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Manitoba Museum Opens New Gallery Dedicated to the History of Winnipeg

Image: © Manitoba Museum/Ian McCausland

(Winnipeg, MB: October 31, 2019) The Manitoba Museum opens a brand new gallery dedicated to the history of the dynamic city of Winnipeg tomorrow, November 1. The Winnipeg Gallery is the first new permanent exhibition space since 2003, and the second phase of the Bringing Our Stories Forward Capital Renewal Project.

The Winnipeg Gallery provides multiple unique opportunities to explore the deep and rich history of our city. Visitors to the Manitoba Museum are invited to explore our city through the new gallery, where Indigenous history is integrated with the story of 150 years of immigration. New media is combined with over 100 artifacts not previously seen by the public to provide an exciting new museum experience.

The gallery was designed with the flow and narrative of the whole Museum in mind. The Winnipeg Gallery has a deep, rich tone within a contemporary, very architectural setting. From the Winnipeg Gallery, they move into the Urban Gallery, which currently hosts the Strike: Divided City exhibit.

 

Image: © Manitoba Museum/Ian McCausland

 

A timeline film framed by the former Eaton’s Building entrance presents the chronological history of Winnipeg. The prairie city can be explored through themes that run through our history and make it unique, such as Winnipeg as an Indigenous Homeland, as a City of Newcomers, or as a City of Celebrations, in a seven-meter long case with full of artifacts. The experiences of people who have moved to the city are shared through personal story-telling in video and audio areas. A state-of-the-art touch screen table provides visitors the opportunity to understand how the city has changed over time by exploring digital maps, pinning locations, and even releasing virtual floodwaters and a plague of locusts! Finally, the Personalities Wall showcases 30 individuals in Winnipeg, who are part of our history and the fabric of our community.

 

Image: © Manitoba Museum/Ian McCausland

 

When asked about the development of the new Winnipeg Gallery, Dr. Roland Sawatzky, Curator of History and lead content developer for the project muses, “How do you talk about the history of a city? Every city has its own unique character, with its specific neighbourhoods, its iconic institutions, perhaps some beloved buildings and street corners, its tragedies. Every city has a few special events in its history that have gone on to shape it, and maybe even the country. But, what gives a city its meaning, what’s truly interesting, are the people who live there.”

The telling of stories was the approach taken for developing the Winnipeg Gallery. The exhibits are full of stories of individuals. Indigenous peoples, descendants of generations of settlers, recent newcomers. In some exhibits, the stories come through artifacts. In others, the people speak for themselves about their experience in Winnipeg through interactive multimedia.

The Museum’s curatorial team worked with the Indigenous Advisory Circle and Community Engagement Team for Immigration, along with dozens of other individuals from the Indigenous and newcomer communities, to create exhibits that are both comprehensive and engaging.  The result is a brand new gallery in which Indigenous history is fully integrated. Content in the gallery respects the lived experience and the hopes of the newcomer and doesn’t shy away from the contrasts in our city. The gallery also celebrates the collective and positive work our communities do to provide joy and meaning and hope.

 

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For interviews or more information, contact:
Jody Tresoor
Communications Specialist, Manitoba Museum
w: 204-988-0614 c: 204-228-2374
jtresoor@manitobamuseum.ca

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