Manitoba

Manitoba spends $10M on endowment funds to support 7 'signature museums'

Endowment funds worth $1.4 million each will go to museums in six Manitoba communities, part of a plan to support the preservation of Manitoba history and heritage, the province announced today.

$1.4M endowment funds will go to each of 7 museums across Manitoba

Seven Manitoba museums will receive the $1.4 million funds, including the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden, home of Bruce the mosasaur. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

Endowment funds worth $1.4 million each will go to museums in six Manitoba communities, part of a plan to support the preservation of Manitoba history and heritage, the province announced today.

"With many Manitobans now planning staycations, it's more important now than ever that we have these very important museums and resources here," Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox said Friday morning.

The signature museum sustainability funds will go to each of seven "signature museums," Cox said, for a total provincial price tag of $10 million.

The funds will be administered by each museum's community foundation, and interest generated will go to support each museum.

In 2020, each fund is expected to generate about $62,000 in interest for each museum, the province said in a news release.

The museums that will receive the funds are:

  • The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum in Brandon.
  • The New Iceland Heritage Museum in Gimli.
  • The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada in Winnipeg.
  • The St. Boniface Museum in Winnipeg.
  • The Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach.
  • The Manitoba Agricultural Museum in Austin.
  • The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden.

The province is also spending $200,000 on a signature museum capacity building fund, to be managed by the Winnipeg Foundation. The proceeds of that fund are expected to give each museum access to roughly $10,000 per year, to be spent on training.

The funds are part of the province's response to a 2019 cultural policy report, which recommended streamlining funding models for museums and making those funds more stable.

Cox called the funds an investment in the "protection and promotion of Manitoba's very unique heritage legacy, and a pivotal step towards modernization."

Vania Gagnon, director of the St. Boniface Museum in Winnipeg, said the new funding model will give museums more certainty and predictability as they plan programming each year.

"It ensures all Manitobans can rely on the fact that the signature museums are receiving some stable funds that target those critical elements of museum work, and just make everyone's enjoyment of and trust in museums that much more significant," Gagnon said.

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