Canadian symbols on display at Museum London

Museum London collected a host of artefacts, images and artwork for a new exhibit that tells the history of some of the most iconic symbols of Canada’s national identity.

New art exhibit Canadian Eh? A History of the Nation’s Signs and Symbols opens in London next week

The history of Jack Canuck, the iconic Canadian superhero who has morphed into several versions over the years, will be on display at Museum London starting Jan. 7. (Museum London)

From the beaver and the moose to poutine and maple syrup, Canadian symbols will be on display at Museum London next week in preparation for the country's 150th birthday celebration.

The museum collected a host of artifacts, images and artwork that have become known as symbols of Canada's national identity, according to Amber Lloydlangston, the museum's curator of regional history.

Visitors to the new exhibit will get a crash course on some of the country's iconic characters, including Jack Canuck, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Bonhomme de neige.

Terry Fox inspired the entire country when he attempted a cross-country trek to raise money for cancer research in 1980. (Terry Fox Awards)

There will also be images of more modern characters, including Chris Hadfield, Terry Fox and Viola Desmond.

Many of the items in the exhibit were obvious choices, but Lloydlangston also did extensive research, reading results of national polls that asked Canadians what they think symbolizes Canada.

"I did a lot of searching and a lot of reading just to identify what Canadians have actually identified for themselves as being Canadian," she said.

The project also showed Lloydlangston how the rest of the world views Canada. Common symbols that popped up during her research were igloos, totem poles and the maple leaf.

Lacrosse was Canada's national sport until 1994 when the federal government declared it the country's national summer sport, making hockey Canada's national winter sport. (Museum London)

To flesh out her work, Lloydlangston surveyed visitors to the museum to see what they want included in the exhibit. It's during one of those interviews she learned about the grey jay, which is the top choice for Canada's national bird.