Every Winnipegger knows about the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Manitoba Museum, right? They are all lovely places to visit alone or with out-of-town guests, but your downtown options don’t end there! Once you’ve toured these greats, what other cultural gems can you visit? Here are three you may not know about.
Oseredok—A Chance to Witness Some Ukrainian Cultural Heritage
Everyone in Winnipeg seems to either have Ukrainian heritage or knows somebody who does. Did you know we’ve got our own Ukrainian cultural centre and museum at the edge of downtown? Oseredok has two floors of changing exhibits and a gift shop. The exhibits change every four to six weeks, so you can go back frequently to see new things. During my visit, the second floor held a charming array of quilts, pillows and other stitched items of art.
The staff members I spoke to were friendly and answered all of my questions. The museum is small, so it’s a great place to go when you want a quick visit. And if you’re trying to save your pennies, good news: visiting Oseredok is free of charge!
The centre also offers a few public workshops each year, including a chance to learn the art of egg painting at Easter time and how to cook food for Ukrainian Christmas.
If You Go
Oseredok is located at 184 Alexander Avenue East. Admission is free. Current visiting hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. You can check out the museum online at oseredok.ca.
If you decide to visit Oseredok, you might as well make it a two-for-one day! The
Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame is just steps away, located in the sparkly new Canada Games Sports for Life Centre.
Here, you can see some of Manitoba’s sports history and learn about our greatest athletes and sporting achievements. This is another small museum that’s perfect for an afternoon visit.
The current exhibit looks at Manitoba sports through the decades, with a focus on athletes who also served in Canada’s military. This exhibit is to honour the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War. You’ll get the chance to read about our athletes (including Bobby Hull), view a nice array of sports memorabilia, and watch a video or two. The exhibits change about once per year.
If You Go
The museum and the Canada Games Sports Centre for Life are located at 145 Pacific Avenue at the edge of downtown. (Note: there is no entry from Alexander Street)
Current visiting hours are:
* Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm
* Wednesday and Thursday from 12 pm to 8 pm
Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for teens and seniors, and just $2 for children 12 and under. You can visit their website at sportmanitoba.ca/hall-of-fame.
My favourite of the three museums I visited is Dalnavert Museum. It’s a Victorian house built in 1895 that was occupied by one-time Manitoba premier Hugh John Macdonald, who was also known for his family relations. (His father was Canada’s first prime minister, John A. Macdonald.) Hugh’s family lived in the home until 1929. It was taken over and turned into a museum in the 1970s.
You can take guided tours through the building, which shows off Victorian architecture and furnishings. It’s a great spot for history and architecture buffs, and the guides are knowledgeable and always willing to answer questions. (Guided tours take 45 minutes to an hour)
My favourite reason for visiting Dalnavert is for the events they run throughout the year, especially at Christmas time!
The museum has done readings of A Christmas Carol and a radio play version of It’s a Wonderful Life. You can enjoy the festivities while nibbling baked treats and imbibing hot cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate. This year, they’re hosting several lecture series covering topics including Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Victorian ghosts. I attended a Clue board game night there last year, which featured talented actors playing out the murder scene in different rooms of the mansion!
If You Go
Dalnavert is located at 61 Carlton Street (south of Broadway). Winter visiting hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 12 pm to 4 pm. The hours change throughout the year, so check their website before you go. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and
$4 for children. To find out what intriguing events they have coming up next, visit friendsofdalnavert.ca
Important note: because they haven’t changed the original structure of the building, the second and third floors are not wheelchair accessible.
These Aren’t The Only Museums Downtown!
Oseredok, the Sports Hall of Fame and Dalnavert are just three of downtown Winnipeg’s lesser-known museums. There are others you can visit, such as the Winnipeg Railway Museum and the Winnipeg Police Museum.
Winnipeg is so full of history, we pass by so many of these cultural gems each day without giving them a second glance. If you want to enjoy everything your downtown home has to offer, make sure to visit them!
Is your personal favourite missing from this list? Let us know in the comments!
Photo credits to the author