Fundraising underway to shore up fort

Fort la Reine Museum fort. SUBMITTED

Built by volunteers as a Canada Centennial project in 1967, the tower bastions at the Fort la Reine Museum and Pioneer Village need to be redeveloped.

“The Museum is presently undertaking the task of raising ​$120,000​ to rebuild the tower bastions and redevelop exhibit materials inside the bastions relating to our local indigenous histories and perspectives,” says Fort la Reine Museum Executive Director Madison Connolly in a press release. “From grassroots fundraising alone, we have already accumulated $40,000 for the project. We hope to raise our total target fundraising amount by Spring 2021, to begin the process of restoration.”

Established in 1738 by the noted French explorer Pierre Gaultier et du Varennes la Vérendrye, Fort la Reine it was located in the southwest corner of Portage la Prairie on the site of the present-day water tower.

“The Fort la Reine Museum and Pioneer Village have a replica of this fort which was built by dedicated community members in 1967 as a centennial project. The fort replica has been enjoyed by school groups, tourists, and local visitors for over 50 years. However, it now requires significant restoration measures to keep the structure open for community use,” said Connolly. Staff, volunteers, and museum board members are concerned about the current physical state of the fort. “The corner tower bastions have deteriorated to the point that they can no longer be open to the public due to safety concerns.”

The Fort la Reine Museum stands as testimony to the early settlers who came to southern Manitoba to start a new life, with the fort as a focal point in establishing trade with indigenous peoples of this area, and trade routes for products and supplies from the east.

“For anyone interested in assisting us in raising these funds, joining the Fort Restoration Project Committee, or who would like to sign up as a volunteer once we are able to start building, please reach out to the Fort la Reine Museum.

Fort Restoration Project Committee as it stands today is made up of Fort la Reine Museum Executive Director Madison Connolly, Fort la Reine Museum Board Representative Dale Wood, Volunteer and Fundraising Coordinator Rusty Rutherford and Indigenous Perspectives Representative Darryl Taylor.

You can contact the museum by email at info@fortlareinemuseum.com or by phone at (204) 857-3259.

$120,000​ to rebuild the tower bastions. SUBMITTED

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