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

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people and organizations

Winnipeg (Man.). Winnipeg War Memorial Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1927-1929

The City of Winnipeg was incorporated in 1873 by a charter granted by the legislature of Manitoba. At incorporation, the City established a committee system of government: while Council was the governing body for the City, it was in committee that civic policies were formed and executed. The initial task for the first and all subsequent Councils was to strike standing committees for the Council year. In addition to standing committees, Council established special committees to investigate and manage various projects, issues and questions placed before the City. Special committees were typically struck by a Council motion that outlined committee composition and responsibilities.

In 1920, the Women's Canadian Club of Winnipeg erected a temporary monument in front of the Bank of Montreal building at Portage and Main. When the temporary monument was taken down in November of 1923 to make way for the Bank's own war memorial, the question of securing a site and constructing a monument for the City to honor its war dead was again raised by citizens. Given that the City had an interest in the outcome of this initiative, Council appointed representatives to the Winnipeg War Memorial Committee by motion on February 21, 1927. The Winnipeg War Memorial Committee had representation from groups like the Canukeena Club, the Imperial Veterans, the Army and Navy Veterans, the War Widows Association, the Women's Canadian Club, the Rotary Club, the Trades and Labour Council, the Canadian Legion, the I.O.D.E., and Winnipeg City Council. The committee concluded its work in June of 1929 when it requested that the memorial it had unveiled in November of 1928 be transferred to the Parks Board for perpetual care and maintenance.

Brooklands (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1921-1968

Both the Rural Municipality and the Village of Brooklands were incorporated on June 10, 1921 through Order in Council No. 36806. Originally part of the Rural Municipality of Rosser, Brooklands qualified for village status under section 9 of chapter 133 of The Municipal Act. The Letters Patent incorporating Brooklands as a village describe the municipality’s original boundaries as “comprising not more than 640 acres, formerly comprised within the limits and extent of the Rural Municipality of Rosser, bounded on the south by Notre Dame Avenue, on the east by Keewatin Street, on the north by Geyser Avenue, and on the west by the center line running north and south of section 14 in township 11 in range 2 east of the first principal meridian in the Province of Manitoba.” On October 4, 1961, under section 16 of The Municipal Act and through Order in Council No. 1207, the Village of Brooklands became a Town. Six years later, in 1967, the Town of Brooklands amalgamated into the City of St. James. In 1968, a further merger between the City of St. James and the Rural Municipality of Assiniboia resulted in formation of the new City of St. James-Assiniboia, which in turn joined eleven other municipalities in amalgamation with the City of Winnipeg in 1972.

Note that from 1939 until 1954, the Village of Brooklands was under the jurisdiction of the Municipal and Public Utility Board. In 1959, after approximately four years of independence, the Village was taken back under the supervision of the Public Utility Board. In 1954, after nearly eighteen years under a provincial trustee, Brooklands was granted the right to administer its own school affairs.

As in other municipalities, government organization in Brooklands was dictated by its letters patent. Accordingly, council consisted of a mayor, sometimes called a reeve, and four councilors elected by qualified electors of the village/town. Council duties included the formulation of public policy, implementation and administration. Like other municipal councils, policy administration was delegated to standing committees comprised of council members. Standing committees were: finance, by-laws, public works, social welfare, water works, fire and police services. In addition to these functions, the municipality was responsible for assessment, tax collection, elections, and for at least part of its history, overseeing a school district. In the 1960’s, with powers acquired when it achieved Town status, council established a Parks Board and an Industrial Development Board.

Typically, daily operations within a municipality are carried out by line departments. It is likely that these records were merged into departmental records in the City of St. James following the merger in 1967, and subsequently into record series in the City of St. James-Assiniboia and the City of Winnipeg at amalgamation. Remaining records for the Village and Town of Brooklands provide little information on departmental organization or operations.

Clark, Owen

  • Person
  • 1938-

Owen Clark was born on July 16, 1938 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His first experience playing a musical instrument occurred in 1955 at a Canadian Army cadet camp in Dundurn, Saskatchewan where he played the snare drum. A year later at Tec Voc High School in Winnipeg, Clark replaced an absent bass drummer in a school performance, and decided to become a professional musician when he was invited to join the country group, the CKY Playboys in the late 1950s. In 1971, Clark graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education and a Licentiate Diploma in Performance (High Distinction in Percussion) from McGill University in Montreal. In 1974, he received a Masters of Science in Education (Major in Music) from Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minnesota. Clark has five children and is married to Kolleen Karlowsky.

Clark’s musical skills include drums, vocals, percussion, electric bass, composing and arranging. For many years, he taught The History of Rock Music and Percussion at the University of Manitoba, and Music, Canadian History and Computer courses in the Seven Oaks School Division (Winnipeg). He was a radio announcer and chair of the program committee at CJNU radio station in Winnipeg and performed for radio and television, including recording at CBC (TV and Radio), CTV, CKND, and Shaw cable television network. In addition, Clark performed on albums, jingles, films, documentaries and videos at major Winnipeg recording studios. His symphonic experience includes the CBC Montreal Opera Orchestra, Les Grande Ballets Canadienne, National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa), Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, National Ballet, the Manitoba Opera Co., and the CBC Winnipeg Orchestra. Commercially, Clark has performed Classical, Jazz, Rock, Country, Pop, Latin music and in musical theatre, and has appeared with Stevie Wonder, Sarah Vaughan, the Four Aces, Esquivel, Lionel Hampton, Jazzmobile, Stanley Black, Arthur Fiedler, Vincent Price, the Queen City Kids, Rich Little, Lenny Breau, Tom Jackson, Harry Belafonte, Ron Paley, Bob Hope, Andy Williams, Gloria Loring, Freddy Fender, Pat Boone, Bobby Curtola, Len Cariou, Catherine McKinnon, and on Sesame Street, Disney On Parade, the Ice Capades, Alan Blye, Aubrey Tadman, Rainbow Stage, Manitoba Theatre Centre, and The Warehouse Theatre. As co-owner of Clark Productions Ltd. since 1980, Clark plays drums, bass, and percussion and sings with Owen Clark and the Good Time Dance Band, the Owen Clark Big Band, the Ragtime Strutters, and the Owen Clark Jazz Group. He also freelances with many bands, singers, and performing groups in the Winnipeg area. In 2008 he published the book, Musical Ghosts: Manitoba’s Jazz and Dance Bands, 1914-1966 using many photographs from his Collection in the book.

As part of a creative arts committee at Elwick Community School in Winnipeg, Manitoba Clark was awarded the Hilroy Fellowship for Innovative Teaching in 1986. In 2009, he received the Manitoba Jazz Musician of the Year Award and an Association for Manitoba Archives Manitoba Day Award. In 2011 he was nominated for a Winnipeg Arts Council Arts Award.

Frost, Richard L. (Rick)

  • Person

Richard L. (Rick) Frost worked for 25 years in municipal public service and was the Chief Commissioner of the City of Winnipeg from 1989 until 1997. During his municipal career, he served in many leadership roles including President of the Canadian Municipal Managers Association, President of the Ontario Municipal Management Association and President of the Ontario Municipal Management Development Board. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of The Winnipeg Foundation, Canada’s oldest and third largest community foundation. Since joining The Winnipeg Foundation in 1997, he has served on the Boards of many organizations including the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, The Associates – Asper School of Business, and Dorais Charities. He is also Past Chair of Community Foundations of Canada, a national membership organization serving Canada’s 190+ community foundations and serves on the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council. Mr. Frost holds a Master of Arts (History) from McMaster University, a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University and Honorary Doctorates of Law from both the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba.

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.

Winnipeg (Man.). Advisory Traffic Commission

  • Corporate body
  • 1936-1954

The Advisory Traffic Commission was founded in 1936, with the passing of By-Law No. 14849. This By-Law was repealed in 1954, with the founding of the City of Winnipeg Traffic Commission. The Advisory Traffic Commission acted in an advisory capacity on all matters of traffic and pedestrian regulation in Winnipeg. Members of the Commission were appointed by Council.

Examples of Advisory Traffic Commission business were:
-Forming a Traffic Squad in the police department.
-Pedestrian control, including limiting crossing to intersections and crosswalks.
-Requests to erect stop signs at intersections.
-Implementing and regulating parking meters.
-Implementing parking bans.
-Implementing and regulating traffic signal systems.
-Regulating street cars.
-Widening streets.
-Turning restrictions.
-Loading zones.

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.

Winnipeg (Man.). Board of Control

  • Corporate body
  • 1907-1918

Formed by four Controllers, the Board of Control was added to the City Council in 1907 in accordance with By-Law 4148. The Board of Control was elected annually by a vote of the entire city to conduct the executive work of the City of Winnipeg. As the executive body, responsibilities of the Board of Control included financial matters, the calling of tenders and awarding of contracts, directing and controlling departments, the nomination of all heads and subheads of departments and other permanent employees, inspecting and reporting to Council on municipal works within the city, and generally administering the affairs of the city (excepting the Public Schools and Police Department). The Board of Control was abolished by vote at the end of 1918.

Winnipeg (Man.). Committee on Public Works

  • Corporate body
  • 1874-1971

The Committee on Public Works was a standing committee of Council. The Committee's roles and responsibilities changed over the years as it gained or lost different functions and duties. Jurisdiction of the Committee over the years included the Engineers Department, Shops Department, City Quarries, Sewer Inspection and Maintenance, City Yards, Streets and Sidewalks, Snow Clearing, Bridges and Subways, Street Name and House Numbering, Civic Buildings, Concrete and Asphalt Plant, City Gravel Pit, and Reports of City Surveyor on Plans and Surveys. The committee was required to report to Council on all of these matters, and to recommend works of permanent improvement.

Names of the Committee changed several times over the years, as is reflected in the committee minutes. Names of the committee have included Works Committee, Committee on Works, Works and Property Committee, Committee on Public Improvements, and, finally, the Committee on Public Works.

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.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Street Railway Transportation Matters

  • Corporate body
  • 1930-1950

The City of Winnipeg was incorporated in 1873 by a charter granted by the legislature of Manitoba. At incorporation, the City established a committee system of government: while Council was the governing body for the City, it was in committee that civic policies were formed and executed. The initial task for the first and all subsequent Councils was to strike standing committees for the Council year. In addition to standing committees, Council established special committees to investigate and manage various projects, issues and questions placed before the City. Special committees were typically struck by a Council motion that outlined committee composition and responsibilities. From about 1924 onward, special committees and their associated files were assigned an alpha-numeric code beginning with the letter "A".

The Special Committee on Street Railway Transportation Matters (originally the Special Committee on Transportation Question) was established by Council motion in October of 1930 for the purpose of "investigating the whole question of the providing of transportation within the limits of the City of Winnipeg". A key issue was the proposed purchase of the Winnipeg Electric Company by the City, and so the series contains considerable information about the Winnipeg Electric Company and the role it played in passenger transportation. Public transportation in Winnipeg dates from 1882, when horse cars were first used. The first electric car began operating in 1892 and horse cars were discontinued in 1894. Gasoline buses were first used in 1918 and trolley buses in 1938. The Winnipeg Electric Street Railway was formed in 1892. By 1900, this company had purchased the horse car company, the Manitoba Electric and Gas Light Company and the Northwest Electric Company. By 1946, the company was operating 30 trolley buses, 215 passenger street cars and 184 motor buses in the greater Winnipeg area and employed 2,432 people, see the Annual Report, 1946 in A9 (17). See also file A9 (16) for a Transit Map of Greater Winnipeg for the winter of 1943-1944.

After protracted negotiations, the proposed purchase was abandoned and the Committee turned instead towards discussion of a new franchise agreement between the City and the Winnipeg Electric Company. A further round of negotiations regarding purchase of the company by the City began in the spring of 1945. The name of the Committee was changed by Council motion on March 6, 1939 to Special Committee on Transportation Franchise and again in June of 1944 to Special Committee on Street Railway Transportation Matters. The file code for this special committee was A9.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Housing Conditions, Winnipeg Housing Company Limited

  • Corporate body
  • 1933-1945

The City of Winnipeg was incorporated in 1873 by a charter granted by the legislature of Manitoba. At incorporation, the City established a committee system of government: while Council was the governing body for the City, it was in committee that civic policies were formed and executed. The initial task for the first and all subsequent Councils was to strike standing committees for the Council year. In addition to standing committees, Council established special committees to investigate and manage various projects, issues and questions placed before the City.

The Special Committee on Housing Conditions was formed in 1933 and was responsible for the creation of the Winnipeg Housing Company Limited.

On June 28, 1937, Council accepted a report by the Special Committee on Housing Conditions and instructed the City Solicitor to draft incorporation papers for a company to be known as the Winnipeg Housing Company Limited. The company charter was granted by the Province of Manitoba and issued on July 17, 1937. Formation of the Company had been proposed by the Special Committee to address a severe housing shortage and to provide employment to construction workers and tradesmen during a period of severe unemployment. As well, the Company would enable the City to take advantage of provisions in the Dominion Housing Act for the construction of low cost housing. The success of this endeavor depended upon an amendment to the City's charter to allow the City to exchange residential building lots for common stock in the Company. While this amendment was before the Provincial Legislature, the Company constructed a demonstration home at 804 Ashburn Street; some 20,000 people toured this home in the fall of 1937 and the Company received expressions of interest in building similar homes from a significant number of these visitors. Early in 1938, the bill to amend the City of Winnipeg Charter was defeated in the Provincial Legislature and no further homes were built. In 1938, the Company reorganized to enable construction of low cost rental housing under part two of the National Housing Act of 1937. The Company filed returns at both the provincial and federal level until 1945.

The first (provisional) directors of the Company were: Mayor Frederick Warriner and Aldermen E. D. Honeyman, R. A. Sara, J. Blumberg and J. Simpkin. Alderman Sara, who served as Secretary-Treasurer and Secretary of the Company, was also Chairman of the City's Special Committee on Housing Conditions for the years 1937-1941. In September of 1937, Frank E. Halls of the construction company Carter, Halls, Aldinger Co. was elected a Director and then President of the Company.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Publicity Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1919-1920

The City of Winnipeg was incorporated in 1873 by a charter granted by the legislature of Manitoba. At incorporation, the City established a committee system of government: while Council was the governing body for the City, it was in committee that civic policies were formed and executed. The initial task for the first and all subsequent Councils was to strike standing committees for the Council year. In addition to standing committees, Council established special committees to investigate and manage various projects, issues and questions placed before the City. Special committees were typically struck by a Council motion that outlined committee composition and responsibilities.

The Special Publicity Committee was appointed by Council in April of 1919 to consider and report on the advisability and associated cost of organizing an advertising campaign to be directed at manufacturing firms and industries that might consider locating in the City of Winnipeg. The committee consisted of three aldermen, the City Solicitor and the manager of the Light and Power Department. Members considered submissions from a number of individuals and firms regarding the proposed campaign, ultimately placing advertisements in various publications. The Special Publicity Committee adjourned in 1920.

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