Canada’s History for Kids Young Citizen Project – Sebastien

Manitoba’s own Sebastien S., a student at the Red River Valley Junior Academy in Winnipeg, Manitoba chose to do his Red River Heritage Fair project on “Nice Women Don’t Want the Vote”. The project talks about the history behind women’s suffrage, who led the cause and how it impacted today’s world.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

The most interesting thing I learned about my topic was how empowered women truly are and how their stern belief in equality got them to make a change in Canada.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

I have learned that anyone can make a difference despite your gender, race, or age.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

My life today is different from those I studied in my project because today’s society has evolved into a more accepting society. Women have slowly been able to have the same rights and opportunity as men and i hope it continues to do so.

The Young Citizens program focuses on citizenship and is a complementary component to Heritage Fairs, an annual event where students present the results of their research on Canadian heroes, legends and key events in Canadian history. Participants in the Young Citizens program make a short video about their heritage fair topic, much like an evening news report or short documentary. The student videos are posted online and reviewed by a panel of judges for a chance to win a trip to Ottawa to attend the Canada’s History Youth Forum.

Watch Sebastien’s Video




The Nellie McClung Foundation Receives Centennial Recognition Award

WINNIPEG – On Saturday, August 13, 2016, The Nellie McClung Foundation was recognized as a recipient of a Centennial Recognition Award. This award is given by the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW Canada) and acknowledged 100 Women’s Organizations for their work in 100 years of women’s suffrage.

The Centennial Recognition Award was presented at the BPW Canada’s 45th Biennial National Convention in Calgary, and pays tribute to The Nellie McClung Foundation’s vision of rights for women.

Nellie McClung was a founding member of the Calgary BPW chapter. First Vice-President Jenny Gulamani-Abulla, said “As the local chapter draws closer to its 90th Anniversary next year, we are reminded of Nellie McClung’s famous quote: “Women are going to form a chain; a greater sisterhood the world has ever known”.


The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women is a non-sectarian, non-profit, and non-partisan organization that works to improve the economic, political, social and employment conditions of working women in Canada. It provides a training ground for developing professional, business and leadership potential in a safe and supportive environment.

BPW Canada’s Centennial Recognition Award Recipients’ list

Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre
Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters
Alberta Human Rights Commission: Education & Engagement
Alberta Women Entrepreneurs
Alberta Women’s Institutes
Alberta Women’s Science Network
APSEC Safe House
Ask Her
Aventa Treatment Foundation For Women
Awo Taan Healing Lodge
Bow Valley College: 1000 Women Rising
Boys and Girls Club of Calgary
Big Brothers and Big Sisters
Calgary Board of Education: Alice Jamieson Girls Academy & Nellie McClung School Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA)
Calgary Council of Women
Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association
Calgary Inferno
Calgary United Way: Women’s Leadership Council
Calgary Women in Energy
Calgary Women in Finance
Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter
Calgary Women’s Soccer Association
Canadian Association For the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity Canadian Association of Women in Construction
Canadian Board Diversity Council
Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives
Canadian Council for Muslim Women
Canadian Federation of Junior Leagues (and Calgary Chapter)
Canadian Federation of University Women
Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses
Canadian Research Institute For the Advancement of Women
Canadian Voice of Women For Peace
Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan
Canadian Women’s Foundation
Canadian Women in Communications and Technology
Carleton University: Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership
Centre for Women in Business
Citizens For Public Justice
Crossroads International
Dalhousie University: Office of Human Rights, Equity, and Harassment Prevention DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada
Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society
Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary
Equal Pay Coalition of Ontario
Equal Voice Alberta
Every Woman Foundation
Executive Women International
Famous 5 Foundation
Fast and Female
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Girl Guides of Canada
Girls Action Foundation
Girls 20
Global TV: Women of Vision
Habitat for Humanity
Handsome Alice Theatre
Heritage Park – Nellie McClung House
Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women
Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE)
Justice For Girls
Legal Education Action Fund
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre
Making Changes Association of Calgary
McGill’s Desautels Women in Business
National Association of Women and the Law
National Council of Women of Canada
Native Women’s Association of Canada
Nellie McClung Foundation
North East Calgary Women’s Clinic
OXFAM Canada
Plan Canada
Prince Edward Island Coalition for Women in Government
Servants Anonymous Society of Calgary
Soroptimist International of Western Canada
Stardale Women’s Group
University of British Columbia: Institute For Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice University of Calgary: Women’s Resource Centre
University of Toronto: Faculty of Social Work
University of Winnipeg: Institute of International Women’s Rights
Up For Debate
Winsett Centre
Women Building Futures
Women’s Centre Calgary
Women’s Enterprise Centre
Women’s Executive Network
Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund
Women in Aerospace
Women in Communications and Technology
Women in Film and Television Alberta
Women in Leadership Foundation
Women in Need Society
Women of Influence
Women Transforming Cities
Women Working in Calgary
Young Women in Business Network
Young Women of Energy
Young Women of Power
YWCA: Sheriff King House & Mary Dover House



The Nellie McClung Foundation Announces Jaime Black as Second Arts Legacy Award Recipient

For Immediate Release

 WINNIPEG—On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, multidisciplinary artist Jaime Black became the second recipient of The Nellie McClung Foundation Arts Legacy Award.

The Nellie McClung Foundation Arts Legacy Award recognizes a woman who is emerging in her artistic practice, or a collective of emerging women artists, whose artistic work seeks to engage with the community in social justice issues. The $2,000 award is given to assist in the development of new work within a two-year period.

Perhaps best known for her internationally recognized installation The REDress Project, Jaime Black’s work explores themes of gender, identity, place and resistance through installations, photography and performance. Black’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and is currently on display at The Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

This biennial award was created in 2013 to honour the vision and advance the legacy of Nellie McClung and to recognize the contributions women make to social justice through the arts. “Nellie McClung was a pivotal leader in the struggle for women’s and human rights and I am humbled to receive a prize in her name, I hope to honour and to continue her struggle through my own work as an artist.” says Black.

The Nellie McClung Foundation works in partnership with the Manitoba Arts Council to administer the Award.

The Nellie McClung Foundation Arts Legacy Award recipient Jaime Black (left) with The Nellie McClung Foundation Board Chair, Lila Goodspeed (right) at the Nellie McClung Foundation monument.
Jaime Black has worked creating arts education curriculum for Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art, as a board member for Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA), as Education coordinator at Martha Street Print Studio, and is currently focused on a full time studio art practice.

The Nellie McClung Foundation has a two-part mandate: to raise funds to create and erect a memorial, now on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative building, commemorating the work of Nellie McClung; and to educate the public about her passion and achievements in the pursuit of women’s and human rights.



West End Biz Announces “Mural to celebrate voting rights for women”

The West End Business Improvement Zone outdoor gallery will soon include a mural to celebrate the historic story that lead to voting rights for women. The artwork, planned for this summer, will feature Nellie McClung and other Manitoba suffragists along with many significant elements. The location has not yet been determined but it will be featured on one of the guided mural tour routes. Several factors are considered in wall choice; availability, surface type, and visibility and various sites are being reviewed with the location finalized later this spring.

Winnipeg artist Mandy van Leeuwen has been chosen for the project. Mandy was one of the two artists who created the mural Legacy of Leadership, remembering Bill Norrie.

“We are so pleased that the West End BIZ will be creating a mural in recognition of the work of Nellie and so many others to mark this historic milestone of the vote for women
that opened the door for equality. It’s exciting that we are included in the creative process” says Lila Goodspeed, Chair of the Nellie McLung Foundation.

“Our mural programming tells the stories of our history and culture. We are honored to remember and share this story which ultimately created positive change across Canada” says West End BIZ Executive Director. Gloria Cardwell-Hoeppner. “Mandy’s style is a great match for this project.”

The West End BIZ mural program is internationally recognized and award-winning. The International Downtown Association presented the West End BIZ with the “Award of Distinction” and WHERE Magazine named the West End murals and tours as one of Canada’s Top Ten Attractions. Three new murals are planned for this summer.

The West End Business Improvement Zone (West End BIZ) is a non-profit organization committed to working with area business and stakeholders to enhance and promote Winnipeg’s West End.



Garry Hilderman

The Famous Five Monument
The Famous Five Monument

The Famous Five Monument

It is with regret that the Nellie McClung Foundation acknowledges Garry Hilderman’s passing on January 22nd, 2016. 

As a landscape architect, Garry was a significant contributor to the Nellie McClung monument that now stands on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building.

This initiative could not have been such a success without his wisdom and creativity. We at the Nellie McClung Foundation all know his generosity, civic leadership and dear friendship to so many.

Garry will be greatly missed.



Foundation Announces the Second Nellie McClung Foundation Arts Legacy Award

For Immediate Release

 WINNIPEG—The Nellie McClung Foundation is opening their second annual competition/campaign for the Arts Legacy Award.

The Award recognizes a woman who is emerging in her artistic practice, or a collective of emerging women artists, whose artistic work seeks to engage with community in social justice issues. An amount of $2,000 is awarded to assist in the development of new work completed within a two-year period. The deadline for application is December 7, 2015.

This award was created in 2013 to honour the vision and advance the legacy of Nellie McClung, by recognizing the contributions women make to social justice through the arts. The Nellie McClung Foundation is working in partnership with the Manitoba Arts Council (MAC) to administer the Foundation’s Award.

MAC Executive Director Douglas Riske believes this award builds on the spirit and legacy of McClung, an author, playwright, orator, activist, suffragist and a great influencer.  “This award strengthens Nellie’s legacy which continues to challenge us personally each and every day.” says Riske.

Visual artist Megan Krause became the first recipient of the award in 2014. According to Lila Goodspeed, Chair of the Nellie McClung Foundation, “Megan’s project proposal, which recognized the link between human rights and environmental justice, was both timely and challenging.”

As one of Canada’s first, and perhaps best-known feminists, Nellie McClung became a voice for the voiceless and the defender of the vulnerable. She was unique in her writing of both fiction and opinion pieces, and her speaking and campaigning efforts, in that she balanced her advocacy and sense of justice for all with an innate sense of humour.

The 2016 award ceremony will be special because it coincides with an important date in the history of McClung’s life – the 100th anniversary of Manitoba becoming the first in Canada to achieve the right to vote for women. “This is both a celebration of Nellie McClung’s legacy and the culmination of all of her creative and passionate work,” said Goodspeed. On this centennial year, the foundation will announce its next Legacy Award recipient at a Centennial Gala, to be held on January 28, 2016 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

To apply or submit a nomination, visit:

 For more information, contact:

Lila Goodspeed, Chair
Nellie McClung Foundation
T: 204.803.1531





An Interview with Let Them Howl Playwright, Sharon Bajer

Let them HowlThe Nellie McClung Foundation invites you to Let Them Howl – an engaging and entertaining re-telling of the famous ‘mock-parliament’ play that featured Nellie McClung and her peers in the Political Equality League. Tickets are on sale at for this one-time-only event to be staged on October 18th, 2015 at the Prairie Theatre Exchange.

Leading up to the October 18th event, Terry McCleod interviewed Sharon Bajer, the playwright behind Let Them Howl, on CBC’s Weekend Morning Show this past Sunday. Listen to the interview below, and hear how Bajer approached writing about such an important historical event, her explanation of Reader’s Theatre and a hilarious sample of the reading by Terry and Sharon themselves!

Invite your friends to Let Them Howl for some laughs, refreshments, and great company – and if you haven’t already, purchase tickets now!

Excerpt from CBC’s the Weekend Morning Show, September 27, 2015




Nellie McClung Awards to Celebrate MB Women’s Contributions to Social Justice, the Arts and Democracy

June 18, 2015 – Five years after the unveiling of its iconic monument on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature, the Nellie McClung Foundation, in partnership with the Winnipeg Free Press and Golden West Media, is proud to announce the ‘Nellies’. These awards will honour Nellie McClung’s vision by recognizing the spirit of her life’s work, as it is being advanced by women leaders of today.

The launch of the ‘Nellies’, named after the legendary Manitoba activist Nellie McClung, marks the beginning of a series of celebrations leading up to the 100th anniversary of Manitoba women achieving the right to vote. “The ‘Nellies’ will salute the contributions women in this province have made to social justice, the arts, human rights and the promotion of democracy, following in the footsteps of Nellie McClung,” says Lila Goodspeed, chair of the Nellie McClung Foundation.

In 1916 Manitoba women were the first in the British Commonwealth to be granted the right to vote as a result of the tireless work of Nellie McClung and her peers. The ‘Nellies’ will be presented at the foundation’s Centennial Gala, to be held at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg on January 28, 2016 – the exact date 100 years ago that the legislation was passed granting Manitoba women the right to vote in Provincial elections.

Winnipeg Free Press publisher Bob Cox says the ‘Nellies’ are an excellent way for the newspaper to honour the historic contribution of McClung and her peers, while supporting the ongoing work of Manitoba women who have helped advance social justice and human rights. “We are excited to partner with the foundation in launching the Nellie Awards,” says Cox. The Winnipeg Free Press will help promote the awards program and manage the online nomination and selection process, alongside the Nellie Awards Panel. “We like to think that using the internet to promote the Nellie Awards program and select the recipients is exactly the kind of democratic process that Nellie would support today,” says Cox. Altona-based Golden West Media is also a media partner in the awards program.

Myrna Driedger, MLA for Charleswood and Nellie McClung Foundation Board Member says that honouring the contributions of Manitoba women is vital. “Nellie McClung is an important example of the incredible work both rural and urban Manitoba women have done to enhance our quality of life, strengthen the democratic process and improve society as a whole,” says Driedger.



The 100th Anniversary of the Mock Parliament

January 28, 2015 is the 100th Anniversary of the Mock Parliament – held in Winnipeg at the Walker Theatre in 1914.

The satirical play was performed by the Political Equality League, who reversed the role of men and women, and featured Nellie McClung in the role of MB’s premier.
It completely won over public sentiment, and the following January MB’s women were granted the right to vote in provincial elections. We were the first in the entire British Commonwealth to receive this right.

Here’s a great video highlighting the event, and showcasing Nellie McClung’s role.



Nellie and her Peers Honoured as Minister John Baird Unveils New Canadian Passport

Nellie Passport The Nellie McClung Foundation congratulates Minister John Baird on his announcement that the new Canadian Passport will feature Nellie McClung – and the famous five. Having these women as one of the watermarks on the passport acknowledges their roles as pivotal figures in Canadian history as they join other figures such as explorer Samuel de Champlain, and Prime Ministers Sir John A. MacDonald and Sir Wilfred Laurier.

“Not only does the inclusion of Nellie and her peers pay their legacy a great tribute, it also acknowledges the role that these women played in Canadian citizenship and continues to inspire us to better value and exercise the significant and hard-won rights that we hold today.” said Lila Goodspeed, Chair of the Nellie McClung Foundation.

“Nellie and her peers fought to address inequalities; their social justice message is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago” said Foundation Board Member and spokesperson Doris Mae Oulton…. “By including her image – their image – on the new passport for Canada, it ensures that their role in helping shape the fabric of our society and our reputation in the world is remembered.”

Formed in 2005, The Nellie McClung Foundation is dedicated to educating Canadians about Nellie McClung and preserving her legacy. Their website, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the work of Nellie and to promote a renewed spirit of democracy.


For more information, contact:

Doris Mae Oulton (204) 783-7437 or
Kristen Lynch (204) 477-5272