Marking a century of women on Winnipeg City Council

New commemorative piece unveiled on International Women’s Day

Jessie Kirk

Jessie Kirk’s name may not be instantly recognizable to Winnipeg residents, but she has a significant part in our City Council’s history. This year marks 100 years since she was inaugurated as the first woman on City Council on January 4, 1921. She was elected by voters in December 1920.

She helped lead the way for other women to run and hold office. In all, 33 women have served on City Council. It would be 71 years after Kirk took office, that Winnipeg elected its first, and so far, only woman Mayor, Susan A. Thompson in 1992.

“Working on this project was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the women elected to Council over the years,” said Sarah Ramsden, Senior Archivist for the City of Winnipeg.

Fittingly, the building that bears Thompson’s name will be home to the new display, which features the names, photos, and dates of all women to serve on Winnipeg City Council. It was unveiled on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021.

Old Kildonan Councillor Devi Sharma wanted to ensure the legacy of all women who served on Winnipeg City Council is not forgotten and lead this initiative. She herself made history when she became the City’s first woman Speaker of Council in 2013.

“We took great care to make sure the information was accurate and locate all the photographs,” said Ramsden. “There was a lot of double and triple checking using sources in the Archives. I’m grateful to the team of people who envisioned this and brought it all together.”

The display will be installed on the main floor of the Susan A. Thompson Building, across the courtyard from City Hall at a later date.

Was this information helpful?

How can we make this web page better?

Information collected will be used to improve our website. Do not use this form to submit a request for service or information because it will not be forwarded to departments for response. To submit a request for service or information, contact 311.

This form is not intended to collect personal information; however, any personal information you choose to include in your comments is collected by the City of Winnipeg under the authority of section 36(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purpose of improving our website and will not be used or disclosed for any other purposes, except as authorized by law. Contact the Corporate Access and Privacy Officer by mail (City Clerk’s Department, Susan A. Thompson Building, 510 Main Street, Winnipeg MB, R3B 1B9) or by telephone (311) if you have any questions about the collection of this information.