by Peter Squire
One of the most important corporate social responsibility programs WinnipegREALTORS® has undertaken is the Citizens Hall of Fame.
It is an exceptional program, because it celebrates Winnipeg by prominently displaying the likenesses of outstanding citizens who have done so much to contribute to our quality of life. At the same time, it provides a history of Winnipeg through the activities of so many citizens, who made their mark in many different and positive ways to enhance and build our city to what it is today.
The profile of the program is greatly enhanced by having the physical site for the display of the inductees’ sculptures in Assiniboine Park.
Clearly one of the real unique aspects of this program is the fact that it honours the inductee recipients through portraitures by local scuptors that are then prominently placed in Assiniboine Park for everyone to see. This permanent display becomes a very striking and memorable way to acknowledge every inductee’s contributions.
The artists involved in creating these portraitures are also to be commended. They take pride, put in considerable effort and pay close attention to detail in creating these likenesses of Citizens Hall of Fame inductees. One of the sculptors is Leo Mol, who is a Citizens Hall of Fame inductee in recognition of his world-class body of work. Winnipeggers and visitors to the city can enjoy his sculptures in a garden setting at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Assiniboine Park.
Other sculptors in the program include Josef Randa, Eva Stubbs, Helen Granger-Young, Madeleine Vrignon, Erin Brown and Miguel Joyal. Eva Stubbs is also the creator of the Citizens Hall of Fame bronze medallion, which is presented to the inductee or, in the case of a posthumous selection, a family relative or designated individual at a special induction ceremony.
The Citizens Hall of Fame was created in 1986 by REALTOR® Harry DeLeeuw in close collaboration with former Mayor Bill Norrie.
To date, 44 inductees have been selected, with the most recent being Lee Newton, founder of Winnipeg Harvest, who was celebrated and inducted last Thursday. Her likeness will be installed at the Citizens Hall of Fame site in the Formal Gardens at Assiniboine Park (southeast corner off Corydon Avenue) at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 15.
These remarkable people have gone well beyond their area of expertise and specialties to give back to the community. The likenesses of Terry Fox, Carol Shields, Duff Roblin, Bill Norrie, Stephen Juba, Nellie McClung, Leo Mol, Sir William Stephenson, Dr. Allan Ronald, Cora Hind, Gabrielle Roy, and many others, can be viewed at the Formal Garden site.
This year’s inductee, Lee Newton, did something that had nothing to do with her profession as a graphic artist. She came across an idea about a food bank in New York and recognized that such a program was needed in Winnipeg. Her incredible determination led to setting up Winnipeg Harvest, which today feeds thousands of Manitobans unable to provide for themselves.
The Citizens Hall of Fame site in Assiniboine Park is currently under construction in preparation for the new and exciting Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s Diversity Gardens project.
Information on all of WinnipegREALTORS® Citizens Hall of Fame program can be found at winnipegfame.ca
Public nominations for new inductee candidates are welcome. The next selection will take place in December this year, so nominations for 2018 will close at the end of November.