Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Doors Open Winnipeg: The People's Choice Awards

Article by Laura McKay and Roshanie Balkaran, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.

Doors Open Winnipeg Logo
The Principle Objectives of Doors Open Events: 
 • To foster public awareness and understanding of
community history and local architecture

• To encourage civic pride and active involvement in 
heritage conservation and development projects and

• To showcase buildings and properties to potential 
developers, tenants, and conservationists

Doors Open Winnipeg 2014 Poster
Click image for a PDF of the 2014 poster
Doors Open Winnipeg is a free annual event that provides a unique architectural, cultural and educational experience. For one weekend of the year, the public is invited, free of charge, to enter built heritage treasures, cultural institutions, and other buildings of interest that would not normally be accessible to the public. Heritage Winnipeg presents Doors Open Winnipeg, which is a collaborative effort between the business and heritage communities, creating dynamic new partnerships and promoting civic pride in the built heritage of the city.

Visitors during the Doors Open event

Doors Open Winnipeg was first hosted in 2004 and we recently held our 11th annual event during the weekend of May 31st to June 1st, 2014. The next event is planned for May 30th & 31st, 2015. For more information, visit the Doors Open Website here

The People's Choice Awards

Ballot for the People's Choice Awards, made available at Winnipeg venues
Ballot for the People's Choice Awards, made available at Winnipeg venues
The awards component of Doors Open Winnipeg continues to be the only one of its kind in Canada and provides an opportunity and incentive for owners and volunteers to step up their enthusiasm and put on the best event they can. Visitors have the chance to vote for their favourite buildings and winners will receive a spectacular award, created by a local artist, at a media event held in June. Votes are collected for the following categories: Best Restoration, Best Architecture, Best Guided Tour/Programming, The 'Hidden Gem', and Best Overall Experience.

For an archive of past winners, click here.

2014 Winners

The 4th annual Doors Open Winnipeg People's Choice Awards were presented at the Winnipeg Free Press Cafe at 237 McDermot on June 24, 2014, beginning at 10:30am. This year, the award was commemorated with a special sculpture for each of the building winners, created by local artist and Heritage Winnipeg President, Jordan van Sewell. 

1. Best Restoration: La Maison Gabrielle-Roy
 
La Maison Gabrielle-Roy - 375 rue Deschambault
La Maison Gabrielle-Roy - 375 rue Deschambault
La Maison Gabrielle-Roy at 375 rue Deschambault is the childhood home of prominent Canadian author, Gabrielle Roy. The house was built in 1905 by her father and features a gabled attic, sweeping veranda, and beautiful white Corinthian columns. Gabrielle Roy was one of Canada’s great novelists both in English and in French, as well as being an immensely important figure in French Canadian culture. One of the books she wrote Rue Deschambault (Street of Riches in English), was based on her childhood in this home.



Lucienne Châteauneuf, Directrice (Director) of La Maison Gabrielle-Roy
Award accepted by Lucienne Châteauneuf, Directrice (Director) of La Maison Gabrielle-Roy
This Doors Open site is one of many in the St. Boniface area of the city and provides tours in both French and English. The goal of the museum is to not only preserve the life, works, and personality of Gabrielle-Roy, but also to play an active role in the cultural life of Manitoba, particularly in the French-speaking community. 



2. Best Architecture: The Millennium Centre


The Millennium Centre (former Bank of Commerce) - 389 Main Street
The Millennium Centre (former Bank of Commerce) - 389 Main Street

The Millennium Centre (former Bank of Commerce) located at 389 Main Street was built in 1912 by nationally-renowned architects Darling and Pearson.  This magnificent landmark building features monumental granite, a tapestry room whose floor has recently been refinished, and a marble banking hall capped by a gorgeous dome of stained glass.  Since the 2000 immense progress has been made in its restoration thanks to the non-profit organization - 389 Main St. Heritage Corporation, and a generous donation by Bill & Shirley Loewen. This year for Doors Open, the Millennium Centre also featured a beautiful exhibit by the Costume Museum of Canada.

Giles Bugailiskis, Millennium Board Member & retired Senior Heritage Planner
Award accepted by Giles Bugailiskis, Millennium Board Member & retired Senior Heritage Planner

For 15 years our Executive Director, Cindy Tugwell, has sat on the Board of the Millennium Centre to help preserve the building and continue to make it economically sustainability.  The current business plan with Storm Catering facilitates events & gives much needed revenue for maintaining the building.  Future plans include re-developing the upper floors, and Heritage Winnipeg creating a first-ever Heritage & Arts Interpretive Centre.    


3. The Best Guided Tour/Programming: Vaughan Street Jail


Vaughan Street Jail - 444 York Avenue
Vaughan Street Jail - 444 York Avenue

The Vaughan Street Jail at 444 York Avenue was built in 1881 by architect Charles Osborne Wickensen, and was later modified by Samuel Hooper in 1909. It is the oldest provincially owned building still standing within the City limits.  There are significant local and Canadian historical figures connected to this building, and yet unfortunately, there is still no heritage designation.  

Candace Gower & Nicole Verin-Treusch from Friends of Vaughan Street Jail
Award accepted by Candace Gower & Nicole Verin-Treusch from Friends of Vaughan Street Jail
This site boasted the most site visits with over 1800 visitors in one day.  With theatrical performances and historic costumes the volunteers once again put on a fantastic tour! Prior to last year, the building had been closed to Doors Open for 6 years – we hope to be able to continue to feature this building in our event. This year the Vaughan Street Jail also featured as part of an interview with CTV’s Karen Rocznik about Doors Open 2014. 


4. The 'Hidden Gem': The Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga

The Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts, Vladimir and Olga - 115 MacGregor Street
The Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga - 115 MacGregor Street
The Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga is located at 115 McGregor Street. This work of art was built in 1950 and has a seating capacity of over 1,000.  The cathedral and its parish were created as a rejection of the Roman Catholic church, which is very different from what the Ukraininan Catholics were used to. However, the focal point of this building is its magnificent stained glass windows and beautiful icon paintings. 

Elaine Kisiow, Msgr. Michael Buyachok, and Margareta Saray
Award accepted by Elaine Kisiow, Msgr. Michael Buyachok, and Margareta Saray
Of the 34 windows, 16 are the work of the world famous artist and sculptor, Leo Mol, who is also known for his Leo Mol Garden at Assiniboine Park. The cathedral is also noted for its beautiful rose stained glass window behind the altar, which depicts the patron saints, Vladimir and Olga. Wonderful guided tours were given that received lots of great feedback. This is the third year in a row that the Cathedral has had the honour of winning in the Hidden Gem category.  


5. Best Overall Experience: Winnipeg Railway Museum

Winnipeg Railway Museum - 123 Main Street
Winnipeg Railway Museum - 123 Main Street
The Winnipeg Railway Museum is located at 123 Main Street, in the former CN station. It is the only museum in Winnipeg dedicated to Manitoba’s railway heritage and includes over
37 000 square feet filled with artefacts. There are two tracks that contain actual trains and equipment and their platforms feature displays such as the History of Women in Railroading, the Countess of Dufferin, and the Hudson Bay Railroad, among others.



Peter Lacey from the Midwestern Rail Association
Award accepted by Peter Lacey from the Midwestern Rail Association
As well, the museum is the current home of Heritage Winnipeg’s special restoration project, Streetcar 356, which is the last remaining wooden streetcar built in 1909, rebuilt and used in Winnipeg until 1955. For more information about Streetcar 356, visit the website.
 
Streetcar 356
Streetcar 356

Links

Doors Open Canada Website
Doors Open Winnipeg Website
Doors Open Winnipeg on Facebook
Heritage Winnipeg Website - Doors Open Updates   
Heritage Winnipeg Website - Streetcar 356 Updates
Streetcar 356 on Facebook

Which Doors Open Winnipeg building/event is your favourite?  
Let us know in the comments!

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