This week, we are going to discuss about museums and more specifically museums in Manitoba. Having grown up in Paris, I love them. Museums are a wonderful way to learn more about where you are, whether you are just passing through or calling the place home. Let’s take a tour of the Manitoba museums! There are more than 200 museums in Manitoba so there are plenty to chose from. A second blog post about museums in Winnipeg is also available.
Rural Manitoba Museums
- The Manitoba Signature Museums
- The Manitoba Agricultural Museum in Austin
- The Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach
- The New Iceland Heritage Musem in Gimli
- The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden
- The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum in Brandon
- The St-Boniface Museum in Winnipeg
- The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada in Winnipeg
- Museums in Western Manitoba
- Museums in Eastern Manitoba
- Museums in the Interlake region
- Museums in Central Manitoba
The Manitoba Signature Museums
Seven museums are particularly representative of Manitoba’s history and culture and are getting a bit more attention. They are the Signature museums:
The Manitoba Agricultural Museum in Austin
The Manitoba Agricultural Museum in Austin is particularly focusing on the agricultural heritage of the province: it has more than 500 tractors and agricultural machines, but also a reconstruction of a pioneer village. The best time to visit is during Threshermen’s Reunion and Stampede weekend: tractor parades, rodeos… it’s fun. It will be from July 28 to 31, 2022!
The Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach
I have to go back to the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach, which brings us to discover in detail the conditions in which the first immigrants, Russian mennonites, settled in Manitoba. It’s a fascinating visit, the village can be explored for hours and the explanations are perfect (neither too much nor not enough).
The New Iceland Heritage Musem in Gimli
I haven’t talked about Gimli on the blog yet, I think I’ll vlog it for my Youtube channel soon. The New Iceland Heritage Museum retraces the steps of the Icelandic diaspora, when the immigrants had squarely founded their own republic along Lake Winnipeg.
The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden
When people talk to me about dinosaurs, I feel like a kid again – so the day I went to Morden to visit the Canadian Fossil Discovery Center, I was very happy. You can learn a lot of geology and see the largest mosasaurus fossil in the world – what more could you ask for?
The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum in Brandon
I’m not usually a fan of war museums but I’ll try to visit the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, dedicated to the war effort of all British Commonwealth countries during WWII.
The St-Boniface Museum in Winnipeg
I have been to the St-Boniface Museum in Winnipeg several times and I learn new things there and discover new artifacts each time. The collection of objects of and about Louis Riel is impressive, and it’s really interesting to learn more about the Grey Nuns, who participated in the founding of Saint-Boniface. And by the way, the museum is in the oldest house in the entire city of Winnipeg!
The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada in Winnipeg
The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada is about to reopen after a long closure – I’ll let you know how it is after I visit it!
Museums in Western Manitoba
Margaret Lawrence’s House
In Winnipeg, you can visit the childhood home of Gabrielle Roy, and in Neepawa, you can visit the childhood home of writer Margaret Lawrence. It’s a nice visit that makes you want to take an interest in her work, especially if you then go and look for the statue in the cemetery. I explain everything in my article on Neepawa!
Fort Dauphin is the archetypal pioneer museum on the Prairies, but with an additional archeology section. I’ve got to go !
The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba
I don’t understand how I could spend 8 months living in Brandon and never visit the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, which was a 15-minute walk from my university dorm room. Probably because I’m not passionate about contemporary art. But I should have visited the gallery!
The Inglis Elevators
The Inglis Grain Elevators are not a museum per se but a national historic site. These are the last side-by-side risers – five in number – still standing. It’s a nice place, although the museum part was closed when I visited in July 2021.
Museums in Eastern Manitoba
The Dawson Trail Museum
I discovered the Dawson Trail recently while filming my Glamping and adventures video around Richer: a historic road, the first Trans-Canada Highway. Precisely, there is a museum that explains all this, the Dawson Trail Museum. I plan to explore this road and go there this summer!
The Winnipeg Heritage Museum
The Winnipeg River Heritage Museum in Saint-Georges is absolutely beautiful. When I visited, the museum had not yet started its installations so everything was empty, but if you are in the area, you have to stop by.
The St-Pierre-Jolys Museum looks at the history of Francophones in Manitoba and in particular their struggles, as well as the role of religion for the survival of French. The museum can be visited quickly, it houses a restaurant, Jem Bistro, on the ground floor and organizes several events throughout the year, including the Sugar Festival around maple syrup.
Museums in the Interlake region
The Marine Museum of Manitoba in Selkirk
I LOVED the Marine Museum of Manitoba in Selkirk, which is made up of… boats! It is a maritime museum so there is information on the lakes, fishing, but also the floods, the construction of the diversion channel and tourism. Some of the tour boats were actually cruise ships, back when transportation was rich. This museum allows you to really reflect on the consequences that the omnipresence of the car has had for infrastructure.
Lower Fort Garry
Lower Fort Garry is a site managed by Parks Canada, where much of Manitoba’s history is covered with the Hudson’s Bay Company and the fur trade. It’s really interesting to understand some historical implications that still endure today.
Arborg Heritage Village
When I went to Arborg, I was content to pose in front of the giant curling stone that is the pride of the city, but due to the pandemic, the Arborg Heritage Village was closed. However, I am a fan of pioneer museums as you can begin to see.
Oak Hammock Marsh
I still don’t understand why I waited until my 4th year in Manitoba to visit Oak Hammock Marsh. This marsh, both a natural ornithological site and an interpretive centre, is brilliant in all seasons. In addition to the trails, they also offer quality Geocaching and lots of fun activities (kayak rental, introduction to snow sculpting, making your own maple syrup…). I go back often.
The Settlers Rails Trails Museum
The Settlers Rails and Trails Museum in Argyll has been on my list for a while as they have the second largest collection of flags in the country as well as a brick exhibit. What do you want, I like geeky stuff like that!
Museums in Central Manitoba
Fort la Reine in Portage
The Fort la Reine museum in Portage-la-Prairie is a good introduction to Manitoban history: waves of immigration, religion, politics… The site is beautiful and quite exhaustive. If you’re not too far away or don’t mind driving, they also often have quite a few activities (I did an escape game in an 1860 locomotive!).
The Manitoba Dairy Museum
I loved the Manitoba Dairy Museum , located in St-Claude, which boasts excellent quality for a small country museum. There are agricultural issues of course, but also displays on the French, Belgian and European immigration that shaped this region, as well as a train station, a vestige of the time when you could travel anywhere in the province by train.
The St-Joseph Museum
The last pioneer museum on our list, but with a French twist: the Saint-Joseph Museum. If you had to go there, the Montcalm Festival in mid-June when the whole village comes alive is the best time.
The Plum Coulee Grain Elevator
The Plum Coulee Grain Elevator and its Plum Coulee Prairie View Museum has been on my bucket list for a long time, as the grain elevators so familiar to prairie landscapes are slowly disappearing with age or age. ‘wear. The chances of being able to get inside an elevator are rare, it’s only possible at Inglis and Plum Coulee it seems to me.
The Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in Morden can be visited at the same time as the Canadian Fossil Discovery Center because the two museums are nearby.
If you’re still looking for more museums in Manitoba to visit, the Manitoba Museums Association has a comprehensive list here!
Other Manitoba things to do and see?
– the Canadian Fossil Discovery Center in Morden
– Birds Hill Park
– Nopiming Provincial Park
– Spend a day in Neepawa
– Winter glamping and dog sledding
– 12 things to do less an hour away from Winnipeg
– 10 foods to try in Manitoba
– the Pinawa Old Dam
– a guide of Rural Manitoba Museums
– Lower Fort Garry and the Fur Trade