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

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authority records

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.

Kildonan (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1880-1914

The municipality of Kildonan was originally formed from the municipality of Kildonan and St. John’s (incorporated in 1876) after the passing by the Provincial Government of the Municipal Incorporation Act of 1873. The municipality of Kildonan and St. John’s was renamed Kildonan after the Provincial Act of 1880, with jurisdiction over land on both the east and west sides of the Red River. 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.). Committee on Legislation and Reception

  • Corporate body
  • [1874?]-1957

The Committee on Legislation and Reception was responsible for wages and working conditions of civic employees, staff changes and appointments, grievances concerning civic personnel, labour union negotiations, work of the employer-employee advisory board, general legislation and charter amendments, and for reporting on legislation and receptions.

Names of the Committee over the years have included the Legislative Committee, Committee on Legislation, Reception, Trade and Commerce, Committee on Legislation and Reception, and Committee on Personnel and Legislation (1950-1957).

In 1958 the duties of the Committee on Personnel and Legislation were taken over by the Committee on Finance. In 1960 the Standing Committee on Utilities and Personnel was formed by By-Law 18236 to perform the combined functions of the former Committee on Personnel and Legislation and Committee on Public Works.* (See Municipal Manual, 1960 and Council Minutes 1957-1960).

Winnipeg (Man.). Committee on Public Utilities

  • Corporate body
  • 1920-1957

The Committee on Public Utilities was responsible for Hydro Electric, Steam Heating, and Street Lighting Systems, Construction, Operation and Maintenance of Water Mains and Sewers, Garbage Collection and Disposal, and Street Cleaning.

In 1958 the duties of the Committee on Public Utilities were taken over by the Committee on Public Works. In 1960 the Standing Committee on Utilities and Personnel was formed by By-Law 18236 to perform the combined functions of the former Committee on Public Utilities and Committee on Personnel and Legislation.

Winnipeg (Man.). Committee on Urban Renewal and Redevelopment

  • Corporate body
  • 1958-1971

The committee was appointed in 1958, and was responsible for considering and reporting on public and emergency housing projects, zoning, town planning, enforcement of by-laws relating to urban renewal, rehabilitation or conservation areas, matters relating to the Civic Centre, Public Safety Building, and Parking Garage, and the appointment of a technical committee to report and advise on the above mentioned activities.

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