HEY came. They dined. They helped save the Nonsuch.
Pop idols Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez were treated to a private, candlelit dinner aboard the Manitoba Museum’s fur-trading ship Saturday night. While they were there, the duo signed Nonsuch prints and T-shirts that Manitoba Museum CEO Claudette Leclerc said will help raise money for the conservation of the replica 17th-century vessel that launched Manitoba’s fur trade.
The couple arrived at the museum about 5:15 p.m. and Leclerc took them on a brief tour of the exhibits. The bison diorama caused Bieber to exclaim: “This is just like Night at the Museum!” — the movie starring Ben Stiller.
The couple were particularly enchanted by the museum’s new ancient seas exhibit and Bieber peppered Leclerc and volunteer interpreters with questions about it and the Nonsuch.
Leclerc said the couple were “an absolute delight.”
“They were extremely polite, inquisitive, appreciative,” she said. “They’re obviously very much in love. They’re very sweet to one another.”
After the tour, the couple were left alone on the deck of the Nonsuch for dinner catered by the Fairmont Hotel, complete with faux candles to set the mood without risking a fire.
“It was a really special private dinner, which is so hard to do when you are a celebrity of that calibre,” said Leclerc.
The pair took a shortcut through the museum’s urban gallery, where they stopped to watch a Charlie Chaplin film before heading to the MTS Centre to watch the Winnipeg Jets play the Carolina Hurricanes.
Leclerc said the museum will figure out how best to use the signed prints and T-shirts to raise money for the 40-year-old Nonsuch, which is still in good shape but receives thousands of visits a year.
Much of the couple’s three-day itinerary was cooked up by Kenny Boyce, the city’s film and special events manager who often works with visiting celebrities. He pitched the idea of dinner aboard the Nonsuch, and Bieber bit.
Leclerc said she and her staff were forbidden to take photos and kept the visit hush-hush until it was over. Now that the word is out, Bieber’s visit will likely be a boon for the public profile of the museum and the Nonsuch.
SOURCE: Winnipeg Free Press