Golden opportunity for Virden's Pioneer Home Museum

Virden Pioneer Home Museum (VPHM) has a golden opportunity to acquire funding for future projects.

Chairman of the museum board, Rick Kristjanson, explains that the Virden Pioneer Home Museum has partnered with Winnipeg Foundation and Virden Area Foundation to establish an Endowment Fund under the Manitoba Heritage Trust Program to support the work of caring for and preserving local heritage in the museum for years to come.

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Vision for the future

“We’ve talked for a long time about things like a Victorian Garden on the site. That takes money,” says Kristjanson.

Always looking for ways to attract the public to VPHM, he says, “One of the dreams that I have is to produce a video of the museum. We could take it to the schools, we could put it online. That way, people would get an idea of what the museum has. Almost like a virtual museum.”

Window of opportunity

The board of VPHM has created the new “Heritage – Virden Pioneer Home Museum Fund” in order to access potential stretch dollars from the Provincial government over the period of time from Apr. 1, 2018 to March 31, 2021.

The Museum has to raise an initial threshold of $2,500 to be submitted to the Winnipeg Foundation before the middle of September 2018 in order to be eligible to earn these stretch dollars for this newly created fund.  

“Our goal,” says Kristjanson, “is to have raised $150,000 for our Heritage fund by March 31, 2021. This would result in a potential additional $75,000 from the Manitoba government.

“The opportunity for us to raise funds for our endowment fund, to preserve and maintain our Museum in the future, is very important to us and we will reply on everyone’s help to bring this Fund to fruition now and during the coming years.”

Stretch dollars

For every $2 the museum board can raise for the endowment fund, Manitoba Heritage Trust Program will add $1 to that Fund. 

“This means a gift of $200 becomes $300 and thusly a $2,000 will be converted to a total of $3,000 after the stretch dollars are added.”  

Each fiscal year on March 31, from now until March 31, 2021, guaranteed stretch funds will be calculated and added to the Heritage Fund, as it applies.

The museum is looking for new money to satisfy the conditions of the Heritage grant. That means donations from the private sector; corporate, individuals or maybe clubs.

In order to get the word out Kristjanson says, “We’re going to send out advertising, press releases, and somewhere down the line, have an information night.”

This level of fundraising is a “daunting task” says Kristjanson. But right now, they are aiming for the $2,500 needed this fall.

Museum Day

Museum Day is coming up next week. The board, curator Brett Bambridge and the staff are excited about a bigger and better day of activities which includes a petting zoo this year.

The public has the opportunity to buy their lunch and picnic on the grounds with live music during the noon hour.

Staff and board members traditionally don period costumes and museum tours are available.


© Virden Empire-Advance