Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, announced $8.8 million in funding for a new two-storey building to accommodate the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, currently based at Ferry Road, Winnipeg.
“This is an extraordinary day in Canada’s aviation history,” said Terry Slobodian, president and CEO, Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, about the July 23 funding announcement. “With this investment in our community, and partnering with hundreds of local donors and volunteers, the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada is soaring to new heights.”
The museum currently has one of the most-significant bush plane collections in the world. It is also home to an extensive collection of aircraft ranging from transport to military, private and commercial, as well as thousands of aviation artifacts.
The new federal funding contribution is through the New Building Canada Fund – Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – National and Regional Projects. This is in addition to $1.2 million provided through Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund that was announced in October 2016. The museum also has received financial support from the Province of Manitoba, which has contributed $10 million, and the City of Winnipeg for the estimated $40 million project, with the museum undertaking fundraising to cover the remaining costs.
“Cultural institutions play a key role in developing dynamic communities that celebrate Canada’s diverse heritage and ingenuity,” said Minister Carr. “The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada’s new facility will provide a gathering place for the community and will help to attract more visitors every year.”
The museum’s leadership expects to open the new facility, measuring approximately 86,000 square feet, in 2021. It will be located on the Winnipeg Airports Authority’s campus on Wellington Avenue and within minutes of the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.
The new facility, according to the Royal Aviation Museum, will contain both a foundation of history and a new mix of engaging and educational spaces designed interpret the future of aviation and aerospace. This will include access to interactive spaces, classrooms, a library, special exhibitions and galleries. The second floor of the new facility will feature an observation deck with views of the aircraft runway and the main aircraft display space on the first floor.