The province is investing up to $10-million for a project that will see the Royal Aviation Museum move to a new location at Winnipeg's airport.
The province is contributing $8.75-million this year, with another $1.25-million available next year if private donation targets are met.
Helen Halliday, president and CEO of the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, says the museum's new location will be right across from the Greyhound bus terminal.
"It's been a parking lot so you probably haven't paid much attention to it, but it is a fabulous location for us, offers more parking potential... it's a far superior lot for us," she says.
The total cost for the project is $45-million. Halliday says they're planning to start construction in the spring, and hope to open by the third quarter of 2019.
Halliday says they've been at their current location on Ferry Road since 1984 and it's been a 15-year understanding they would be leaving that spot this year. She says the new museum will be a purpose-built space.
"We're building it as what we want, versus assuming space," she says. "For example, you will be in a situation to have a second-floor viewpoint, to be able to enjoy our aircraft in a new and exciting way." Halliday says the observation lounge is critical and you'll still be able to watch planes takeoff at the new location.
The province also announced today $10-million for the Winnipeg Art Gallery's Inuit Art Centre and a new Heritage Trust program. Through the Heritage Trust program, the provincial government will match $1 to every $2 privately raised for qualifying heritage organizations, providing up to $5-million over three years to set up endowment funds.
The WAG funding is $5-million less than what was offered by the previous NDP administration. Sport, heritage, and culture minister Cathy Cox told reporters today the $10-million figure is based on a value-for-money evaluation.
"We took a look at the value to the economy. And we know that, with regard to tourism, we're going to have so many individuals coming here from all parts of the world. Afterall, we're going to be a world leader here in with regard to Inuit art. And we know that there are going to be residual effects with regard to hospitality, hotels, meals, things like that," says Cox.
WAG director and CEO Dr. Stephen Borys says they will be discussing with stakeholders, supporters, and community about what the next steps are in the project. He says its true their funding model was based on a larger sum of money, but they're committed to making the facility. He said he could not comment on whether the project would have to be scaled back. Borys says, to date, with all three levels of government and private fundraising, they've raised $50-million in a $65-million campaign.