Nice Women Don’t Want the Vote – Exhibit


Glanmore National Historic Site Celebrates
the 100th Anniversary of Women Winning the Right to Vote

pennant featuring the words "Votes for Women"

Taking its title from a phrase uttered by Manitoba’s illustrious Premier, Sir Rodmond Roblin, during a heated exchange with Nellie McClung, “Nice Women Don’t Want the Vote,” an exhibit developed by the Manitoba Museum, is now open at Glanmore National Historic Site in Belleville, ON.
“Nice Women Don’t Want the Vote,” outlines the historical context of the Suffragist movement and commemorates the 100th anniversary of Manitoba women winning the right to vote. Although the exhibit specifically highlights the suffragist movement in Manitoba, Ontario was not too far behind, granting some women the right to vote in April 1917 through a bill put forward by Belleville resident and local Member of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, J.W. Johnson.
“The exhibit outlines the causes, the contradictions, and the people involved in the Suffragist movement, emphasizing the fact that suffragists wanted real power in order to change society. “Nice Women Don’t Want the Vote” includes fascinating artefacts that prove that this was a real fight that had been brewing for 25 years, while also revealing the tensions within the movement,” says Dr. Roland Sawatzky, Curator of History at the Manitoba Museum. Through artefacts and photographs, the exhibit also explains why some Canadians, like Indigenous people and immigrants, were often left out of the discussion.
ceramic geese figurine with the caption "We want our Votes!"
“This touring exhibition will inspire women and men and children across Manitoba and beyond to keep thinking about – and working for – justice and freedom long after we mark the 100 years since the first Manitoba women received the vote,” says The Honourable Janice Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba and Honorary Patron of the exhibit.
The exhibit includes an interactive audio component featuring a selection of oral history clips and a comment “ballot box” where visitors can add their voice to the conversation by writing to the suffragists of the past or commenting on issues facing women today and the importance of voting.
“Nice Woman Don’t Want the Vote” is on display at Glanmore National Historic Site, 257 Bridge Street East, Belleville, ON until May 7, 2017.  The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 1 to 4:30 pm but will be closed April 14-17 in observance of Easter. For more information visit: www.glanmore.ca or call 613-962-2329.



Melissa Wakeling has a Bachelor of Arts from Trent University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Museum Management and Curatorship from Fleming College. Melissa works as Education and Marketing Coordinator at Glanmore National Historic Site in Belleville, Ontario.