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8 unique finds in the museums you love to visit

Posted August 20, 2021 | Author Jillian Recksiedler

When you step foot into a museum, each visit is its own journey as you discover a new artifact or gain more knowledge. Next time you visit one of these beloved, venerable museums throughout the province, make a point to seek out a unique find that allows you to see our history, our peoples and our province in a new way.

A visit to Manitoba means travelling through Treaty 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Territory and through communities who are signatories to Treaties 6 and 10. It encompasses the original lands of the Anishinaabeg, Anish-Ininiwak, Dakota, Dene, Ininiwak and Nehethowuk and the homeland of the Métis. To learn more about Manitoba's Treaty areas, click here.

The Royal Canadian Mint - Winnipeg

Visit this high-tech, high-volume manufacturing facility where coins from more than 75 countries around the world have been made. Every single coin in Canadian circulation gets it start here, resulting in billions being made every year. Sign up for an insightful tour of the facility to fully appreciate the nuances of the minting process. Visit the interactive coin museum and boutique that allows visitors to strike their own coin, purchase rare collector coins, and get up close a pure gold bar worth over $700,000. Check out the Olympic medal display - The Royal Canadian Mint helped manufacture the hardware for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Exterior and reflection in pond of Royal Canadian Mint
Enviro Foto

New Icelandic Heritage Museum - Gimli

The New Iceland Heritage Museum has two exhibit sites in Gimli - the Waterfront Centre (year-round) and the Lake Winnipeg Visitor Centre (seasonal). At the Waterfront Centre, exhibits focus on the arrival of the first Icelanders in Manitoba, but be sure to read the history of the first Ukrainians in the area and the important role of Indigenous leaders, such as John Ramsay, had in the survival of those first settlers. Save time to allow the kids to dress up in Viking garb for a photo-op.

Display at Manitoba Museum

Manitoba Museum - Winnipeg

Visitors and locals alike need to journey through the human and natural history of Manitoba. If you haven't been in a while, the museum boasts a new Prairies Gallery, where you can still view the beautiful plains tipi and Red River cabin and cart. Always a highlight, the full scale replica of the Nonsuch ship helps visitors relive Manitoba's fur trading past. Additionally, the iconic stampeding herd of bison still greets you as you enter the gallery space.

Musée St. Boniface Museum - Winnipeg

Located in the heart of Winnipeg's French Quarter, this historic museum chronicles Franco-Manitoban and Métis history in the province. A former Grey Nuns Convent building, it is the largest oak structure in North America and the oldest building in Winnipeg. The museum boasts the largest collection of Louis Riel artifacts in the world, and one of the most intriguing items is Louis Riel's coffin. ``Wouldn't he be buried in it?`` you ask. Turns out Riel had three coffins, and the the pine box in the museum is the one that transported his body back to Winnipeg after he was hanged in Regina.

A small black coffin belong to Louis Riel sits in an exhibit at St. Boniface Museum

Manitoba Agricultural Museum - Austin

Dedicated solely to agricultural history in Manitoba, this museum is the only one in Canada that operates a range of its own antique equipment; a spectacle that comes to fruition during the annual Threshermen’s Reunion. Be sure to step inside The Carrothers’ House, a landmark on the quaint one-street Homesteader’s Village. The Carrothers family was instrumental in the museum’s creation, donating the land on which it stands. The house is a fine example of an early 1900 farmhouse typically found on the Canadian prairies.

Sam Waller Museum - The Pas

Renowned for its collection of curiosities and oddities, the Sam Waller is a Manitoba Star Attraction and always worth a quick tour when in the north. Stare in wonder at quirky natural history pieces such as a two-headed calf, fleas dressed in clothes, and a squirrel toasting to your good health. The museum is located in the historic (and haunted?) court house, hence why visitors should spend some time getting to know the jail cell on display.

Canadian Fossil Discover Centre - Morden

Bruce, the massive mosasaur fossil on display at Morden’s Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre holds the Guinness World Record in this category. At 13.05 m (42.815 ft), it took two years to excavate 80 million-year-old Bruce after he was discovered in 1974 in a local farmer’s field. It's worth the trip to say hello to Bruce, his pal Suzy (a 9-meter long mosasaur) and all the other fascinating creatures in Canada’s largest collect of marine reptile fossils.

Manitoba Electrical Museum - Winnipeg

At the Manitoba Electrical Museum & Education Centre you learn about the history of hydroelectric development in Manitoba from the 1870s to present day. Climb aboard a vintage Winnipeg Electric Streetcar from the early 1900s, peek into a 1940s farm kitchen and see how electric appliances have changed, and have some hair-raising fun with the 500 kilovolt Van de Graaff generator. Opening in September 2021 is a new exhibit "Sustainable Development: Caring for Our Common Future" that educates how hydroelectricity, as a sustainable source of power, can help save our planet.

Jillian Recksiedler, Travel Manitoba

About The Author

Hi, I'm Jillian, a marketer, communicator, traveller and Manitoba flag waver. Growing up in rural Manitoba during the '80s means I have a penchant for daytrips, maps (the paper kind), and prairie sunsets. I never tire of sharing stories about my home.

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