This was the question my four-year-old asked as we put on our jackets to head to the Manitoba Museum the other day. And it turns out someone else must have asked this same question because as we arrived at the newly minted Winnipeg Gallery located inside the museum, it looked like we had, indeed, just walked into the Winnipeg Museum.
It really couldn't be a more apt description.
Housed in a previously unused space between the Grasslands Gallery and Urban Gallery, the Winnipeg Gallery is a succinct collection of Winnipeg's past and present. The first thing you'll likely notice is the long glass case covering one wall, housing various memorabilia that represent themes of Winnipeg's past. These include such topics as Winnipeg as an Indigenous Homeland, Winnipeg as a City of Newcomers and Winnipeg as a City of Celebrations.
The case houses artifacts like a puck from a 1996 Winnipeg Jets playoff game, a Granite Curling Club sweater, a Jingle Dress from the 1970s, an Idle No More t-shirt honouring the grassroots movement started in 2013, and police items used during the 1919 general strike, just to name a few.
Moving around the gallery, you'll find a glass table featuring more Winnipeg artifacts, as well as an audio component featuring new Winnipeggers talking about their experiences in coming here. There is also a screen on the far end of the gallery, complete with comfy seating, where you can listen to testimonials further detailing the experiences of people who have come to the city.
Architecture plays a big role in the gallery. Take a look at the wall featuring some of Winnipeg's architectural marvels throughout its history. There are also remnants of buildings past like resplendent stained glass windows from Winnipeg's former city hall, as well as the entrance to the former Eaton's building framing a movie screen that plays video highlighting Winnipeg's chronological history.
Along one wall of the gallery is a display honouring 30 influential Winnipeggers past and present. Read the stories of people like Stephen Juba (Winnipeg's first Ukranian-Canadian mayor); William Stephenson (the creator of James Bond); Mary Richard (a prominent Metis activist); Murray Sinclair (Manitoba's first Indigenous judge); Glen Murray (Winnipeg's first openly gay mayor, and the first of any major Canadian city); and Shahina Siddiqui (founder of of the Islamic Social Services Association).
Before you go, be sure to check out the gallery's most interactive feature, a touchscreen table that allows you to chronicle Winnipeg's development through time. Find your home and see when your neighbourhood was built or if it was ever under floodwaters.
The Winnipeg Gallery is included in your regular admission to the Manitoba Museum. Visit here for hours and admission rates.
Travel Manitoba was hosted by the Manitoba Museum, who did not review or approve the content of this story. #tmbpartner