Four projects in the Westman Region received provincial grants through the Heritage Grant Program earlier this month, one of which was the Turtle Mountain-Souris Plains Heritage Association (TMSPHA), having secured $4500 to upgrade their website,

Local historian, Ken Storie, is Project Manager for the TMSPHA, as well as board member. 

Storie says they were thrilled to receive the funds through the province’s program, and have specific goals to make their current website easier to use to share local historical information. 

“As we update our website, we want to keep adding resources, and make it really easy for people to use,” he explains. “We’re thinking especially of schools and teachers, but also any independent researcher as someone who is just curious. So, something that’s easy to use and then accessibility; easy to find.” 

One of their upgrades is to create an index that covers all types of media that they've created. “So, if you’re interested in the fur trade of the southern region, or you’re interested in a particular town or industry, you can find a resource - be it a video, a podcast, or a story in Vantage Points books, to find what you need,” he adds. 

Upgrades are expected to take effect during the upcoming summer and fall seasons. However, Storie reminds history-buffs that their website has a lot to offer as it is right now. “Anyone who goes onto our website will get the main page and one of the things they’ll see on that main page is Resources for Schools and Vantage Points podcasts. So, the website, as it stands now, has the basic links. We’re just looking to improve it as we go along.” 

An important goal for the TMSPHA has been to formally reach out to educators and provide easy access to local history to share with their students. Storie says the pandemic pushed the pause button on their efforts, but the plan is still an important step for the near future. Updating their website will make it that much easier for schools to find and share the wealth of local history with the next generation.” 

“We’d like to express our appreciation for the support that the Manitoba Heritage Grants have provided us,” shares Storie, “and they’ve allowed us to do some really interesting things.” 

A total of 38 projects in Manitoba were awarded more than $194,000 through the Heritage Grant Program. The Westman Region received $20,047 for 4 heritage projects: 


 Brandon University – $10,000 to continue archeological investigations of pre-contact Indigenous horticultural activities.  

 City of Brandon – $1,507 to support Doors Open Brandon, a free event that allows the public to visit historical buildings.  

 RM of Prairie Lakes – $4,040 to develop a heritage website that will consolidate local information and resources.  

 Turtle Mountain-Souris Plains Heritage Association – $4,500 to expand their local history website with a focus on educational resources. 

The next intake for the Heritage Grant Program closes on June 1. Not-for-profit community organizations can apply for up to 50 per cent of their project’s total expenses. Grants in this intake range from $500 to more than $10,000, depending on the size and scope of the heritage project. Program categories include collections management, conservation, exhibitions, programs, interpretive signs, research and special initiatives. 

For more information on the Heritage Grants Program, visit: