Memorable Manitobans: Étienne-Joseph “Steve” Gaboury (1930-2022)
Born at Bruxelles on 24 April 1930, youngest of thirteen children born to Napoléon Gaboury (1887-1947) and Valentine Lafreniere (1892-1957), he grew up on the family farm near Swan Lake. In 1949, he began studies in Lat Philosophy at the Collège de Saint-Boniface, graduating in 1953. He studied Architecture at the University of Manitoba (1958) then at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts at Paris (1958-1959). He practiced architecture in Winnipeg with the firm of Libling Michener and Associates and later with Gaboury, Lussier and Sigurdson Architects. In 1976 he founded Gaboury Associates Architects, later known as Gaboury Préfontaine Perry Architects. He completed more than 300 projects around the world but was especially well known for his regional prairie designs that incorporated physical, emotional, and spiritual elements.
Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:
In recognition of his work and service, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (1970). He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Manitoba (1987) and awards from Heritage Canada, Heritage Winnipeg, and Manitoba Association of Architects. He received the Manitoba Centennial Medal (1970), Le Prix Riel (2000), and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012), and he was inducted into the Order of Canada (2010) and Order of Manitoba (2012).
On 1 September 1956, he married Claire Breton and they had a daughter and three sons.
He died at the St. Boniface Hospital on 14 October 2022. A collection of his work documents and correspondence is held by La Société historique de Saint-Boniface.
Obituary [Aurelie Gaboury], Winnipeg Free Press, 24 May 1943, page 2.
“Tenders invited,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 August 1961, page 14.
“Police station okayed,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 March 1962, page 3.
“Call for courthouse tenders authorized by St. Boniface,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 September 1963, page 4.
“Gaboury gets fellowship,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 May 1970.
“U of M confers six honorary degrees,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 June 1987, page 22.
Hills of Home: Treasured Memories of Bruxelles by Bruxelles History Book Committee, 1992, pages 271-273.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 19 October 2022.
We thank Susan Algie and Michel Lagace for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 18 February 2023