Image: © Manitoba Museum / Ian McCausland
(Winnipeg, MB: June 19, 2020) At its Annual General Meeting last night, the Manitoba Museum celebrated another year as a place of connection, transformation and renewal, offering rich and varied experiences for all. During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the Manitoba Museum opened a new gallery, hosted awe-inspiriting exhibitions and delivered increasingly diverse programs. Extra special this past year was the repatriation of a Treaty No. 6 medal from the HBC Museum Collection to Red Pheasant Cree Nation in July 2019.
The year began with the opening of BODYWORLDS: Animal Inside Out. This international travelling exhibition offered visitors the opportunity to view familiar and exotic animals from a rarely seen perspective. Other exhibitions included the temporary Hiding in Plain Sight: Discovering the Métis Nation in the Archival Records of Library and Archives Canada and the new permanent Ni Kiskishin, I Remember Ste. Madeleine exhibits, which both shed light on the stories of the Métis people. The November 2019 opening of the first new permanent gallery since 2003, the Winnipeg Gallery, shares the stories of the province’s capital city in an immersive and interactive space. This gallery was the second to be completed as a part of the Bringing Our Stories Forward Capital Renewal Project. The ongoing renewal of the remaining Museum Galleries is targeted for completion by the end of 2020.
Learning and Engagement staff and Science Communicators excelled at attracting new audiences. Students participated in engaging curriculum-based school programs. Families took part in hand-on activities and demonstrations in the Animal Inside Out exhibition and the Science Gallery, and explored the universe watching Planetarium shows. The Museum’s growing adult audiences enjoyed workshops, courses, After Hours events, From Talk to Table presentations, laser shows, and artistic interpretations of exhibitions and galleries. The Planetarium celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo Moon landing this year with the premiere of the CapCom Go: The Apollo Story, complemented with series of programs and displays including a replica of a full-scale lunar landing simulator. We also initiated a two-year northern outreach project this year. Nametwaawin: Land and Language, is a collaboration with Indigenous communities in the newly-designated UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pimachiowin Aki.
Overall on-site attendance at the Museum during the 2019-2020 fiscal year was 363,121, including 77,663 student visits for curriculum-based programs. Attendance also included 37,569 complimentary visits through the Access for All community initiative designed for individuals who live in challenging circumstances and would otherwise be unable to attend.
2019-2020 was also the Museum’s 28th consecutive balanced budget. “The Manitoba Museum remains fiscally responsible. and achieved a balanced budget again this year through steadily increasing admission revenues, donations and sponsorship, and growth in Museum memberships,” says James Cohen, Chair of the Museum’s Board of Governors.
“Although the fiscal year ended with the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first-ever temporary closure, and a pivot toward new online initiatives, the Manitoba Museum is now cautiously reopening,” said Claudette Leclerc. “We are thrilled to be welcoming visitors back to the Museum. We remain committed to an exciting future conducting innovative research, enhancing our collections, and developing programs and exhibitions with continued community dialogue.”
The 2020-2021 Board of Governors includes: Penny McMillan, Chair; Linda Burch, Vice-Chair; Bob Brennan, Treasurer and Chair, Finance Committee; Jeoff Chipman, Secretary and Chair, Capital & Endowment Campaign; James Cohen, Past-Chair and Chair, Nominating & Governance Committee; Scott Craig, Chair, Human Resources & Compensation Committee; Brigitte Sandron, Chair, Revenue Committee; and, Board members at large include: Maureen Matthews; Fred Mazepa; Kathryn McBurney; Sam McLaughlin; Mike Radcliffe; Douglas Tkach; Jackie Wild; Cindi Steffan, Staff Representative (ex-officio, non-voting); and Claudette Leclerc, Executive Director and CEO (ex-officio).
The Manitoba Museum is a charitable, non-profit organization. The Government of Manitoba is its primary benefactor – but the Museum secures approximately 46% of its annual budget through earned revenue and fundraising initiatives. The Museum would not be sustainable without admissions, memberships, donations, sponsorships, and the invaluable work of 320 volunteers.
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About the Manitoba Museum
The Manitoba Museum is the province’s award-winning heritage and science centre. It is unique in its combination of human and natural history themes and renowned for its vivid portrayal of Manitoba’s rich and colourful history, Planetarium shows, and Science Gallery exhibits. The Museum features immersive dioramas, multi-dimensional interpretation, science and astronomy education, and quality school and community programs. The Museum has collected and protects 2.9 million artifacts and specimens, including the Hudson’s Bay Company Museum Collection.