Dr. Bovington was born in Gonbridge Wells, Kent County, England on December 2, 1869 to Richard and Emma Bovington (nee Deuch). He came to Canada in 1890. After training for the ministry at Woodstock College and McMaster University, where he graduated in 1899, he attended Rochester Theological Seminary before being ordained in Victoria BC. In addition to Victoria, Bovington held pastorages in Windsor and St. Thomas, ON.
Bovington married his wife Martha Lockhart (1870-1957) in Oxford, ON on January 3, 1900. The couple had at least four children: Richard Dadson (1901-1972), Marguerite Agnes (1902-1975), David L (1904-1953) and Archibald T (1906-1983).
In 1906, Bovington went to Rochester to take his Doctor of Divinity; while there he was an instructor in Systematic Theology and Homiletics. In 1915, he took his Master's in Systematic Theology at the University of Chicago. From 1916 - 1925, Bovington served as the pastor of First Baptist Church, Cleveland, OH.
In 1925, Bovington was asked to become the fourth president of Brandon College. Although he accepted the position his wife and family did not accompany him to Brandon when he arrived in the summer of 1925. Bovington resigned from the Presidency on May 24, 1926, claiming that the pressure of trying to secure funds for the financial support of the school was beyond his strength.
David Bovington died in Cleveland, OH on August 21, 1955.
Scope and Content
Dr. Bovington was President for only nine months. His collection includes correspondence regarding the Baptist Union of Western Canada, Modernists, and Dr. MacNeill. As well, religious field work is documented. There is quite a bit of correspondence from the Registrar and Bursar regarding student accounts. Fundraising for Brandon College is documented, especially the Davies’ Fund campaign and the Endowment Fund campaign. There is quite a bit of correspondence to and from Dr. MacNeill, who was Acting President, from before Dr. Bovington arrived in Brandon and after he resigned.
Installation of Dulmage and Knowles. l-r Front: Prof. W. Wong, ?, ?, W.C. Lockhart, Pres. of U.of W., W.J. Waines-Vice Pres. U. of M., ?, W. Fotheringham, B.of Gov., A.L. Dulmage, Pres., L.D. Whitehead, Chair-B.of Gov., R.F.B. King, Stanley Knowles, Chancellor, Stewart Perdue, W. Wilton, Mayor W. Sibley, Vice-Pres. U of M, Prof. E.A.Birkens; 2nd row: Laurie Cragg, Pres. Mount Allison. No. 4 with light-coloured hood: J.Sword, U of Toronto
Some tearing around the edges of some of the cards and a number of the cards are quite dirty. The first card - Sidney Robert Howe - is so faded it is almost illegible.
Scope and Content
File contains registration cards for the following students: Sidney Robert Howe, James William Farrar, Henry Hillyer, William C. Parsons, Howard Ernest Fairchild, Herbert Sellar Rutherford, John Barriman Dodson, James LeRoy Stoat, Robert McCaul, Norman Burke, Luella Muriel Macdonald, Jas. William Carrick, Ellerton S. Hopper, Frank H. Fenwick, Henrietta Koester, Elizabeth A. Henderson, Nora A. Brown, John Baldwin, James C. Murdoch, Peter Macgregor, William Henry Wakefield, Otto Reginald Schultz, Harry Royden Schultz, J. Hilton McGregor, George Alfred Reynolds, Alfred Northam, Fred Poyner, May Hall, Russell Hartney, Charles Angus McCance, Robert McLaren Johnstone McDougall, George A. Fraser, James Thomas Gamey, Wesley Morrison, Harold Alonzo Wolverton, John Carruthers Stagg, Harry W. Ellis, Leslie Hilton Head, Gertrude Hopper, Emanuel Selley, Hugh Winton, Bedford Almer Tingley, Alexander Sidney Parnall, William Parker Freeman, Alex Vincent Darrach, Chester Dunham Gainer, Wilson M. Graham, William Rosser McLaurin, Ernest James Bingham, R.A. Gibson, Maxwell Richard Parkin, James Lockhart Stark, Mehets(?) Kriewetzky, George Herbert Foster, John Campbell Bowen, Donald McIntyre, Mary Eleanor Brandon, Mamie J. Greaves, J. G. Dickson, Olive Joy Merrill, Leslie C. Whitelaw, H.S. Mullowney, John Herbert Frith, Oscar William Thompson Welsh, Charles Herbert Fee, John E. Kidd, Lorne Nelson Laidlaw, Harold Bolton Bedford, Peter C. Robertson, Herbert S. Sneyd, Wilbur F. Baker, Henry Millon Sampson, Ezra A. Thompson, Edgar William Johnson, Jno. McGregor Menzies, James Liggett, William Alfred Neff, John Freeman Cameron, Henry N. Honeyman, Archie Lamont, Homer Ernest Agar, Wilbie Mary Elizabeth Magwood, George Ross Michie, Annie McKillop, Edward Walker Hannah, Ethel Ross, John Kennedy Kerster, William George Clendening, George McTavish, Herbert S. Nichol, Donald McKinnon, James P. Hood, Alexander M. Dalgleish, F.W. Ball, Charles Zink, Laura Graham, Agnes M. Johnston, Georgie N. Davies, Albert Rabe, George Nelson Broatch, Amelia Laura Umbach, Arthur James Bowbrick, Coleman James Davies, Edna Laidlaw, Elizabeth Simonson, Roland Bell, Elba Clare Ramsay, Barbara Livingstone Purdon, Jessie Mary McKenzie, William T.F. Finch, John McCaul, Stella Williamena Donaldson, Earle R. Greenwood, Mercy E. McKenzie, Ernest Frith, Fred P. Clark, Thomas Todrick, John Bruce Kerr, Duncan Arthur Bell, William Reginald Morrison, William Samuel Young, Robert J. Dunsmore, Alfred Walker Bell, Francis J.G. Barber, William Henry Robertson, Helen Beveridge, Finlay William McKinnon, Lucy Birtles, Robert William Conn, May Rutter, Christopher Rice, Edward Jones, Linda Shore, Edythe Shore, and Mamie Macdougall.
John Campbell Bowen was the first theology graduate of Brandon College. He was later Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.
RG 1 Brandon College fonds
Series 4: Office of the Registrar
4.11 Registration cards
File contains registration cards for the following students:
14a: Georgina Agar, Marion Laura Dauncey, Dorothy Margory Hall, Lucy Eleanor Beaubier, Helen Greye(?) Liddon, Gertrude Aola(?) Stone, Maude Campbell Davison(?), Marie Rosalind Mathie, Walter White, Bertha May Plant, WIlliam James Deans, Lily Beatrice Bevan, William Lloyd Fox, Annie Kate Wood Evans, Ethel Blanche Budd, Cassie Luella Melhuish, Alice Tena Patti West, Thomas Francis Blight, Francis Blight, James William Stranks, John MacGregor Menzies, Nancy C. Davison, Esther Magdalene Moore*, Jessie Agnes Kirkland, Leonora Alice Pilling, James Andrew Adams, Edgar Ernest Tilley, Sig?ad M. Olsen, Ruth Eunice Little, Edith Marion Little, Clarence Akitt(?) Bates, Hilda Dorothea Johnson, James Alexander Allen, Thomas Coldwell, Stuart Ovens, Ella May Anderson, Cyril Oscar Briggs, James Fraser McLennan, Daniel Fleming Pack, Wilhelmina Ann Fisher, Annie Black, Annie Morrison, Isabel Raine, Isabel Mildred Hamilton, Edna Jean Hamilton, William Duncan McKenzie, Jean Douglas Willmott, Charles Edgar Robertson, Mathew Edward Harkness, Charles William Ketcheson, Chester Melville McDonald, Harold Anthony Berry, George Hawking Underhill, John Wesley Chambers, Edwin Julius Carsten(?), Florence Naomi Waddell, Ethel Margaret Rourke, Ralph Morris Harwood, Reuben Simon Johnson, Victor William Johnson, Sydney Herbert Lye, Alice Elizabeth Caulthard, Frederick Garnet Grant, Audrey Harold Stevens, Annetta Ruby Cunningham, James Bavin Rowell, Mary Isabelle Green(?), Mary L. McGregor, Louise Carrick, Nellie Mable Ireland, Clara Edith Fortune, Anna Elizabeth Diamond, Minnie Marie Frisch, Minnie Howard, Charles Roy Stewart, William Percy McGregor, Katherine Diamond, Grace Clayton, Norman R. McDonald, Lillie Letitia Clark, Emma Josephine Johnson, Cecilia Margaret Hall, Frank Sterling Irving, Basil W. Smook, Sydney Lloyd Porter, Aaron Hargreaves, John Buckley Nield, Arthur Herbert Pullen, Maud Lilian Phelps, William Hnyherchuk, Eleanor Benson, Roy James Shaw, David Winton, Beatrice Ethel Clendening, Edmund Howard Olmstead, Mrs. F.G. Poole, Pearl M. Sharpe, William John Moffatt, Florence May Bourke, Harold Fletcher Shillington, Vernie Garvin Shillington, Leslie Harvey Donald Eyres, Harry Leslie Burke, David Allan Burke, Beatrice Alice Brigden, James B. Akehurst, Herbert Victor McLeod, Ada Jean Wade, Grace Elizabeth Moon, Walter Russell Hosie, Donald Grant McNeil, Martha Olivia Olsson, Archibald Edwin Pryke, Ella Mildred Rourke, Mary Althera(?) Burchill, John Judson Mumm, Earl Erik Dahlstrom, Muriel Ross, Alexander Evan Venables, Earl Stanley Dixon, Stephen Martin Doroschuk, Arthur Henry Jackson, Sarah Harriet Hall, Alexander Howard Leask, William Robinson(?), William F.H. Kahlo, William Carey McKee, Muriel Marguerite Lloyd, Alzina Edith Hall, Ernest H.J. Vincent, James Roy MacKay, Winifred Nairn, Jessie Bruce Elliott, Horace Arnold Kemp, Charles Gerald Stone, Gertie Christina(?) Stromgren, John Whitton Pickard, Fraser Reid McKinnon, James Ernest Moffat, Aileen Horton Fry, Thomas Benjamin McMillan, Henry Fridolf Widen, Delbert Russel Poole(?), Janet Myrtle McLaren, Donald Kippen, Arvid John Nordlund, Reginald Grant Edwards, Mrs. V.A. Snyder, John Robert Charles Evans, Ruby Muriel Fry, Irene Mildred Coade, Harry Walter Smith, Josiah Arkins(?) Scott, Gladys Rose Ferrier, Andrew Rutherford, William Earl Bolton, Alonzo Thorpe, Wellington Geddes Rathwell, Bessie Knowlton, Rose Bellamy, Caleb Jno. Tingley, Charles Cromwell Williams, Joseph Oren Cummins, James Robinson, Elijah D. Pound, James Wallace Burton Doucette, Edith Grant Lee, Stanley Herbert Miskiman, Julia May Ovens, Jack Kerr, Ethel May Forke, Herbert Charles Harris, Tom Hare Harris, Muriel Vivian McCamis, Lilian Wilhelmine Speers, Riley Smalley, Wallace Ross Donogh, Axel Helge Johnson, Ward(?) Ramsey(?) Davis*, Beulah M. Griffin, Rose Annie Gertrude Lines, Archibald Gordon, Victor Coen, Ruth Ella Clare Morgan, Duncan McDonald Olmstead, Ellen Helen Anderson, Vira May Long, John Peat Sinclair, Henry Knox, Oliver Urbin Chapman, Philip Duncan, Cordelia Gill, Evelyn Clare Campbell, H. Elmer Green(?), Reginald Wood, Charlotte Genevieve Dewar, Ida Atkinson Wright, Isabel Wright, Kate Muriel Henderson, Amy Gladys Scott, Georgie Alexander Lockhart, Gladys Huber Laidlaw, Wilma Alexandra Anderson, Douglas Edmund Bourke, Catharine Alice Bourke, Oscar James McFadyen, Icel(?) May Hodges, Genevieve Huber Laidlaw, Myrtle Aernnie(?) Stevenson, Vivian Bernice Pascoe, Robert Wellington McBain, Clara Evelyn Hardaker, Edith Mary Gerrand, Harry Cecil Mitchell, James Herbert Mitchell, Robert Flemming Jackson, Frances Sarah Wilcocks, Earl Nicholas Livingston, Clarence Harvey Innis, Sarah Alice Young, Dora Isabel Hettle, Arthur James Radley, Marguerite Bullock, John Leslie Thompson, May Harveline Dowling, Robert James Lang, Robert Allan McKee, Gertrude May Reid, Bertha Park, Myrtle Ar?tta McTavish, Kathleen Gilpin Cook, Nester Sabina McConnell, Lillie Lyle Ross, Percy William Underwood, Eva Wade, John William Sleight, William Ezra Wilkin, Robert Harvey*
14b: Charles Henry Koester, Edwin Calder Miskiman, Ida Fairy(?) O'Neil, Helen Jessie McDonald, Kathleen Augusta Johnson, Ole Nordine, William Saint George Hollies, Marjory Ashley Bucke, Evelyn Clark, Daisy Fenwick, Ella Ashton Mode*, Axel Carlson, Iva Mary Griffith, Frederick George Fisher, William Benjamin Cunningham, Lucy May Chapman, Mary Frampton, Annie Gladys Chapman, Kathleen Reesor, John Ashley(?) Maley, Ernie R. Hardaker, Charles Edgar Adey, Harold Alexander Fairbairn, James Harris McKee, Jean Marion Pickett, Flora Alexandra Fraser, Geraldine Margaret Martin, Gladys Hannah Waters, Florence Marion Gillies, Alice Annabell McCormick, Nina Mildred Ferguson, Arthur Ost Millions, Maynard Sarah Rathwell, Robert John Connor, James Clare Connor, Howard Eugene Poole, Delancey Roland Davis, Constance Gunn, Margaret Willmott, Carman Lisle Badgley, Leslie Alberta(?) Ward, Harley Moody Hughes, Herman John Ferrier, Gordon Daniel Herbert, Helena Augusta Kennedy, Nettie Amelia Ross, Jennie Mason Turnbull, John Campbell Hooper, Leroy J. Bouck, Johan Alfred Johnson, Charles Ganong Whidden, Myrtle Gerogina Bolger, Guddman John Sigurdson, Henry Alexander Irwin, Evan Whidden*, Elizabeth Dorothy Mooney, Laoura Teressa Leverington, Alice May Mooney, Myrtle Elizabeth Lumbard, Evelyn Juliana Simpson, Alberta Sahara(?) Jones, Marie Cameron, Marie Caroline Mallory, Josephine Mallory, Harriett Crawford, Lina Irene Smith, Susan Gwendolynne Whidden, Albert Duncan Munro, Bessie Marie Ballweber, Annie Laurie Laughton, Mable Dermody, Edna Jeanette McKillican, Eva Mary Blackburn, Annie Lillian Drummond, Pearl Margaret Chapman, Inga Hannah Iverson, Annie Marie Leverington, Marion Leta Cody, Dorothy Vernon Reeve, Ethel Margaret Cunliffe, Helen Elizabeth Hall, Mary Kennedy Hooper, Laura A. Wrye, Gilberta Kathleen Partridge, Edna May Koester, Vivian Ellenore Tucker, Nellie Viola Tucker, and Marguerite McFadden.
*Esther Magdalene Moore fonds.
*Son of Rev. G.B. Davis who, with Dr. John Crawford in 1879 at Rapid City, MB, undertook the creation of Prairie College as a Baptist seminary to train Baptist ministers for the Canadian west. G.B. Davis' brother, John Davis, who participated in the Prairie College project later published "The life story of a leper :autobiography of John E. Davis, Canadian Baptist missionary among the Telugus." The book is located in Rare Books BX6251.D295 1918.
*Dr. Robert Harvey fonds.
*Was the daughter of Dr. R.H. Mode, who taught theology at Brandon College and who became involved in a controversy over the curriculum taught at Brandon College because of comments made by him at a convention of Baptists in Vancouver in 1912.
*Evan McDonald Whidden fonds.
RG 1 Brandon College fonds
Series 4: Office of the Registrar
4.11 Registration cards
File contains registration cards for the following students: Lawrence Reekie Miller, Mary Elizabeth Underhill, Clarence Albert Morgan, W. Arnold Bennett, Joseph Alexander Wiklund, Sam Sodomsky, Duncan Scott McIntyre, Florence Jean Leslie, Wellingston Clinton Gainer, Donald Grant(?) McKnight, Harold Carlyle Hodges, Frederic William Chambers, Mary Ann Thomson, Muriel Gladys Robertson, Libbie Lyle Ross, Maximillian Sodomsky, Elsie Pearl Underhill, Frances Mary Wolverton, Edna Mildred Burton, Hilda Schofield, Maria Corbett(?) Grant, Ida May Crawford, Grace Ellison Kennedy, Zoe Ellen Margerrison Hough, Elizabeth Greig, Phyllis Marguerite Rea, Eva Ross McNaught, Mabel Eva Gibson, Lillie May Coutts, Muriel Evelyn Golding, Ina Lolita Elliott, Jean Ferguson Cameron, Gabriel Dojacek, Maude Wilson, Helena Isabel Freer, H.L. MacNeill, Margaret Monteith, Carrie Chinkunboomer, Marjorie Bell McKenzie, Finn Tungeland, Dorothy Jean Ida Smiley, Stella Munshaw, Gwendolyn McGregor, Thelma Irene Smith, Beryl Aileen Stardaker, Mabel Van Norman, Kathleen Alexandra Struthers, Ethel May Nims, George William Bicknell, Ethelwyne Irene Mackay, Elizabeth Williamson, Aubyn Russell Sandison, James Carr(?) Sandison, Norma Akitt Bates, Lillian Evelyn Edmison, Annie Mabel May Nichol, Mrs. F.L. Beer, George Wesley Denstedt, Elsie Letitia Lee, Winnifred Brewer, Ellen Greig, Mayme Edna Olts, Madge Clement, Florence Eleno Smith, Millicent Marguerite Willows, Margaret Stella Grant, Norma Petch, Christine Margaret Taylor, Maud Orchard, Evangeline L. Cline, William Burt(?) Westman, David McLean McNaught, Lois Verna McNaught, Robert Alton Logan, Gordon Arthur Douglas, Stanley Septimus Hornby, Ruby Mae(?) Smith, Belle Shier, Norman Edgar Mitchell, Gertie Christina Stromgren, Jennie Olivia Olson, David Roy Lunn, Lillian Agnes Cooper, Alvin John McKnight, Samuel Bowtel Franklin, Maurice Crosbie Fitzgerald, Essie Ingeborg Hindorff(?), Cecil Leslie Strachan, Robert Joeseph Rourke, Lillian Maude Leybourne, Sarah Spector, Florence Louise Campbell, James Wilfred Moffat, Herman Dionysuis Riggs, William Jas. Thomson, Ernest Clifford Sproule, Edith Esther Peterson, Cordelia Belle MacKay, Stella May Bolton, Madge la Prairie Struthers, James Harris McKee, Verna Parke Grantham, Jean Marion Avery, Joseph Krendell, Christopher Riley, Dorothy Marion Kelly, George Hinch, Margaret May Husband, James William Beer, Nicholas Bilasz, Abe Livingstone, Margaret Ethel Cunliffe, Aletha Elisson Blight, Clifford Turnbull, George Brownlee Craig, Henry Grace Connolly, Karl Yaeger, William Alex Moore, Mercy Elizabeth Smith, Ruth Ella Clare Morgan, Elma Barbara Massin, Donald Rea. Wilkie, Gladys Evenden(?), Daisy Greta Fenwick, Eva Price Saunders, Mary Josephine Higgenbotham, Frances Irene Higgenbotham, Margaret Webster Higginbotham, Helen Gertrude Clement, Georgie Isa Lockhart, Annie Sophia Hemmingson(?), Eunice Sarah Whidden, Huber Duthie Creelman, Edith Emily Irwin, William John Hamilton Abey, Marguerite Murray, Hazel Willard Drause, Florence Langton, Walter White, John Gray Grant, James Wellington Bambridge, Mildred Annie Hanley, Barbara Lacy Macdonnell, Agnes McPherson, Mary Freedman, Evan McDonald Whidden, Florence Corfield(?), Hazel Cordellia Merner, John Howard Chapman, Marjorie Alleen Sherrin, Anna Mildred Sherrin, Marie Christina Cameron, Arthur Laurence Wrye, Clara Isabella Nesbitt, Eunice Eleanor Bullard, Ruth Erickson-Sanborn, Arthur Herbert Pullen, Ruby Espeth Margaret McDonald, Edith Mary Gerrand, Muriel Hargrave Shewan, Johan Alfred Johnson, Annie Emiline Lundy, James Edward Lloyd, Victor Emmanuel Nordlund, Helen Glanville Coram, Charles Ganong Whidden, Arthur Arnold Stott, Clarence Earl Cole, Herbert Archibald Robertson, George Kenneth Macpherson, Mary Kathleen Moffat, David Hjalmar Stromgren, Elsie Grace Pithart(?), William Kenneth Gordon, Kathleen May Gordon, Ethel Ruth Clement, Annie May McLachlan, D'Arcy George Cook, Victor Theodor Mastberg, Joseph Edward Cooper, Clara Margaret Molberg, Gladys Kathleen Gibson, Ruben Richard Molbeerg, Evelyn Frances Beckwith Doig, Mamie Hanley, Ellwood Murray Brown Chapman, Gwendolyn E. Davies, Charles Johan Nilsson, Ernest John Lawrence Bisson, Helier(?) Pepin, Marion Kathleen Waddell, Annie Ruth Mitchell, John Owen Winton, Bessie Freedman, Alexander Franklin Nichol, Grace Margaret Rowe, Flora Mary Pitfield(?), Marguerite Bullock, Helen Marie Wedin, Algot Israel Runeman, Reita Wood Bambridge, Bertha Miriam Clarke, Harold Pratt Clark, Pearl Janet Wedin, Clarence David Hardy, Jessie Agnes Kirkland, Fred. Earl Howard, Maybelle Bernice Porterfield, Hazel Irene Porterfield, Annie Cohen, Vivienne Bernice Pascoe, Marion Gertrude Reesor, Marion Reta Willmott, Lloyd Daniel McPhail, Margaret Jean Gammon, Donald Stewart Forsyth, Hazel Mary Payne, Beatrice Hall, Adelene(?) Monica Bailey, John Harold Forshaw, Eunice G. Carlson, Jean Isobel Downey, Verna Belle Morgan, Hilda Gillespie, Elfleda(?) Race, Reynard Lindquist, Leslie Albert Glinz, Ethel May Peirson, Gladys Basman, Joel Siegfried Peterson, Johan Amandus Bystedt, Victor Glen Clark, Anne Gwendolen Davies, William Everett Willamson, Susan Gwendolynne Whidden, Eleanor Abigail Maley(?), Christena Turnbull, Georgina Matilda Netthercut(?), Isobel Fern. Cumming, Ethel Annie Bolton, Fred Carl Gronbach(?), Lucy Eleanor Beaubier, Sybil Clara Kerr, Bessie Euphemia Turnbull, and Arthur Clifford Cresswell.
RG 1 Brandon College fonds
Series 4: Office of the Registrar
4.11 Registration cards
9.46 m textual records; 1919 photographs & graphics
History / Biographical
Brandon, Manitoba was incorporated as a city in 1881. In 1882, led by Charles Whitehead and a small Board of Directors that included J.W. Vantassel, Charles Pilling, George Halse, J.E. Smith, William Johnson, R.T. Evans, and Thomas Lockhart, it was decided to hold an agricultural exhibition. These men were all involved in the farm business in one way or another, and they wanted an opportunity to help residents realize the agricultural potential of the region. In October of that year, the fledgling community held its first agricultural exhibition . The fair was held in downtown Brandon at what was known as “Market Square.” Market Square was two acres of land located on Princess Avenue between Eighth and Ninth Streets. Due to poor weather, and the fact that not many people were ready to show animals and grain, there was a relatively small turnout. The following year was much improved. There were 730 entries into the exhibition. By 1884, the Board of Directors of the Brandon Agricultural Society, which was in charge of the exhibition, realized that they were in poor financial shape, to the point of being personally out of pocket. It was realized that October was not the best time for farmers to be leaving their farms to go to an exhibition. In 1888, it was decided to move the exhibition to the summer time, when it was much easier for people to attend.
The first Brandon Summer Fair was held in July 1889, and it was a resounding success. The Board of Directors had added many items of interest to appeal to the entire public, not just agricultural people. In 1892, the Western Agricultural and Arts Association (WAAA) was formally established to take over duties from the Brandon Agricultural Society. However, it was not until 1897 that the WAAA held its first meeting. There is no explanation as to why there is a five year gap between the formation and the first meeting of this organization. 1897 was the turning point of the Brandon Exhibition. The fair was now firmly established in Brandon, and the Board of Directors was instrumental in ensuring that it remained so. This was done by petitioning to both the municipal and provincial governments for grant money. As well, the Board booked midway and grandstand acts that would bring the city dwellers to the agricultural exhibition.
There were also early attempts at holding an agricultural exhibition in the winter. The first such attempt was in 1884. There was also a Spring Stallion show held in 1891. By 1904, however, a petition by J.D. McGregor had gone out to formally establish a winter exhibition. This effort also failed, but by 1906, it was decided by businessmen, politicians, and farm representatives in Brandon, including McGregor, to organize a winter fair. Rather than seeing this new fair as competition, the Board of Directors of the summer fair felt that it would complement their exhibition. The new fair would remain primarily agricultural. The first winter fair was held in 1906. While the two fairs were not amalgamated, they did share the same secretary-manager. The secretary-manager was responsible for the day to day management of the fair, as well as keeping track of meetings and decisions reached by the various fair boards and committees. In 1907, the Brandon Winter Fair and Livestock Association (BWFLA) was formed to act primarily as a land-holding joint stock company. The following year the Provincial Winter Fair and Fat Stock Association (PWFFSA), an entirely separate organization from the BWFLA, was formed to manage the activities of the winter fair. The PWFFSA name was soon changed to the Manitoba Winter Fair and Fat Stock Association (MWFFSA).
By 1906, Brandon could boast two full size exhibitions, one in the summer and one in the late winter, both of which were considered to be premiere events. In 1908, the Brandon summer fair was renamed the Inter-Provincial Exhibition, and in 1912 it held it’s first Traveller’s Day, an event which would soon become an important addition to the fair and is still in existence today. It is thought that the name “Traveller’s Day” came from the fact that it was held on a Saturday, a day when many people could travel to Brandon for the exhibition.
In 1913, Brandon was bestowed with the honour of hosting the Dominion Exhibition. This was a national exhibition sponsored by the federal government. It was held in a different city every year. There were several cities vying for the 1913 Dominion Exhibition, but it was Brandon that impressed the sponsors the most. With the government funds received for this honour, the Board of Directors supervised the building of a new grandstand, display buildings, and racetrack, as well as the general expansion and improvements to the fairgrounds.
In the spring of 1912, it was decided by the Board of Directors of the winter fair that the facilities they were currently housed in were inadequate for their needs. The mayor and city clerk of Brandon went to the provincial legislature in order to request that there be an amendment added to the Brandon city charter. This amendment would allow the city to guarantee bonds issued by the winter fair board to help pay for the construction of a new facility. This request was granted, and a $70 000 addition was built next to the original winter fair building. The new building was opened in 1913.
Throughout the First World War, both the winter fair and Provincial Exhibition buildings were used for the war effort. There was one distinct difference however. The summer fair Board was able to negotiate a deal with the army that enabled it to reclaim the fair buildings during fair week. The winter fair, however, had to give up the idea of holding fairs in 1915 and 1916. It was not until 1917, that the winter fair was able to resume.
During this time, due to the financial problems that had beset the winter fair, the two exhibitions considered amalgamation. The Board of Directors of the winter fair felt that because they were the smaller of the two fairs, their interests would be swallowed up by the summer fair. The winter fair withdrew from the negotiations to amalgamate. With this rather sudden turn of events, the Board of Directors of the summer fair petitioned the government to be allowed to incorporate. This was granted, and in 1920, the WAAA was incorporated as the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba. From 1920, the summer fair was officially known as the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba. This was the first time that the summer fair was incorporated, and received the “status and financial assistance” that came with incorporation.
More problems beset the winter fair in the 1920s. In 1920, a fire burned down the winter fair pavilion, located at the south end of the winter fair buildings, and caused the Board to cancel the 1921 winter fair. It was not until 1922, that a new building was completed. By 1929, both fairs were well regarded throughout Canada. In 1929, a decade long Depression hit the west. While many fairs closed during this time, Brandon struggled to keep its open. The Directors of both fairs felt that the agricultural shows “encouraged excellence at a time when faith and enthusiasm were at a low ebb.” The summer fair proved to be quite successful during the Depression, likely as a result of the few moments one was able to forget one’s troubles while there. The winter fair was not quite as successful, although both fairs received government grants and work relief projects. There was little new entertainment in these exhibitions.
There were changes about to manifest themselves at the summer fair, however. While the winter fair had representatives from various associations on its Board of Directors, the summer fair Board of Directors was a small close-knit group of men. Citizens saw entry into this elite group as elusive and difficult. To ward off the possibility of the Board becoming a “self-sustaining clique,” that only chose Directors from within, it was decided by several citizens to try and elect some new blood into the fair Board. In 1933, there was a general election for the Board. Instead of the usual men shuffling positions, there were forty-four nominations for the twenty positions. When the voting was all over, seven new men sat on the Board. Despite some inner rumblings, especially on the summer fair Board over the next few years, both exhibitions survived the Depression.
During the Second World War the fairs once again were forced to operate under adversity. Once again, the buildings were requisitioned for the army, although they were released during fair week. The summer fair was forced to make several concessions, and the winter fair was relocated to the summer fair grounds for the duration.
The winter fair did not survive the Second World War intact. Due to financial reasons, in December of 1945, the Board of Directors turned the winter fair buildings over to the City of Brandon. By 1946, the BWFLA, which was the joint-stock land holding company, had ceased operations because the city now controlled the winter fair land and buildings.
The next fifteen years would be a time of rebuilding for both of Brandon’s exhibitions. Children especially were more active participants in the agricultural exhibitions. The summer fair continued to diversify and look for new ways of entertaining the public at large. The winter fair remained primarily agricultural. By the end of the 1950s the winter fair, which was used to struggling, was now both successful and stable; and the summer fair, a perennial success, was starting to fade.
By 1969, both the winter and summer fair Boards had realized that amalgamation was the best possible decision, both practically and financially, for the future of the two fairs. On 29 October, 1969, the two exhibitions amalgamated to become the Manitoba Exhibition Association. The reconstituted Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba was now responsible for both the winter and summer fairs. A new building was erected on the summer fair grounds to house both of the exhibitions. On 2 April 1973, the Keystone Centre was officially opened at the winter fair, although it had been in use since October of the preceding year.
In 1970, Manitoba’s Centennial, it was decided that an organization in Manitoba would receive the title of “Royal,” as a way to celebrate the centennial. Although many organizations applied for the honour, it was the Brandon winter fair that received the accolades. The winter fair was bestowed with the title “Royal”, and became known as the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair.
In 1975, a third exhibition was added, this time a purely agricultural fall show known as the Agricultural Exhibition, or AgEx. This fair was partly organized on behalf of the cattle growers, who found that the summer and winter fairs did not give them adequate time and space to properly show their cattle. The return to a fall show, which had not existed since 1888, would be the return to a purely agricultural exhibition. This show was to be primarily a show and sale event. On 3 November 1975, the first AgEx was opened to resounding success.
The Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba, the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair and AgEx are all still in existence in Brandon. They are regarded as three of the most important events to take place annually in the city.
These files were housed with the Manitoba Exhibition Association until c1986 when they were transferred to the S.J. McKee Archives at Brandon University.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of textual records and photographs comprised of the records from the three annual exhibitions that are held in Brandon, Manitoba: the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba, the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, and the Agricultural Exhibition (Ag-Ex). The textual records include prize lists, programs, minutes, financial, administrative files, original results, scrapbooks, tickets, news releases, contracts, by laws, documents as well as a miscellaneous section. There are approximately 1846 photographs that include scenes from these three exhibitions. These records provide a unique perspective on the development of agriculture and rural life in southwestern Manitoba. Fairs such as these have been and remain prime media of farm improvement, technological and scientific advancement in rural Canada, and the promoters of country living. These fairs also reflected the long tradition inherited from Britain and Europe of country fairs as centers of entertainment, social interchange and diversion. These records are a principal source of information about the most broadly based vocational, entertainment and social events held on an annual basis in southwestern Manitoba over the last century. The records are vital to academic research on agriculture or fairs, individual biography, or community history.
The RG 2 Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba Association finding aid was created by Karyn (Riedel) Taylor with the exception of Series 9 and the accompanying database, which were created by Donica Belisle. This finding aid was created in August 1999.
Researchers are responsible for observing Canadian copyright restrictions.
RG 2 Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba Association fonds
RG 2 Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba Association fonds
Additional records regarding the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba, the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, and AgEx are housed at the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba Association offices. To gain access to these records, it is necessary to contact the general manager of the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba Association.
The fonds is divided into sous-fonds by exhibition. There is a Provincial Exhibition sous-fonds, a Royal Manitoba Winter Fair sous-fonds, an Ag-Ex sous-fonds, and a Miscellaneous sous-fonds that holds information that could not be easily broken down into one exhibition. The arrangement is as follows:
RG 2 Provincial Exhibition Association of Manitoba fonds
RG2SF1 Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba
1.3 Financial Records
1.4 Administrative Files
1.5 Prize Lists and Programs
1.6 News Releases
1.7 Original Results
RG2SF2 Royal Manitoba Winter Fair
2.3 Financial Records
2.4 Administrative Files
2.5 Prize Lists and Programs
2.6 News Releases
2.7 Original Results
3.4 Administrative Files
3.5 Prize Lists and Programs
3.6 News Releases
3.7 Original Results
4.3 Financial Records
4.4 Administrative Files