Collection 15.007 - Winnipeg Press Club Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Winnipeg Press Club Collection

General material designation

  • Textual record

Parallel title

Beer and Skits Collection

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Reference code

CA UWA 15.007

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1953, 1956-1960, 1963-1967 (Creation)
    Winnipeg Press Club

Physical description area

Physical description

0.05 m of textual records

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Archival description area

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Administrative history

The Winnipeg Press Club (WPC) is Canada's oldest media club, and one of the four oldest in the world. The Winnipeg Press Club was established on February 12, 1887. The representation of its membership included Winnipeg newspaper publishers, editors and reporters. The firs officers elected were: Thomas Hiram Preston as President, William Edward Maclellan as Vice-President, Archibald McNee as Treasurer, Charles Wesley Handscomb as Secretary, and an Executive Committee consisting of John W. Dafoe, George A. Flynn and A.P.Wood.
The early objectives of the Winnipeg Press Club were threefold. First was to promote the professional, social, cultural, and educational interests of its members, and to encourage professional exchange and development. Second was to provide a united voice to the practice of journalism and freedom of the press in Winnipeg. Third was to establish fraternal relationships between fellow press clubs and media associations around the world.
The Winnipeg Press Club was originally a private club for members of the newspaper fraternity only. In 1953, WPC extended its membership to include broadcasters, but women were not allowed to join until 1970.
The WPC office was originally located at Winnipeg City Hall from 1890 until 1953, when it moved to a new location at the Northern Life Assurance Company building at 300 Main Street. From 1961 to 2008, the WPC operated out of the Marlborough Hotel, when it began to meet and perform at the Irish Association of Manitoba until 2011. In 2012, the WPC started to meet at the Royal Canadian Legion, St. James Branch #4, at 1755 Portage Ave.

Custodial history

The collection was originally donated anonymously to the Millennium Library in Winnipeg, MB in 2015. The collection was then donated to the University of Winnipeg Archives by Philip Bravo, Collection Librarian at the Millennium Library later that year after determining that the collection did not fit the Millennium Library's collection mandate.

Scope and content

The collection consists of eleven programs for a satirical show called "Beer and Skits", which was created by the Winnipeg Press Club (WPC) and the Sock and Buskin Club. The event started as the WPC "Smoker" in 1933-1934 and it adapted the name "Beer and Skits" on its program in 1945. The show provided an important social and professional bridge between newsmen, the judiciary and the constabulary. Nate Zimmerman, a theatre critic for the Winnipeg Tribune, set the rules for "Beer and Skits" which were no smut, no religion and no women. These rules remained in effect until 1983, the show's 50th anniversary, when women picketed the show which attracted national news coverage. When women were allowed to join the club in 1984, "Beer and Skits" went through some evolutionary changes.

"Beer and Skits" ended just shy of its 75th anniversary. However, cast and crew wanted to keep the show going and in 2008, the BS Comedy Players Incorporated, a non-profit group, continued the show. The Press Club claims that "Beer and Skits" still currently stands as North America's longest running revue.

Some of the content found in the collection may be considered offensive.

Notes area

Physical condition

The 1953 and 1956 editions have brittle pages and should be handled with care.

Immediate source of acquisition

The collection was donated by Philip Bravo, Collection Librarian at the Millennium Library in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2015.


Programs are arranged in chronological order.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Users must abide by copyright legislation. Copyright remains with the Winnipeg Press Club.

Finding aids

Associated materials

A collection of images depicting the "Beer and Skits" shows are found in the Winnipeg Press Club Collection of the Western Canada Pictorial Index.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created 9 February 2016 by Petra Lundy
Revised and published 7 March 2016 by Brett Lougheed

Language of description

Script of description


The Manitoba Historical Society, “MHS Centennial Organization: Winnipeg Press Club,” Accessed on February 16, 2016.

Winnipeg Press Club, “About”, Accessed on February 16, 2016.

Winnipeg Press Club, “Beer and Skits”, news release, Accessed on February 16, 2016.

Accession area

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