

We have the perfect kids’ gift guide if you are on the hunt for that special gift that will ignite the spark of wonder in a child’s eyes? Look no further than the enchanting world of the Canadian Bushplane Museum Gift Shop! Nestled within the heart of aviation history and adventure, this hidden gem is a treasure trove of unique and imaginative gifts that will leave your young explorers beaming with delight.

Let’s embark on a journey through the captivating offerings of the Bushplane Museum Gift Shop, where history, aviation, and creativity blend seamlessly to provide an unparalleled shopping experience for kids of all ages. From awe-inspiring aviation memorabilia to whimsical toys and educational treasures, we’ve scoured the shelves to curate a one-of-a-kind gift guide that promises to make every child’s dreams take flight.

Join us as we take off on an exploration of the perfect gifts that will inspire curiosity, spark imagination, and create cherished memories for the young adventurers in your life. The Bushplane Museum Gift Shop awaits, ready to transport you to a world of excitement and discovery. So, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s dive into this remarkable kids’ gift guide!

Pull Back Plane and Runway

Pull Back Plane and Runway

$12.50

Pull Back Plane and Runway

This wooden pull back plane comes with a roll of runway tape so you can make your runway anywhere you want it. Hours of imagination play comes in a small box!

Daredevil Gliders

$10.00

Daredevil Glider

These best-selling 7″ foam flyers soar up to 50 feet and can perform aerial stunts. Assorted styles, each sold separately.

*warning: choking hazard due to small parts. Not for children under 3 years old.

Daredevil Gliders
Diecast Water Bomber with Lights and Sound

Diecast Water Bomber with Lights and Sound

$25.00

Diecast Water Bomber with Lights and Sound

Airplane & Board Book

$27.50

Green Toys Airplane & Board Book Set

Fly through the pages of playtime! This set includes the Green Toys Airplane and A is for Airplane board book. Made and printed in the USA from 100% recycled materials with no BPA, phthalates, or PVC.

The colorful Airplane features a spinning propeller and a tapered, easy-to-grasp body shape. A is for Airplane is an adventure through air, land, and sea that brings the alphabet to life throughout the journey from A to Z.

Kids' Gift Guide
Dream A Tree Board Game

Dream A Tree Board Game

$45.00

Dream A Tree Board Game

Connect all the pieces & grow your tree

  1. Start with the owl.
  2. Grow your tree.
  3. Match all the pieces.

Climb The Mountain Board Game

$50.00

Climb The Mountain Board Game

Climb to the top and win!

Build a path to the top of the mountain together. Be the climber who manages to overcome the dangers and reach the summit.

Climb The Mountain Board Game
Nostalgic Paint By Number Set

Nostalgic Paint By Number Set

$20.00

Nostalgic Paint By Number Set

Paint a part of history with a paint by number system that makes you look like a real pro.

Includes on paint brush, 10 acrylic paints, one preprinted artist board and one preprinted practice sheet. 15 3/4 x 11 1/4 in.

Bailey The Bushplane

$12.00

Bailey The Bushplane tells the story of spirited yet insecure bush plane Bailey, Bailey The Beaver. Bailey is determined to fly important bushplane missions, but this inadvertently leads the team of bushplane friends into trouble when an out of control forest fire approaches a remote trading post.

Produced by local author Richard Jones and local illustrator Amy Williams, this book is sure to delight children who love planes and love visiting the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre! A great gift for someone you love!

Bailey The Bushplane
Kids' Gift Guide
“Frustrating and so much fun!” – George 10 years old

Tee Pees & Wigwams Board Game

$35.00

Tee Pees & Wigwams Board Game

An Indigenous take on Snakes & Ladders, Tee Pees & Wigwams is an incredibly fun game created by local Indigenous artist Des Barry. Move up the board with the help and hinderance of the tee pees and wigwams but if you get sent to the little people healing circle, you might be there for a while.

Build-A-Spaceship

$42.00

Build-A-Spaceship will allow a child to create the plane of their dreams! This 12-piece set includes a fuselage with wheels, reversable wings, 2 tail sections, 2 cockpit / cabins, mini space shuttle, radar and 4 engines.

Compatible with Build-A-Plane.

For ages 3+.

Build-A-Spaceship Kids' Gift Guide

We hope this bushplane kid’s gift guide has provided you with plenty of inspiration for finding the perfect presents for the young aviation enthusiasts in your life. Whether they dream of soaring through the skies or simply have a fascination with these rugged and adventurous aircraft, there’s something magical about the world of bushplanes that captures the imagination of kids of all ages. So, as you embark on your gift-giving journey, remember that the joy of giving is as boundless as the open skies, and the memories created with these thoughtful gifts will last a lifetime. Happy gifting, and may the spirit of adventure always be with your little aviators!

Sault Ste. Marie’s Premier Solution for Enriching Your Child’s Professional Activity Days!

PA Days at the Bushplane Museum offer a unique solution to the challenges parents in Sault Ste. Marie face during Professional Activity (PA) Days. Balancing your child’s entertainment, engagement, and safety while you’re at work can be a daunting task, but fret not! Sault Ste. Marie has the ideal answer to not only make these days manageable but also create unforgettable memories for your child – the Bushplane Museum’s PA Days!

pa days in the soo
PA Day camps in sault ste marie

What Exactly are PA Days at the Bushplane Museum?

PA Days at the Bushplane Museum are an exceptional opportunity for your children to explore, learn, and have an absolute blast in a safe and educational environment. These days are meticulously designed to align with school curriculum while adding an exciting twist!

PA Days At The Bushplane Museum
what to do for pa days in sault ste marie

Why Should You Consider Bushplane PA Days?

  1. Educational Fun: The Bushplane Museum’s PA Days offer a unique blend of education and adventure that keeps children engaged and excited to learn. Our goal is to make learning fun, so your child won’t even realize they’re in an educational program.
  2. Diverse Themes: Every PA Day at the Bushplane Museum has a distinctive theme, ensuring that your child experiences a wide range of exciting topics over the course of the school year. From aviation to nature, history to science, there’s something for every young adventurer.
  3. Hands-On Learning: We believe that hands-on activities are the key to fostering curiosity and critical thinking in children. At our PA Days, kids dive into interactive experiences, conduct experiments, and solve puzzles, all of which encourage problem-solving skills.
  4. Experienced and Caring Staff: Your child’s safety and enjoyment are our top priorities. Our program staff are not only experienced but also passionate about what they do. They are dedicated to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for your child.
  5. Convenient Location: The Bushplane Museum is centrally located in Sault Ste. Marie, making drop-off and pick-up hassle-free for busy parents. You won’t have to go out of your way to ensure your child is well taken care of on their PA Days.
pa days at the Bushplane museum
are there any pa day camps in the soo

A Wide Range of Themes for the School Year

The Bushplane Museum PA Days offer a diverse array of themes to cater to your child’s specific interests:

How to Enroll Your Child

Enrolling your child in a Bushplane PA Days is a straightforward process:

  1. Register Below
  2. Complete the online registration form with your child’s information and your preferred camp date.
  3. Pay securely online, and you’re all set!
Register Here

What Sault Ste. Marie Parents Are Saying

We understand that you want the best for your child, and here’s what some parents in Sault Ste. Marie have to say about their children’s experiences at our Bushplane Summer Camps:

Final Thoughts

PA Days in Sault Ste. Marie no longer needs to be a source of stress for parents. The Bushplane Museum’s PA Days offer a perfect blend of education and fun, ensuring your child is engaged, entertained, and safe while you work.

Don’t miss the opportunity to enrich your child’s PA Days with exciting themes, hands-on activities, and a world of learning at the Bushplane Museum. Register today and watch your child’s imagination take flight!

Explore our upcoming PA Days schedule and give your child a day of adventure they’ll cherish forever. Your search for the perfect PA Day program in Sault Ste. Marie ends here – choose Bushplane Museum PA Days and enjoy your child’s excitement about attending!

✨UnWrap the Magic!✨

🎄✨ The jingle bells are ringing, lights are twinkling, and an unmistakable festive spirit is fluttering through the brisk Northern Ontario air. And what’s this magical scent wafting through the pines? It’s the alluring aroma of hot cocoa, gingerbread, and an array of enchanting gifts waiting to be unwrapped at the giant Holiday Gift & Craft Show at the Bushplane Museum!

Join us on the weekends of November 4 and 5. As well as November 11 and 12 to experience the largest holiday and craft show in northern Ontario. See the Bushplane Museum transform into the ultimate destination for all things festive, fun, and fantastically crafty! 🎁🎨

Largest Holiday Gift & Craft Show
Bushplane Holiday Gift and Craft Show

🚁 Elevate Your Gift-Giving Game

Deck the halls and your gift-giving list this year by discovering a breathtaking selection of “presents for mom” that extend beyond the conventional. How about a handcrafted pine-scented candle or a piece of stained glass that whispers of our wild Ontario landscapes?

Hunting for that perfect “stocking stuffer for your husband”? Traverse through stalls of leathery goodness, toasty alpaca wool socks, or perhaps a quirky gadget that’ll have him grinning from ear to ear on Christmas morning.

As the hallways of our beloved Bushplane Museum bask in the holiday glow, each corner will unveil a new surprise. Navigating through the ocean of over 80 different vendors each weekend, you’ll encounter a universe of “unique gifts for men”, enthralling “teacher gifts”, and a plethora of “fun stocking stuffers” destined to inflate the holiday cheer!

holiday craft fair in sault ste marie ontario
holiday craft shows in the soo

🎨 A Kaleidoscope of Crafts and Creativity

Each stall, enveloped in the holiday spirit, beckons you closer to explore their wealth of treasures. Here, a world where craftsmanship takes centre stage awaits. The heart-warming array of “gifts for best friends” offers more than just objects. Find beautifully created welcome signs, custom-made matching jewelry, and other thoughtful tokens that symbolize the enduring spirit of true camaraderie.

And for those mentors who’ve guided and shaped minds all year round, our “teacher gifts” extend beyond the traditional. Vendors are offering thoughtfully crafted travel mugs, elegant wraps and scarves, and gourmet gift treats that provide a heart-felt “Thank you.”

Christmas Craft Shows in Sault Ste. Marie
handmade gift ideas in sault ste marie

🕵️‍♂️ Unveil the Mystery with Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Embark on a delightful exploration through aisles embellished with items that beg to be secretively slipped under the Christmas tree. From pocket-sized fidget toys, exotic brews, and whimsical socks, to charming décor. Each stall presents a myriad of options that hold the potential to be that perfectly mysterious “secret Santa gift”. Making it a gift to remember.

Largest Holiday Gift & Craft Show
holiday craft shows in the soo

🧸 For the Little Elves Amongst Us

Dive into a world of “stocking stuffers for kids,”. Where handcrafted toys, imaginative books, and delectable sweets become the treasures that fill your little one’s holiday with joy. From expertly carved wooden figures and creatively illustrated books to delicious candies. Each item is a tiny wonder, ready to make this festive season memorably sweet and playful for your youngsters.

Donna Sue Photography at the bushplane craft and holiday show
Augie by Carrie Jewelry Co. at the bushplane museum craft show

🛬Attend, Elevate, Inspire

Joining us at the Holiday Gift & Craft Show does more than fill your bags with unique finds. It swells our hearts with gratitude and fortifies our mission at the Bushplane Museum. Your presence and festive spirit don’t just elevate our event to the prominent status of the largest in Northern Ontario but it also vitalizes our continuous efforts in conserving the rich, history of aviation and forest protection in Canada. Your participation becomes a beacon, illuminating our path in safeguarding and sharing the tales and educational initiatives of the museum.

So, let’s come together, celebrate, and ensure that the stories of our aeronautical and forestry heritage soar through generations to come!

Find out more on our Events page, all our vendors are listed for both weekends! Click here
Follow along on Facebook for updates!

Closed - July 1st.

In observance of Canada Day.