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FLR needs votes to restore national treasure 0

By Robin Dudgeon, Portage Daily Graphic

The Fort la Reine Museum is competing in the Aviva Community Fund competition where it hopes to receive funding to restore Le Rideau, the personal rail car of Sir William Van Horne, general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Voting ends on Nov. 26. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

The Fort la Reine Museum is competing in the Aviva Community Fund competition where it hopes to receive funding to restore Le Rideau, the personal rail car of Sir William Van Horne, general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Voting ends on Nov. 26. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

The Fort la Reine Museum needs your vote in order to help restore a treasure of national significance. The Museum is competing in the Aviva Community Fund competition where it hopes to restore Le Rideau – the personal business car of Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Aviva Canada is giving away $1 million to create positive change in communities across Canada, with Round Three ending on Nov. 26. The semi-finals will begin on Dec. 3 with judging beginning on Dec. 20.

The Van Horne Car was custom built in 1882 by CPR for Van Horne, its general manager. The car served as a sleeping car, dining room, gentleman’s club car, as well as a rear office where Van Horne was visited by Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald on numerous occasions.

 

“(William Cornelius Van Horne) was the manager that supervised the entire construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He’s a powerful historic figure to the building of Canada. This is the car he used to conduct his business as the railway was being constructed,” said Tracey Turner, curator and manager of the Fort la Reine Museum.

The car was donated to the Fort la Reine Museum in 1976 after it had been used as a hunting lodge at Delta Marsh for a number of years. It has received minimal restoration over the years since it fell out of service.

“It’s a very luxurious, Victorian era business train car that really reflects a bygone era. It needs to be restored so we’ve entered the Aviva Community Fund as a creative way of trying to raise funds to get the interior and the exterior of the car restored and back to its original opulence,” said Turner. “It requires a lot of conservation efforts and it’s an amazingly huge project. It’s not something that we can typically get restored in a year unless we have something like this fund to steamroll the whole project and get it done.”

The Museum team would like to restore the Van Horne Car interior and exterior of the car both by repairing flooring, carpeting, metal components, windows, upholstery and paint where necessary. To protect the investment in its restoration, the Van Horne car requires an enclosed structure of sufficient size to allow for visitor circulation and interpretive development.

“Portage la Prairie is steeped in railroad tradition with both the CPR and the CNR having a long history here. The two tracks of the major railway companies cross each other (here and) it’s the only place in Canada that it happens,” said Turner. “I’m hoping that the community can rally behind us and really help us to restore Le Rideau, which is this amazing historic car. Portage la Prairie has a real gem here.”

Visit www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf16386 or visit the Facebook page at Welcome Aboard the National Dream to vote for the pitch.

 

 

Poll

Would you like to see the Van Horne Car restored?

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