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.). Special Committee on Investigation of the Fire Department

  • 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. 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 Investigation of the Fire Department was appointed by Council on May 13, 1919. It was composed of three aldermen, a representative of the Western Canada Fire Underwriters’ Association, one citizen member and one member of the Firemen’s Union. The Special Committee was instructed to review departmental operations with a view to recommending changes that would improve efficiency. The final report of the Special Committee was submitted to Council on May 25, 1920. While the Special Committee file does not contain a copy of the final report, the report was referred from Council to the Committee on Fire, Water, Light and Power and from there to the Committee on Public Safety (two copies of the report are located in File 12 of this committee’s communications). No file code was assigned to this special committee.

Charles E. Goad Company

  • Corporate body
  • 1895-1915

The Charles E. Goad Company was established by Charles Goad in Montreal in 1875 and dominated the Canadian fire insurance plan business for more than fifty years. Fire insurance underwriting firms like Goad’s produced detailed plans of urban communities for subscribing fire insurance companies and their agents to assist in assessing fire liability of insurance holders. At the time of his death in 1910, Goad and his surveyors had mapped over thirteen hundred Canadian communities. The company continued under the direction of Goad’s three sons. In 1911, an agreement was reached between the Goad Company and the Canadian Fire Underwriters’ Association (CFUA) by which the Goad’s was to make and revise plans for the CFUA. The agreement was terminated in 1917 and soon after the CFUA acquired exclusive rights to revise and reprint the Goad plans for the use of Association members. The company ceased production of fire insurance plans by 1918 and was dissolved in 1930.

Charleswood (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1913-1971.

The Rural Municipality of Charleswood was incorporated in 1913 when the community on the south side of the Assiniboine River chose to separate from the Municipality of Assiniboia. The RM included those portions of the Parishes of Headingley and St. Charles that lay south of the river, but excluded any property belonging to the Town of Tuxedo or City of Winnipeg. According to the Charleswood Historical Society, Charleswood was either named after the councilman Charles Kelly or the Parish of St. Charles and the nearby woodlands. An Act to Amend "The Municipal Boundaries Act" officially created the RM. This piece of provincial legislation came into force on February 15, 1913. George Chapman became the first Reeve shortly thereafter.

Councils consisted of a Reeve or Mayor and four Councillors. The functional responsibilities of the RM of Charleswood were defined in versions of The Municipal Act and would later change in 1960 with the creation of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg. At one time, the municipal office would have included the following positions: City Clerk, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Works, Municipal Accountant, Chief Constable, Fire Chief, Shop Foreman, Draughtsman, and Welfare Officer. The law firm Lawrence & Sansome was routinely hired as solicitors and Templeton Engineering served as consultants for many years. In addition to Council, the municipal government included the Town Planning Committee, Public Works Committee, and Charleswood Voluntary Fire Brigade. It was part of the St. James-St. Vital-Fort Garry-Charleswood-Assiniboia-Tuxedo Health Unit.

Charleswood was a predominantly rural area supported by agricultural production, dairy and poultry farms, and mink ranches. Following the Second World War, there was a marked increase in population and an expansion of residential areas. One development that dates from this time was a settlement for ex-servicemen called Roblin Park, a project made possible by the Veteran’s Land Act. The growth of Charleswood into “the Suburb Beautiful” was accompanied by the increase and diversification of local services and businesses. The municipal government mirrored these changes and constructed the first Municipal Civic Centre in 1965.

The RM of Charleswood ceased to exist in 1972, when Chapter 105 of the Statutes of Manitoba came into force unifying twelve area municipalities and the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg into one city government. Following amalgamation, Charleswood Park was created as part of the new municipal structure.

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.

St. Vital (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1880-1971

The Rural Municipality and City of St. Vital dates to 1880 when the RM of St. Boniface was incorporated. After the Town of St. Boniface was formed in 1883, the RM of St. Boniface continued to operate as its own government and in 1903 changed its name to St. Vital to avoid confusion. The name likely derives from one of the earliest schools in the area built by Bishop Taché and named after his coadjutor Bishop Vital Grandin. The municipality experienced a series of boundary changes beginning in 1891 when it was reduced to the east and extended in the west and south. Further alterations were made in 1912 when the community on the west side of the Red River separated to form the RM of Fort Garry, and then in 1914, when a large tract of land was annexed to the City of St. Boniface and land annexed from the RM of Ritchot. It was bounded on the west and east by the Red and Seine Rivers, Carriere Avenue on the north and Grande Pointe on the south. It included parts of the Parishes of St. Boniface, St. Vital, and St. Norbert. In 1960, St. Vital became part of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg. With the passing of An Act to provide a Charter for the City of St. Vital, it achieved city status on June 9, 1962.

Councils consisted of a Reeve or Mayor and, in most instances, six councillors. The municipality derived authority from provincial legislation and was subject to the provisions of The Municipal Act, The Metropolitan Winnipeg Act and The Greater Winnipeg Gas Distribution Act. It briefly lost its mandate to govern between 1925 and 1927 when the Winnipeg Suburban Municipal Board stepped in due to financial difficulties. Standing committees and delegations changed from year to year in response to municipal growth. Council members notably participated in the St. Vital Advisory Planning Commission, St. Vital Library Board, and St. Vital Parks Board. Departments within the municipality included Administration, Public Works, Police and Fire. In 1952, Police and Fire went from being one department into two. Shortly after St. Vital became a city in 1962, the position of Secretary-Treasurer was split into City Clerk and City Treasurer.

The City of St. Vital ceased to exist in 1972, when Chapter 105 of the Statutes of Manitoba came into force unifying twelve area municipalities and the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg into one city government. Following amalgamation, the Community of St. Vital was created as part of the new municipal structure.

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.

Winnipeg (Man.). Parks and Recreation Department

  • Corporate body

Development of Winnipeg’s network of public parks began when the Public Parks Board was created by the City of Winnipeg in 1893 and empowered to acquire land for park purposes. In addition to park development, the Parks Board constructed and operated municipal golf courses and swimming pools, was involved in city beautification through tree planting and boulevard maintenance, and managed recreational facilities, the zoo and municipal cemeteries. The Parks Board evolved into the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Winnipeg following a re-organization of municipal government in the greater Winnipeg area in the 1970s.

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