It’s been a labour of love for the Restoring the Glory Campaign and committee members, but finally Display Building No. II stands tall and proud in all it’s glory!

Those who have been admiring the grandiose outside of this historical building for years, were finally able to see the newly renovated interior at this week’s Grand Opening ceremony. The red carpet was out for the Wednesday evening affair, where residents, dignitaries, supporters and committee members celebrated the 7 year restoration project together.

The Display Building No. II (fondly known as the Dome Building) was originally built in 1913 for the Dominion Exhibition Fair in Brandon. It has become a city landmark and has been used for a variety of events for nearly a century. From swine displays to hockey games and petting zoos, the grand white structure has captured the hearts of many over the past 105 years.

However, it became a dilemma as to what to do with this historic building that was in need of repair or restoration. In 2011, the Restoring the Glory Campaign was formed, committees were selected and the slow process began on bringing the building back to life.

Gord and Diane Peters are Co-Chairs of the Capital Campaign and deemed as 'the driving force' behind this renovation project. They have embraced the vision of this beautiful facility from the very beginning, recognizing its valuable agricultural history, as well as recognizing the need for the Provincial Exhibition offices to ‘return home.’

“Ten years ago in June,” says Gord, “the Provincial Ex moved their offices downtown to 10th street to be there just for a few months. It’s just short of 10 years that we finally got them back here.”

The project has been a labour of love for all involved. "This Provincial Exhibition group, the directors and volunteers that they have,” explains Diane, “it's a broad and dedicated group and we just happened to get in the wagon with them. We were fortunate enough to be able to help. But, this group is a driving force in itself and they're a wonderful group to work with and it's been a fun project."

Gord says the funding for the project came from many levels; Provincial, Federal, the City of Brandon, and the private sector. He says they were very pleased on the private sector. “The private sector put a lot of money into this because they believed in the project which came from the roots of the community.” The entire project came in under budget at just below $7,000,000.

“I’d like to thank all the private sector donors that put money into this project and helped the project,” says Peters.

Stan Cochrane is the Chair of the Restoring the Glory Campaign. He says this project has succeeded because of the shared passion. “Everyone that has been involved has done so because they are passionate about seeing this building restored to its former glory.”

The passion for the project continues. After having a personal tour through the building with Gord Peters and Prov Ex GM, Ron Kristjansson last week, it was announced at the Brandon Chamber of Commerce by Chief Legal Council for CN Rail, Sean Finn, that CN would be donating a second $50,000 sum to the build project,.

Diane Peters sums it up the restoration project perfectly as she imagines what January of 1913 might have been like, and how our generation is most likely sharing the same kind of pride and passion as those of long ago.

"If you just stop for a minute and think," she says. "A hundred years ago there was a group of people that was so excited because they were going to be hosting the Dominion Exhibition Fair and they got together and they built this building. I don't know if they imagined that a hundred years later their ancestors would be here in this building they built rededicating it to the people of this community, of the agricultural community, and for the next generation.”

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