Memorable Manitobans: Wilfred Victor Sifton (1897-1961)
Born at Ottawa, Ontario on 17 March 1897, youngest of five sons of Clifford Sifton and Elizabeth Armanella Burrows (1861-1925), he left the University of Toronto to serve in the First World War, demobilizing with the rank of Major and receiving the Distinguished Service Order. He worked as a broker during the 1920s then took over as publisher of the Regina Leader-Post when the Sifton empire gained control of it.
In 1935, he moved to Winnipeg as General Manager of the Free Press and founded FP Publications as a holding company for several newspapers. During the Second World War, he served as an executive assistant to the defence minister, for which he was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He served as President of the Canadian Daily Newspapers Association (1938) and Canadian Press (1948-1950), and as Chair of the Board of Governors (1950-1952) and Chancellor (1952-1950) of the University of Manitoba. He wrote Rights and Citizenship: The Threat to Our Freedom (1954).
On 16 January 1925, he married Louise Caroline Macdonald (1895-1986) at Toronto and they had three children: John Wright Sifton, Carolyn Arma Sifton (1929-1976, wife of R. Hagen Peters), and Arma Louise Sifton (1931-1982, wife of J. Cecil Price). The family lived at 555 Wellington Crescent (1935-1936) and 514 Wellington Crescent (1936-1961).
He died at the Winnipeg Clinic on 21 April 1961 and was buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery at Toronto, Ontario.
Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archive Canada.
Ontario marriage registration, Ancestry.
“Victor Sifton dies suddenly,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 April 1961, page 1.
“Winnipeg publisher Sifton dies suddenly,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 April 1961, page 1.
“Funeral rites held for Victor Sifton,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 April 1961, page 1.
“John Sifton dies at 43,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 June 1969, page 1.
Obituary [Carolyn Sifton Peters], Winnipeg Tribune, 28 June 1976, page 15.
“Free Press heiress, 51, dies in Houston,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 July 1982, page 5.
Obituary [Armagh Sifton Price], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 July 1982, page 46.
“Widow of Victor Sifton dies at 92,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 May 1986, page 4.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
Carolyn A. Peters, Find-A-Grave.
Descendants of George Sparks, Family-Search.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 25 December 2019