For this month, the Winnipeg River Arts Council features St-Georges Historical Society. This organization started out early in 1968, shortly after Canada’s hundredth anniversary, when the community of St-Georges, participated in many centennial events. The Women’s Catholic League (Ligue des femmes catholiques) was primarily responsible for its creation, after they met in the local church basement and formed the first committee.
In 1970, the society incorporated, just in time for Manitoba’s centennial celebrations, and the St-Georges Museum soon opened its doors to the public. Since then, board members and volunteers have run the museum and its programs, with Jean Dupont acting as the curator. After his demise, the society created a foundation in his name and his estate donated the first funds.
Created as a regional museum, one of the first in the area, the St-George facility was also a founding member of the Association of Manitoba Museums. In October of 2012, it received a plaque from the association to commemorate this distinction. In May of 2014, fire destroyed a large part of the building, damaging exhibits and artifacts, but volunteers worked hard to preserve items that could be salvaged.
At present, the society operates out of a temporary location at Place McDougall in St-Georges, and partners with Allard Library, where most of their events are held. Every year, it organizes its schedule in advance and their regular program includes art shows, Crèche Festival, summer camp, travelling exhibits, and temporary exhibits.
Since 2014, Diane Dubé has served as volunteer director-curator. Once the new museum is open, she will be replaced by a director and a part-time assistant. In the summer, two students will help with seasonal activities, as well as working on the archives.