After a long winter, the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum opened their doors to the public on Monday of this week.  April 1st marked the official 100th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and the air museum hosted a free open house in the afternoon in honor of this significant milestone.

"Every year for the last couple of years we've been celebrating Canadian Armed Forces Day and it's a great opportunity to track the public and to open our doors," shares Executive Director, Stephen Hayter. "We bring out our aircraft and have our pilots available so that they can talk to the public. And then we ask the RCAF to bring what they can to our event."

Hayter says even though the official 100th Anniversary was on Monday, April 1st, their celebration day will be Sunday, June 2nd.  He says they're waiting to see just what members of the RCAF have available to bring to the Brandon airport event.

"It all hinges on what they have available," Hayter says. "It's exciting because there's the opportunity that it could be anything from a jet plane cockpit section to a Hercules aircraft, to a trainer that is flying in the neighborhood. So, we're looking forward to whatever they can provide so that we can celebrate this milestone. One hundred years of the RCAF is certainly something to celebrate!"

The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum (CATPM) closed their doors for the winter right after Remembrance Day because of structural concerns with the hangar, specifically when heavy snow on the roof could compromise a weight bearing beam.  The museum was encouraged to close during winter months until repairs were made.

Hayter says the down time gave them a chance to refresh their displays and incorporate artifacts from their storage that haven't been shown in the past.

"For so many years our history has been to be open every day except for Christmas, and so this is kind of a new situation for us being closed over the winter," he explains. "We had some time to work on displays and things like that. But we really want to get back to the business of being a museum and having the public come through our doors."

Please listen to more with Stephen Hayter below!

The CATPM is Canada’s only air museum solely dedicated to the preservation of those who trained and fought for the British Commonwealth during WWII.  It is one of seven Manitoba Signature Museums, a Manitoba Star Attraction and a National Historic Site.

Visitors are invited to travel back to the 1940s while touring a WWII vintage hangar, aircraft, vehicles and hundreds of artifacts from that era, as well as the RCAF WWII Memorial wall that honours all of the RCAF that lost their lives during WWII.

Visit the CATP Museum located at Brandon Municipal Airport, on HW #10, 1.6 km north of the City of Brandon.

The month of April, the CATPM is open from 1-4 pm every day.  Summer hours begin May 1st 7 days a week, from 10am to 4pm.

Adult admission $10.  Ages 6-17 $5.  Children 6 and under are free.

Current military members and veterans, as well as post-secondary students $5 admission with identification.