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- Textual record
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1953, 1956-1960, 1963-1967 (Creation)
- Winnipeg Press Club
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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.
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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.
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Revised and published 7 March 2016 by Brett Lougheed
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The Manitoba Historical Society, “MHS Centennial Organization: Winnipeg Press Club,” Accessed on February 16, 2016. http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/organization/winnipegpressclub.shtml.
Winnipeg Press Club, “About”, Accessed on February 16, 2016. http://www.winnipegpressclub.com/?page_id=78.
Winnipeg Press Club, “Beer and Skits”, news release, Accessed on February 16, 2016. http://www.winnipegpressclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Panel-4-beer-skits.pdf