The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
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1880 Alexander Avenue (1)    Location Map

Two Murals at one location: (l) 'Patterson's Barn Dance'; (r) 'Tribute to Stephenson'.

Location: S side at Alexander and Dee 'T' intersection; West Face

Occupant: Norwest on Alexander Resource Centre

District: McPhillips-Keewatin

Neighbourhood: Brooklands

Artist(s): Sarah Collard (Collard Creations)

Year: 2012

Sponsors: Take Pride Winnipeg!


Commentary for 'Patterson's Barn Dance' (photo 2 and 4)

With the development of the Canadian National Railway in 1867, settlers travelled to the area and formed a community which later became known as Brooklands, Manitoba. Some of its most notable accomplishments were the Patterson's Ranch House, The Brooklands Speedway, Stevenson Airfield, Brooklands Voluntary Fire Department, the Red School, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the change in Privy Laws and the many Scottish, Ukrainian and Aboriginal residents who made this community unique. Patterson's Dance Barn hosted many big names such as Burton Cummings (on left) as well as many gospel and country bands such as Andy de Jarlis, Don Reynolds and Ferlin Husky (center in white). It was a popular gathering place for many young people especially during the 1940's and 50's. Leading the Carnival parade is Speedway driver Don Guida in 1969 and the 1970 Beauty Queen. They are followed by the Volunteer Fire Department in 1952. For emergencies there is an outhouse located behind the barn, referencing the notable improvement in privy laws which Brooklands was noted for. In the background lies the town with its characteristic 'shanty' houses giving off smoke that hangs in the cold prairie sky. From left to right is the Red School, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, residential houses, J. Mroz (blacksmith) and the Canadian Bank of Commerce on Logan. Stevenson flies above.

Description of photographs used in the mural:

Patterson's Ranch House - The Red Barn. This was located just North of Logan Avenue on Keewatin Street, before it was named and painted red. The Red Barn was known throughout the city for its lively times and well known country and western performers: Del Genthon and his popular CJRC Grainbelters, Wilf Carter and Hank Snow. The Red Barn in its final years became a three floor Bingo Hall until its demise in the 1980s. A license was issued on June 13th 1938 to Mr. B. A. Patterson of Patterson's Stables to conduct dances on his property at Keewatin and Logan. At the time a letter to the Manitoba Tax Commission from the Village Administrator stated "We understand that a charge of 35 cents is made for admission. They had a good-sized crowd in attendance every Saturday night. Certain conditions had to be made to the building due to its popularity and crowded conditions. In 1947 charges were made of discrimination against a colored person. There were inevitable fights and brawls that accompanied any busy dance serving liquor."
The Brooklands Speedway - (located to the northwest of Brooklands off Oak Point Highway, near Selkirk Avenue) was well known in Western Canada. In 1963 one Stock car race meet saw 4,640 spectators. Racer is Don Guida in 1969 with owner Ernie Johnson's name on the car.
Train - from the museum. It is a replica of an original, early train 1867-90.
Stevenson Airfield - plane flying above to symbolize Captain Frederick Joseph Stevenson who was named Canada's first bush pilot in 1926. He was known for opening up the north (to fly-in reserves) but unfortunately died early in 1928 on a flight into The Pas, Manitoba.
Brooklands Voluntary Fire Department - 1965
the Red School, (Krawchyk School Today)
the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Brooklands
Privy - In 1957 sanitary sewers and watermains were installed on the remaining streets in Brooklands. Resident water meters were installed for $28.00. These replaced the common outhouse or privy.
Burton Cummings -1960's - the Early Years,
Ferlin Husky - 1964
Beauty Queen on a Ford Thunderbird convertible - Brooklands used to have an annual carnival organized by the Kinsmen and later by the community club. At one time it was one of the largest in the Winnipeg area. Carnival Queen Debbie Kohler is shown in 1970.
residential houses -Ada Street water pails in 1942.
Mrs. Tataryn and Bill Jr. on Elgin Street (Mom and baby crossing the street). The child looks toward the blacksmith (J. Mroz).
Canadian Bank of Commerce on Logan - 1906
dancing from 1950's

Commentary on 'Tribute to Stephenson' (photos 3 and 5):

This is a tribute to Stevenson, the bush pilot who courageously opened up remote communities by delivering heavy cargo to them when nobody else would. Stevenson is seen unloading the plane from Fort Churchill, enabling mothers to feed their children. The original Stevenson airport is depicted above and an aboriginal teepee is seen to the right, referencing a Northern Manitoba Reserve. The Brookside Cemetery is where many heroes rest including Stevenson. After World War II, many veterans were buried here as well as early settlers- which it became famous for. The 'Brooklands Cemetary Motor Bus' is seen in the bottom right pointing to its historical roots (1915). In a way, Stevenson turned the many casualties of war into victory for Aboriginal people. The Speedway has also been placed in the top below the airport landing strip giving meaning to the early immigrant advertisement "Fruitful Manitoba".

Description of the photographs used in the mural:

Captain Frederick Joseph Stevenson - December 2, 1896 - January 5, 1928
Located in Field of Honour Section, Lot 150A, Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, MB. Stevenson attended Kelvin High School and later Wesley College. In 1917 at age 19, he flew for the Royal Flying Corps in England where he began pilot training. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and was decorated with the Belgian and French Croix de Guerre. After the war, Stevenson was one of many Royal Air Force pilots who ferried diplomats and other officials between London and Paris. After this, he began a short stint as a sea pilot in northern Russia. After returning to Canada in 1920, he went back to Winnipeg where he joined the Canadian Aircraft Company. With the company, he flew as part of flying exhibitions at small-town fairs in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 1926 he moved on to Western Canada Airways and became one of Canada's first bush pilots, transporting air freight to the North. By the following year, Stevenson was regularly transporting material and equipment from Cache Lake to Fort Churchill on Hudson Bay. On January 5, 1928 during a test flight in the Pas, Manitoba, the engine of his Fokker aircraft failed and his plane went into a spin at a low altitude and fell onto a quiet residential street and he was killed. Captain Frederick Stevenson is buried at Brookside Cemetery, facing southwest toward the airfield that would later be named after him (Stevenson's Airfield). On May 27, 1928 the City of Winnipeg and the Municipality of St. James opened the new airdrome. Five hundred people attended the opening where Stevenson's mother unveiled a marble plaque that read: "This airdrome is named Stevenson Airdrome in dedication to the late Captain F. J. Stevenson of Winnipeg, Canada's Premier Commercial Pilot. The field eventually became known as Stevenson Field which was later renamed Winnipeg International Airport.
- an early photo of Stevenson Field in 1928
Photo - F.J Stevenson flies newspapers to Red Lake in 1927. (Fort Churchill is written on side of plane)
Brookside Cemetery - modern photo of the field of honour 1-150A.
Native Aboriginal Woman Feeding her Children - from Hudson Bay Archives. An aboriginal flag is painted on the airport to represent the significance of first nations people in the area but also Stevenson's flying destination.
First Nations People Standing in Front of a Teepee: This is an early photo from the Hudson Bay Archives. It is meant to give sight to the communities which Stevenson helped.