Costume Museum of Canada

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Costume Museum
Location Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Type fashion

The Costume Museum of Canada is dedicated to fashion and clothing, it is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


The Museum holds more than 35,000 textile artifacts reflecting clothing worn over a 400-year period, the Costume Museum absorbed 2,000 artifacts of clothing and textiles from the University of Manitoba that was displayed at the Clothing and Textiles Hallway Museum. Initially located in Dugald, Manitoba, the Costume Museum moved to Winnipeg with the aim of attracting more visitors.


In March 2010, The Costume Museum of Canada closed it doors to the public. Due to an extreme financial situation that had developed over many years, The Museum was on the edge of bankruptcy.[citation needed]

An entirely new Board was elected and was tasked with securing safe storage for the collection. By the end of summer 2011, it is anticipated that 100% of the collection will be stored in vaults in the Millennium Centre. To ensure that the Museum will continue to operate, the Museum Board is developing both short and long range strategic plans.[when?]

The Costume Museum is determined to become the first Open Museum, based on similar concepts to the Open University, it will have a strong web presence while continuing to operate its existing programs.


The board and a handful of member volunteers continue to operate three programs: 1) Museum in a Suitcase, 2) the Heritage Fashion Review, and 3) travelling exhibits.

Museum in a Suitcase in an educational program available to schools and other organizations. It offers a hands-on interactive experience with history, it comes complete with instructions. The Suitcases are available on a weekly or longer basis.

The Heritage Fashion Review is a fashion show consisting of replicas of items in the Museum's collection, it can be booked by organizations, museums, corporations and individuals, for events being held within a reasonable radius of Winnipeg. The emcee and all models are museum volunteers.

Through travelling exhibits, exhibits are made available to other museums in North America, the Exhibits range from 3 or 4 items for small environments, to 35, 50 or more for larger established centres. "The Little Black Dress" was on exhibit at the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts at Florida Tech in Melbourne FL, January through April, 2011.[citation needed]

In addition, the Costume Museum of Canada will mount exhibits around the Winnipeg area as opportunities present themselves. The Little Black Dress will be featured in the Millennium Centre for Doors Open Winnipeg, May 28 & 29.


The Museum is affiliated with: CMA, CHIN, and Virtual Museum of Canada.

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Coordinates: 49°54′01″N 97°08′04″W / 49.900399°N 97.134409°W / 49.900399; -97.134409