Assiniboine Park Garden Party 2019

Susan Appointed to the Order of Manitoba Advisory Council

The Manitoba government has appointed three new members to the Order of Manitoba Advisory Council, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“I am pleased to welcome three distinguished Manitobans – Yvon Dumont, James Spencer and Susan Thompson – to the Order of Manitoba Advisory Council,” said Pallister. “They will play a key role in recommending nominees for the Order of Manitoba, our province’s highest honour.”

Yvon Dumont is a former lieutenant-governor of Manitoba and the first Métis person in Canadian history to hold a vice-regal office. Born and raised in St. Laurent, he is a former municipal councillor for the community, as well as an entrepreneur and small business owner. He was a founding member of the Native Council of Canada (1972), and has held several senior positions within the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), the Native Council of Canada (now the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples) and the Métis National Council (MNC). He has served on the University of Manitoba’s board of governors, and has received several prestigious awards including the Manitoba Metis Federation Award (1993), the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (1996), and the Order of Manitoba (2001).

James (Jim) Spencer is currently an independent consultant, after retiring from MLT Aikins LLP as a project manager and chief operating officer. Spencer’s past work experience includes being a former general manager of Red River Co-op and a former president of the Winnipeg Convention Centre. His extensive volunteer experience includes serving as a board member of the Manitoba Museum, Tourism Winnipeg and the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba.

Susan Thompson was the first woman to serve as mayor of Winnipeg, serving two terms from 1992 to 1998. This was among many firsts for Thompson. She was the first woman to own her family business, Birt Saddlery, in downtown Winnipeg. She was the first woman rotarian in Manitoba, the first woman consul general at the Canadian Consulate in Minneapolis, the first president of the Urban Idea Centre in Winnipeg and the founding president and CEO of the University of Winnipeg Foundation. Thompson is also a proud lifetime sponsor of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Winnipeg.

The Order of Manitoba recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents.

A 10-member advisory council evaluates all nominations and recommends candidates to the lieutenant-governor of Manitoba, who serves as the chancellor of the order.

The premier thanked outgoing members whose terms have expired for their commitment and contribution to the advisory council. These appointments are part of the Manitoba government’s efforts to continue to refresh the agencies, boards and commissions of the province, ensuring that Manitobans continue to be represented in these important positions by highly qualified and enthusiastic individuals, he added.

News Release from the Province of Manitoba

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Speaker’s Night, Youth Parliament of Manitoba

At the invitation of Adrienne Tessier, Premier of the Youth Parliament of Manitoba (YPM), I was the keynote speaker for their Annual Speaker’s Night Dinner on August 15th, 2018.

The Youth Parliament of Manitoba (YPM) was founded in 1922 and has been organizing an annual five-day model parliament for the province’s youth ever since. YPM is the second oldest continually-operating model parliament in the British Commonwealth and is a registered charity.

The YPM experience is designed to foster in youth understanding, interest and engagement in the Canadian parliamentary process and, in doing so, encourages growth of the individual and their abilities.

In preparing for the evening presentation, I asked for and received a list of questions that the members of the Youth Parliament would like me to address. There were many excellent questions provided but I could only focus on two of the questions given the time allotted.

Please find the presentation and photos from the event attached.

It was a very well attended event, with several past and present politicians and dignitaries attended. The members of the Youth Parliament of Manitoba in attendance were outstanding individuals with a great future ahead of them.

It was a sincere pleasure to share the evening with everyone.

Susan with Adrienne Tessier and Minister Rochelle Squires – Photograph Credit: Minister Rochelle Squires

Susan with Adrienne Tessier and Speaker of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly Myrna Driedger
Photograph Credit: Speaker Myrna Driedger

Susan with Sarah Guillemard MLA – Photograph Credit: Sarah Guillemard MLA

Susan with Sarah Guillemard MLA, Minister Colleen Mayer and Doyle Piwniuk MLA
Photograph Credit: Sarah Guillemard MLA

Susan speaking at the Youth Parliament of Manitoba Event – Photograph Credit: Minister Colleen Mayer

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Nellie McClung Foundation, AGM

Nellie McClung Foundation, AGM
Monday, Sept. 10,2018
5:30 pm to 7:30pm

St. Charles Country Club

As part of the Annual General Meeting of the Nellie McClung Foundation, Dr. Shannon Sampert and Susan Thompson, BA,LLD,OM were asked to present at the first Speakers Series  of the Nellie McClung Foundation.

The topic was “in Conversation with TRAILBLAZERS”.

The presentation consisted of a very stimulating and informative “In Conversation” with Shannon Sampert and Susan Thompson.

We were asked to discuss  what it means to be a Trailblazer; what situations we experienced in being a trailblazer; and what challenges we have faced as Trailblazers.

After a 25 minute conversation, it was then opened up to an “over sold” audience for questions.

Shannon and I hope that in providing our answers that interesting and helpful information was shared.

For more information on the Nellie McClung Foundation please contact:

The Nellie McClung Foundation posted a wonderful article about this event which you can find here.

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The Red Coat

Andrea Brown, Costume Museum of Canada

In 1995, I was going to be attending the meeting of the World Winter Cities Association of Mayors in Sapporo, Japan and then travelling to Harbin, China also (who would be hosting this international conference after Winnipeg).

Winnipeg was hosting this International Winter Cities Conference in 1996.

I knew I would be spending quite a lot of time outdoors in both of these winter cities at their fantastic winter festivals. I therefore knew I needed a well made, warm winter coat.

I had seen a photo of a coat I loved in Vogue Magazine.

My dearest, life long friend, Gayle Carson (Sykes) and her sister Valerie were excellent designers and seamstresses. I asked them if they would make me “the red coat”…and they agreed!

They were ingenious at finding the materials for this coat and were able to make it at a very minimal cost. The fur mandarin collar and cuffs were made of Hudson’s Bay seal fur, which was taken from a used seal coat they found at the Salvation Army Thrift store. The beautiful red fabric and chamois lining came from a Winnipeg fabric store. It was stunning. The coat turned out to be a real hit in both Japan and China. We understood that the colour red symbolized good fortune and joy.

It was a coat that I wore all the time in our Winnipeg winters.

The Red Coat is on display at the Costume Museum of Canada.

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Winnipeg Metropolitan Region – An Important Organization

I want to thank Colleen Sklar and the members of the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region for all of their tremendous leadership and dedication. Please go to the following link to their media release about this very important group. Also, here is a link to their publication, the Regional Times, which has a wonderful article about how this organization was started (on page 11).

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New City Hall plaque commemorates Susan A Thompson building dedication

Press release from the City of Winnipeg on October 27th, 2017.

At an event this morning, Councillor Devi Sharma was joined by former Mayor Susan Thompson to officially unveil a new plaque to commemorate the newly-named Susan A Thompson Building in the City Hall campus at 510 Main Street.

“As a passionate advocate for women’s equality, the dignity of all who participate in the political process, and the opportunity of all citizens to make a contribution to public life, Susan Thompson is an inspiration to me, and to a generation of Canadian women,” said Speaker Devi Sharma, City Councillor for Old Kildonan. “This plaque tells that story, and will be an eloquent reminder of her achievement, for generations to come.”

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 28 marks the 25th anniversary of Susan Thompson’s election win as the first female Mayor of Winnipeg, during which she served two terms as Winnipeg’s 40th Mayor. She later went on to serve as the first woman Consul General at the Canadian Consulate in Minneapolis and as the founding President & CEO of The University of Winnipeg Foundation. She was also a recipient of the Order of Manitoba and received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from The University of Winnipeg.

“Today is a most special “Moment in Time” and “Moment in History” for me and I again thank Winnipeg City Council for this honour,” said former Mayor Susan Thompson. “The installation of this plaque is a very re-affirming action by the Mayor and City Council in the support of the importance of all women and our contributions and leadership to our city and its communities. It completes the process of the honour of having the re-naming of the Administration Building to the Susan A Thompson Building. It also provides the appropriate information for citizens as to why this building was re-named. Coming on the eve of my 25th anniversary as being elected the first woman Mayor of the City of Winnipeg and still the one and only woman to have achieved this in our 143 year history, it is hopefully an inspiration for more women to aspire to political office. It is an important statement to make, especially in this month of October, which is Women’s History Month.”

Councillor Sharma first proposed the idea of renaming Administration Building after a female representative in order to recognize the important role of women in politics and to mark the 100th Anniversary of women’s first right to vote in Canada. The naming of the Susan A Thompson Building was supported unanimously by Council, and was formally dedicated on June 22, 2017.

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City of Winnipeg Administration Building Renamed in Honour of Susan A. Thompson

On Thursday, June 22,2017, the City of Winnipeg officially renamed the administration building in honour of Susan A. Thompson. The weather was spectacular and it was a truly lovely ceremony. We would like to thank Mayor Brian Bowman, Councillor and Speaker Devi Sharma and the City of Winnipeg Council for making this historic moment happen. It truly was a moment in time that will inspire many in our city going forward.

Here is the press release from the City of Winnipeg.

Winnipeg, MB – Today, Mayor Brian Bowman and Speaker Devi Sharma, joined by former Mayor Susan Thompson, officially unveiled the newly named Susan A. Thompson Building located on the City Hall Campus at 510 Main Street.

“I am pleased to be able to recognize former Mayor Susan Thompson in this way, and I want to thank my Council colleagues for their unanimous support for renaming the administration building in her honour,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Susan is a role model and inspiration for many other women across our community to become more involved in business and politics, and it is very fitting to recognize her as one of Winnipeg’s most influential women to advance the role of Canadian women in politics and to commemorate her commitment to public service.

During Susan Thompson’s two terms as Winnipeg’s 40th Mayor, one of her many considerable contributions to public service in Winnipeg was the implementation of the current administrative structure still utilized more than two decades later. After public office, Susan Thompson went on to serve as the first woman Consul General at the Canadian Consulate in Minneapolis, the founding President & CEO of The University of Winnipeg Foundation, and was a recipient of the Order of Manitoba. This year marks the 25th anniversary of her election win as the first female Mayor of Winnipeg.

“Simply said, this is one of the most incredible honours of my life,” said former Mayor Susan Thompson.” I am most grateful to Mayor Brian Bowman, Councillor and Speaker Devi Sharma, and all members of Winnipeg City Council for this most historic honour. We are in a time of history when the importance of recognizing and acknowledging the leadership of women is paramount, and the Susan A. Thompson Building makes this statement. Yes, it is my name on this building, and it is my wish that it also be a symbol of recognition and respect for all the women of Winnipeg. May it also be an encouragement to others to name more buildings in Winnipeg after the women of Winnipeg. With my name on this building come four cornerstones – truth, integrity, hard work, and perseverance. The only thing one ever truly owns in life is their name, and with these four cornerstones of my life, I am proud to have my name on this important City of Winnipeg building.”

As the City of Winnipeg’s first female Council Speaker, and strong advocate for women in politics, Councillor Sharma had been working with Mayor Bowman to identify a way to recognize women in politics. Councillor Sharma originally proposed the concept of renaming the building last year, as a way to recognize the important role of women in politics and to mark the 100th Anniversary of women’s first right to vote in Canada. The naming of the Susan A. Thompson Building was supported unanimously by Council.

“Former Mayor Susan Thompson’s commitment to our community, and equal opportunity, is an inspiration to women in Winnipeg and across Canada,” said Councillor Sharma. “The dedication of the Susan A. Thompson Building is a vivid reminder of her historic achievement. It will serve as a permanent reminder and a very important symbol of what women can aspire to, not only in politics, but in any sector they choose.”

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The 1997 Flood of the Century, Twenty Years Later

Twenty years ago today, the Red River was at its highest point during the Flood of the Century. The city was in a state of national emergency. The extraordinary work of the citizens of Manitoba and Winnipeg; the Canadian military; endless organizations were at its peak.

While those days were very stressful for our city and citizens, we can look back at the courage and hard work everyone in the city displayed and be thankful for the amazing people that live in our city. We will always be most grateful to the members of the Canadian Forces and all who helped us.

On this day, the water may have been raging, but the spirit of the city was alight and up to the task to protect us from the rising water. All we can say is thank you, to all those men and women and even children, who worked long hours in those days to save our city.

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University Women’s Club of Winnipeg – 7th Annual Signature Spring Luncheon, April 29th, 2017

Susan A. Thompson will be speaking at the 7 th Annual Signature Spring Luncheon for the University Women’s Club of Winnipeg. This event will be held at the St Charles Country Club at 11:15am, April 29th, 2017. All the proceeds will go to support the preservation of the Ralph Connor House, a national historic site.

The speech is titled “Women in Politics: Leading the Way”. Susan has spent a lifetime encouraging and supporting women to take on leadership roles. Today, more than ever, we need more women in leadership, especially in all levels.

Please join us for a most special event.

Susan will also have copies of Her Worship: Moments in History, Moments in Time for sale at this event.

Assiniboine Park Garden Party 2019

Best Wishes to HMCS Winnipeg being deployed, March 6, 2017

HMCS Winnipeg is leaving on a deployment that will last over 6 months. This deployment will be into the Indo-Asia- Pacific as part of POSEIDON CUTLASS 17.

I wish them all the very best. Like all Canadians, I am so very proud of the work the ship’s company of the HMCS Winnipeg does for us each and every day. Good luck, and fair winds.

– Susan A. Thompson

HMCS Winnipeg Sponsor