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Memorable Manitobans: Laurie A. “Ali” Mainster (1925-2019)

Advertising executive.

Born at Winnipeg on 18 September 1925, son of Arthur Mainster (?-1951) and Fannie Cohen (c1884-1969), he attended the I. L. Peretz Folk School and St. John’s Technical High School. During the Second World War, he served as a wireless operator in the Royal Canadian Air Force. On 27 November 1948, he married Bernice “Bayla” Claman (1927-2017) and they had three children. He began a career in advertising with the Winnipeg Free Press Weekly Farmer, followed by positions with J. J. Gibbons Limited and Foster Advertising Limited (1962-1986). With the latter firm, he helped to organize Manitoba’s centennial celebrations in 1970. Leaving Foster as Executive Vice-President, he founded his own firm, Laurie A. Mainster Advertising Company. He was active with a variety of charitable and non-profit organizations, including the City of Winnipeg Library Foundation (Director), Central Canadian Council of B'nai Brith (President), I. L. Peretz Folk School (President), Winnipeg Jewish Theatre (President), Rosh Pina Synagogue (President), Asper Jewish Community Campus of Winnipeg Capital Building Campaign (Marketing Chairman), and Rainbow Stage Productions (President). He was also a board member of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation, Jewish National Fund, Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, Canadian Friends of Hebrew University, Canadian Associates of Ben Gurion University, Congregation Etz Chayim, Variety Club of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Football Club, Seven Oaks General Hospital Foundation, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and Royal Canadian Legion (General Monash Branch). He died at Winnipeg on 8 April 2019 and was buried in the Hebrew Sick Benefit Cemetery.


Obituary [Fannie Mainster], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 August 1969, page 35.

Obituary [Bernice Mainster], Winnipeg Free Press, 15 April 2017.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 20 April 2019.

Burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 8 June 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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