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December 16, 2015

Celebrating Volunteer David McDowell: The Millennium Legacy Fundraising Reception

On Thursday, December 3, 2015, Heritage Winnipeg held the Millennium Legacy Fundraising Reception to honour and celebrate the contributions of David McDowell to the heritage community. A long-time volunteer and advocate, David was there when Heritage Winnipeg began, and was part of the battle to save the former Bank of Commerce at 389 Main Street. Fittingly, the building, now known as the Millennium Centre, was the venue chosen for this event.

David McDowell at the Millennium Legacy Fundraising Reception on December 3, 2015.

David McDowell is a retired history and geography teacher who worked throughout Manitoba for the duration of his 37-year career. During this time he was also a Western Manitoba member of the Manitoba Historical Society and later served on the board. In the late 1970s, when demolition threatened to turn the majestic banks at 395 Main Street and 389 Main Street into a parking lot, David was President of the Manitoba Historical Society and one of the advocates at the fore of the protests. This heritage movement lead to the formation of Heritage Winnipeg in 1978.

A protest on Main Street against the demolition of 395 and 389 Main Street. David McDowell is on the right with the loudspeaker.

David McDowell was also on the Executive that saw Dalnavert Museum at 61 Carlton Street restored and opened, later serving on the Management committee as well. He served as Heritage Winnipeg’s President for two terms and was also Manitoba Governor of the Heritage Canada Foundation from 1997 to 2003. David is currently an avid member of Heritage Winnipeg’s Streetcar 356 Committee, working towards the restoration of one of Winnipeg’s last remaining wooden streetcars.

Bank of Montreal APA 1982
Heritage Winnipeg’s 1982 Annual Preservation Awards, David McDowell at podium.

In recognition for his contributions to the heritage community, David McDowell was honoured with a Distinguished Service award from Heritage Winnipeg, as well as the Canada 125 Anniversary medal. He has also received the John Wested Award for service to geography, awarded by the Prairie Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers.

APA 2003
David McDowell presents an award during Heritage Winnipeg’s 2003 Annual Preservation Awards.

Photos from the 
Millennium Legacy Fundraising Reception

Millennium Legacy Fundraiser
The Millennium Legacy Fundraising Reception was held at the Millennium Centre at 389 Main Street.

Millennium Legacy Fundraiser
The very talented jazz musicians from the University of Manitoba who played during the event – Marc Tugby, Reginald Lewis, Brennan Saul, and Julian Carneiro.

Millennium Legacy Fundraiser
L-R: David McDowell, Executive Director Cindy Tugwell, & Bill Loewen.

Millennium Legacy Fundraiser
L-R: Councillor Brian Mayes, Executive Director Cindy Tugwell, & David McDowell.

Millennium Legacy Fundraiser
L-R: Board Member Jim Kacki, David McDowell, Executive Director Cindy Tugwell.

Millennium Legacy Fundraiser
Thank you to everyone who attended and helped us honour David McDowell for his contributions to the heritage community!

Visit our Flickr album to see more event photos!

Thank you to all our event sponsors!


Articles about David McDowell

Manitoba Historical Society – Biography
The Fight to Save Banker’s Row by George Siamandes
The Radio Edition – The Birth of Winnipeg’s Heritage Preservation Movement 

Written by Laura McKay, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg.

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