Friends of Dalnavert Museum Fund

The Winnipeg Foundation


Friends of Dalnavert Museum
Bringing history to life at Dalnavert Museum.
Photo courtesy of Friends of Dalnavert Museum.

At 120 years old, the house at 61 Carlton Street has been through a lot of change. Built by Hugh John Macdonald, one of the Foundation’s first board members and son of Canada’s first prime minister, it was a private home for many years before becoming a rooming house and eventually, thanks to the Manitoba Historical Society, Dalnavert Museum.

For 40 years, Dalnavert brought to life Winnipeg at the turn of the last century and served as one of the finest local examples of Queen Anne Revival architecture. The Foundation’s long history with Dalnavert includes a grant in 1971 to help it get up and running and, more recently, support for its state-of-the-art visitor centre. But, in 2013, Dalnavert closed its doors and its fate seemed uncertain.

Enter a group of longtime volunteers and concerned members of Winnipeg’s heritage community. They rallied to form the Friends of Dalnavert Museum and, in May, reopened Dalnavert to enormous crowds. The museum is now powered largely by energetic volunteers who are reinventing programming, reaching out to community organizations and positioning Dalnavert as a destination in Winnipeg’s reinvigorated downtown.

This year, the Friends of Dalnavert Museum Fund was created at the Foundation out of a portion of the Manitoba Historical Society’s endowment. It’s just one part of Dalnavert’s sustainability plan and, thanks to the museum’s friends, the future is now looking bright for one of Winnipeg’s historic treasures.