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This article was published 5/2/2018 (617 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Local museums may have new opportunity to expand or renovate, thanks to the introduction of a new provincial fund.
The Heritage Trust Program will provide $5 million to small museums and archives throughout Manitoba, 75 per cent of which are located in rural Manitoba.
St. James MLA Scott Johnston says there are also several institutions in the area that may benefit from additional funding.
"In St. James our aviation museum history is quite substantial. With Manitoba being Canada’s third-largest aviation industry, and St. James houses the vast majority of that, certainly the aviation museum was a welcome addition to our community," Johnston said of the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada.
The RAMWC was promised $1.2 million for a completely new 105,000-square-foot space in 2016, a project that is estimated to cost $45 million in total. In late 2017, the RAMWC received an additional $8.75 million from the province for its new facility. The new museum, to be located on Wellington Avenue, is expected to open in 2019.
Johnston said the RAMWC’s plans motivated the PC caucus to create an opportunity for other small museums and institutions to expand as well.
"It’s really a big bonus for our community and we’re very pleased to see it," Johnston said.
He added that the criteria for application hadn’t been determined yet, but that organizations should be able to start applying for funding in 2018.
"I think each individual place will be considered based on their merits, which of course would include the relevance of the application. If it makes sense for a museum to expand and offer future educational value, I’m sure that would be a consideration," he said.
Johnston said this is an opportunity for smaller communities throughout Manitoba to preserve and showcase their "priorities."
"When you consider different examples of each community having a priority, such as Austin, Man. has the Threshermen’s, there’s a number of different communities that have priorities and usually feature those priorities," he said.
"In the west we would have different entities like Grant’s Old Mill, the Historical Museum of St. James-Assiniboia, the Living Prairie Museum.
"I think heritage is something we’re all proud of, and our government is acknowledging the fact that these museums and archives are well worth the investment in the community and the province. Certainly pride is a big part of it, as well as education."
Community journalist — The Metro
Alana Trachenko is the community journalist for The Metro Email her at alana.trachenko@canstarnewscom Call her at 204-697-7132