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Candace House withdraws proposal for Dalnavert museum

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Dalnavert Museum closed last September.

JOHN WOODS / FREE PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Dalnavert Museum closed last September.

Candace House, an organization that offers services and support to victims, indicated this morning it is no longer looking at moving into historic Dalnavert House.

Wilma Derksen tweeted this morning that "As of May 7, Candace House Board withdrew their proposal to repurpose the Dalnavert House."

A proposal had been on the table for the Manitoba Historical Society to turn Dalnavert House, a national heritage site located south of Broadway on Carlton Street, into a social-advocacy site for victims of crime.

In fact, in late April the society's executive council announced a partnership with Candace House, suggesting the new role was a done deal.

That changed however a few weeks after the announcement when Candace House informed the historical society that it was withdrawing.

"They were bitterly disappointed, but I didn’t know about the Friends of the Friends of Dalnavert," Derksen said this morning.

The group is a collection of heritage and museum organizations and former museum volunteers lobbying to preserve the museum.

"That all exploded in the paper and then there were letters... we had no idea of the seriousness of the debate," Derksen said.

"It’s not our battle.

A planned vote this Saturday by members of the historical society, it seems, is now a moot point.

Derksen, whose daughter, Candace, was murdered in 1984, tweeted today, "We find our dream incompatible with the Grade One Historical classification of the museum.

"I still believe, it is better to have chased a dream and lost, than not to have dreamed at all. We have not lost our optimism or purpose.

"We, at Candace House, thank Manitoba Historical Society for their endorsement of proposal & continue to value our relationship with them."

Dalnavert is the former home of Hugh John Macdonald, the son of Canada's first prime minister, John A. Macdonald. Hugh John was a Manitoba premier and judge.

History

Updated on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 11:42 AM CDT: Updates with quote.

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