Manitoba Historical Society
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Help Keep History Alive ... Join the Manitoba Historical Society

Are you interested in the history of Manitoba and Western Canada? If so, the Manitoba Historical Society is for you! Membership is open to individuals, students, families, organizations, and businesses.

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Become a member using the MHS Online Shop.

Please contact the MHS office with questions and to become an MHS member.

Benefits of membership in the Manitoba Historical Society include:

Manitoba History
Our journal, published three times a year, is devoted to the history of Manitoba and Western Canada. It contains well researched, scholarly articles as well as articles of general interest and book reviews.

Our website contains a wide variety of historical information drawn from our publications (Transactions, Manitoba Pageant, Manitoba History). It also contains unique documents and articles, biographies, historic sites, lists of award recipients, and information about the MHS museums and programs.

Ross House Museum
This log house, site of the first post office in western Canada, was built in 1852 by William Ross. It has been moved twice and is now located in Joe Zuken Heritage Park, in Winnipeg’s Point Douglas neighborhood. Ross House Museum, open during summer months, illustrates life as it was during the time of the Red River Settlement.

Sir John A. Macdonald Dinner
This event is held annually on the Saturday closest to the birthday of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. It is the Society’s primary fundraiser. Dinners feature guest speakers on a variety of topics.

Multicultural Dinner
This annual events highlights the ethnic diversity of Manitoba. Each dinner features a particular group, including its indigenous foods and beverages, and accompanied by a presentation on its activities in Manitoba. Dinners have been held at the Centro Caboto, the Icelandic Club, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, the Czech and Slovak Association, the St. John’s Cathedral, the Winnipeg Chilean Association Hall, the Hindu Society of Manitoba Temple, the Asper Jewish Community Campus, and the Polish Combatants Association Hall.

Field Trips
The MHS operates guided historic bus tours to various sites in the region. Recent trips have included stops at Wawanesa’s Sipiweske Museum, the Archibald Museum near La Rivière, the Inglis grain elevators, the Royal Canadian Artillery Museum in Shilo, and the northern communities of The Pas, Flin Flon, and Grand Rapids. The MHS has prepared walking tour guides of the Tuxedo, Crescentwood, Wolseley, and Point Douglas neighbourhoods in Winnipeg.

The MHS’s standing committees address topics of specific interest. Some committees are responsible for research, planning, and presentation of awards, or operation of museums. Others are more wide-ranging in their terms of reference. At present, committees include: Centennial Business, Centennial Farm, Centennial Organization, McWilliams, Young Historians, Field Trip, Publications, Membership, Program, Macdonald Dinner, Historic Preservation, and Heritage Trust.

The Program Committee, often in collaboration with other MHS committees and external groups, organizes presentations on a range of topics.

Affiliated societies
The MHS’s mandate includes assistance in the formation and work of local historical societies in furthering the objectives of the Society throughout Manitoba. Any local, regional, national, or international group which endorses the objectives of the MHS is invited to become an affiliated society with a view toward facilitating intercommunication and mutual enrichment.

Centennial Farm Awards
This program was initiated by the MHS in 1980 to recognize farms which have been operated continuously for 100 years or more by a single family. To date, over 1,200 farms have been so designated throughout southern Manitoba. Recipient families receive a plaque or certificate, usually at a formal presentation ceremony. A separate Century Farm program of the provincial government provides signs which recipient families post at their farm gate.

Centennial Business Awards
In 1999, the MHS initiated the Manitoba Centennial Business Awards to recognize businesses that have operated continuously in the province for over 100 years. Changes in business location and ownership are permitted. Recipient businesses, of which there have been 52 so far, are presented with a commemorative plaque at the annual Macdonald Dinner or at an event sponsored by the recipient.

Centennial Organization Awards
This program was started in 2004 as part of the MHS’s 125th anniversary celebrations. It commemorates 100 years of continuous operation by non-profit organizations, clubs, congregations, and associations in the areas of culture, economic development, education, health, heritage, labour, politics, recreation and sport, religion, and social reform. Numerous awards have been made to date, usually at our annual awards ceremony.

Margaret McWilliams Awards
This award, one of the oldest literary awards in Canada, was instituted in 1955 as a memorial to Margaret S. McWilliams, a well-known Manitoba author, by her husband, former Lieutenant-Governor Roland F. McWilliams. Its purpose is to encourage the study and interpretation of the history of Manitoba. Certificates are presented at our annual awards ceremony to authors of scholarly books, popular books, local histories, and other works.

Page revised: 22 July 2015

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