Winnipeg in Focus is a database for archival descriptions and digital collections at the City of Winnipeg Archives.

Showing 19 results

authority records
Person

Wilkes, Barbara J.

  • COWA
  • Person

Barbara J. Wilkes worked for the Sovereign Life Assurance Company of Canada in Calgary. The company was incorporated by a special Act of the Parliament of Canada in 1902 and commenced business out of Toronto in 1903. The head office was moved to Winnipeg in February of 1912. Prominent local businessman W. Sanford Evans served as president from 1933 until 1948. In 1957, the company moved into a new purpose-designed head office building on the corner of Smith and Broadway in Winnipeg (287 Broadway). By 1970, the head office was no longer in Winnipeg and the building on Broadway had been sold.

Thompson, Susan A.

  • Person
  • 1947-

Susan A. Thompson was the 40th mayor and first woman mayor of the City of Winnipeg. She was born in Winnipeg on 12 April 1947. Spending most of her youth in the city, she graduated from the University of Winnipeg Collegiate in 1967 and earned her BA from the same university in 1971.

Embarking on a successful career in retail, Thompson worked for Eaton’s and the Hudson’s Bay Company in Winnipeg, Calgary, and Montreal. Called home in 1980 after her father’s illness, she bought the family business Birt Saddlery, a long standing and well known local business, and embarked on a successful career as an independent businesswoman. In that capacity, she worked hard to break many barriers for women in business, eventually becoming active in a number of business organizations such as Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

In 1992, Thompson threw her hat in the mayoral ring, winning the election in October of that year. She won a second term in 1995 and was instrumental in guiding forces in the fight against the Flood of the Century in 1997. Thompson did not seek a third term in 1998. Instead, in 1999, she was appointed as the Counsul General for Canada in Minnesota, the first woman to hold that position since it was instituted 30 years earlier. During her tenure as the Counsul General, Thompson actively promoted Canadian business and political interests with our southern neighbours.

Returning to Winnipeg in 2003, Thompson became the first and founding President and CEO of the University of Winnipeg Foundation, a position she held until 2011. The University of Winnipeg Foundation serves the University of Winnipeg in the areas of Students scholarships and bursaries, Capital projects, and academic enhancements.

Weir, Alice

  • Person
  • 1903-2003

Alice Mabel Weir was born in Kenora, Ontario, 1903. Her father, William A. Weir, was a banker who helped open the first Imperial Bank in Kenora. The Weirs moved to Winnipeg in 1910, where her father became the manager of the Clearing House.

Her career in dance started when Weir was in Quebec City. After moving to Winnipeg, she continued studying ballet as well as other performing arts, including piano and violin. Weir started teaching ballet when she was 18 years old. Her parents supported her in this endeavor and converted space in their home on Wardlaw Avenue to accommodate her ballet school. The living room and dining room of their home were transformed into her studio. Weir’s mother became her greatest supporter, creating costumes for her students’ recitals.

Alice taught dance because of a passion for dancing. She travelled to study with some of the great contemporaries of the time like Leon Leonidoff, director of Radio City Music Hall (New York). She also studied in Paris and London.

Alice and her pupils performed at different locations throughout Winnipeg, putting on recitals at the Royal Alexandra Hotel, the Walker Theatre, Eaton’s Grill Room, and the Winter Club to name a few.

In 1927, Weir started dance classes in Dauphin, Manitoba. In 1928, she moved her Winnipeg dance studio out of her parents’ home to McMillan Avenue. She married Julian A. Robins in 1932 and retired from teaching the same year. They had six children together. She died in 2003.

Allan, Hugh

  • Person
  • 1917-2004

For more information on Hugh Allan, see the Hugh Allan fonds at the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections.

Hugh Allan was born on May 14, 1917 in Cypress River, Manitoba, and eventually moved to Winnipeg, where he became a highly regarded photographer. Allan worked for many different employers, including Time Magazine and Maclean's, but he is most famous for his work with the Winnipeg Tribune, which employed him from 1950 to 1970. After leaving the Tribune, Allan worked as a freelance photographer. He passed away on May 30, 2004.

Block, Morris

  • Person
  • 1929-1998

Morris Block was born in Winnipeg on December 24, 1929. He was educated in Winnipeg where he earned two undergraduate degrees at the University of Manitoba (Science and Engineering) and graduated at the top of his Civil Engineering class in 1955. In 1958, he started the engineering firm M. Block & Associates. His interests included the history of Winnipeg and Manitoba and he collected a wide variety of materials relating to these two themes.

Shortly after graduation, Morris Block married Clara. They had six children. Morris Block died in December of 1998.

Berman, Martin

  • Person

Martin Berman grew up in Winnipeg but moved to Toronto to raise his family. He collected his first postcard on March 15, 1985. His goal was to collect postcards of Winnipeg and rural Manitoba.

Jordan, Edwin O.

  • Person

Jordan was the editor of the Journal of Infectious Diseases (Chicago).

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