Association of Manitoba Museums

Manitoba Day

Manitoba Day is May 12th

Manitoba Day History

The Manitoba Act, which created the Province of Manitoba, was given Royal Assent on May 12, 1870. This paved the way for the proclamation on July 15, 1870. On May 12, 1966 Manitoba’s official flag was dedicated and unfurled for the first time. In 1986, May 12 was designated as Manitoba Day in perpetuity, in recognition of the importance of this day in the history of the Province.

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May 12, 2021

Outstanding Manitobans Chosen to Receive The Order of Manitoba

Twelve Manitobans, whose contributions encompass a broad range of endeavours and accomplishments, will soon receive the Order of Manitoba, the province’s highest honour. The formal investiture ceremony is tentatively scheduled to be held on July 15, 2021, at the Manitoba Legislative Building, subject to the COVID-19 Pandemic Response System.
The Order of Manitoba was established in 1999 to honour Manitobans who have demonstrated excellence and achievement, thereby enriching the social, cultural or economic well-being of the province and its residents.

“The exceptional women and men to be invested into the Order of Manitoba serve to inspire us all and reinforce that each of us has the power to make a difference,” said Lt.-Gov. Janice C. Filmon, chancellor of the order, who will preside over ceremony. “These individuals truly exemplify resiliency, adaptability and leadership, and they are all most worthy of acknowledgement and acclaim. We are proud to celebrate the passion and leadership of these great Manitobans.”

Appointments to the order are made by the chancellor, based on the recommendations of an advisory council. Order members are entitled to use the initials O.M. after their names for life. The list of all members of the Order of Manitoba is on permanent display in the Legislative Building.

The following Manitobans will be invested at the 2021 ceremony:

Mr. Steve Bell
An award-winning singer and songwriter, Bell continues to use his artistic talents to inspire, entertain and inform audiences across Canada and the U.S. He has received many prestigious awards including multiple Juno Awards, Western Canadian Music Awards, Prairie Music Awards and Gospel Music Association Covenant Awards.

Mr. Franklin (Lynn) Bishop
An executive leader in the Canadian transportation industry and a volunteer leader in the fields of sport and health care, Bishop has demonstrated excellence throughout his career. He led the federal government’s Caribbean Airport Project, served as CEO of Winnipeg International Airport, played key roles in the establishment of Winnport Logistics and its evolvement into Cargojet, Canada’s leading air cargo carrier, and is a past president of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club as well as past board chair of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation.

Elder Ruth Christie
Christie has dedicated her life to Indigenous history preservation, education and service to the community, notably in her storytelling, historical re-enactment and teaching to scholars, students and the general public. Through her work, she makes a deep understanding of Indigenous, colonial and Canadian history accessible to people in Manitoba, as well as nationally and internationally.

Dr. Michael Eskin, C.M.
A global leader in canola research and one of the world’s leading food science writers, Eskin earned the Order of Canada in 2016 for his work on the physicochemical and functional properties of canola oil that is key to the success of the Canadian canola oil industry. His work changed the agricultural landscape in Manitoba and Canada, making canola oil the third-largest major oilseed crop in the world.

Dr. Gordon Goldsborough
The current president of the Manitoba Historical Society, Goldsborough is an aquatic ecologist who studies the impact of humans and invasive species on lakes and wetlands. He has guided conservation policy for wetlands across the country including Lake Winnipeg. He is the author of the popular Abandoned Manitoba books and stars on the CBC radio segment of the same name.

Mr. Gregg Hanson, C.M.
Former president and CEO of Wawanesa Mutual, Hanson has made his mark on the Manitoba community in a career highlighted by corporate responsibility and outstanding community service. An Order of Canada recipient, he has supported a variety of causes including poverty reduction in First Nations education. Now retired, he chairs an early childhood development initiative to assist Winnipeg’s most vulnerable children.

Mr. Kyle Irving
The co-owner of Eagle Vision, Irving has showcased Canada’s Indigenous people, history, arts and culture for over 20 years. He has produced numerous award-winning feature films including the five-time Oscar-nominated Capote and the seminal We Were Children. He is also the executive producer of the Manitoba-set international hit drama series Burden of Truth, the ground-breaking series Taken, and the globally broadcast Ice Road Truckers. As an industry leader, he is dedicated to the development and elevation of Manitoba storytellers and filmmakers.

Ms. Ava Kobrinsky
One of the founding directors of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Kobrinsky is a force in the cultivation, nurturing and flourishing of contemporary folk music in Manitoba and Canada. She was the general manager the West End Cultural Centre and the Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous, and has also played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Prairie Theatre Exchange, the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre and the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers.

Ms. Claudette Leclerc
An accomplished advocate of provincial arts, culture and heritage, Leclerc has made a significant impact on arts organizations in her accomplished career including the Winnipeg International Children’s Festival, Folklorama and most recently as president and CEO of The Manitoba Museum. Earning many professional honours over the course of her career, she was named a Fellow of the Canadian Museum Association in 2015.

Ms. Doris Mae Oulton
A prominent advocate for women’s rights, Oulton has made many important contributions to Manitoba’s life and culture. She is currently chair of the Nellie McClung Foundation and the Canadian Federation of University Women Charitable Trust, and was the former assistant deputy minister of the Manitoba Women’s Directorate. Her community contributions have been recognized locally and internationally, for their significance.

Mr. Greg Selinger
A graduate of the University of Manitoba’s School of Social Work, Selinger worked in social service in Winnipeg’s north end, before pursuing further education in public administration at Queen’s University and earning a PhD from the London School of Economics. In 1989, he was elected to Winnipeg’s City Council and in 1999 became the member of the legislative assembly for St. Boniface. He won his first election campaign as NDP leader, capturing 37 of 57 seats in October 2011, to become Manitoba’s 21st premier.

Mr. Arni Thorsteinson
One of Manitoba’s leading entrepreneurs, Thorsteinson has long-demonstrated outstanding community leadership through his business initiatives and his philanthropic generosity, especially in support of the arts, education and human rights. The founder of Winnipeg-based Shelter Properties, he also spearheaded the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) capital campaign, and was appointed as its first board chair.

For more information about the Order of Manitoba, or to nominate a deserving Manitoban for next year, visit  

Bradley Robertson
Chief of Protocol and Secretary to the Order of Manitoba Advisory Council


Joint Statement from Premier Brian Pallister and Sport, Culture and
Heritage Minister Cathy Cox on the 151st Anniversary of Manitoba Day

Together, we virtually join all Manitobans, near and abroad, to mark Manitoba Day. On this day 151 years ago, the Manitoba Act received royal assent, paving the way to our province’s entry into the Canadian Confederation, the only province to do so under Indigenous leadership.

Manitoba Day is an opportunity to explore our history as well as to acknowledge, honour and celebrate our province’s diverse mosaic of people and cultures, whether it be those who have made their lives on these lands for thousands of years, hundreds of years, for decades or who have recently made Manitoba their new home. All have enriched our province with their stories, languages and traditions.

Understanding our history helps us to build community partnerships, common understandings and shared experiences. We need these connections now more than ever.

This past year has been like no other. COVID-19 has handed us new challenges and even greater challenges than before. This pandemic has been marked with incredible loss, but it has also shown Manitobans at their finest. Your determination, compassion and commitment to help protect your fellow Manitobans has enabled all of us to face these challenges head on, together.

Manitobans should take pride in the collective work we are continuing to do to keep each other safe. Manitobans have embraced this task in the same spirit in which we have supported each other in previous times of peril.

Today we reflect on this special day in Manitoba’s history, and we look forward to the day we celebrate Manitoba’s past, present and future, together in person with our friends and loved ones. Manitoba has been the hope of hope for over 150 years and we are confident it will continue to be so for generations to come.

For more information contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.


The Association of Manitoba Museums acknowledges that we are on Treaty 1 territory and the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.