Winnipeg's historic Dalnavert House Museum will reopen

Dalnavert House Museum has been closed for since 2013, but an agreement now to transfer ownership from the Manitoba Historical Society to The Friends of Dalnavert will give the museum a new lease on life. The Friends will take over April 1, 2015 and it will open to the public at the end of May.

An agreement to transfer ownership to the Friends of Dalnavert will save historic museum.

Dalnavert House, a Victorian mansion in downtown Winnipeg, was built in 1895 and was originally the home of Hugh John Macdonald, the son of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald. (Marjorie Dowhos/CBC)

The future for the Dalnavert House Museum is looking brighter.

The Manitoba Historical Society has agreed to transfer management of the museum, and eventually ownership, to the Friends of Dalnavert for $1. The decision was made Tuesday night.

The historic home of former premier Hugh John Macdonald has been closed to the public since 2013.

The future of the house has been up in the air with numerous plans and proposals for its use, including a drop-in centre for victims of crime called Candace House.

Cindy Tugwell, spokesperson for Friends of Dalnavert, said the city came very close to losing an important piece of its history.

She said the new group will be solely focused on running the house. 

"And that's why I think we will be successful because I think that you've got a group of passionate people that are going to focus on one issue and one issue only," Tugwell said.

An endowment fund will be transferred to the group over time, and Tugwell said the museum will apply for grants and rent space in the building for on going funding.

The management of the house will be transferred April 1, 2015.

Tugwell said the plan is to have the house open to the public for the Doors Open Winnipeg May 30 and 31, an event that showcases historic buildings during walking tours.


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