Manitoba

Province's suffragist movement remembered in Manitoba Museum exhibit

It's been 100 years since Manitoba became the first province to allow some women to vote, and the Manitoba Museum is commemorating that with a travelling exhibit that opens today.

It opens on Thursday and will stay in Manitoba until April 2016

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      It's been almost 100 years since Manitoba became the first province to allow some women to vote, and the Manitoba Museum is commemorating that with a travelling exhibit that opens on Thursday.

      The Manitoba Elections Act was amended Jan. 28, 1916, to allow some women to vote in provincial elections. Nice Women Don't Want the Vote, the name of the Manitoba Museum exhibit, is a quotation attributed to Rodmond Roblin, Manitoba's premier from 1900-15. The museum says he spoke the words during a heated exchange with Nellie McClung.

      The museum started collecting artifacts for the exhibit from Manitobans in February.

      "Things like what one's grandmother wore when she voted for the first time, or original ballots or letters from that time," Greg Klassen, the museum's communications manager, said in February.

      "[It] includes fascinating artifacts that prove that this was a real fight that had been brewing for 25 years, while also revealing the tensions within the movement," says Roland Sawatzky, Curator of History for the exhibit.

      One of the most unique artifacts on display, according to a news release issued by the museum on Thursday, is an exterior section of a house wall painted by a woman near Portage la Prairie in 1915. She painted "Vote for Women" on the side of her house before her husband arrived home and painted "NO" in front of the words.

      The exhibit will be in the museum's discovery room until April 10 and then it will tour the country before it arrives at the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec.

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