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Monday, September 18, 2023


In its 1950s --1970s heydays, the Winnipeg Press Club was the fourth-largest in the world

Canada’s oldest press club has signed off for the final time. 

The Winnipeg Press Club, which welcomed journalists, media members and the day’s newsmakers, is no more after 136 years. 

"We haven't really met for the past few years, and we just thought that maybe it's time to call it a day," said Dwight MacAulay, a past president of the club. 

The Press Club formed in 1887, and shuffled through several homes over the years including Winnipeg City Hall, the Northern Life Assurance Company on Main Street, the Marlborough Hotel, the Irish Association of Manitoba, and most recently in the basement of the St. James Legion. 

While it was a place for newspaper publishers, editors, reporters and broadcasters to unwind, membership wasn’t limited to just the media. “It was the newsmakers that used to come to the Winnipeg Press Club, as well,” MacAuley said. “Mostly politicians, but also people involved in business, science, education - you name it. They might come down just to meet some people from the media to talk about something that's coming up or something that's happened or so on." 

In its heyday, the Winnipeg Press Club was the fourth-largest in the world. Today, only the Denver Press Club, formed in 1877, the Press Club in London, UK in 1882, and the Milwaukee Press Club in 1885 are older. 

MacAuley says changes to the way people socialize and changes to media itself led to the club’s demise. “I’m sad this has happened, but it was something that's, I think, been a long time coming,” he said. “And we just thought this was now as good a time as any to do it.” MacAuley said documents related to the Winnipeg Press Club have been turned over to the University of Manitoba for archiving. 

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