Planning for the future to preserve the past

Arts, Culture & Heritage

A new provincial program helps museums and archives create a stable source of funding.
MHTP announcement at the St. Vital Museum (left to right): Colleen Mayer, MLA for St. Vital; Hon. Jeff Wharton, Minister of Municipal Relations; Bob Holliday, President of St. Vital Museum Board of Directors; Hon. Cathy Cox, Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage; Rick Frost, CEO of The Winnipeg Foundation; Hon. Rochelle Squires, Minister of Sustainable Development.

Did you know there are more than 200 museums and archives in Manitoba and more than half are located outside Winnipeg? These organizations can be found in every region of our province and reflect the value we have for our heritage and past. Many are run solely by volunteers dedicated to preserving documents and collections and they often struggle to find funding year after year.

On April 3, the Province of Manitoba announced a new program to support small and medium-sized museums and archives throughout Manitoba. The Manitoba Heritage Trust Program (MHTP), administered by The Winnipeg Foundation, will provide these organizations with $5 million in stretch funding during the next three years.

“Small community museums and heritage organizations already face a number of challenges, like a smaller donor base and distance from large population centres, but this program ensures all areas of the province will have access to provincial support,” says Municipal Relations Minister Jeff Wharton.

MHTP encourages museums, archives and supporting organizations to create an endowment fund with their local community foundations. For the next three years, every $2 donated to an organization’s MHTP endowment will be stretched with an additional $1 from the MHTP. That means a $2 gift becomes $3.

Gifts to endowment funds are pooled and permanently invested. The interest earned will be granted to the museums and archives each year. Since the capital is never spent, the fund will provide organizations with a stable source of support forever.

Along with distributing the stretch funding, The Foundation will provide organizations with administrative support, including producing tax receipts, and promotional resources to help them fundraise during the three-year program.

The Foundation hosted information sessions in Winnipeg and Brandon to provide details about the program and basic fundraising, and to allow museums, archives and community foundations to connect.

“This is an exciting initiative for all of Manitoba. Working in close collaboration with the Manitoba community foundations, we look forward to a building long-term support for these important provincial heritage organizations,” says Rick Frost, CEO of The Winnipeg Foundation.

For more information about the MHTP, visit

This story is featured in the Summer 2018 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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