OPAS 100th anniversayOPAS 100th anniversary

Step into the world of the

Ontario Provincial Air Service

and experience 100 years of bush flying.

No government, state or commercial enterprise has been better served by its flying personnel.

-W. Roy Maxwell-

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 and 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 bushplane development.

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


the history

100th anniversary

A Grand Celebration and Reunion with special guests, informative sessions and themed events. 

Bushplane Days

bushplane days and 100th anniversary

Join us for the grand finale celebration of the OPAS centennial with an exciting Bushplane Days festival!

“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

OPAS Conference & Bushplane Days

Welcome Reception

Sept 18th

Registration and pick up your welcome package. Enjoy a relaxed gathering to connect with old friends. There will be a light selection of refreshments and a cash bar.

OPAS Discovery Day

Sept 19th

Dive into a day of engaging programming and insightful tours that will create lasting memories and help you reconnect. Light refreshments throughout the day.

Schedule to be released in August.

An Evening with Roy Maxwell - Dine & Discover

Sept 19th

Step into the charm of the 1920s with “An Evening with Roy Maxwell.” Join us for an immersive experience where you’ll delve into the captivating persona of Roy Maxwell, the original director of OPAS. Featuring a theatrical performance by Tim Murphy and an engaging live presentation by historian Dr. Robert Galway, this event promises to transport you back in time. Dress the part and enjoy live period music as you savour a delightful buffet meal.

V.I.P. Meet & Greet with Special Guests

Sept 20th

Details to be released soon!

100th anniversary of opas

Bushplane Days

Sept 21st and 22nd

Join us for the Annual Bushplane Days Festival!

The First OPAS Bush Plane

Unveiling The New H-Boat Replica Exhibit

The Curtiss HS-2L Flying Boat was the first aircraft utilized by the OPAS and a new 1/4 scale replica will be added to the Collection in June. The exhibit will be unveiled at an event on June 13, 2024. Long time volunteer and historian, Pierre Verhelst will deliver a short talk about the significance of the aircraft.

h-boat replica

Virtual Hangar Tour

This innovative, self-directed exploration of the historic OPAS building, now home to CBHC, illuminates the achievements and individuals associated with OPAS, underscoring their enduring influence on the community. Presently accessible via smartphone app in English, the tour will expand to encompass five additional languages (French, Anishnaabemowin, Spanish, German, and Hindi) by July 1, 2024.

<< Click the image to download the app or scan the QR codes below


Google Play

Through The Years

More to Discover

Bushplane Collection

A collection that showcases aviation's bold history and daring spirits who navigated the skies. It's an invitation to explore tales of courage and innovation up close.

Archives and Research

The CBHC preserves and tells the story of Canada’s bushplanes and forest protection by collecting, preserving, exhibiting bushplanes and archives.