Note: Manitoba 150 events have been pushed to 2021 due to the pandemic. The Manitoba Host Committee will announce the lineup of events, initiatives, and celebrations towards the early months of 2021.
Our beautiful province is turning 150 on May 12, 2020!
With the theme “united in celebration,” the occasion will also be celebrating the diverse communities that make Manitoba unique. It started with the Illuminate 150 Kick-off on December 14, 2019 at the Manitoba Legislative Grounds. This day marked the launch of the 150-day countdown to Manitoba Day 2020.
A bit of history
The Manitoba Act received the royal assent on May 12, 1870, which paved the way for Manitoba to become Canada’s fifth province.
The Act was borne out of the resistance formed by the Métis whose rights to the land were being ignored. In the 1860s, the Canadian and British governments wanted to expand so they began negotiating with the Hudson’s Bay Company for the transfer of St. Rupert’s Land (Western part of Canada, part of which is Manitoba) to the Dominion government. No consultations were initiated with the Indigenous groups who lived there. This led to the Red River Rebellion organized by the Métis and headed by Louis Riel. In 1869, the Métis successfully seized control of Upper Fort Garry from the Hudson’s Bay Company and declared a provisional government. After a standoff, the Canadian government agreed to recognize the Manitoba Act. This transferred the lands of the northwest to the Dominion of Canada and created the new province of Manitoba, but it also guaranteed the Métis title to their lands along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers and another 1.4 million acres for their descendants.
Manitoba 150 celebrations
For our sesquicentennial, Manitobans and visitors can look forward to a host of programs, activities, and special events from the kick-off through the end of 2020. Among the expected major events next year are the opening of the 40,000-square-foot Inuit Art Centre of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the indoor-outdoor Diversity Gardens of the Assiniboine Park. Various cultural, artistic, and educational initiatives that will “cultivate pride in our province, foster a profound connection with our diverse cultures and, above all, unite us in celebration” will be launched soon.
Sources: Manitoba, T.R. Weir, The Canadian Encyclopedia and the Manitoba 150 site. Accessed December 3, 2019.
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