Here in Manitoba when our roads and sidewalks get icy in the winter, we may put down various kinds of deicer to help make slippery surfaces safer. But which deicer is faster? In this video we race salt, sugar, and beet juice – all of which have been tested as actual road deicer in various places!
Which do you think will melt snow fastest?
Try this experiment at home by following along with this video, or click here for the PDF instruction guide.
Are you doing any baking this holiday season? In this video, learn about the four main spices that go into a classic gingerbread with Curator of Botany Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson!
To learn more about the roots, shoots, flowers, and fruits of gingerbread, read Dr. Bizecki Robson’s latest blog, click here: Roots, Shoots, Flowers, & Fruits: The Anatomy of a Gingerbread Cookie
Winnipeg, MB: December 5, 2023 – The Manitoba Museum is pleased to have welcomed two new curators in 2023. David Finch joined the Museum as the Curator of Archaeology earlier this year; and Dr. Joe Moysiuk has taken on the role of Curator of Palaeontology and Geology as of November 6.
Born in Winnipeg and raised in Northern Manitoba and Northwest Ontario, David Finch is an archaeologist and ethnohistorian whose research focus lies in community-based archaeology, which involves forming partnerships with communities to tell the stories that matter to them.
Finch’s primary role at the Manitoba Museum will be to oversee the care and management of the archaeology collection at the Museum. This includes monitoring and tracking over 2.5 million artifacts (mostly from Manitoba), working with conservators to make sure that the artifacts are safe and stable, and managing new additions to the collections. Finch will also handle loans of artifacts for research and display purposes, help design exhibits in the museum galleries, and share advice and information with visitors and media.
Finch hopes to use his role as a platform to work with Indigenous and other communities as a partner on research and training.
“It’s good to be back home in Manitoba, and I am looking forward to applying what I’ve learned while away. We have an amazing history here, and I am honoured to be involved in its stewardship.” – David Finch, Curator of Archaeology, Manitoba Museum
Dr. Joe Moysiuk’s expertise centers on the oldest animal fossils and insights they provide about the evolution of major groups. Much of his research has focused on early arthropods, distant relatives of modern insects and spiders.
Moysiuk hails from Toronto and has taken part in palaeontological field work across Canada, notably including major expeditions to the Burgess Shale in B.C. that have unearthed new and noteworthy fossil species from the dawn of animal life. He has also enjoyed many opportunities to share these discoveries with the public, including through museum exhibitions and public talks.
At the Manitoba Museum, Moysiuk will oversee the care of roughly 35,000 fossil, rock, and mineral specimens and will work strategically to enhance collections from understudied regions.
“Manitoba boasts an almost unfathomably ancient rock record, preserving evidence of the myriad changes undergone by the Earth and life through deep time. I’m greatly excited by this chance to explore and communicate these stories, which are profoundly relevant, not only to Manitobans, but globally.” – Dr. Joe Moysiuk, Curator of Palaeontology and Geology, Manitoba Museum.
Dr. Joe Moysiuk looks forward to expanding his research focus to rare fossil deposits exhibiting soft tissue preservation in Manitoba.
“We are thrilled to welcome David Finch and Dr. Joe Moysiuk to the Manitoba Museum’s curatorial team. Each of them brings new insights and community collaboration, and will help continue to enhance the Museum collections for present and future generations.” – Dorota Blumczyńska, CEO, Manitoba Museum.
Manager of Marketing & Communications
Giving Tuesday is the world’s largest generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. In past years, Giving Tuesday has seen over $50 Million donated in Canada in just a 24-hour period.
This Giving Tuesday, which fell on November 28, the Manitoba Museum launched a goal to raise $50,000, with every dollar raised matched by the Carolyn Sifton Foundation. Each donation helps ensure the Museum remains a vibrant centre of learning for generations to come. But our work isn’t done: the Foundation has generously extended their matching deadline, meaning your donation today can make twice the impact.
The Museum provides that unique element of opening those doors into the past but also creating pathways that lead out into the future.
Mike Jensen, Programs and Volunteer Coordinator
Your support ensures the Manitoba Museum remains place that is accessible and welcoming to all in our
community. ©Manitoba Museum/Rejean Brandt.
How will your donation make an impact?
Your support is critical to the success of so many different facets of the Museum’s work:
- Continued support for ground-breaking research: Research conducted at the Manitoba Museum has won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, extended the fossil records of animal groups by millions of years, explored the achievements of Indigenous Peoples and cultural communities in Manitoba, and uncovered new species.
- Engaging programming for schools & public: The Manitoba Museum offers immersive learning
and discovery through both exciting and engaging public workshops and incredible curriculum-based
experiences for school groups – in fact, in 2022/23 the Museum engaged with 65,955 young minds through education programs, both on-site and virtually.
- Creating a Museum that belongs to all Manitobans: Through the Access for All program, thousands of community members enjoy complimentary access to the Museum each year. Visitors engage in memorable learning experiences that bridge our understanding and love of history, nature, and science with today’s reality and hopes for the future.
Our province is constantly changing and evolving. How does that reflect here at the Manitoba Museum? How can we be a place where people can come see themselves, and also feel like they are part of it, and part of the history going forward?
Dr. Amelia Fay, Curator of Anthropology and HBC Museum Collections
How can you help?
Your donation can help us continue to serve our community and remain a place of belonging and learning for all. We invite you to join the Giving Tuesday movement to help us to build a better future, together. Visit ManitobaMuseum.ca/Donate to contribute today.
The popular Indigenous Motherhood Tour is just one of the incredible public programs made possible through our donors. ©Manitoba Museum
Does your house shift with the seasons? So does the Nonsuch! Learn how the Conservation Team tracks the expansion and contraction of the Nonsuch in this video with Senior Conservator Carolyn Sirett.
Dearest Manitoba Museum friends,
First, thank you for being here. I appreciate how much information we receive on any given day, and how overwhelming it can feel. We often ask ourselves, ‘Is this message relevant to me or do I just delete it or move on?’ Fair question, and a necessary one if we want to create a life most meaningful to each of us. This message, aka my introductory blog, is one such piece of communication I hope you don’t automatically move on. I’m going to try my best to make reading this message worthy of your time and attention.
To begin, for those of you I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Dorota Blumczyńska and I am the CEO of the Manitoba Museum. I joined the Museum two and a half incredible years ago. I say incredible because my life has been forever changed by what I’ve learned, unlearned, and re-learned in this seemingly short time. Leading this important organization is one of the greatest honours of my career, my life. Every day brings with it new insights, new challenges to overcome, new opportunities to embrace, and new uncertainties to leap into. More about that in a bit.
Why a blog? Although engaging with our communities is an important part of my role at the Museum, it isn’t something I get to do as much as I would like. The day to day realities of leading a museum are dynamic and demanding; they require paying attention simultaneously to what’s on the horizon and what’s right in front of us. I enjoy the challenges that come with supporting a fantastic team and doing hard and heart work, in balance with opportunities to be with the people and planet we do all of it for. That’s where this blog comes in: it’s my way of being present with you, our community, while serving the needs of the moment. In time, as we get to know each other, I hope to hear from you, respond to questions, and offer my insights on museum work and why it matters. These are some of my goals.
So, a little about me. I came to Canada with my parents and four siblings in 1989. We were brought here as Privately Sponsored Refugees – meaning a community who had never met us agreed to support our family during our first years here; everything from finding work, housing, learning English, to understanding our new country. As it is for many migrants, life in Canada in those early years was very difficult. The most basic things proved more complicated than any of us had imagined. In time however, we began to make friends and it was the warmth and welcome of others that helped us feel like we had found home again.
Community, I’ve learned, both professionally and personally, is what makes life a less arduous journey. The mere presence of others, those who witness our milestones, celebrate our successes, grieve our losses, and accompany us in the most beautifully mundane moments, enriches our existence.
My own life was enriched two and half years ago when I was invited to be a part of the Manitoba Museum team.
It was enriched years earlier when my family was selected for re-settlement.
And it continues to be enriched by every chance I get to welcome you, our community, into relationships with us.
This past year, as you can see from our spectacular new website and changes to many of our physical and online spaces, has been a year of continued transformation. Improvement not for the sake of improving, but with the goal of bringing us closer together, in proximity to each other’s stories.
This CEO corner, the first of many blogs from me to you, will help us get to know one another a bit more, encourage us to be curious about each other’s perspectives, and will create a space where we can ask and answer questions, explore complicated topics, and perhaps, demystify some of the myths and mysteries of museums today.
By Carolyn Sirett, Senior Conservator
In 1973, the Nonsuch replica made its final resting place at the Manitoba Museum where it has become the largest artifact in the Museum’s collection and one of the most beloved. The preservation of this treasured little ship falls onto the shoulders of the Conservation department, whom over the past 50 years have taken great care in ensuring it sticks around for generations to come. So how does a team of trained Conservators look after a ship that has been stored indoors for the last fifty years?
Behind-the-scenes, weekly, monthly, and bi-annual maintenance tasks are completed, ensuring that Nonsuch stays in working condition. Regular cleaning of woodwork, removal of dust from decks, and polishing of metal components keeps everything in tiptop shape. Historical changes in footwear have also helped greatly in the preservation of Nonsuch. There are stories from the early 1970s of Conservators removing studs from high-heeled shoes that would get stuck in the deck seams almost daily. The flat-bottomed footwear of today’s fashion style has been much more sympathetic and favorable to the lasting conditions of the ship.
Assistant Conservator, Loren Rudisuela, polishes the brass on the tiller handle of Nonsuch. ©Manitoba Museum
Log books with maintenance records and drawings from the 1980s are still used today to track and record preservation tasks by the Conservation department. ©Manitoba Museum
Senior Conservator, Carolyn Sirett, climbs the ratlines to apply pine tar to the standing rigging as part of the ship’s maintenance. ©Manitoba Museum
The more challenging jobs are completed above the main decks, in the rigging and sails that soar high above the gallery space. With a stomach for heights, the ratlines or rope ladders, are used by Conservators to climb up to the various sections and apply pine tar to the standing rigging. Pine tar, an oily black substance brushed on to the ropes, is what gives the ship and gallery its iconic smell – a smell that has been said to spark memories of first field trips, first dates, and first visits. Caring for Nonsuch is a passion for the Conservation team, and a longstanding tradition of ship secrets that have been passed down from one Conservator to the next.