Manitoba Museum gets financial boost from Asper family

Recently, the Manitoba Museum received a donation of $100,000 from Winnipeg philanthropist Gail Asper and her family. This generous gift is in addition to the $400,000 donated by the Asper Foundation for the museum’s capital renewal project. As the president and trustee of the Asper Foundation, Gail continues her parents’ legacy of supporting numerous arts groups and believes in the importance of the arts in building a creative, civil society.

Photo Credit: Manitoba Museum

An avid arts patron herself, Asper has visited all of the provincial museums across Canada and feels that the Manitoba Museum is, without a doubt, the best. The museum hosts more than 300,000 visitors and 80,000 school-aged children each year.

Manitoba Museum Bison
Photo Credit:

The donation comes at an important time, as the Manitoba Museum is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar capital campaign to renew its exhibits. Although the museum was originally promised $10 million by the previous NDP provincial government in 2015, Manitoba’s current Progressive Conservative government has announced that they will contribute $1.4 million plus a donation matching program of up to $5 million. Private donations, such as those of the Asper family, the Asper Foundation, and the Chipman family (who donated $250,000 in 2016) may prove to be critical financial boosts for the success of the renewal. The project budget for the museum improvements, which are scheduled to be completed by 2020, is estimated to be close to $17.5 million.

Manitoba Museum Exterior art drawings
Photo Credit: Boris Minkevich/Winnipeg Free Press

The renewal campaign is focussed on the theme “Bringing Our Stories Forward” and aims to upgrade 42% of the museum’s gallery space and create a new one. It will also support the addition of new programing and updated exhibit technology that will inspire present and future generations of museum visitors.

Manitoba Museum
Photo Credit: Boris Minkevich/Winnipeg Free Press

Eos Lightmedia has been working on the lighting design and lighting installation of the Nonsuch, Grasslands, and Winnipeg galleries of the Manitoba Museum. The Nonsuch Gallery will be the first of the renewals to reopen to the public, featuring a replica of the 17th-century merchant ship. The reopening of the Nonsuch Gallery coincides with the 350th anniversary of the voyage of the Nonsuch to Hudson Bay in 1668.

Come see the Nonsuch for yourself when the gallery reopens on June 8, 2018!

Interested in making a donation to the Manitoba Museum? Click here!

Photo Credits

Asper Foundation:
Artist Rendering of Manitoba Museum: Boris Minkevich/Winnipeg Free Press
Nonsuch: Boris Minkevich/Winnipeg Free Press