The Fort la Reine Museum is renewing its purpose as a place for the community and tourists to see as both a destination, and as a starting point for an adventure. Strategically located on the gateway to Portage la Prairie and Central and Western Canada, we’re a part of the “Road Culture”, a landmark of the road ecology that connects Canada from sea to sea. Through our Canada 150 infrastructure renewal projects, and our current provincially funded project, for a concept design and feasibility study for a new Visitor’s Centre, the Fort la Reine Museum and Portage Tourism is moving on a forward thinking trajectory.
The Fort la Reine Museum has come to be known as one of Portage la Prairie’s premiere cultural institutions. In 2015 alone our admissions and outreach have more than doubled since 2013 & 2014 connecting, enhancing, and engaging over 8000 visitors in 2015.
The Fort la Reine Museum is situated in exciting times indeed. As the Museum is a Centennial project, dating back to 1967, much of it is badly in need of repair and replacement, and much conservation and maintenance is required for many of its heritage buildings. Our namesake, Fort la Reine is one such building that is in need of critical repairs, and a great deal of structural log replacement. It is in dire condition.
Fort La Reine was built in 1738 and is one of the forts of the western expansion directed by Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye, a fur trader and farmer, was first military commander in the west, of what is now known as Canada. La Verendrye was an important Canadian Inland Explorer who travelled farther west than any previous European explorer ever had, from Winnipeg, then southwest nearing the Missouri River. La Verendrye was on a quest to find the route across Canada that linked us sea to sea. In 1738 Fort la Reine was built by La Verendrye on the Assiniboine River where present day Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, stands. The fort served as a fur trading post. It was the primary base of operations for much historic exploration north and west. From Fort La Reine, explorers made their way to Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipegosis, Lake Winnipeg and the Saskatchewan River.
Fort la Reine is considered a National Historic Site. Our Fort is in terrible disrepair, and is in a dangerous state. We have shut down access to the bastions and the exhibit areas since 2011. In order for the Museum to continue to be relevant, and provide a quality visitor experience telling the stories of the history of Portage, and its settlers, we must restore the Fort.
The Fort la Reine Museum is fundraising for $200,000 to support the Fort la Reine rebuilding and restoration project. Help preserve a historic Canadian legacy and help us to FUND THE FORT!