In May, the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada reopened its doors in a new specially designed, state-of-the-art building that houses one of the largest aviation collections in Canada.
Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the world-class facility features 22 aircraft and 14 immersive galleries that showcase Canada’s incredible contributions to aviation. As a significant epicentre of trade and commerce for Indigenous nations and travelers headed for all points north, south, east, and west, Winnipeg is the ideal location for the museum. When air travel landed in Western Canada in the 1920s, Winnipeg continued as a gateway for development, eventually becoming the operational headquarters for each of Canada’s first three national air services.
From aerial survey and mapping, to cargo and passenger transport, to innovation in cold weather flying and rocket science, Manitobans have led the way both nationally and internationally in aviation and aerospace innovation. “Because of its geographical location as the longitudinal center of Canada, Winnipeg has longstanding, deep ties with the aviation sector going back to the early 20th century. The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada’s state-of-the-art facility will honour that history through exhibits tailored to visitors young and old, local and from away,” said Jim Carr, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre.
The new Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada (RAMWC), on the campus of the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, will tell the stories of the pioneers and innovators who put Canada on the aviation map.
“The aircraft on display in our museum represent the rich history of Canadian aviation and the wealth of stories that accompanies it,” explains President and CEO Terry Slobodian. “We’re excited to be able to tell those stories in the new Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada.”
Visitors will discover an immersive and engaging experience as they journey throughout the meticulously curated exhibits, including stunning videos produced by Centric Productions and Foundation Films throughout the museum. Visitors will also notice a dynamic soundscape throughout the museum, courtesy of PSB Integration. In addition to the stunning exhibit space, the museum includes a Galaxy Exploration Zone play area for children, an observation lounge overlooking the airport runways, meeting spaces, a new boutique gift shop, and more.
Of special note is the museum’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, threaded throughout its content. The ‘Norway House’ exhibit details the crucial role the Indigenous peoples of this community played in helping pilots map and navigate the area’s challenging landscapes and weather. To help tell this story and others, RAMWC brought Dr. Niigaan Sinclair on board as their Indigenous Curator. With his expertise, the museum has ensured that Indigenous perspectives are considered in every panel of every exhibit.
The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada was established in 1974 by a small group of visionaries committed to preserving Canada’s distinct aviation heritage. Today, with nearly 100 historic aircraft and more than 70,000 artifacts and archival records, the museum remains one of Canada’s largest and most complete aviation heritage collections. Through remarkable storytelling and engaging exhibits that enable visitors and students to discover the science behind flight, this collection is sure to inspire future generations of aviators and inventors.