MEDIA RELEASE: Memories of a 150th anniversary celebration

Jul 11, 2022 | Front Page, Government News

WINNIPEG, June 30, 2022 — Manitoba 150 is pleased to donate its surplus to three Manitoba organizations with the aim to support rural youth, indigenous education and wellness, and memorialize a unique moment in Manitoba history that led to the creation of the province of Manitoba. Manitoba 4-H Council, Turtle Lodge, and Entreprises Riel will share a total of $49,200.

“Manitoba 150’s surplus is the result of prudent financial management, excellent planning, and strong partnership with government and our financial partners,”said Co-Chairs Stuart Murray and Monique LaCoste. “We’re delighted it will leave a lasting legacy, with the proceeds used by three Manitoba organizations who will continue to make a difference for years to come.”

“Manitoba 4-H Council Inc. is honored to be one of the recipients to receive Manitoba 150 Celebrations surplus,” said Shannon Carvey, Executive Director of Manitoba 4-H Council Inc. in Brandon, Manitoba.” Our organization, like many, had plans for a province wide celebration for our members in 2020. This celebration is now scheduled for May 2023 where we plan to celebrate Manitoba 153 and 110 years of 4-H in Manitoba. These funds will be used partially for this Manitoba 4-H Rally and to enhance programming for our clubs, members, and leaders at the provincial level.”

The donation of a portion of the proceeds to Indigenous initiatives also serves as an acknowledgement that the history of our province stretches back thousands of years, well before Manitoba became a province, added the Co-Chairs.

“Kinanakomininim – deep gratitude from the heart – from Turtle Lodge to Manitoba 150 for their continued support and generosity in providing a donation in memory of my Father, our late leader and Founder – Elder Nii Gaani Aki Inini (Dr. Dave Courchene Jr.),” said David Courchene III (Anishinaabe Nation), Turtle Lodge Leader. “We will use this donation to help to continue advancing Elder Courchene’s vision and the work of the Turtle Lodge.”

“Entreprises Riel is delighted to receive this support from Manitoba 150 for such an important project. The monument we are building in St. Norbert (Winnipeg) will immortalize one of the opening acts of the Red River Resistance, when Métis activists erected a barricade across Pembina Trail in October 1869,” said Normand Gousseau, Executive Director of Enterprises Riel. “This act of resistance, known as La Barrière, set off a chain of events that led to the establishment of the Province of Manitoba, the only province to join Canada under Indigenous leadership. Merci de votre appui!”

A Celebration of Pandemic Proportions

To mark our province’s 150th anniversary, the Manitoba 150 Host Committee invited Manitobans to celebrate, learn, build, and explore the province we call home. The organizers saw this milestone as an opportunity to tell stories, show off our destinations, and demonstrate the joy that comes from being United in Celebration. Although the celebration was delayed and then altered by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Manitobans found unique ways to participate, exhibited tremendous resilience, and in the end, demonstrated the spirit of Manitoba that has made this such a great province.

Against all odds, Manitoba 150 managed to create 14 distinct programs, including more than 85 celebratory events across the province. Organizers honoured 150 Manitobans who make a difference, built skating trails and ice chutes, planted trees, invested in playgrounds and community gardens, sent the WAG’s Qaumajuq Inuit art exhibit on the road in a Tour 150 van (traveling nearly 13,000 km), produced vignettes on the Seven Sacred Laws and posted Franco 150 videos online to celebrate our diverse cultures and heritage. And Manitobans will long remember Unite 150 presented by Bell MTS, a pair of electrifying outdoor concerts that brought together past, present, and future greats of Manitoba music at Shaw Park, welcoming back live music to Manitoba in the wake of the pandemic.

Celebrating With Gratitude

The Manitoba 150 Host Committee wishes to express their gratitude to the generous sponsors who stood by Manitoba 150 during the challenges presented by the pandemic. “To all our funders, fellow board members, community volunteers: thank you, merci, and miigwech!” said the Co-Chairs. “We wish to extend our gratitude and admiration to Manitoba 150 President and CEO Jason Smith and his dynamic team, who pivoted and persisted along the way: It was, indeed, a celebration to remember with a legacy of pride in our achievements that we will never forget. Along the way, we met many amazing Manitobans like Indigenous Grandmother Geraldine Shingoose whose words still echo in our hearts: ‘It is our hope that at the end of Manitoba 150, Manitobans will feel more connected to this place we call home and to each other’”.

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

More than a celebration of the past, the Manitoba 150 Host Committee made it a priority to identify opportunities to contribute to future generations of Manitobans. Manitoba 150’s legacy initiatives include:

  • Build 150, presented by James Richardson and Sons Limited with support from Endow Manitoba. Through the $2.5 million program, 247 legacy projects across Manitoba enhanced accessibility and sustainability, extended the life of existing facilities, and enriched the places they live, work and play.
  • Franco 150 included the production of 16 videos celebrating the francophone communities of Manitoba. Designed around the theme “A Story That Brings Us Together,” the videos were posted online.
  • Through Honour 150, sponsor Canada Life invested $75,000 to charities of choice identified by 150 honourees, and $150,000 was donated to the Health Sciences Centre Foundation.
  • Mural 150 gifted seven communities with outdoor murals that celebrated Manitoba’s history, its people, its cultures and beauty, in partnership with the Wall-to-Wall Rural Mural Tour and sponsored by CWB National Leasing.
  • A series of animated vignettes on the Seven Sacred Laws were produced in partnership with Turtle Lodge Education International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness in Sagkeeng First Nation and IG Wealth Management.
  • Tour 150 transported fine art pieces from the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) to Manitoba communities. Presented by Manitoba Credit Unions with support from Birchwood Chevrolet Buick GMC of Winnipeg, the mobile gallery will continue to bring the gift of art to Manitobans for years to come.
  • Manitoba 150 partnered with Telpay to help grow Winnipeg’s urban canopy, distributing over 25,000 trees as part of its commitment to the City of Winnipeg’s million tree challenge.
  • Manitoba 150 partnered with the provincial government to create and install 12 sculptures portraying the province’s emblems. Designed and produced by local Manitoba artists under the guidance of Brunet Monuments, the sculptures are displayed within alcoves on the northern balcony of the Legislative Building.
  • In addition, several sponsors who were not able to receive their “Manitoba ticket package” (part of their sponsor agreement) due to COVID agreed to donate the money allocated to this program to support arts organizations anyway. This meant donations of between $3,000 & $4,500 ($26,500 in total) went to Countryfest, Folklorama, Rockin’ the Fields of Minnedosa, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

For more information about the 4H Clubs of Manitoba, Entreprises Riel, Turtle Lodge or Manitoba 150’s final report, please visit the organizations’ respective websites.

For any questions or media inquiries: Contact Monique LaCoste, Manitoba 150 Co-Chair at 204-451-1202.

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The @mbchambersofcom was happy to donate a portion of the proceeds from our Deputy Ministers Dinner to @harvestmanitoba and would encourage you to connect with @vincebarletta or @joanne_pat on how you can help #TinfortheBin #PoweroftheNetwork