Manitoba Museums

   Several weeks ago I was elected to the Council (Board of Directors) of the Association of Manitoba Museums (AMM) at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Boissevain, Manitoba. This group, which seeks to serve the museums of Manitoba in a variety of ways, holds its annual conference and AGM jointly every fall.

   According to the AMM website, there are nearly 200 museums in Manitoba. A museum is defined as “a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.” This includes “exhibition places such as art galleries and science and interpretation centres; institutions with plant and animal collections and displays, such as botanical gardens, bio domes, zoos, aquariums and insectariums; cultural establishments that facilitate the preservation, continuation and management of tangible and intangible living heritage resources, such as keeping houses and heritage centres; and natural, archaeological, ethnographic and historical monuments and sites.”

   The museums located in our province include a variety of sizes. There are very small museums in smaller communities, staffed entirely by volunteers; medium-sized museums, such as Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV); and large museums, like the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, which operates with a multi-million-dollar budget.

   The AMM seeks to provide support and services for all sizes and types of museums. For professional development training, the Certificate Program in Museum Practice consists of seven courses designed to assist museum staff and volunteers in developing and operating their respective museums. A Cultural Stewardship program offers site visits by a trained conservator, environment-monitoring equipment loans, emergency-preparedness plan development, pest management, and information on resources for museum supplies and services. Advocacy support is provided by connecting with other museum organizations, such as the Canadian Museum Association, and attending museum events like Canadian Museums Day, which takes place on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, as well as creating and supporting museum awareness initiatives such as Manitoba Day in May.

   As a member of the AMM Council, I will represent the Eastern Region, which is one of seven designated regions in the province. I look forward to connecting with the 14 museums located in this Eastern Region and would enjoy visiting each of them if possible.

   The AMM website states: “the Association believes that museums are an important and integral part of society. They are places of learning, and connection to each other, the past, and the future. They are meeting places and places of solitude. They make a positive contribution to a community’s quality of life, economically and otherwise.” I most certainly agree.

Calendar of Events

November 6 – Vespers Service, 7:00 PM

November 11 – Closed for Remembrance Day

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About the Author

Barry is the Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Village. While he does not consider himself to be a historian, he places a high value on the preservation and interpretation of the Mennonite and pioneer stories that help people of all ages understand and appreciate their heritage. Learn more about the MHV.

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