3 things people don’t know about the Brandon General Museum and Archives

The Brandon General Museum and Archives is considered the city’s local history museum and it’s full of neat materials related to Brandon and its place within the history of southwestern Manitoba. Make sure you stop by when visiting our city!

Below are three neat facts about the BGMA, enjoy!

  • While the museum opened its physical doors in the summer of 2011, the first committee recognized by the city was in 2007, coinciding with Brandon’s 125th anniversary. Councillor Errol Black strongly supported the effort and mentioned the city had been talking about opening a general museum for “atleast the last 25 years.” Over the years, many locations were looked at to house the museum, including the No.1 Fire Hall, the CPR station, and even spaces in The Town Centre. In the end, the Brandon General Museum and Archives moved to the former MTS building, which was built in 1917.


  • The B.J. Hales collection hosted by the BGMA has over 300 pieces on display, while the collection itself has more than 800 pieces in total! Benjamin Jones Hales, (who was an educator, author and naturalist), acquired the collection from a taxidermist back in 1913. The collection grew and was eventually moved to Brandon College (now Brandon University) in 1964. The collection was then relocated to the basement of the Earl Oxford School in 2009, where it stayed in storage until eventually moving to the BGMA in 2013 in an agreement made with the Brandon School Division.


  • The original furnishings for Brandon City Council are proudly on display at the BGMA. The desks, chairs and Mayor’s throne are circa 1885. Brandon’s first City Hall (where Princess Park is now) wouldn’t be built until 1892. Before the building was completed, council meetings were held at the first Central School on 10th street. And, like many school-aged children, the councillors (then called Aldermen) would doodle and sign their names in their desk drawers. One notable signature is that of F.H. Young in 1931-32-33 – who would later become Mayor from 1938-1943. That drawer, and other desk drawings, are viewable during museum tours.


The BGMA is located at 19 ‑ 9th Street in Brandon. Diagonal parking with 2-hour max meters available on 9th Street in front of the museum; free parking after 4PM.

Book your BGMA tour today!

The Brandon General Museum & Archives is open for visits between 12:00PM and 4:00PM, Tuesdays to Saturdays, unless otherwise noted. The BGMA STRONGLY recommends booking your visit in advance. 

Regular office hours are 11:00am to 5:00pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays. 

Call or email now to book your tour: