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, MLA Interlake
June 4, 2013

Interlake Churches Painting Collection

Mr. Speaker, the Interlake has a rich and fascinating history, one that many have worked very hard to preserve. Today I am pleased to inform the House about one piece of Interlake history that has found a permanent home at the Arborg and District Multicultural Heritage Village.

For 20 years, Manitoba artist Millard Barteaux has been painting historical churches across the Interlake. Built for the most part between 1910 and 1930 by community volunteers for an average cost of about $600, these small churches could be found across the Interlake region and were for many an essential part of community life. However, only about 15 to 20 percent of them remain standing today.

Over the years, Mr. Barteaux has painted well over 200 Interlake churches from across the entire region. He has traveled to their locations and searched out archival photographs of those that no longer stand. They will now hang permanently at the Heritage Village, preserving this piece of history for years to come.

This weekend, I had the honour of attending the grand opening of the exhibit. It was very inspiring to see a collection of images that embody such an important piece of Interlake’s history, and I cannot think of a better home for them than at the old Poplarfield St. Nicholas Parish Hall which is now the centrepiece of the Heritage Village.

On behalf of all honourable members, I would like to thank the Arborg and District Multicultural Heritage Village Association for making a home for the collection and, of course, Mr. Barteaux for his work to preserve our past heritage for future generations. Thank you.