Two museums

There were two big pieces of museum news this week – one, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights announced their long-awaited opening day! September 20th, 2014 – we’ll finally get to go through the doors and explore an amazing new piece of architecture and the most up to date styles of exhibits, and it’s going to be a big day. I mean, look at it. I’ve gotten a bit of a preview of the inside, and I can’t wait to see it done.

credit Aaron Cohen/CMHR
credit Aaron Cohen/CMHR

But I was glad to see that another little local museum got some attention too this week – although for a totally unhappy reason! The Dalnavert Museum officially, and quietly, closed up in September. If you’ve never been or never heard of it, I’m not surprised – it’s definitely a hidden gem in downtown. It’s a stunning house with a wrap-around porch (apparently “Queen Anne Revival” style – I know nothing about house styles, but I know is that it’s BEAUTIFUL) where a former premier of Manitoba and the son of Sir John A MacDonald lived. It’s been kept to look as if a family in that period still lived there so you can take a walk through and explore the history. And a few times a year, it host really cool events – at Halloween they’ve had Phantasmagoria, where artists told spooky tales using old-timey magic lanterns to make projections. And a Christmas they’d create a magical Victorian experience, including a reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

They even hosted groups like the Tweed Ride during Ciclovia for croquet on their lawn! (that’s a couple of Tweed Ride gents doing some pre-game relaxing on the steps)

Credit - Leif Norman
Credit – Leif Norman

So I’m happy to hear that we’ve got an opening date for one big museum, and I hope we hear soon that we can have a reopening date for the Dalnavert – local heritage groups are hoping they can save it! It takes all sizes of buildings to make downtown an awesome place to be, the big-time ones like the CMHR, and the little neighbourhood treasures like the Dalnavert.


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