The Manitoba Heritage Trust Program is already benefitting local projects, as the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre was the latest to receive a $10,000 donation from the province.
The program encourages museums, archives and other heritage organizations to create an endowment fund with their local community foundation. The province will then provide stretch dollars for gifts to these heritage funds.
CFDC was on board with the program right from the start and was one of the first adopters of the program.
“It’s an amazing initiative,” executive director Peter Cantelon said. “It’s a rare initiative where it’s not just cutting a cheque, but it’s benefitting a number of different levels of organizations. It encourages our heritage and arts organizations to create funds with their local foundation if they don’t already do that, so then it benefits foundations.”
CFDC already had a fund with the Morden Area Foundation. Cantelon pointed out how funds like these can make a significant different to communities.
“You’re growing heritage organizations’ funds, you are growing local area foundations and in some instances creating them so they can take advantage of this, and then of course those foundations give back to the community,” he said. “So then the community benefits. Really, it’s a three-fold benefits and it just makes so much sense for us, because we’re putting money into our fund, so why not take advantage of matching funds?”
On Jan. 18, the province announced that CFDC would be receiving stretch dollars as part of the Heritage Trust Program.
“Manitoba has such a rich history, and we really are very proud of that history,” Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox said. “This really provides communities and community museums, archives the ability to receive an incentive from the province of Manitoba that will encourage Manitobans and communities to support their local museums.”
CFDC ran a fundraising campaign that brought in $20,000 for the museum. As part of the Heritage Trust Program, the province will be contributing $10,000.
“I think it’s a great partnership and just one more way in which we are underscoring the uniqueness of this museum, its collection, its services,” MLA for Morden-Winkler and Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living Cameron Friesen said. “Manitobans are increasingly coming to see that CFDC has potential and has a broad application beyond our community. Manitoba is discovering CFDC, Canada is discovering CFDC and increasingly the world is.”
CFDC saw record numbers last year as 15,243 paid to get into the museum, wiping away the previous year’s record of 12,854.
“Each and every community has a story to tell,” Cox said. “We want to ensure that we get that story out and we ensure that future generations or young people have the opportunity to learn about the history of Manitoba. [CFDC] is so important and it tells such a wonderful story.”
The Manitoba Agricultural Museum in Austin will also be receiving $10,500 from the province after raising $21,000.