Birthday celebrations safely celebrate community
Collaborations are a culmination of more than one perspective to create something new and unique. The Winnipeg Foundation is honoured to have worked with community members and organizations during our past 100 years. While our birthday plans had to be adjusted because of the pandemic, we are so happy to have marked our centennial with a few special collaborations.
Alloways’ Gift and Rosalie Favell’s Family Legacy at the WAG
On the first day of The Foundation’s second century, April 27, 2021, two exhibitions opened at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), showing how Winnipeg developed into the city it is today from two different perspectives.
In the year prior to our centennial, former Winnipeg Foundation CEO Rick Frost approached WAG director and CEO Stephen Borys about organizing an exhibition to mark the anniversary and honour The Foundation’s founders, William and Elizabeth Alloway. Borys took it further by proposing a second exhibition with an Indigenous response to the Alloways’ legacy, an idea that The Foundation fully embraced.
The Alloways’ Gift exhibit illustrated the astonishing amount of development the Alloways would have witnessed while living in Winnipeg at the turn of the century: from the advancement of railway lines and the building of roads and streetcar tracks, to the rapid expansion of the residential and commercial sectors, and the arrival of thousands of newcomers to the region.
The story of Winnipeg’s history and the Alloways’ impact was told through the art of local artists and unique artifacts drawn from the collections of the WAG, The Winnipeg Foundation archives, the Oseredok’s Ivan Bobersky Collection, the Manitoba Archives, the Manitoba Museum, and the City of Winnipeg Archives.
The second exhibition, Rosalie Favell’s Family Legacy, saw contemporary Métis artist Rosalie Favell piece together the intersecting histories of the City of Winnipeg and the Indigenous peoples of the Red River settlement.
Favell, who was born in Winnipeg and now based in Ottawa, used a variety of sources to construct a complex self-portrait through the lens of her family lineage in the Red River Valley, which dates back to before the 1700s. Included in the exhibition were commissioned works that experiment with lenticular photography – enabling visitors to view two images at once, demonstrating two realities.
“This pair of exhibitions is an example of reconciliation in action, speaking loudly to the respective visions of WAG and The Winnipeg Foundation, and the incredible legacy of Rick Frost. I hope the multifaceted perspectives give Winnipeggers a moment to appreciate the amazing community we have here – that’s so much more because of the dedication of The Foundation and its supporters,” says Borys.
The Alloways’ Gift and Rosalie Favell’s Family Legacy exhibitions ran at the WAG from April 27 to Sept. 12, 2021.
Centennial River Trail and Journey of Generosity Contest
This year, The Winnipeg Foundation enticed Winnipeggers outside to enjoy our city during the crispy, cold days of winter and the dog days of summer.
For 61 days this winter, Winnipeggers enjoyed our city by skating, biking, walking, rolling, running, skiing, and snowshoeing on The Winnipeg Foundation Centennial River Trail.
In light of COVID restrictions at the time, people were looking for safe and accessible outdoor recreational activities. The Foundation was pleased to partner with The Forks to support this important outdoor community space and was thrilled to announce it will extend its title sponsorship for five more years, ensuring continued community access to this important amenity.
Winnipeggers also had the opportunity this summer to learn more about our community’s philanthropic roots through a guided walking tour of the historic Exchange District.
Walking Together: A Journey of Generosity through the Exchange, created in partnership with Exchange District BIZ, was a 45-minute tour that highlighted prominent philanthropists, like Jean Forsyth, Annie McDermot Bannatyne and Winnipeg Foundation founders, William and Elizabeth Alloway, and their connections to the neighbourhood. The tour also included information about grassroots, community-led philanthropy in various communities, including Indigenous cultures, while acknowledging historical truths society now recognizes are unjust.
The Foundation also held special contests during the Centennial River Trail and the Journey of Generosity to provide an opportunity for Winnipeggers to explore their philanthropy. Visitors to the Centennial River Trail and the Exchange District were encouraged to share a selfie for a chance to win a $1,000 grant for their favourite local charity.
More than 200 people participated in the contests, nominating more than 85 local charities. Thanks to Winnipeggers’ generosity, $44,000 was distributed to a diverse group of local charities.
Elizabeth Alloway Lecture Series and Derry Days at Dalnavert
To mark The Foundation’s centenary, Dalnavert Museum hosted teas on Sundays during the summer and a series of nine, free public lectures to honour Elizabeth Alloway.
The Alloways lived in a grand house just down the street from Dalnavert which they called “The Derries.” Elizabeth was known to host Saturday parties at The Derries and it was said that no one was turned away.
Inspired by Elizabeth’s parties, the museum hosted Derry Days at Dalnavert, teas on Sundays from June to August. Dalnavert hosted the earlier teas virtually but were able to welcome participants back to the museum when restrictions eased. Participants enjoyed entertainment along with tea and desserts with a seasonal fruit theme.
A woman of courage and conviction, Elizabeth Alloway played an active philanthropic role in our community at a time when women could not vote. With her husband William, they established The Winnipeg Foundation.
Dalnavert’s Elizabeth Alloway Lecture Series presents a variety of topics focusing on the time period, the community, and the interests of Elizabeth Alloway including her special interest in the work of women and the well-being of children. The series began in February and runs until December 2021.
For more information on upcoming Elizabeth Alloway Lectures, visit friendsofdalnavert.ca
Centennial stamps and Alloway Ale
The Foundation looked for a broad range of opportunities to celebrate our centennial with our diverse community.
The Foundation created a set of four commemorative stamps and a keepsake booklet to present the stamps in. The Canada Post stamps will also be used throughout 2021 on outgoing mail. The images featured on stamps of William Alloway, Elizabeth Alloway, the Alloway Arch and widow’s mite fountain at The Forks, and the Winnipeg skyline are reflective of our history and our community.
One of the more unique opportunities this year was our partnership with Nonsuch Brewing Co. to create Alloway Ale. The clean, crisp, pale ale, named after our founder William Alloway, was released on April 26, 2021, our 100th anniversary, and sold out by early June.
For its centennial, The Winnipeg Foundation created two special edition issues of its magazine, Working Together.
Released in January, Celebrating 100 years of working together to support our community was a snapshot of The Foundation’s work decade-by-decade with stories providing a historical context of Winnipeg and beyond, and subsequently The Foundation’s activities and decisions.
On The Foundation’s anniversary on April 26, The Foundation released its second special edition magazine, Building a vision for our next 100 years. The issue is a collection of essays written by individuals representing different sectors and Cause areas in Winnipeg about their aspirations for our community and the potential role philanthropy might play in achieving them.
Both publications are available on our website at wpgfdn.org/publications. Or if you would like print copies, contact The Foundation at 204.944.9474.
Next 100 Speakers Series
In The Foundation’s second special edition magazine, Building a vision for our next 100 years, the essayists all shared unique perspectives on the future of Winnipeg, but key themes emerged such as building an equitable community, the future of philanthropy, human rights, youth leading change, and more.
In November, The Foundation will host the first event in the Next 100 Speakers Series, to provide an opportunity for a broader audience to explore these themes. These conversations will be facilitated by Winnipeg Foundation CEO, Sky Bridges.
During the first virtual presentation the panel of essayists will explore the topic of Critical Conversations on the Future of Philanthropy. Panelists were Dr. Tyler Pearce, Gerry Labossiere, Jamil Mahmood and Pat Mainville. They will discuss ideas such as how philanthropy may be perpetuating colonialism and philanthropists can prepare ourselves for these important conversations and ensure we are acting as allies.
For more information on upcoming Elizabeth Alloway Lectures, visit friendsofdalnavert.ca
Learn more about the Next 100 Speakers Series: wpgfdn.org/Next100
This story is featured in the Fall 2021 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.