The Canadian Ski Museum was founded in Ottawa (originally as the National Ski Museum) by a group of ski enthusiasts and opened to the public on May 10, 1971. In 1975 the Museum was incorporated under federal law. Initially, internationally well-known skiing pioneer Herman Jackrabbit Smith Johannsen acted as Patron of the Museum and donated a number of his unique and historical possessions to the collections.
Skiing had its Canadian origins in the late 19th Century. Recognizing the historical potential of skiing's contribution to the cultural heritage of Canada persuaded the Museum's founders to collect not only the material and artifacts related to skiing in its many forms, but also the stories and legends associated with the early days of skiing.
The priceless collection of artifacts and archival holdings has continued to expand and with them the presentation of displays and archival documents. The collections are a focused mix of many skiing related items, from skis, boots, poles, bindings, clothing, waxes, pins, badges to the photographs, posters, scrapbooks, films, videos, books, newsletters, programs and other historical documents, all donated by skiers anxious to ensure that Canada's skiing past is preserved for all time.