Museum still preserving Manitoba’s maritime heritage after 50 years

The Marine Museum of Manitoba, located in Selkirk, Man., is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The grand opening of the 2024 season happened Saturday afternoon with Minister of Sports, Culture and Heritage Glen Simard and other community leaders.

“This anniversary not only honours the dedication of our founding leaders but also heralds an exciting new chapter for the museum,” said Duane Nicol, Chair of the Marine Museum of Manitoba Board of Directors.

It is an institution dedicated to preserving maritime heritage of Manitoba, offering engaging exhibits, educational programs, and community events.

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As the museum enters its fiftieth year of operation, it is also now showcasing new displays and updated programs.

Museum Manager Shay Nordal has worked here for 30 of its 50 years. She says since it opened in 1974 – two ships, sat on land, next to the Red River where they once transported goods, and have been a point of pride for Selkirk.

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In addition to improvements at the facility, the hope is to move the ships inside so the museum can be open year ’round, rather than just from May to September, according to Duane Nicol.

“Our bold vision is to see these ships indoors, so that they can be a permanent fixture in the community, and we’re protecting them and ensuring that they’re here for generations to come,” said Nicol.

Established in 1972 and opened in 1974, the museum is one of Selkirk’s top tourism destinations, welcoming over 50,000 people annually. It tells the story of the development and the operation of marine life on Lake Winnipeg and the Red River circa 1850 to present day.

— with files from Katherine Dornian

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