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Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes

content on display in the eatons gallery

See more Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes photos in our Photo Gallery.

Explore a Winnipeg holiday tradition for all generations!
On display from November 16, 2019 – January 5, 2020 at the Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum is pleased to be the home of the last original Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes Display from the ninth floor annex of the Eaton’s downtown store – fully restored and open to the public for a limited time only.

From mid-November until mid-January, visitors of all ages will be delighted by the fifteen fun, fairytale vignettes that make up this classic favourite including Cinderella, Humpty Dumpty, Three Blind Mice, and more.

Free with general museum admission.

*Please note that our standard museum admission policies will be in effect for this exhibition. The Children’s Museum reserves the right to restrict admitting children unaccompanied by adults as well as adults unaccompanied by children.

See more Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes photos in our Photo Gallery.

Exhibition Sponsors

Supporting Sponsor:
Toromont CAT Logo

Media Sponsors:
103.1 Virgin Radio Logo  Global Winnipeg Logo  Prairie Public Logo

Exhibit Support:

  • Antex Western Ltd.
  • Terracon Development Ltd.

Guided Exhibition Tours

Available Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 16, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Price: $5.00 (plus GST) per person

The Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes are a traditional holiday favourite for generations of Winnipeggers. We are pleased to honour that tradition by offering guided tours of the exhibition to guests of all ages every** Friday, Saturday and Sunday from November 16, 2019 – January 5, 2020 at 11:00AM and 2:00PM. Guided Exhibition Tours are included in general museum admission during the holiday season or are available for $5.00 (plus GST) per person.

Additional Information:

  • La visite est offerte en français sur demande. Veuillez-vous inscrire au moins un jour à l’ avance auprès au 204.924.4005.
    Tours are offered in French on demand. Please register at least a day in advance at 204.924.4005.
  • If you are interested in booking a tour for your group outside of these standard tour times, please contact our Sales & Bookings Coordinator at 204.924.4005.
  • Please note that these tours are open to adult visitors unaccompanied by children.

Featured Fairytales and Nursery Rhymes

  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Rumpelstiltskin
  • Cinderella
  • Rub-A-Dub-Dub
  • Old Mother Hubbard
  • Three Blind Mice
  • Humpty Dumpty
  • The Emperor and the Nightingale
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • The Owl and The Pussycat
  • The Little Match Girl
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • The Elves and the Shoemaker
  • Hansel and Gretel

History and Restoration Information

For many years the Timothy Eaton’s store stood on Portage Avenue as a staple for Winnipeggers and for Manitobans from all over the province who would visit it on their trips into the city.

Eaton’s is fondly remembered by Manitobans of all ages. It can be argued that the fondest of these memories are those of the Christmas season when Eaton’s had its grand Christmas display windows along Portage Avenue and its Eaton Fairytale Vignettes display set up on the ninth floor annex.

The Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes display is comprised of a collection of fifteen storybook vignettes that contain over 300 pieces in total. At each vignette visitors can read the story associated with the vignette on a similar storybook shaped interpretation panel. The Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes display has been a Winnipeg holiday tradition for over 40 years – and though the exact age of the dolls in the display is unknown, they are much older than that!

The relocation of the Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes to the Children’s Museum was initiated by a private citizen after Eaton’s announced it would be closing its local stores in 1999. Representatives from Eaton’s met with a number of non-profit groups who were interested in the display, and in the end chose to give it to the Children’s Museum. The Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes display officially opened at the Children’s Museum on November 20, 1999 – and over a dozen years later, countless visitors to the museum continue to be thrilled with this acquisition.

As a cornerstone of Manitoba’s heritage, the Children’s Museum takes the care and upkeep of the Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes display very seriously. Since being in the museum’s possession, the Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes display has undergone several significant redevelopments and restorations by heritage conservationists.

The primary cost to redevelop and relocate the Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes to the Children’s Museum in 1999 was $85,000.

The first restoration and refurbishment of the vignettes was in 2006 and cost over $10,000 – with $5,000 of assistance in grants from The Thomas Sill Foundation and the Heritage Grants Advisory Council.

The most recent redevelopment and restoration was in 2010 as part of the museum’s $10M capital campaign renovations. This restoration cost approximately $75,000 and included the fabrication of new vignette display cases, doll and motor refurbishments, push-button activation, and archival storage supplies.

With each passing year and with ongoing support from our community, the Children’s Museum strives to ensure that the Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes will continue to be on display for visitors to enjoy for many holiday seasons to come.

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