ANCHORED SOME HUNDRED METRES OFF THE WINDING BANKS OF THE RED RIVER RESTS THE FORMER HOME OF THE SISTERS OF CHARITY OF MONTRÉAL: THE GREY NUNS. SCHOOL, HOSPITAL, CHAPEL, ORPHANAGE – THE ANCIENT CONVENT HAS SERVED THE NEEDS OF MANY OVER THE COURSE OF ITS 170 YEAR HISTORY. TODAY, IT STANDS AS WINNIPEG’S OLDEST BUILDING AND ONE OF THE LARGEST OAK-LOG STRUCTURES IN THE ENTIRETY OF NORTH AMERICA.
The cozy Quartier Français of St. Boniface is well-known for its wealth of history and culture. From the unique architecture of Esplanade Riel to the iconic Festival du Voyageur, this quaint Winnipeg neighbourhood boldly celebrates the rich heritage of the Red River Valley and its people.
Today, the former convent hosts Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum, which has artfully curated many relics that tell the stories of the people of the Red River Colony. Sharing these stories – the stories of the Métis and French Canadians who lived here over two-hundred years ago, is a welcome mandate for the Museum.
However, Winnipeg’s oldest building is more than just a museum. In cadence with its own heritage, Le Musée acts as a pillar of the community where people gather from all walks of life. It offers historical workshops for all ages on numerous crafts such as beading, as well as capote and moccasin making; on holidays such as Louis Riel or Canada Day, if you come to Le Musée de Saint- Boniface Museum, you will find families participating in games, activities, and celebrations. During the summer months, the museum runs camps for children looking to immerse themselves in the exciting history of the Red River Settlement, and its facilities are always open to hosting a meeting or event.
During the school year, the museum offers a number of scholastic programs in order to provide students an experiential, inquiry-based approach to learning. Want to know more about Louis Riel and the Métis? Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum boasts an impressive collection of artifacts relating to both, from the time of the Fur Trade to the Northwest Resistance. What’s better than a textbook? How about Life in the Colony, an activity-based program that brings history to life? Students sample the daily lives of settlers in the 1800s as they perform chores on the farm, learn to weave, build Red River carts, and more.
Alexandre Quesnel, Le Musée’s Manager of Programs and Experiences, encourages anyone interested in special programs -whether for a private function, a school or daycare outing or group experience, to contact him directly: “We have a variety of offerings to suit different interests and our team prides itself in catering to your needs and expectations. If you have a question or an idea, or are interested in our program offerings, I’m the one to contact!”. Alexandre can be reached directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (204) 2374500 ext. 406.
Despite being the oldest building in Winnipeg, Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum is consistently making improvements and modernizing its approach. New exhibits, artifacts and programs are in constant development in order to enrich the experiences of visitors, both here in the heart of St. Boniface, and across the world.
Le Musée is located at 494 Tache Avenue in Winnipeg. Parking is available on side streets. Please call ahead of time to make arrangements if you have mobility restrictions. For more information, visit www.msbm.mb.ca, call (204) 237-4500 or email email@example.com .