Happy Manitoba 150

Celebrate Manitoba Day virtually on May 12



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Virden’s celebration is re-scheduled for 2021

On May 12 in 1870 the Manitoba Act came into law as the document preceding Manitoba’s entry into confederation in July of 1870. That makes May 12 a great day to celebrate our province and that’s just what Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox has announced. However, it’s a virtual celebration that you need to access via the World Wide Web.

For the full celebration of our province, we nave to wait. Plans in Virden that were well underway to mark Manitoba’s entry into confederation have been postponed due to COVID-19. This along with fairs, festivals, rodeos, and sports events throughout the province are all cancelled for 2020.

Liza Park said, “We were tentatively waiting to see what was going to happen for our event, seeing as it was not until October, but we did receive notice that all Manitoba 150 activities are postponed until 2021.” 

In the mean time, Manitobans are encouraged to join in a creative online commemoration of Manitoba Day in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have so much to celebrate in Manitoba, and on May 12, we encourage everyone to mark Manitoba Day virtually, with online visits to their favourite museums, heritage sites, cultural centres, and unique Manitoba attractions,” said Cox. “It is a great opportunity for Manitobans to come together in spirit to celebrate our beautiful province and share our hopes for a bright, exciting future.”

Empire Advance is running a continuing series of archived articles from the Manitoba Agricultural Museum in Austin.

Virtual opportunities to celebrate Manitoba Day include:

•    A colouring page of the Manitoba flag is posted on the provincial website for families to print, colour and post in their windows or elsewhere. Find the colouring page at www.gov.mb.ca/chc/manitoba_day.html. Share a photo of you, your family and your coloured flag on social media using #ManitobaDay.

•    In celebration of Manitoba Day, the Archives of Manitoba is now posting digitized films from its holdings online. The first uploads feature Manitoba’s history, including a film about the 1926 opening of the downtown Winnipeg Hudson’s Bay store, a 1959 film about a public health issue in the province and a 1968 film about Manitoba in the winter. Visit www.manitoba.ca/yourarchives/events.html.

•    Manitoba Archives is also commemorating Manitoba Day with Your Archives: The Histories We Share, a year-long initiative which offers Manitobans the opportunity to choose an archival record and explain why that record matters. There are also commemorative videos available for viewing. For more details, visit www.manitoba.ca/yourarchives.

•    In honour of Manitoba Day, the Association of Manitoba Museums (AMM) is highlighting artifacts from its online exhibit, A Museum Called Manitoba. The AMM will feature a different artifact each day in May, on Instagram and Twitter. For more details, visit www.museumsmanitoba.com/150. 

Cox noted that May 12, 2020, marks the 150th anniversary of The Manitoba Act that created the province and led to entry into Confederation on July 15, 1870.

On May 12, 1966, Manitoba’s official flag was dedicated and unfurled for the first time. In 1986, May 12 was designated as Manitoba Day in perpetuity.

Manitoba was the fifth province to join confederation and in 1870 Manitoba included only a small square of land - about 35,000 sq. km around the Red River Valley and Portage La Prairie.

© Virden Empire-Advance