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Until Election Day
on October 24

News Releases

November 1, 2013

Winnipeggers respond to City's request for help in locating this year's City Hall Christmas tree

Twelve meter high Colorado blue spruce set to arrive at 510 Main Street on Sunday, November 3, 2013

Released: 9:57 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB - The annual tradition of moving a citizen-donated Christmas tree to City Hall will take place this Sunday, November 3.

This year's tree, selected from 270 candidates, comes from the yard of Mr. Guy Sever at 506 Stalker Bay. The 12-metre-high (42') Colorado blue spruce has a trunk diameter of 45 centimeters (18") at its base. The estimated age of the tree is 35 years.

“I’ve been thinking about donating the tree for a couple years because it has grown to cover nearly half of our front yard,” said Sever. “It is such a large tree and really part of the neighbourhood, so I also wanted to ask how my neighbours and daughters felt about having it removed. Everyone was very excited to know that it could be the City Hall Christmas tree and supported the decision to submit it for consideration this year. We are looking forward to visiting City Hall and being able to say ‘That’s our tree!’”

“This is a really beautiful tree,” said Martha Barwinsky, City Forester. “It is one of the bluest ones we’ve had at City Hall in recent memory. This tree is going to look wonderful when lit up.”

On October 18, 2013 the City issued a news release asking citizens to please submit their trees for consideration as none of the trees the City had inspected to that pointâ"met the necessary criteria.

This is the first time in history the City issued a news release asking for additional help in locating the appropriate tree for City Hall. The City would like to thank all residents who submitted information on their trees.

For more information on the City’s annual Christmas tree visit City of Winnipeg - Christmas Tree

Schedule of events for the installation of the Christmas tree at City Hall

On Sunday, November 3, between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., the tree will be cut and lifted by crane from 506 Stalker Bay. The tree will then be transported on a flatbed to City Hall, 510 Main Street and positioned by crane.

Estimated time for the tree's arrival at City Hall on Sunday, November 3 is between 11:00 a.m. and 12 noon.

A crew from the City’s Urban Forestry Branch will then spend several days decorating the tree with over 9,000 multi-coloured LED lights.

The Ceremonial Lighting of the Tree will take place on Friday, November 15 at approximately 5:45 p.m.

Outstanding Seniors Honoured at City Hall

Released: 11:58 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB - In a ceremony at City Hall today, Mayor Sam Katz presented the 2013 Senior of the Year awards to two outstanding Winnipeg seniors.

The annual awards honour local seniors who have made significant contributions to the City. Jim Daly and Elizabeth McGuire accepted the awards, which recognize their community commitment through volunteerism with youth.

“Mr. Daly and Mrs. McGuire are both great sources of knowledge and expertise and have been very generous with their time,” said Mayor Sam Katz. “It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to present the 2013 Senior of the Year awards to two outstanding volunteers who are making such a tremendous difference in our community.”

Retired track and field coach Jim Daly, 86, was nominated by Luke Scantlebury, a track athlete and student at Fort Richmond Collegiate. Scantlebury nominated Mr. Daly for his outstanding dedication to Manitoba’s track and field programs and countless hours of volunteer coaching at Fort Richmond Collegiate.

Scantlebury, who has been coached by Mr. Daly for three years, wrote in his nomination form, “The thing about Mr. Daly is that he doesn’t care if you are the star track athlete or the athlete who just wants to try. He is willing to help, offer advice and encourage. He coaches because he loves it and I am so thankful for that.”

Prior to his retirement, Mr. Daly had many accomplishments in Canadian sport, including ensuring Canada’s successful bid for the 1967 Pan Am Games and acting as Canada’s Chef de Mission at the 1986 and 1990 Commonwealth Games.

Elizabeth McGuire was awarded for her ongoing commitment to education and literacy. Since her retirement from teaching in 2012, Mrs. McGuire has returned to Ralph Maybank School on a daily basis to help students develop their reading and numeracy skills.

“Mrs. McGuire made a difference in the lives of her students because she got them interested in learning,” said Trentin Taylor, a grade five student at Ralph Maybank School, in his nomination letter. “Mrs. McGuire says she still comes to school even though she doesn’t have to because she wants to have fun.”

Several years ago, while teaching at the school, Mrs. McGuire headed a committee which sought to beautify the grounds at Ralph Maybank School, in the Pembina Trails School Division, with the addition of sustainable gardens. Mrs. McGuire continues to spend hours of her time maintaining the gardens.

The Senior of the Year awards are administered by the Mayor’s Age-friendly and Senior’s Advisory Committee. In order to be eligible for an award, the seniors must be nominated by a youth under the age of 18.

Councillor Grant Nordman (St Charles), who chairs the Age-friendly and Senior’s Advisory Committee, was impressed by the nominations received this year.

“Both of this year’s recipients impressed us with their efforts as volunteers and are very deserving of these awards,” said Councillor Nordman. “It’s great to see young people eager to come forward to share stories of how much senior volunteers have positively affected their lives.”

The Senior of the Year recipients were presented with certificates signed by Mayor Katz.

For more information on the Mayor’s Age-friendly and Senior’s Advisory Committee, please visit:

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Waterfront area park to be named in recognition of Fort Douglas, one of the City's most historical locations

Renaming of the park commemorates the 200th anniversary of its construction

Released: 1:36 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - One of the City's most historic locations will now be recognized with a park named in its honour. Fort Douglas Park, formerly known as Waterfront Drive Park, is located on Waterfront Drive north of Alexander Avenue.

"The Fort Douglas Park site is one of Winnipeg's most significant historical locations," said Mayor Sam Katz. "I think that it's important for all Winnipeggers to be aware of the role that this area played in the establishment of our city."

“Honouring The Fort Douglas Park contributes to a deeper understanding of the rich cultural history of our city,” said Councillor Mike Pagtakhan, Point Douglas Ward.

The site of Fort Douglas, which was the Red River Settlement fort and the first fort near the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers associated with the Hudson’s Bay Company, is the most important historic site in The Exchange District. The fort was named after Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, whose humanitarian efforts on behalf of displaced Scottish Highlanders led to the establishment of the first permanent European agricultural settlement on the northern great plains.

At the heart of the settlement, the fort was the first significant structure in the area that became today’s Exchange District. Upon completion in 1815, Fort Douglas became the residence of the Governor of Assiniboia. Assiniboia was the name given by Lord Selkirk to the 116,000 sq. mi. land grant he received in 1811 from the Hudson’s Bay Company. The Earl resided at Fort Douglas in the summer of 1817 and at the time Lord Selkirk foresaw a great city along the Red River, imagining today’s Winnipeg.

“On behalf of all Winnipeggers of Scottish ancestry, the Society is delighted the City has now formalized this historic name for this most important historic site in the Exchange District,” said John Perrin, President of the St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg. “Our sincere thanks are extended to Mayor Katz, Councillor Pagtakhan, the Lord Selkirk-West Kildonan Community Committee and Council’s Standing Policy Committee on Protection and Community Services for their support and participation in this decision.”

As construction of Fort Douglas began in 1813, the park renaming commemorates the 200th anniversary of this earliest beginning in The Exchange District.

Entegra Credit Union Ltd. helps to make ice as Sponsor Winnipeg supporter

Released: 3:11 p.m.

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Winnipeg, MB - St. Boniface City Councillor Dan Vandal, on behalf of Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, was joined today by Gordon Kirkwood, CEO, Entegra Credit Union and Kris Vincent, Vice-President of the Southdale Community Centre, to announce that Entegra Credit Union is contributing $21,000 towards the sponsorship of the community centre's ice resurfacer.

Proceeds from this sponsorship will go towards the operation of the Southdale Community Centre.

“Southdale Community Centre is an absolute jewel in this neighbourhood, and it is wonderful to see that corporations such as Entegra recognize the value in helping to support the recreational services delivered at this facility,” said Councillor Vandal.

“At Entegra, we understand the importance a community centre brings to the local community and the impact sports play in a child’s life,” said Kirkwood.  “This is why we are happy to support Southdale Community Centre with the many sports programs and services they offer.”

“Southdale Community Centre greatly appreciates Entegra Credit Union for stepping forward and supporting the community and the work Southdale is doing,” said Vincent.

Sponsor Winnipeg is a partnership program which provides public-spirited individuals, businesses, corporations, foundations and community groups with opportunities to sponsor a wide variety of City of Winnipeg assets and programs, in return for naming rights, legacy opportunities and other marketing benefits associated with sponsorship of City facilities and services.

This continuing program supports the City's commitment to deliver high quality services to the citizens of Winnipeg by generating new revenue sources.

Since the launch of Sponsor Winnipeg, the City has generated over $2.3 million to enhance civic programs and services.

For more information about Sponsor Winnipeg, visit

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Last update: 09.12.2013

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