By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
The Starting Gate
Our gallery at 145 Pacific Avenue opened back in October of 2012 with excitement and vigour. We had a brand new 3,000 sq. ft. facility to showcase and celebrate sport, as well as a state-of-the-art archival storage room to collect and preserve our history.
Since then, we’ve displayed many artefacts, hosted numerous events, and invited many to come see our gallery. We truly love to see the smiles on our guest’s faces as they experience our collection and learn about Manitoba’s rich sports history.
Over time, we realized we were due for an upgrade!
Our gallery had not evolved much in the 10 years since we opened. We changed up our artefacts and memorabilia from time to time, and for feature exhibits, but we knew we had to do more to better serve our Honoured Members and celebrate sport in our province.
A project of this size takes a lot of time and planning to make sure it gets done right. We had to figure out how things might change in the gallery, how we could be more inclusive in showcasing our history, and how we could afford to do so.
Curator Andrea Reichert went to work right away! We decided to:
- Freshen up the decades gallery with new paint, accessible text and audio files, and different artefacts that depict the diversity within our Honoured Members and sport history
- Add stories about significant events and worldly issues
- Get more creative in the way we display content including adding more videos of Honoured Members
- Digitize our operations, so we can showcase sport history outside of our museum walls
At the time, we didn’t know what our timeline would be or when we would start implementing this change, but then something unimaginable happened.
Turning the Plan Into Reality
We were shut down to the public, with no date to reopen due to a worldwide pandemic. It was during this time that we decided to take this negative and turn it into a positive by implementing our plan!
We hired assistant curator Angela May through provincial grant funding and the months of planning were followed by months of hard work putting it all together.
How It’s Going
Fast forward a year and our plan is almost complete, although always evolving! This was a long, drawn out process, but a necessary one to ensure the continued success of our space.
A lot of sweat equity went into this project, mentally and physically. We cannot wait to see you and show off our new look and artefacts once we can reopen.
We have lots of different videos that highlight career-defining moments for our athletes, soundbites from Honoured Members about their playing days, and video highlights from your favourite WHA Jets from the 70s.
Our decades gallery really does tell a story, highlighting key moments in sport, including early Olympic Games, the inclusion of women in sport, and important stories from the BIPOC community as we strive for more diversity and inclusion in our storytelling. Plus, we added a whole new decade gallery covering 2010+ with new artefacts, photos, and stories.
Now, we’re working on the next phase of the gallery experience – a digital experience. For those times you can’t come to the gallery in-person, or in between gallery visits, we’ll be able to bring the artefacts and stories of Manitoba’s sport legends to you in a new and exciting way.