PASSION & HISTOIRE BLOG – Celebrate Manitoba 150/151

Kenza Zaoui - Translated by Daneige Edey

On July 15th, Manitoba will celebrate 151 years. I had the opportunity to speak with Monique LaCoste, the co-president and council member of the Manitoba 150 board of directors, to discuss upcoming events in celebration of the province, specifically it’s francophone community.

Manitoba 150 in Saint-Boniface

  • The Saint-Boniface Museum is offering free admissions for 2021 in celebration of Manitoba 150. Once the public health orders are lifted and the museum can open its doors to the public, come discover the history of the Red River colony, Louis Riel’s life, and how the Gray Nuns lived in one of the oldest buildings in the province. To help you get the most out of your museum visit, I made a list of the top 8 things to see ! You can also read about their two new tours in next week’s blog!

  • Play some bocci ball! I know, this might be a strange suggestion, but Provencher Park has 4 new courts thanks to Manitoba 150 financing their construction. If you’re in need of some friends to play, the DAS (Directorat de l’activité sportive du Manitoba) and the National French Union will be at the courts every Wednesday from 11:30am to 1pm! 

The goal of Manitoba 150 events is to unite Manitobans; to form connections and reinforce the commitment to the land on which we live. Despite the pandemic, Manitobans’ pride is alive and well, and Monique suggests that we should all write a love letter to Manitoba. It could be a poem, a drawing, or even some advice for future generations.


A Scavenger Hunt

Head out on an adventure created by Tourisme Riel to discover Saint-Boniface or Saint-Norbert in celebration of Manitoba’s entry into Confederation on July 15th. Sign up, pick your time slot, and meet your team at the starting location! You’ll get a booklet with clues, and if you get all the correct answers, you have the chance to win a prize!

To register (for free) for the Saint-Boniface Scavenger Hunt, click here. This adventure can be done on foot. To register for the Saint-Norbert Scavenger Hunt, click here. This one is recommended to be done on a bike or by car.

Credit: This logo was created with designs by Réanne Chamberland


The search for reconciliation

The anniversary of the province marks 151 years, but it is also an opportunity to recognize the role of Indigenous peoples and their part in the foundation of Manitoba. 

Here are two of many educational opportunities around Indigenous cultures, offered in conjunction with Manitoba 150: the Seven Sacred Teachings and the Kairos Blanket Exercise. 

Turtle Lodge, the International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness, has a seven video animated series about the Seven Sacred Teachings. In the videos, a young boy meets seven sacred animals that will show him their ways of life – showing him how we should live through universal values like respect, wisdom, and courage. I highly recommend that everyone watches these videos, especially as a family to facilitate a dialogue. 

In September, 50 sessions of Blanket Exercises will be offered. Kairos has been offering Blanket Exercises since 1997, but new facilitators have been trained through a Manitoba 150 initiative, in french and in english, to offer it to businesses and organizations in the province. This will highlight the history of colonisation in Canada and the effects on the Indigenous peoples with the goal of educating and moving actively towards reconciliation.

Upcoming events

Franco 150 Gala is on October 21st, in person and online, and will proudly display the Passion et Histoire logo during the event. The artists have yet to be announced, but we will keep you up to date!

Franco 150 has visited upwards of 20 communities all throughout the province to showcase the history of the inhabitants through a video series. 

I will also be keeping an eye out to see if the Manitoba 150 app will be reactivated. It was an app that let you know if you were close to an important monument through the GPS on your phone. In the theme of a scavenger hunt, you would log your location and it would enter your name into a draw.

Screen capture of two sites to visit in Saint-Norbert : the Trappist Monastery and the La Barrière Park.