Fort la Reine Museum undertakes mural for Allis Chalmers building

Community Mural Project 2020, an endeavour by the Fort la Reine Museum to celebrate Manitoba’s 150 anniversary, agriculture, a great patron and its Allis Chalmers collection is underway and seeking community support.

What is the Community Mural Project?

As a community project, the Fort la Reine Museum will create a public mural out of hundreds of wooden squares inside the mezzanine of the Allis Chalmers building at the museum. Students and community members will be invited to paint their own square (either off-site or on-site) to showcase the importance of agriculture in our community, the museum explains in a press release. “The centre of the wall will include a hand-painted scene of Gilbert Vust on one of his favourite tractors. The painted squares will be installed around the painting. We are inviting our community to make their mark at the museum – to be exhibited forever inside the Allis Chalmers building.”

Chosen theme – Agriculture

“Portage la Prairie is a vital agricultural region in Manitoba, and has shaped all of our lives whether we know it or not,” write organizers. “We wish to explore the importance of agriculture in our region by inviting our community to reflect on food consumption/preparation, farming technologies, gardening and beautification through greenery, and economic growth.”

These concepts shall be presented on the painted wooden squares to showcase our diverse perspectives on agriculture.

The legacy of Gilbert Vust

Gilbert Vust was a passionate farmer, history enthusiast, and active community member. He served on the museum board of directors and developed the museum’s agriculture machinery collection by acquiring and donating Allis Chalmers equipment. Vust lived and breathed agriculture. It was not only his chosen career but a true passion. When Vust passed away in 2016, he gifted the museum a considerable donation to help with the ongoing care and maintenance of his beloved Allis Chalmers collection. “We wish to honour his memory and generosity with the community mural project.”


The deadline to submit painted squares is June 26 and are available now with a mural grand reveal for some time in August.

“Is your class or community group interested in painting and submitting wooden squares for the project? Please contact us with your requested number of squares no later than June 5,” suggests Fort la Reine Museum Executive Director Madison Connolly. “If you are planning a field trip to the museum this Spring, you may schedule a time to paint squares with your class during your field trip.”

Madison Connolly can be reached telephone at 204-857-3259 and be email



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