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Victor Rabinovitch

Emeritus Fellow

People Directory Affiliation Category

Victor Rabinovitch is an Adjunct Professor and Fellow of the School of Policy Studies at Queens University. He is a frequent writer and speaker on issues of Canadian culture and identity. His current areas of interest are in cultural expression, community identity, history and memory, and public policy analysis. He is also the Board Chair of Opera Lyra, the professional opera company of Ottawa-Gatineau.

Dr. Rabinovitch is the President Emeritus of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, responsible for Canada’s largest museum (the Canadian Museum of Civilization – now the Museum of History) and the national museum of military history (the Canadian War Museum). During his eleven years as head of these national institutions, they dramatically expanded their range of exhibitions, audiences and artefact collections. The new War Museum was constructed, while extensive renewals also took place at the Museum of Civilization.

Before joining the national museums, Dr. Rabinovitch had served as an Assistant Deputy Minister in various federal government departments. His areas of responsibility included: operations of the Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan; international relations, enforcement and economic development at Fisheries and Oceans; and cultural policies and programs at the Department of Canadian Heritage (including film, broadcasting, publishing, copyright and museums). He had also been the first Executive Director of Workplace Safety and Health in the Province of Manitoba and, for four years, was the National Secretary for Health and Safety at the Canadian Labour Congress.

Dr. Rabinovitch was named CEO of the Year in the para-public sector by the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Capitale nationale in 2005. He was given the Award of Merit from the Association for Canadian Studies in October 2006 for his “outstanding contribution to the dissemination of knowledge of Canada’s history”, and he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service in promoting Canadian history.

While his professional career has focused on government operations and policy-making, Dr. Rabinovitch writes and lectures internationally on issues of culture, history and policy. Some recent titles include: “Manageable Divide: A History of Language Politics in Canada and Quebec” in Canada’s History (January 2014); and “Making Amends: How Reforming Museum Practices is helping Revive Aboriginal Spirituality”, in the Literary Review of Canada (2015, No.5).

  • Canadian cultural policy.