• 19 Dec 2021 10:30 AM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    The Association for Manitoba Archives (AMA) offers educational programming on a variety of topics.  Digital Archivist & Oral Historian Sarah Story, with contributions from Carole Pelchat (Archivist, Information Security Officer & Privacy Office Coordinator) and Al Thorleifson (Archivist at Pembina Manitou Archives), wrote the following blog post on the records management workshop organized by the AMA’s Education and Advisory Committee.

    The central role of the Association for Manitoba Archives (AMA) Education and Advisory Committee is to provide workshops and webinar training to its members. In November, the AMA hosted a 4-part webinar series on records management. 28 people attended these zoom teachings, doubling the AMA’s usual workshop enrollment for a workshop.

    The webinar series was instructed by Carole Pelchat and organized by Sarah Story with logistical support provided by Kathy Kushpel and Chris Zaste. The time and resources for Carole to create and deliver the webinar series were contributed (free of charge) to the AMA by l’Université de Saint-Boniface (USB). This enabled the AMA to offer a very affordable and accessible records management series. We are grateful to Carole Pelchat and the USB for this generous contribution to our members and the wider community!

    Why a Records Management Workshop for Archivists?

    In working with small archives, community organizations and non-archives that create, store and care for the business and historical records of their organization, Sarah Story has come to learn that one of the primary challenges across organizations of all types and sizes is often ineffective or absent official record keeping or records management.

    This results in the loss of significant organizational records, the piling up of unimportant documents in closets, desk drawers and servers, and elevated frustration among staff who experience difficulty finding records in a timely manner. Without effective systems in place, staff end up making their own decisions about what gets kept and destroyed. This results in inconsistency, loss of records of enduring value (archives!), overkeeping, and it even gets some organizations into legal hot water.

    Records Management (RM) ensures that an organization’s records of historical, legal, and fiscal value are identified, classified and preserved for as long as they are required. It also ensures that non-essential records are disposed of securely. Having an approved “retention and disposition schedule” with policies and procedures for departments and staff to guide them on what to keep, how long to keep it, and how to keep, transfer or dispose of it, can be a boon for any organization.

    Increasingly, archivists and other staff without formal training in records management find the responsibility for recordkeeping falling on their shoulders. However, training in RM can be cost-prohibitive and similar to archives, there is professional jargon that can be intimidating to even well-trained archivists. We wanted to make this available to this crowd of Manitoban’s working with archives and experiencing firsthand the impacts of poor recordkeeping in their organization on their work and archives, so we planned a “records management for the rest of us” approach to offering this series.

    Carole’s Experience and Approach

    We were delighted that Carole Pelchat accepted our committee’s invitation to create and deliver this series. In her own words she explains her personal RM experience:

    “I have been an archivist for over 25 years and in my experience, records management has always helped me better explain the need to preserve records. I started taking courses to familiarize myself with the concepts and theories in RM. The first few workshops and classes were quite overwhelming, and I would go home saying, “I will never be able to use this stuff!” However, the more I learned about records management, the more I liked it. The idea that we can manage records from its creation was quite a new concept and gave me a different perspective.”

    Carole also highlights the importance of archivists sharing their firsthand knowledge with others in the field and encourages further learning,

    “I have given records management workshops in the past for the francophone community and when the AMA asked me to do the workshop, I was more than happy to share my knowledge. I figure the best way to learn is from one’s peers. I hope participants were able to see the difference between the world of records management and the world of archives. I hope the participants will not give up and continue learning about records management. I myself learn new things every time I participate in workshops!”

    Pembina Manitou Archives

    Al Thorleifson of the Pembina Manitoba Archives really appreciated Carole’s attention to detail. He plans to take her advice and RM protocols and put them into action, Al says:

    “Carole’s presentation overall put the role of archives in the context of records management. This was especially interesting given the tendency of local businessmen to just dump off boxes while saying they do not know what is good to keep and what is not. Although I have developed a protocol to help them to sort the personal from the archival, Carole’s guidelines will encourage me to be more precise and to ask them to do more before they bring in the boxes.

    Also, Carole dealt with one problem which I have struggled with. As an archive which has over the past five years received thousands of documents, our naming of files has been less ordered than it should have been. Carole’s suggestions for ensuring predictable, consistent naming of files in fonds was very helpful. It will mean I WILL HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO to sort out the files named imprecisely; I am glad to do it because I know it will make it easier for our users to search the records in upcoming years. Thank you, Carole, for a job well done.”

    Offering Workshops That Matter

    The AMA is a volunteer-run organization so our offerings are based on our volunteer’s capacity to serve our community. Our goal is to learn from our members what classes would be of most value, especially for those archivists working in smaller archives and community-based or project-based settings.

    We want to highlight that AMA webinars and workshops do not need to be taught by “experts” or those working in large archives within post-secondary and governmental  institutions – your firsthand experience or knowledge from your rural, lone arranger or small archives setting matters. It is worth sharing your strategies with others working in similar settings, often on a very small to non-existent budgets.

    If you have an idea for a workshop or webinar, archival knowledge and experience that you want to share, or want to help us create educational opportunities for members by volunteering, please reach out to us at: advisoryservices@mbarchives.ca.

    We would love to hear from you!

    As always, thank you for your time, participation and support,


    Sarah Story
    On behalf of the AMA Education & Advisory Services Committee

  • 20 Aug 2021 1:11 PM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    Manitoba has several regional heritage organizations that work tirelessly to preserve and promote the history of local communities.  Below is an update provided by Al Thorleifson of the Pembina Manitou Archive on the work of the Partnership With Museums Project.

    The Boundary Trails National Heritage Region Board in partnership with the Manitoba Heritage Grants Program have allocated funding to develop a regional approach emphasizing the relationship between museums, their related archival heritage, and their community.  The goal of this current Partnerships With Museums Project is to find mutual, workable processes that enable our regional museums, archives and the BTNHR to share resources, ideas, and initiatives on an ongoing basis and provide support to museum volunteers by making available digital archival records which will support the work of each museum in the region.

    Al Thorleifson has been hired to meet with regional museum staff, to set priorities for digital media, and to develop monographs which will be shared with regional museums which will support their own staff education and will promote public awareness of their mandate and resources.

    The process includes each of the following steps:

    • Tour of each museum/archive under strict COVID guidelines
    • Review, with Museum/Archive Board and Staff members, each museum’s/archive’s highlights and discuss what makes each unique
    • Review of concerns and challenges each Museum/Archive is facing
    • Identification of BTNHR, Pembina Manitou Archive, and Manitoba Historical Society resources which would be available and valuable to each museum
    • Identification of each Museum’s available resources which could be publicized, enhanced, protected, and used to promote their regional presence.
    • Collaboratively outline the process for sharing these resources regionally using a digital web-based platform.
    • Promotion of these resources, both digitally and as individual Museums, for use by students and researchers in the region and across the globe.
    • Production of a report for consideration by the BTNTR board to select initiatives and consider actions recommended in the report.
    • Production of a Comprehensive General Report/Monograph for distribution to each participating Museum and for inclusion on web-based platforms.

    This work was undertaken starting the summer of 2020. Six monographs were published as a result of the 2020 season’s work – these reports are available online in the Pembina Manitou Archive web site’s Museum file. Hard copies of these reports are available by contacting pembinamanitouarchive@gmail.com Work continues during 2021/22 in partnership with other archives in the BTNHR Region.

  • 16 Jul 2021 1:54 PM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    Music has always been a favourite pastime throughout human history.  From lute players to modern pop artists, musicians of all backgrounds and styles entertained crowds of listeners.  What may not be known to some is that local archives contain historical records about past musicians.  In the below blog post, staff from the Daly House Museum highlight Roy Brown Collection, which documents an interesting period in Canadian music history.

    Ninety years ago a new musical sound took North America by storm.  It became known as the Big Band or Swing era. The period between 1935 to 1945 was the only time in North American music history that the popularity of this form of jazz eclipsed all other forms of music. The popularity of the sound was due in part to the emergence of radios in private households allowing listeners the ability to enjoy music for free during the Great Depression.  Eventually the sound of these big bands with their trumpets and trombones became a way to lift morale of the public during World War II.  Roy Brown and His Orchestra was one of those bands. During the Big Band era it became one of the most popular bands on the Prairies and helped start the career of many young local musicians.

    Formed in 1939, the Brown Orchestra made its first appearance at Clear Lake’s Danceland and was quickly rated as “the best 10-piece band in Canada.”.  The band consisted of the five Brown brothers - Roy, Joe, Frank, Percy and Tom Brown. Other band members included Sig Johnson, Vic Gellert, Harry Boone, Bob McCullough, and Jay Hannay.    The group played regularly at Danceland and at Brandon’s Imperial Dance Garden until 1946. After seven years of entertaining thousands of Canadian soldiers the Brown Orchestra disbanded as the Big Band era ended along with the end of World War II.

    The last performance of Roy Brown and His Band at Danceland, Clear Lake, Manitoba in 1946. Roy Brown is pictured on the far left. Roy Brown Collection, Daly House Museum

    Image info: The last performance of Roy Brown and His Band at Danceland, Clear Lake, Manitoba in 1946. Roy Brown is pictured on the far left.  Roy Brown Collection, Daly House Museum

    Band leader Roy Brown went on to have a diverse career as a musician, businessman, historian, and inventor that spanned 50 years.  He owned a dance hall on 10th Street in Brandon named the Esquire and in the 1950s, the Roy Brown Show was one of the earliest programs on CKX-TV.  In the 70s & 80s, original compositions by Roy such as “We’re Proud of Brandon”, “Manitoba Has the Best of Ev’rything”, “When You Come to Grand Valley”, and the “Garden of Peace” were performed by the Wheat City Chorus and the Training Command Band from Canadian Forces Base, Winnipeg for Manitoba’s and Brandon Centennial Events.

    The Roy Brown Variety Show first aired on CKX-TV, May 5, 1955. Roy Brown Collection, Daly House Museum

    Image info: The Roy Brown Variety Show first aired on CKX-TV, May 5, 1955. Roy Brown Collection, Daly House Museum

    As an inventor, He created a successful piece of furniture called the Rokorol that could be converted from baby furniture into every day furniture such as a portable coffee table or end table.  The City of Brandon sent the product to Princess Elizabeth as a present in celebration of the birth of Prince Charles in 1948. 

    Rokorol Corp Display at the Los Angeles County Fair, Pomona, California, September 1948. Actress Joan was the model in the product photographs on display. Roy Brown Collection, Daly House Museum

    Image info: Rokorol Corp Display at the Los Angeles County Fair, Pomona, California, September 1948.  Actress Joan was the model in the product photographs on display. Roy Brown Collection, Daly House Museum  

    As a historian, Roy researched and wrote history books such as the “Steamboats on the Assiniboine” which covered the history of the steamboats that plied the Assiniboine and Red Rivers between 1870 to the 1890s.  Roy received the Manitoba Gold Boy Award for his active role in preserving Manitoba’s history in 1970.  Today, you can obtain a copy of his book through Daly House Museum’s gift shop.

    Daly House Museum also holds the Roy Brown Collection consisting of photographs, and audio recordings of Roy Brown and His Orchestra as well as photographs and prototypes of Brown’s inventions.  Recently, Daly House Museum received funding from the Brandon Area Community Foundation courtesy of the foundation’s fund holders Gord & Diane Peters to digitize the collection. The recordings (14 tape reels, 1 eight-track recording, 13 cassette tapes, and 9 LP records) were sent to Richard L. Hess Tape Restoration Resources for digitization and restoration. 

    The Roy Brown audio collection that was digitized by Richard L. Hess Tape Restoration Resources thanks to funding from the Brandon Area Community Foundation in 2021.

    Image info: The Roy Brown audio collection that was digitized by Richard L. Hess Tape Restoration Resources thanks to funding from the Brandon Area Community Foundation in 2021.

    The conversion of the collection to a digital format has brought to light unknown recordings. For instance, there is a recording made at a 1979 Brown Band reunion at Clear Lake where Roy recounts what dances at Danceland were like in the 1940s.

    “… this place was packed with people in uniform. It wasn’t uncommon to see two hundred to three hundred young men here waiting to pounce on the first gal that come in that door.  There were no wall flowers believe me.  They were hectic years and I can recall leaving the dances and we’d go home and listen to the radio to find out the number of planes shot down in the Battle of Britian…

     – Roy Brown, Recorded at Danceland, Clear Lake, Manitoba 1979.

    Roy Brown lived an exceptional life and his legacy to Manitoba’s history is not forgotten; he and his orchestra live on through their music which is now available to help future generations understand local life during one of the most difficult times in world history.  

    For more information about the Roy Brown Collection contact Daly House Museum at dalymuseum@wcgwave.ca

  • 30 Jun 2021 2:57 PM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    Comic book characters are all the rage these days with popular films such as The Avengers and others.  What many people may not know, is that local archives contain varied and diverse examples of these types of characters.  Oseredok contains one such example, as they explain in the following blog post.

    Did you know that one of the earliest comic books published in Canada was published by a Ukrainian here in Winnipeg? The multi-talented artist behind the book, Jacob Maydanyk, donated his collection to Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and educational Centre, and our most recent archival project includes the cataloguing, digitization, and creation of finding aids for his materials.

    Born in Syvdovi, Ukraine, in 1891, Jacob Maydanyk was a multi-talented artist and a contributor to the Ukrainian-Canadian community. After receiving his degree from the Krakow Textile-Ornamenting Academy, he immigrated to rural Manitoba in 1911. He spent the next decade of his life teaching in rural schools which exposed him to prairie farming communities, a theme he would return to in many of his future artistic creations. In 1920 Maydanyk moved to Winnipeg where he opened the Providence Church Goods Store, a business which he continued to operate until 1979.

    A talented artist and cartoonist, Maydanyk created “Vykjo Shteef Tabachniuk” (Uncle Steve Tobacco), a satirical figure who appeared in the 1920s in the Canadian Farmer and other newspapers. His characteristic style which combined sharp humor and satire was tremendously popular and resonated deeply with Ukrainian prairie immigrants, so much so, that his first comic book, published in 1930, sold thousands of copies. Reprinted in 1974, this comic book is one of the oldest published in Canada.

    Maydanyk was also a talented iconographer and his icons can still be found in many Ukrainian parishes in Manitoba. He collaborated with Theodore Baran and Leo Mol on some of his sacred art projects. Maydanyk’s other artistic pursuits included the creation of a number of plays and books of poetry.

    Additionally, Maydanyk was active in the socio-political life of Ukrainian émigrés in Manitoba and was an active member of the Ukrainian-Canadian community. An exhibition of Maydanyk’s work was held at Oseredok, Winnipeg, MB, in 1977.

    Oseredok houses many treasure like those in the Maydanyk collection and we invite you to visit us in-person, our website, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to learn more!

  • 12 Jun 2021 10:26 AM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    Have a collection you want to highlight?  Working on a special project?  Want to share some news with others?  The Association for Manitoba Archives (AMA) would like to hear from you by sharing blog posts.  We are seeking local archives to share a brief blog post that we will host on our website.  The posts need not be long, about 250 to 500 words in length, but should cover an important collection or project that you would like to share.  You can also submit images with your post.  When the AMA receives it, we will add it to our blog along with links to your institution’s website.  We will also distribute it over our networks to increase exposure.  Even though it is hosted on our website, your institution will be acknowledged as the author of the post.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Chris at webmaster@mbarchives.ca.

    Have a great day and we hope to hear from you!

  • 27 May 2021 7:50 PM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    Despite restrictions caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Association for Manitoba Archives (AMA) held its first ever virtual Manitoba Day Awards this evening via Zoom.  As last years event was canceled due to the Pandemic, the proceedings honoured both the 2020 and 2021 winners as well as the nominees.

    The virtual Manitoba Day Awards Ceremony started with opening remarks from the AMA’s Chair, David Cuthbert.  Brian Hubner then delivered a land acknowledgement on behalf of the AMA.  Cathy Cox, Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage also welcomed all participants and thanked the AMA via a video recording.

    Using a colourful PowerPoint, the AMA celebrated the winners of the 2020 Manitoba Day Awards and then presented the 2021 nominees.  The 2021 winners were then announced.  If present, award recipients gave a brief speech.  The full list of winners can be found here.

    Special thanks to all the nominees as well as our hardworking volunteers for organizing this event!

  • 19 Dec 2020 10:13 AM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    The Association for Manitoba Archives, along with other members of the Manitoba Heritage Summit Group, signed an open letter to Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman regarding a spot on the Bay Downtown Advisory Committee.

    You can download and read this letter here.

  • 07 Oct 2020 10:53 AM | Anonymous

    Library and Archives Canada is officially launching the second Listen, Hear Our Voices funding call.

    This year, the initiative provides funding of up to $60,000 per project to eligible Indigenous organizations to digitize existing culture and language recordings, and to help them build the skills, knowledge and resources they need to carry out this work in their communities.

    For more information, please see the posters below on these topics:

    Listen, Hear Our Voices funding call 2020 (English)

    Listen, Hear Our Voices funding call 2020 (French)

    Listen, Hear Our Voices funding call 2020 (Anishinabe)

    Listen, Hear Our Voices funding call 2020 (Inuktitut - Roman Orthography)

    Listen, Hear Our Voices funding call 2020 (Inuktitut - Syllabics)

    Webinar Dates:
    EN: Wednesdays - October 21st, November 18th and November 25th
    FR: Thursdays - October 22nd and November 19th

    The time for all webinars is 1:30-3:30 ET.
    E-mail bac.ecoutezentendrenosvoix-listenhearourvoices.lac@canada.ca  to register.

    Application due date: December 11th, 2020
    Application form: French /English

    News Releases: French / English

    For more information, contact:

    Delia Chartrand

    Archiviste, Écoutez pour entendre nos voix, Direction générale des Archives

    Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
    / Gouvernement du Canada
    / Tél. : 1-613-790-1134

    Archivist, Listen, hear our voices, Archives Branch

    Library and Archives Canada
    / Government of Canada
    / Tel: 1-613-790-1134

  • 17 May 2020 7:35 PM | Anonymous

    The Association for Manitoba Archives is excited to announce the launch of the AMA’s pages on Facebook and Twitter.   

    Please consider following the accounts below on your preferred platform:



  • 12 May 2020 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    To celebrate Manitoba 150, the Association for Manitoba Archives would like to announce 11 different projects and initiatives worthy of praise. Each year the AMA presents the Manitoba Day Awards to individuals who, through the use of archives, complete original works of excellence which contribute to the understanding and celebration of Manitoba’s history. Typically, the winners are announced at our annual awards night, but this year the event and the announcement of winners has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will be rescheduled once it is safe to gather and celebrate these achievements. Until then, the AMA still wishes to announce and celebrate all those nominated. The full list of nominees worthy of praise for their work utilizing and promoting different archival materials in Manitoba is available here to explore online from the comfort of home. 

    Information about the date of the 2020 Manitoba Day Awards will be announced as soon as we are able to safely hold the event. Please visit the AMA home page for the latest updates.

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