Born on February 10, 1924, in Elgin, Manitoba, Audrey Ellen Silvius (nee Honeyman) was raised in Fairfax, Manitoba on the Honeyman homestead. In 1964, she received her Indian name, Blue Star. Silvius completed her high school education in Fairfax before moving to Winnipeg in 1943, to earn her Nursing degree from Grace Hospital. She later completed her post-graduate degree in Psychiatric Nursing at the Brandon Mental Health Centre. Married to Merritt W. Silvius, Audrey Silvius raised four children, David, Kay, Lorna (Downie) and Gail (Campos) while working in her chosen field. In addition to her family and her career, she was also involved with the Brandon Council of Women and the United Church in Brandon. Silvius was the first executive director of the Brandon Indian-Metis Friendship Centre, a founding member of the local branches of the Marquis Project and Amnesty International and initiated a project called Tools for Peace. She was also involved in various other peace and human rights organizations. In 1987, she received the Order of the Buffalo Hunt from the Province of Manitoba in recognition of her work relating to women’s issues. In 1992, she was awarded a Confederation medal for community service.
The records found within the collection were collected by Audrey Silvius from a number of people, including Jean Halliday, Grace Godmaire and Norma Walmsley, involved in various projects with her throughout the years. Prior to their donation to the McKee Archives at Brandon University in October and November 2000, the records were stored at Mrs. Silvius’ home.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of meeting minutes, agendas, speeches, correspondence, newsletters, brochures, written publications and newspaper clippings. Four photographs and one pencil drawing are also included within the collection.
The records deal with the creation, activities, and history of the Brandon Indian-Metis Friendship Centre, as well as the activities of its Board of Directors. In addition, materials located within the collection can be divided into two areas: (1) those that relate to various organizations associated with the Friendship Centre itself, such as the Council of Christians and Jews and the Brandon Council of Women; (2) materials related to projects of important individuals involved with the Friendship Centre, such as the South Western Manitoba Recreation Council and the 4F Club of Minnedosa. Other records deal with general aboriginal issues in Canada during the time frame of the Audrey Silvius collection.
CAIN No. 202607. Description by Christy Henry (2000).
The collection is divided into ten (10) series:
1. The Brandon Indian-Metis Friendship Centre
2. The Scout – Friendship Centre newsletter
3. The Brandon Council of Women
4. Council of Christians and Jews
5. Aboriginal Glee Club/Dancers
6. The South Western Manitoba Recreation Council
7. 4F Club of Minnedosa
8. Miscellaneous Publications related to Aboriginal Issues
9. Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings related to Aboriginal Issues
10. Photographs and pencil drawing
The idea of the Keystone Centre was first mentioned in 1958, at a meeting of the board of directors of the Manitoba Winter Fair. The Manitoba Winter Fair wanted a new facility because the old Wheat City Arena had a leaking roof and a deteriorating west wall. The old facility also had limited space and the Winter Fair felt it needed more space for expansion. The Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba also had problems with their facilities, such as old barns and poor display areas. The idea of the Keystone Centre was put on hold until 1969, when the boards of the Provincial Exhibition and the Manitoba Winter Fair joined together as the Provincial Exhibition Association of Manitoba and the Wheat City Arena was sold and demolished. The original estimate for the cost of the Keystone Centre facilities was $4.5 million and funding would be proportioned so that the federal and provincial governments would each put in one-third of the money, with the rest coming from local donations. The financial campaign for the Keystone Centre began in 1970, and construction began in November 1970. The grand opening of the Centre was in March 1973, and coincided with the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair of that year.
This fonds was accessioned by the McKee Archives in 1998. Prior custodial history is unknown.
Scope and Content
Fonds contains many folders full of correspondence, financial statements, meeting minutes and other documents relating to the development and construction of the Keystone Centre from 1970-1974, including those from the Keystone Executive Committee, as well as the Building Committee. Fonds also contains one folder that pertains to the Brandon Area Agricultural Development Survey from 1959. This folder contains the names and locations of all farmers in the Brandon area in 1959. The Brandon Area Agricultural Development Survey was created in 1959, in order to make farming in the Brandon area more profitable. The survey was aided by Doane Agricultural Service from St. Louis, Missouri, who had success creating agricultural development programs in the United States. Fonds also contains folders from the Provincial Exhibition with correspondence, pamphlets, estimates, and studies from the 1960's. There is also one folder belonging to the Manitoba Winter Fair, which contains correspondence and financial statements relating to the Wheat City Arena. Fonds also contains information pertaining to the proposals made in the 1960's, for the building of the Keystone Centre, as well as one folder about the Keystone campaign from 1970-73. There is also one folder about the opening of the Keystone Centre, which contains newspaper clippings and guest lists. Finally, the fonds contains information about a court case involving Albert Bobyk and Robert Stewart. Stewart was the project manager for the Building Committee and Bobyk worked on the Keystone Center. The fonds includes a report about the trial of the two men who were charged with fraud involving their work on the Keystone Centre.
The first Women's Institute in Canada was created by Mrs. Adelaide Hunter Hoodless in Stoney Creek, Ontario, on February 19, 1897. The Women's Institute was created to unite rural women with the hopes that this would help women improve their homes and communities. The motto of the Women's Institute became, "a nation could not rise above the level of its homes." The group was to be non-partisan and non-sectarian to allow for maximum participation. The Women's Institute became one of the very few ways for rural women to meet and share ideas and problems with others. The Women's Institute spread throughout Canada and reached Manitoba in 1910, when Morris and Valley River, Manitoba, formed Women's Institute branches. The Women's Institute branches in Manitoba were known as Home Economics Societies until 1919, when they became branches of the Manitoba Women's Institute. The Home Economics Societies specialized in community service work. At first, the groups concentrated on home management and child care, and eventually they became involved with social and political issues. In addition to community work, the Women's Institute branches also invited many guest speakers to their meetings and promoted education and the dissemination of information to rural women on subjects such as canning, growing fruits and vegetables, dental hygiene and rural electrification. The Manitoba Women's Institute continues its work today.
This fonds was accessioned in 2002 by the McKee Archives. Prior custodial history is unknown.
Scope and Content
This collection has been artificially created and consists of miscellaneous newspaper and magazine clippings, handbooks, newsletters, photos and song sheets collected by various unknown Manitoba Women's Institute branches. Some newletters included in the collection are "Institute News" from the Manitoba Women's Institute, "National Farm Forum Guide", "Federated News" from the Federated Women's Institute of Canada and "The Country Woman" from Associated Women of the World. The newspaper clippings in the collection relate to Women's Institute branches around Manitoba and the rest of Canada.
Related women's institute collections in the McKee Archives include:
Manitoba Women's Institute; Minnedosa Women's Institute; Cordova Women's Institute; Clanwilliam Women's Institute; Rathwell Women's Institute; Strathclair Women's Institute; Crocus Women's Institute; Southwest A Region - Manitoba Women's Institute; Douglas Women's Institute