Why don't they have a Winnipeg Museum?

Posted November 04, 2019 | Author Nisha Tuli

Winnipeg Museum's antique showcase box offers a captivating glimpse into history, preserving the past for generations to come

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.

Curious little boy and girl captivated by Winnipeg Museum's finest antiques, peering over the glass showcase box with wonder.

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.

Winnipeg Museum's antique showcase box offers a captivating glimpse into history, preserving the past for generations to come

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.

Intricately displayed antique violin steals the spotlight among a collection of assorted artifacts in a glass showcase.

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.

Collection of antique stained glass pieces beautifully arranged on a red wall, casting a kaleidoscope of color and 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 Métis 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).

Diverse gallery of portraits showcasing famous Canadians, capturing their achievements/contributions to the nation's legacy.

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.

Grandpa & grandchildren captivated by interactive digital displays at the Winnipeg Museum, sharing moments of exploration.

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

Nisha Tuli

About The Author

I also happen to live in one of the most surprising and beautiful places in the world. I love discovering stories and the things that make Manitoba one of the best places to visit.