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

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authority records

Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1960-1971

The Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (Metro) was established by Manitoba’s Metropolitan Winnipeg Act in 1960 to govern the distribution of services between the City and surrounding areas. It was dissolved in 1972 when suburban municipalities amalgamated with Winnipeg under the project called Unicity. Metro had jurisdiction over inter-municipal services such as water, parks and public transportation. It was responsible for municipal boards and commissions as well as services previously administered by suburban municipalities. Metro was affiliated with suburban municipal governments, rural and otherwise, for Brooklands, Charleswood, East Kildonan, Fort Garry, North Kildonan, Old Kildonan, Saint-Boniface, Saint-Vital, St. James, Transcona, Tuxedo, and West Kildonan. In 1969 the Province of Manitoba undertook a review of this system, which led to Metro’s dissolution. It was governed by a Council and Committees system, the administrative functions being organised into divisions, and each reporting to the Executive Director of the Corporation. In its time, Metro was the second two-tiered municipal government in North America.

North American Indigenous Games Host Society (Winnipeg), Inc.

  • Corporate body
  • 1997-2002

The 2002 North American Indigenous Games Host Society (Winnipeg) was incorporated after Winnipeg was awarded the 2002 North American Indigenous Games by the NAIG council. This award was based on a presentation made in December of 1997 by the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports & Recreation Council, 3 levels of government, Tourism Winnipeg, Manitoba Metis Federation and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. The mandate of the Society was to plan, organize, finance and stage the 2002 North American Indigenous Games in Winnipeg, and to leave a tangible legacy for Aboriginal sport and cultural activities for future generations. As the organizers of the event, the Host Society was responsible for event coordination, promotion, and fundraising as well as liaising with partners and other administrative tasks.

The North American Indigenous Games is a multi-sport and cultural celebration that involves Aboriginal athletes, performers, volunteers and spectators from across Canada and the United States. The Games have been held intermittently across North America since 1990, in culmination of a vision to hold games for the Indigenous Peoples of North American that began in the 1970s. The 2002 North American Indigenous Games were held in Winnipeg from July 25 to August 4, and made use of venues throughout Winnipeg and nearby communities. An estimated 6500 athletes and coaches, and 3000 performers and spectators, participated in cultural events and/or competed in 16 different sports. The official Host Broadcaster was the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

The 2002 NAIG was acclaimed as a successful and enjoyable athletic and cultural event. The Games had an estimated economic impact of almost $26 million in the province of Manitoba. An approximately $90,000 Legacy Plan was proposed by the Host Society’s Legacy Committee, and is intended to ensure that the knowledge, skills, and information gained because of the North American Indigenous Games continue to serve the Aboriginal sport community in the future.

The Host Society consisted of 8 Divisions; Host Society Management Division; Administration & Finance Division; Communications Division; Cultural Division; Operations Division; Sport Division; and Volunteer Division.

Old Kildonan (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1921-1971

The Rural Municipality of Old Kildonan, Manitoba was incorporated in 1921 following subdivision of the Rural Municipality of West Kildonan, and dissolved in 1972 when it joined eleven other municipalities in amalgamating with the City of Winnipeg. Its mandate was to provide municipal services to residents of the area. Its immediate predecessor, the Rural Municipality of West Kildonan, was incorporated in 1914 as a result of subdivision of the original Municipality of Kildonan (incorporated 1881, with jurisdiction over land on both the east and west sides of the Red River). Prior to creation of the Province of Manitoba in 1870, the area was administered by the Council of Assiniboia (1835-1870). Following the Dominion Government of Canada’s purchase of land from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1869, the newly formed Province of Manitoba had jurisdiction over the area and began the process of municipal incorporation. The signing of Treaty 1 with the Chippewa (Anishinabe) and Cree First Nations in 1871 increased settlement in the region and accelerated the process of municipal development. The name “Kildonan” dates from 1817, when the Earl of Selkirk created the Parish of Kildonan while visiting the colony he had established in 1812. The name refers to the Strath of Kildonan on the Sutherland estate in Scotland from whence a number of his settlers had come.

Smaill, William

  • Person
  • 1870-1947

William Smaill was born in Montréal in 1870 and was educated as a chemist and a civil engineer. In 1892, Smaill was living in Acadian Mines, Nova Scotia, but briefly returned to Montréal to marry Jane Robinson Batt, who was from Ireland. In 1894, they had a son, William Hubert, and a daughter, Margaret Kathleen, in 1896. Shortly after this, Smaill and his family moved to Rat Portage (now Kenora), where he worked as a mining engineer and had two more children: Elsie in 1899 and Carlton in 1901.

Smaill was involved in the construction of the Winnipeg Aqueduct that transports safe drinking water from Shoal Lake to Winnipeg. Preliminary work for the aqueduct began in 1914 and included the building of the Greater Winnipeg Water District Railway and the Falcon River Diversion that diverted the waters of Falcon River, which had an unwanted colour, to Snowshoe Bay. The diversion solved the problem of unwanted colouration of the water supply, but had the effect of limiting Kekekoziibii Shoal Lake 40 First Nation's access to the mainland. In September 1914, contracts were awarded to various companies to build portions of the aqueduct. The Northern Construction Company and the Carter Halls Aldinger Company made a joint bid and were awarded contracts 32, 33, and 34 to build over 47 miles of the aqueduct between Indian Bay and the Whitemouth River. The Winnipeg Aqueduct Construction Company, a conglomerate of Northern Construction and Carter Halls Aldiner, was incorporated in January 1915. William Smaill served as the new company’s superintendent, overseeing the construction of its portion of the aqueduct. The aqueduct was completed in March 1919.

Smaill took many photographs of the construction process and believed photography could be used as an engineering tool. He gave a paper to a University of Manitoba engineering class in 1918 titled, “The Uses of the Camera in Engineering Work”. He wrote several other papers on the aqueduct’s construction, including articles for the Excavating Engineer (1915 and 1917) out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Engineer News Records (1917), out of New York City.

Smaill and his family lived in several places while construction of the aqueduct was underway. These places included Reynolds, Manitoba, the Rural Municipality of Springfield, Manitoba, as well as various camps along the aqueduct’s construction route. Shortly after the aqueduct’s completion, Smaill and his wife moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he was involved in the construction of the Ballantyne Pier and the Second Narrows Bridge. Smaill’s son, William Hubert, also an engineer, served in the First World War as a sapper from 1916 to 1918. Smaill’s other son, Carlton, died in 1921. Smaill passed away in Vancouver in 1947.

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