Public Can Peer Into Brandon’s Past During ‘Doors Open’ Tours

July 10, 2015

Brandon, MB – Stories of the past will come to life as the doors are thrown open on many of Brandon's historical buildings during the 14th annual “Doors Open” event on July 18th and 19th, 2015.

This year, a total of fifteen historically-significant buildings are available for public, self-guided tours on Saturday, July 18th and Sunday, July 19th, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day (unless otherwise stated):

1.            The Daly House Museum, 122-18th Street

2.            Clark Hall – Brandon University, 207-18th Street

3.            The Little Red Barn, 217-16th Street – EXTERIOR ONLY

4.            The Gingerbread House, 228-15th Street

5.            Former Johnston Estate, 547-13th Street – SUNDAY ONLY, EXTERIOR ONLY

6.            The Brandon Armoury, 1116 Victoria Avenue

7.            St. Matthews Anglican Church, 403-13th Street

8.            First Presbyterian Church, 339-12th Street – SATURDAY ONLY

9.            Masonic Temple, 302-8th Street

10.         Brandon General Museum & Archives, 19-9th Street

11.         Canadian Pacific Railway Station, 1001 Pacific Avenue

12.         St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, 927 Assiniboine Avenue

13.         Dominion Exhibition Display Building No. II, Keystone Centre Grounds

14.         Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, Brandon Municipal Airport – SATURDAY 

15.         The Royal Canadian Artillery Museum, CFB Shilo – SATURDAY ONLY

Free tour guide “passports” are available for pick-up at Brandon City Hall, the Riverbank Discovery Centre, or the Sobeys South and Sobeys West locations. Separate heritage bus tours with a number of different locations will also be offered, departing from the Keystone Centre grounds at 1 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day.

“The ‘Doors Open’ event is a fantastic way to discover some of Brandon’s unique heritage homes that are not normally open to the public,” notes City of Brandon Heritage Marketing Coordinator Whitney Strachan. “Buildings of architectural and historical significance, many of which are privately-owned and are not normally open to the public, will open their doors to visitors. The event aims to promote visitors’ knowledge and enjoyment of local history and the City’s built heritage.”

Strachan adds that a unique addition to this year’s event is the first-time participation of The Royal Canadian Artillery Museum at CFB Shilo. The military museum will open the doors of its private, never-before-seen artifact warehouse for tours on Saturday, July 18th, only.

Returning for this year’s “Doors Open” event will be the popular narrative walking tour feature led by local historian, David McConkey. This year’s interactive tour will take participants back to one of Brandon’s deadliest fires, the 1916 Syndicate Block blaze. Tours depart at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily from the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba (AGSM) entrance in the Town Centre Parkade. In conjunction with the tours, the AGSM is featuring an exhibit of local artist Janet Shaw-Russell, “The Fragile Dwelling Place”, inspired by the Syndicate Block fire, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

The July 18th and 19th is also the weekend of the Brandon in Bloom “Open Garden” tours organized by the City of Brandon’s Community Development Department. A kick-off BBQ for both events will be held on Saturday, July 18th, at 11:30 a.m. at the Dominion Exhibition Display Building located on the grounds of the Keystone Centre. The BBQ is free to attend, though donations are being accepted in support of the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba’s continued restoration of the Display Building.

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