The open-house period for the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple — the first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be dedicated in nearly 20 months due to COVID-19 pandemic conditions — began Thursday, Oct. 7, with tours for local media and the release of images showing interior features.
“We know that the Latter-day Saints in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario are excited to share this sacred space with their friends and neighbors,” said Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela, the second counselor in the Church’s North America Central Area presidency, told the Church’s Newsroom. “This is the first temple in the province, and we believe it will be a wonderful addition to the community.”
The open house will run from Saturday, Oct. 9, through Saturday, Oct. 23, with the exception of the two Sundays, Oct. 10 and 17, and Monday, Oct. 11. Canada’s Thanksgiving Day holiday is celebrated annually on the second Monday of October.
Tours are free, but to ensure compliance with provincial COVID-19 guidelines, visitors are encouraged to register in advance at thewinnipegtemple.org. Masks and social distancing will be required in the building.
The 10,667-square-foot temple features a copper steeple, slate roof tiles and brick exterior.
The interior rooms are decorated in soft purples, aqua and green, with the prairie crocus — the provincial flower of Manitoba — a prominent motif throughout the temple. It is seen in the art glass, rugs, woodwork carvings and door hardware.
Many of the materials in the temple were made in Canada and much of the work was done by local craftspeople. Other high-quality materials in the building come from Belgium, China, Italy, Korea, Turkey and the United States.
On Monday, Aug. 30, the First Presidency announced the new dates for the Winnipeg temple’s public house, dedication and youth devotional. Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will dedicate Canada’s ninth temple on Sunday, Oct. 31.
When dedicated, the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple will be the 169th operating temple worldwide — the first to be dedicated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the latest being the Durban South Africa Temple in February 2020.
Elder Gong will dedicate the temple on Sunday, Oct. 31, in four sessions — at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., with an additional session if needed. All dedicatory sessions will be broadcast to meetinghouses in the temple district.
A youth devotional will be held prior to the devotional.
The Canadian province of Manitoba is home to more than 4,700 Latter-day Saints, who comprise 14 congregations. The closest temples for these Church members are the Regina Saskatchewan and Bismarck North Dakota temples.
On April 20, 2020, the Church initially announced open house and dedication dates for the Winnipeg temple for later that year, with Elder Gong to preside over the dedication sessions originally scheduled for Nov. 8. On Sept. 1, 2020, those dates were postponed due to the pandemic, similar to other postponements — the planned dedication of the new Rio de Janeiro temple and the scheduled rededication of the renovated Washington D.C. Temple.
The Winnipeg temple was announced in the April 2011 general conference by President Thomas S. Monson. Elder Larry Y. Wilson, a General Authority Seventy, presided at its groundbreaking on Dec. 3, 2016, in the city’s Bridgwater neighborhood.
Canada’s other operating temples are located in Toronto, Halifax, Montreal, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Cardston and Vancouver.