Memorable Manitobans: James George “Jim” Blanchard (1948-2022)
Born at Minnedosa on 27 June 1948, the third of four children of Alvin Gourlay Blanchard (1911-1988) and Mabel Lois Burnett (1915-2004), he grew up in Brandon. He received a BA in History from Brandon University (1969), an MA in History from University of Manitoba (1976), and an MLS from the University of Western Ontario (1977).
He worked as a professional librarian in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, serving as a reference librarian at Winnipeg Public Library, as the Librarian of the Canadian Grain Commission, Director of Public Library Services for the Province of Manitoba, and Head of Reference Services at Elizabeth Dafoe Library at the University of Manitoba until retirement in 2014.
His keen interest in Winnipeg history and his droll sense of humour were evident in several acclaimed scholarly and popular books:
He also wrote book chapters, including one on the life of early Manitoba Premier Rodmond Roblin, along with numerous magazine and journal articles, newspaper columns, and book reviews. In his later years, he was a staunch advocate for the reopening of the City of Winnipeg Archives in its former home in the Carnegie Library on William Avenue. An active member of the Manitoba Historical Society, he served as Chair of its McWilliams Award Committee in the early 1990s, President (2000-2002), and Co-Chair of the Dalnavert Museum Management Committee (2004-2005).
His articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:
In 2019, he received a Lieutenant Governor's Award for Historical Preservation and Promotion in recognition of his work in promoting awareness of the history of Winnipeg. He was married twice and had three children.
He died at Winnipeg on 23 September 2022.
Marriage registration [Alvin Gourlay Blanchard, Lois Mabel Burnett], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Hundreds of Brandon U. students earn degrees,” Brandon Sun, 14 May 1969, page 5.
Grave transcriptions, Brandon Municipal Cemetery.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 24 September 2022