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About Narrative Threads

Welcome to your Great Canadian Quilt

Narrative Threads takes its inspiration from a quintessential Canadian handicraft, the story quilt. Made from scraps of many fabrics, some brand new and some long worn, a story quilt combines carefully crafted panels into a larger multi-generational narrative. What makes this particular quilt “great” is not its size, but the fact that Canadians of any age, background, and skill level, can craft their own panel. No story is too small, or too different, to be Canadian.
Narrative Threads is not about defining what it means to be a Canadian. Instead it is a space for Canadians from all walks of life to share what is important to them – their traditions, their stories, and personal histories. Working together, our aim is to make a virtual quilt every bit as messy, complex, and wonderful as the country we call home.

Public and Curated Submissions

Objects labeled curated have been submitted by a cultural or heritage institution. The accuracy and legitimacy of this content has been verified and can be used in an educational or academic setting without qualification. Questions and requests for more information on specific curated submissions can be directed to the institution listed on each artifact’s page.
Objects labelled public have been submitted by the site’s users – sources that are not formally affiliated with the Textile Museum of Canada and partners. While the accuracy of this content has not been verified, public content is routinely reviewed by the Textile Museum of Canada and any material in breach of the Narrative Threads community guidelines (see below) is removed.

Submitting to Narrative Threads

At the heart of Narrative Threads are 175 textile, folk, and handicraft objects from permanent collections of Museums across the country. Our virtual quilt is growing constantly, however, with each new contribution from public users like you. Ideal submissions start with a meaningful object, such as a favourite possession, prized heirloom, or memento of your family’s history or homeland. Typically these objects reveal a unique perspective on what being Canadian means to you or your family or community. See an existing submission example.
The Narrative Threads submission form typically takes 20-30 minutes to finish. Once submitted, your object and story becomes a new “patch” in the quilt, joining hundreds of others covering such diverse subjects as military history, farming life, travel souvenirs, handmade toys and garments, commemorative items, and more. Likewise these objects are not limited just to textiles, but any kind of material and construction. The strength of these objects is in their diversity, so don’t be afraid to submit something new!
Expect a delay of up to two business days before seeing your post live on, to allow for the review of submissions. To ensure quality, you may be contacted via email to clarify aspects of your submission. Your email will be kept private and shall under no circumstances be used in any third party or promotional endeavours.

Community Guidelines

The Narrative Threads community is all-ages, fully inclusive, and regularly monitored by representatives of the Textile Museum of Canada. Moderators will automatically remove any user submitted content violating the following community standards:

  • Content must be all-ages appropriate and contribute to a welcoming and supportive space. No profanity, hate speech, explicit images or video, and mocking or intentionally inflammatory content (“trolling”) is permitted.
  • Content must not, knowingly or unknowingly, violate copyright law. This includes submission of any image, video or text you do not own or have not received clear permission to use. See our Copyright page for more information.
  • Content should aspire to be educational and true to life. Intentionally misleading or falsified subject matter is unacceptable (If unsure, it is permissible to say “I don’t know” or “I can’t verify”).

To request that content be removed from for any reason, please write to Be sure to link to the content and explain how it has violated community guidelines.

By contributing to Narrative Threads you are joining Canadians across the nation in enriching and revealing our storied history. To make your story part of Canada’s cultural fabric, click here to submit.

Main sponsors

  • Logo of the Imperial Oil Foundation with accompanying characteristic oval 'Esso' symbol.

Institutional partners