The 11,000-square-foot Chimczuk Museum was officially opened by Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and members of City Council, along with a host of dignitaries, well-wishers, school children, and local residents today at a special ribbon cutting ceremony.
Hosted by Jelena Payne, Corporate Leader for Social Development, Health, Recreation and Culture at the City of Windsor, today’s event started with Walpole Island Elder Eric Isaac who offered a traditional First Nation’s prayer.
Chris Rylee, Council for Walpole Island, followed with remarks expressing his gratitude for this museum, showcasing the local history of this region’s First Nation’s people.
Mayor Drew Dilkens took the podium next and started by presenting Elder Isaac with a gift, an ornamental ‘turtle’ composed of sweet grass. After his remarks, Dilkens welcomed Ghislaine Brodeur, Regional Advisor to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, who brought greetings from the province.
In his remarks, Dilkens stated, “Our Chimczuk Museum is a tremendous attraction with so much rich history to share. And now, between our new museum; the Art Gallery of Windsor; the François Baby House; the Capitol Theatre, home of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra; and our beautiful aquatics complex, we have a host of top quality family attractions for residents and visitors alike—all within our downtown core.”
The final dignitary who spoke was Windsor’s Poet Laureate, Marty Gervais. He shared an original poem with the enthusiastic gathering, ‘The River’ – a fitting and moving piece underscoring the importance of the river from our earliest beginnings up to the present day.
The Chimczuk Museum occupies the main floor of 401 Riverside Drive West, while the Art Gallery of Windsor occupies floors two and three.
Funding sources for the $5.7 million project included nearly $2 million from the Government of Canada’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, over $3.3 million from the bequest of Joseph Chimczuk, and the remainder from the City of Windsor’s Capital Budgets. The Provincial Government also contributes to operations through the Community Museum Operating Grant.
As part of the project, Windsor’s Community Museum has rebranded to reflect its expanded scope. “Museum Windsor” encompasses the François Baby House, the Chimczuk Museum and the Interpretive Centre at the Duff-Baby House in Sandwich.
To learn more, visit www.museumwindsor.ca.
Story, photos and video by Joe McParland.