Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Mary Kelekis (c1925-2019)


Born at Winnipeg around 1925, one of six daughters of restauranteur Chrystomis Kelekis, she attended Daniel McIntyre Collegiate before joining the family business in the 1930s, operating what became a Winnipeg institution until its closure in January 2013. She also helped to establish the Folklorama multicultural festival, and served on the Misericordia Hospital Foundation. In recognition of her community service, she was inducted into the Order of Manitoba (2000) and she received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012), and Winnipeg Press Club Presidents Award. She was a member of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. She died at Winnipeg in September 2019 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery. She was inducted into the Manitoba Business Hall of Fame (2015) and was selected posthumously as a Manitoba Women Trailblazer (2021).


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 7 September 2019.

Beloved Winnipeg restauranteur and Folklorama co-founder Mary Kelekis dead at 94,” CBC News, 7 September 2019.

Tough but tender: Restaurant owner Mary Kelekis dies at 94,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 September 2019.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 December 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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