Winnipeg, MB (November 17, 2017): The Manitoba Museum will temporarily close the Nonsuch Gallery for renewal starting January 8, with plans to re-open it by summer 2018. Visitors are invited to take a last look at the Nonsuch before the gallery closes. They will also have an opportunity to take a tour of the ship’s cargo hold between December 26 and January 7, 10:30 am to 4 pm.
The closing of the Nonsuch Gallery marks the beginning of construction for the Bringing Our Stories Forward Capital Renewal Project.
“The Nonsuch ship is a beloved icon of the Museum. We sometimes call her a jewel, and as such, we would never fundamentally change the artifact itself, however, the setting of this jewel needs to be enhanced and updated for today’s audiences,” says Claudette Leclerc, Executive Director & CEO. “We are very proud to advance the revitalization of the Nonsuch Gallery.”
The renewal of the Nonsuch Gallery will see minimal impacts on the ship itself, with the exception of re-rigging it for historical accuracy and longevity. Our current storyline places the Nonsuch in 1668 Deptford, England. Nonsuch awaits high tide, morning light is glimmering on the horizon, and the voyage that would eventually launch the Hudson’s Bay Company is about to begin. This trip to the “new world” not only led to the founding of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670, it was instrumental in establishing global commerce in western Canada.
“One of the biggest changes that will take place in the gallery relates to flipping our current narrative,” says Amelia Fay, Curator of the HBC Museum Collection. “Instead of the ship departing from England, we are now situating the ship at the return of her voyage from Hudson Bay. The cargo hold would have been filled with furs from trading with the Cree of Hudson Bay. Imagine all the tales the sailors would have from their winter spent at the mouth of the Rupert River (modern-day Waskagnaish, Quebec)! We are planning to share many exciting stories with our visitors.”
This project is made possible through the Bringing Our Stories Forward Capital & Endowment Campaign. “The response to our campaign has been very positive. We are grateful to the many donors who have committed to date, especially to the HBC History Foundation and Canadian Heritage – Canada Cultural Spaces Fund for their investment to advance this first phase of renewal,” says Jeoff Chipman, Chair of the Capital & Endowment Campaign.
For those who wish to take a "before" snapshot of what the Nonsuch Gallery looks like prior to renewal, time is limited! Don’t Miss the Boat – visit before January 8.
About the Nonsuch - The Nonsuch replica was built in England to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1970. It is considered one of the finest replicas in the world and sailed 14,000 kilometres of salt and fresh water before finding her home at the Manitoba Museum in 1974. For those who might think the ship might ever leave the Museum, it’s important to note that the gallery walls were built around the Nonsuch and she could not be removed from the Museum!
About the Bringing Our Stories Forward Capital & Endowment Campaign - The Bringing Our Stories Forward Capital Renewal Project is Step 2 in a three-step Capital Renewal Vision. Bringing Our Stories Forward will see the Manitoba Museum update 42% of our Galleries with a special emphasis on updating stories related to Indigenous peoples and new waves of immigration to Manitoba. It will see the addition of a new Winnipeg Gallery as well as increased interactive exhibits to enhance the visitor experience and encourage new and repeat visitation.