A grid of headshots of women, with the silhouette of Manitoba in the middle

Manitoba Women in Design Database

Curated by Marieke Gruwel
Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

Introduction

The Manitoba Women in Design Database is part of a larger initiative of the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation that aims to document women architects, landscape architects, planners, and interior designers who studied and/or practiced in the province. Many of the women who helped shape Manitoba’s built environment during the twentieth century have been erased from architectural histories. This research project begins the process of addressing these exclusions by documenting women design professionals and their projects.

This database will be continuously updated as the research project progresses and additional information becomes available. The entries are not meant to be exhaustive but rather offer a brief introduction to the individual and their contributions. It is important to note that there remain significant gaps in this research. Disabled and BIPOC women are disproportionately underrepresented in architecture and design histories and further research will be conducted to address this inequity.

This project was made possible with financial support from the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg, the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation, and the Winnipeg Arts Council.

Research: Marieke Gruwel

Research contributions: Susan Algie, Dr. Lisa Landrum, and Liz Sellors.

Barrable, Pauline Pearce (née Clarke)

1925-2007

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1947

Affiliations

  • Member, Ordre des Architectes du Québec

Employment

  • David Boulva Cleve

  • Senior Architect, Royal Bank of Canada, 1986-1992

Biography

Pauline Pearce Barrable (1925-2007, née Clarke) was born in Hampshire, England. In 1947, she graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba. She registered with the Ordre des Architectes du Québec (OAQ) in 1969. Barrable worked for David Boulva Cleve for 18 years and later became the Senior Architect for the Royal Bank of Canada. Notable projects include the Royal Bank Centre in Ottawa and Place Bonaventure in Montreal.

Photograph of Evelyn Blankstein
Evelyn Blankstein. Photo courtesy of the Blankstein family.

Blankstein, Evelyn

1913-2001

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1935

Affiliations

  • Associate Member, Manitoba Association of Architects

Employment

Biography

Evelyn Blankstein (1913-2001) was the second woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba. Soon after her graduation in 1935, Blankstein briefly worked for the Winnipeg-based architecture firm Green Blankstein Russell. She went on to work at Hobbs Glass (later Canadian Pittsburgh Industries) where she designed and facilitated the use of architectural glass. Blankstein was an associate member of the Manitoba Association of Architects.

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Eleanor Brown working at the GBR offices
Eleanor Brown working at the GBR offices. GBR fonds, Winnipeg Architecture Foundation.

Brown, Eleanor Lavinia

c.1914-2000

Education

  • M.Arch, University of Manitoba

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1949

  • B.A. University of Manitoba, 1939

  • Diploma in Education, 1941

Affiliations

  • Associate Member, Manitoba Association of Architects

Employment

Biography

Eleanor Lavinia Brown (c.1914-2000) received a Bachelor of Arts and later a Diploma in Education from the University of Manitoba in 1938 and 1941 respectively. She worked briefly as a teacher in rural Manitoba before serving with the Canadian Army during the Second World War. After the war, Brown returned to the University of Manitoba and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1949. Between c.1955-1960, Brown was employed at Green Blankstein Russell and worked on the plans for the Winnipeg International Air Terminal

Image of Susan Buggey
Susan Buggey. Image Source: ICOMOS

Buggey, Susan

1941-2015

Education

  • B.A., University of Winnipeg, 1958-62

  • Certificate in Education, University of Manitoba, 1962-63

  • Extension Programme, Oxford University, England, 1966

  • M.A. in History, Dalhousie University, 1967-69

Affiliations

  • Honorary Member, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects

Employment

  • Historical Researcher, National Museums of Canada, 1969-70

  • Historian, Historical Research Division, National Historic Parks and Sites Branch, Parks Canada, 1970-82

  • Chief of Historical Research, Parks Canada, beginning in 1982 and lasting for 27 years

  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Manitoba

  • Adjunct Professor, University of Montreal and University of Victoria

Biography

Susan Buggey (1941-2015) was a landscape historian and educator. Buggey worked as Chief of Historical Research at Parks Canada for 27 years and was also an adjunct Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba. She was a founding member of the Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation and contributed to many initiatives to preserve landscape architecture in Canada. Buggey was named an Honourary Member of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects in 2014.

The Susan Buggey fonds are available at the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections.

Burns, Johanna

d. 2010

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), University of Manitoba, 1966

  • Master's in City Planning, University of Manitoba, c. 1970

Employment

  • Commercial Artist

  • Social Worker

  • City Planner, City of Winnipeg

Biography

Before a career in city planning, Johanna Burns (d. 2010) worked as a commercial artist for ten years and then as a social worker in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. She earned her first degree, B.A. (Psychology), from the University of Manitoba in 1966 and later returned to the school to study city planning. Burns was awarded a fellowship from the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation that helped fun her graduate studies. After graduating, Burns worked as a planner for the City of Winnipeg for many years and held the position of President of the Manitoba Association of the Canadian Institute of Planners in the 1980s.

Caldwell, Lee

Education

  • B.F.A., University of Manitoba

  • M.L.A., University of Manitoba

Affiliation

  • Member, Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects

  • Member, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects

Employement

  • Landscape Architect, Fort Whyte Centre

  • Senior Urban Designer, City of Winnipeg

Biography

Lee Caldwell studied at the University of Manitoba, first obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts and later a Master of Landscape Architecture. She is a member of both the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. Caldwell is currently the Senior Urban Designer at the City of Winnipeg’s Planning, Property and Development Department. Caldwell has previously held the position of Landscape Architect at the Fort Whyte Centre. She currently sits on the Public Art Committee of the Winnipeg Arts Council.

Cameron, Susan

Education

  • B.A. City Planning, Ryerson University

  • Master's in City Planning, University of Manitoba

Employment

  • Planner, Saskatchewan Department of Municipal Affairs

  • Planner, City of Regina

  • Planning Advisor, South Interlake Planning District (Manitoba)

Biography

Susan Cameron completed undergraduate studies in city planning at Ryerson University. She then worked as a planner for Saskatchewan Department of Municipal Affairs and the City of Regina. Cameron moved to Winnipeg to pursue graduate studies at the University of Manitoba. In 1980, coinciding with Cameron's graduation, she was hired as a Planning Advisor for Manitoba’s South Interlake Planning District.

Image of Marjorie (Mutch) Campbell
Marjorie Campbell working at a drafting table. Winnipeg Tribune, January 26, 1946

Campbell, Marjorie (née Mutch, later Wilson)

d. 1996

Education

  • Dip. Interior Decoration, University of Manitoba, 1944

Employment

Biography

Marjorie Campbell (d.1996, née Mutch, later Wilson) received a Diploma in Interior Decoration from the University in Manitoba in 1944, having been awarded both the Osborne Scholarship (1942) and the Hudson’s Bay Bursary (1943). In 1946, Campbell was hired by the architectural firm Green Blankstein Russell. She was one of the first interior designers to be retained on staff by an architecture firm in Western Canada. Campbell worked on various projects with the firm, including theatres, offices, and beauty parlours. She also gave lectures at the YWCA on interior decoration.

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Chan, Diana (Ming Tek) (née Lee)

Education

  • Architecture studies at Hong Kong University

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1957 (completing her education from Hong Kong University)

Employment

Biography

Diana (Ming Tek) Chan (née Lee) was born in Peking, China and arrived in Canada in 1956 with her soon-to-be husband, Gordon Chan. Chan studied architecture at Hong Kong University, but did not complete her studies before moving to Canada. She completed her Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Manitoba in 1957. Shortly after, she was employed by Green Blankstein Russell and worked on the plans for the Winnipeg International Air Terminal.

Portrait photograph of Margaret Chivers
Margaret Chivers. Photo courtesy of the Chivers family.

Chivers, Margaret "Marmie"

b.1911

Education

  • Art Students’ League, New York

  • Winnipeg School of Art

Employment

  • Window designe, Birks

  • Canadian Government mapping services during WWII

  • Hydro Electric Power Company, Baltimore

  • Founder, Model Design Studio

  • City of Winnipeg, Planning Department

Biography

Margaret "Marmie" Chivers was formally trained as an artist and learned town planning while working with the Metropolitan Planning Commission in Winnipeg. Chivers was the daughter of the prominent architect Cyril Chivers of Northwood and Chivers. She was employed as a window designer at Birks, worked in the Canadian Government Mapping Services during the Second World War, and worked at the Hydro Electric Power Company in Baltimore. In the 1960s, Chivers was employed by the City of Winnipeg in the Planning Department. There she worked on the 1966 Development Plan for Greater Winnipeg and was responsible for most of the artworks in Metro Planning. Chivers established Model Design Studio in the 1950s, building models for architectural and engineering firms as well as government agencies.

Cohlmeyer, Cynthia

Education

  • Undergraduate Degree, Carleton College

  • Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Manitoba, 1977

Affiliations

  • Fellow, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (2006)

  • Member, Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects

Employment

  • Cynthia Cohlmeyer Landscape Architecture Ltd, established 1983

Biography

In 1977, Cynthia Cohlmeyer became the first woman to graduate with a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Manitoba. Cohlmeyer established her own firm, Cynthia Cohlmeyer Architecture Ltd., in 1983. Projects include the Prairie Forks Garden Redevelopment at The Forks; Indigenous Horticultural Site in Lockport, Manitoba; the Women’s Memorial Grove at the Manitoba Legislature, and the City Square Plaza in Regina. Cohlmeyer was named a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects in 2006.

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Black and white image of a group of people
Cynthia Coop with husband Issie Coop at a gathering with Mies van der Rohe. Courtesy of the Coop family.

Coop, Cynthia (née Bookbinder)

b. 1929

Education

  • Diploma in Interior Design, University of Manitoba, 1950

Affiliations

  • Fellow and Life Member, The Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba

Employment

  • University of Minnesota (1-year teaching term following graduation)

  • Illinois Institute of Gas Technology, Chicago

  • Department of Interior Design, University of Manitoba (beginning in 1963)

  • Number Ten Architectural Group, periodically for projects

  • Designers Collaborative

Biography

Cynthia Coop (b. 1929, nee Bookbinder) received a Diploma in Interior Design from the University of Manitoba in 1950. Shortly after, she was hired to teach at the University of Minnesota for one year. Coop lived and worked in Chicago briefly while her husband, Issie Coop, studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Coop and her husband then returned to Winnipeg for the remainder of their careers. She taught interior design at the University of Manitoba and worked periodically at Number Ten Architectural Group on a variety of projects. Coops was the designer responsible for the interiors of the New Law Courts.

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Headshot of Heather Cram
Heather Cram. Image Source: HTFC Planning & Design

Cram, Heather

b. 1947

Education

  • Architecture Studies at the University of Manitoba (completed everything but the thesis year)

  • Fine Arts, University of Manitoba, 1969-70

Affiliations

  • Life Member, Manitoba Association of Landscape Architect

  • Fellow, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects

Employment

Biography

Heather Cram (b. 1947) began her studies in Architecture at the University of Manitoba in 1963. Cram completed all but her final year before moving over to the Fine Arts Department. Cram spent much of her career working for HTFC Planning + Design where she is Principal Emeritus. Projects include the Assiniboine Park Framework Plan; the Interpretive Centre for Rainy River First Nation; the Interpretive Center and Exhibit Design for Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung; and the Wolseley Neighbourhood Strategic Plan. Cram was instrumental in establishing the Winnipeg Art Council’s Public Art Programme. Cram is a Life Member of the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architect and was named a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects in 2009.

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Cruikshank, Nora (née Patterson)

1917-1998

Education

B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1939

Biography

Nora Cruikshank (1917-1998, née Patterson) gradated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1939. She received an honorable mention in the RAIC Student Competition.

Downing, Jean Crawford

1920-2003

Education

  • Bachelor of Economics, University of Manitoba, Brandon College

  • Master's in Planning, University of British Columbia

Employment

  • Research Assistant, City of Winnipeg, 1945-1949

  • Senior Economist, Regional Planning Officer, Head of the Land Use Division, Saskatchewan Water Resources Commission

Biography

Jean Crawford Downing (1920-2003) was born in Brandon, Manitoba. She obtained a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Manitoba, Brandon College and later a master’s in planning from the University of British Columbia. Downing worked as a Research Assistant for the City of Winnipeg on the Metropolitan Plan for Greater Winnipeg between 1945 and 1949. She worked on several of the nine reports published between 1944 and 1949 that made up the Comprehensive Plan for Greater Winnipeg. Following her time in Winnipeg, Downing moved to Saskatchewan where she worked in the public sector. She held several positions, including Senior Economist, Regional Planning Officer, and Head of the Land Use Division of the Saskatchewan Water Resources Commission.

Doyle, Maureen

Education

  • Bachelor of Interior Design, University of Manitoba, 1980

  • Master of Facility Management, University of Manitoba, 1997

Affiliations

  • Member, The Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba

Employment

  • Discipline Lead / Senior Interior Designer, Architecture49, September 2018 - present

  • Principal, Synyshyn Architecture Interior Design Inc., 2000 - 2018

  • Senior Interior Designer, Number Ten Architectural Group, 1997 – 2000

  • Senior Interior Designer, Green Blankstein Russell and Associates (now Stantec) 1993 - 1997

  • Senior Interior Designer, Envirocorp Interior Design 1990 - 1992

  • Intermediate Interior Designer, Environmental Space Planning, 1987 – 1990

  • Principal, Maureen Doyle Interior Design, 1980 – 1987

Biography

Maureen Doyle is a Professional Interior Designer with 35+ years of experience in programming, planning, project management and interior design to a diverse client base within the sectors of healthcare, workplace design, justice, corrections, recreation and education. Doyle worked as a key member of several firms and was the Owner, Principal and Senior Interior Designer in a joint architecture and interior design practice for 18 years prior to joining Architecture49 as the Practice Leader for the interiors group.

Sketch of the interior of centennial hall, drawn by Ursula Ferguson
Sketch of the Interior Design of Centennial Hall drawn by Ursula Ferguson. Image courtesy of Serena Keshavjee.

Ferguson, Ursula

Education

  • Interior Design, Ontario College of Art and Design, 1970

Affiliations

  • Member, Association of Registered Interior Designers Ontario

  • Member, Canadian Decorators’ Association

  • Member, American Society of Architectural Perspectives

Employment

  • Warden Watson Ltd, 1969

  • Marani, Rounthwaite & Dick Architects, 1970

  • Hadley Freeman Architects, 1970

  • Ferguson Design Consultants, 1976-present

  • Humber College, Professor, 1988-2016

  • International Academy of Merchandising and Design, Professor, 1989-91; 2001-02

Biography

Ursula Ferguson studied Interior Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design. After completing the program in 1970, Ferguson was hired by the architecture firm Moody Moore to be head of their interior design department. She worked on several projects with Moody Moore, most notably on the interior design and supergraphics of Centennial Hall at the University of Winnipeg. Ferguson established her own consulting firm in 1976 and, in 1988, began teaching at Humber College until her retirement in 2016.

Image of Joan Harland
Joan Harland. Image courtesy of The Professional Interior Designers Institute Member File

Harland, Joan

1914-2016

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1938

  • MA, Columbia NY, 1948

Affiliations

  • Associate Member, Manitoba Association of Architects

Employment

  • University of Manitoba, 1948-1980

Biography

Joan Mary Harland (1914-2016) received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1938. After finding it difficult to find a job in architecture as a woman, Harland began teaching at the University of Manitoba’s School of Architecture. Harland had a tremendous impact on the school. She established the Diploma in Interior Decorating, the first of its kind in Canada, and went on to be the Head of the Department of Interior Design for 23 years.

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Colour headshot of Barbara Humphreys
Barbara Humphreys. Image source: Ontario Association of Architects

Humphreys, Barbara

1919-2017

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1941

  • Diploma, New York School of Interior Decoration, 1944

Affiliations

  • Member, Ontario Association of Architects

  • Member, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Employment

  • L.Y. McIntosh, Fort Williams

  • Defence Industries, Montreal

  • Veterans’ Land Act, Ottawa

  • Lecturer, Carleton University

  • Private Practice, beginning in 1954

  • Consultant, Historic Sites and Monuments Board

Biography

Barbara Humphreys (1919–2017) graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1941. Her early career included positions with L.Y. McIntosh in Fort Williams, the Defence Industries in Montreal, and the Veterans’ Land Act in Ottawa. Humphreys registered with the Ontario Association of Architects in 1945. In 1954, she established a private practice, focusing largely on domestic architecture. A keen interest in architectural history and preservation led Humphreys to return to public service as a consultant to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board. She had a founding role in the Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings, retiring as its Head in 1981.

Humphrys, Wilma (née Grant)

1916-2008

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1938

Affiliations

  • Member, Ontario Association of Architects

Employment

  • Department of Veterans Affairs in Ottawa, beginning in 1944

Biography

Wilma K. Humphrys (1916-2008, née Grant) graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1938. Humphrys received a first-year scholarship and later the First Medal in the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s national student competition. After working briefly in Winnipeg, Humphrys joined the Department of Veteran Affairs in Ottawa in 1944 where she designed a series of low-cost houses for returning veterans. Humphrys was a member of the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA).

Hulsbosch, Magda (née Glowacka)

1942-2002

Education

  • B.Arch, Warsaw Technological University, Poland, 1964

  • M.Arch, Warsaw Technological University, Poland, 1967

Affiliations

  • Member, Institute of Polish Architects

  • Member, Royal Institute of Professional Engineers, the Netherlands

  • Member, Manitoba Associate of Architects

Employment (Canada)

  • IKOY, 1980-86; 1989-?

  • Hein Hulsbosch Architects, 1986-89

  • Lecturer, University of Manitoba

  • Designer, Misawa Homes of Canada, 1972-74

  • Designer, W. Buttjes & Associates (Vancouver), 1969-1972

Biography

Magda Hulsbosch (1942-2002, née Glowacka) obtained her B.Arch and M.Arch from the Warsaw Technological University in 1964 and 1967 respectively. She practiced architecture in France (Paul Aynes & Mark Biass and Mialet & Hebrard), Netherlands (J Brouwer & Associates), and Canada. In Winnipeg, Hulsboch worked for two years as a designer for Misawa Homes of Canada, lectured at the University of Manitoba, and had a long tenure working at IKOY.

Jackman, Dianne

1934-2020

Education

  • B.I.D., University of Manitoba, 1955

Affiliations

  • Fellow, The Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba

  • Fellow, Interior Designers of Canada

Employment

  • Interior Designer, Waisman Ross, 1955-6; 1959-63

  • Interior Designer, Wilson Stationery Co., 1956-59; 1963-66

  • Principle, Group 4 Design Consultants, 1966-74

  • Interior Design Consultant, 1974-84

  • Assistant Professor (beginning 1964), Associate Professor (beginning 1974), University of Manitoba

Biography

Dianne Jackman (d. 2020) was born in Winnipeg and graduated with a degree in Interior Design in 1955. Jackman practiced interior design at Waisman Ross, Wilson Stationery Co., and Group 4 Design Consultants before becoming a professor at the University of Manitoba in the mid-1960s. She was active in many professional organizations, holding office over the years in IDC and IDEC and as chair of the Board of Trustees of FIDER. In 1984 Jackman authored (with Mary Dixon) one of the first university textbooks on the use of Textiles in Interior Design, still in print, and later co-authored (with Ron Veitch, and Mary Dixon) a text on Professional Practice.

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Graduation photo of Patricia Kettner
Patricia Kettner. Photo courtesy of the Kettner family.

Kettner, Patricia (née Waterman)

1927-2020

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1948

Affiliations

  • Member, Manitoba Association of Architects (registered in 1953)

Employment

Biography

Patricia Kettner (1927-2020, née Waterman) was a Winnipeg-based architect and artist. Kettner graduated from the University of Manitoba’s School of Architecture in 1948. In 1953, Kettner became the third woman to register with the Manitoba Association of Architects. She worked for several local architectural firms, including Moody Moore, Green Blankstein Russell, and Waisman Ross. Kettner designed her family home at 837 Airles Street. She eventually left architecture to pursue a career as an artist. Kettner attended one of the famous Emma Lake Workshops and was a founding member of the Medea Gallery.

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Black and white image of a group of people.
Lana Kinoshita (third from the left) pictured with Dr. Hugh Saunderson, President of the University of Manitoba. Winnipeg Free Press, February 6, 1956.

Kinoshita, Lana (née Cheung)

Education

B.I.D., University of Manitoba, 1956

Biography

Lana Kinoshita (née Cheung) graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Interior Design in 1956. That year the Winnipeg Free Press published a picture of Kinoshita, noting that she was the “first girl from Hong Kong to graduate in the department of interior design.” She ultimately returned to Hong Kong with her husband.

Kiyooka, Monica (née Barker)

b. 1931

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1954

Employment

  • Architect with the City of Calgary Town-Planning Department, dates unknown (started c.1954)

Biography

Monica Kiyooka (b. 1931, née Barker) graduated from the University of Manitoba’s School of Architecture in 1954. Following her graduation, Kiyooka moved to Alberta and was employed as an architect for the City of Calgary Town-Planning Department. There she worked on suburban surveys and metropolitan development plans. Kiyooka married Roy Kiyooka, a Canadian-Japanese artist, and designed their award winning Vancouver home.

Artwork by Po-Chu Lee, aerial view of a rooftop garden.
Image reproduced from Lee's M.L.A. practicum, "A Chinese Garden in Winnipeg's Chinatown"

Lee, Po-chu

b. 1939

Education

  • Master of City Planning, University of Manitoba, 1992

  • Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Manitoba, 1984

  • Master of Architecture, University of Manitoba, 1979

  • B.Music, University of Manitoba, 1970

Affiliations

  • Associate Member, Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects (beginning in 1985)

Employment

  • Rocco Design Architects, Hong Kong

  • Principal, Sinfonia Architecture Inc, Vancouver

Biography

Po-Chu Lee (b. 1939) earned four degrees from the University of Manitoba: Bachelor of Music (1970), Master of Architecture (1979), Master of Landscape Architecture (1984), and Master of City Planning (1992). Lee took out an associate membership from the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects in 1985. Following her studies in Canada, Lee returned to her hometown Hong Kong and worked at Rocco Design Architects. She returned to Canada and established Sinfonia Architecture Inc., a multidisciplinary firm located in Vancouver.

Image of Debby Lexier
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections - Winnipeg Tribune fonds (PC 18, A.81-12)

Lexier, Debby (née Slobinsky)

1929-2020

Education

B.I.D, University of Manitoba, 1950

Affiliations

  • Fellow, The Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba

  • Member, Interior Designers of Canada

Employment

  • Interior Designer, Green Blankstein Russell and Associates, c.1950-54

  • Director, Design Management Centre – University of Manitoba, 1974-1977

  • Executive Director, Manitoba Design Institute – Department of Industry and Commerce, Province of Manitoba, 1977-1978

  • Contributor (weekly column), The Winnipeg Tribune

  • Freelance Interior Designer

Biography

Debbie Lexier (1929-2020, née Slobinsky) graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Interior Design from the University of Manitoba. Upon graduation, she began her employment with Green Blankstein Russell and Associates. This marked the first time that an architectural firm in Winnipeg, and possibly in Canada, added an Interior Designer with a BID to its staff.

Lexier’s professional work consisted of commercial and institutional projects, including St. Boniface Hospital, the University of Manitoba, General Electric, General Distributors (Sony) and Famous Players Theatre. She wrote a weekly column for the The Winnipeg Tribune and held terms as Director at both the Design Management Centre and the Manitoba Design Institute. Lexier was a founding member and first president of the Interior Designer’s Institute of Manitoba, later the Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba. In 2007, she was honoured as a life member.

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Loh, Alice (née Cheng)

b. 1936

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1966

  • MLA and Master of Architecture, University of Oregon, 1972

  • Continuing Professional Education Program, Harvard School of Design, 1974

Affiliations (Canada)

  • Member, Manitoba Association of Architects

  • Member, Alberta Association of Architects

Employment

  • Faculty Emerita, Cal Poly

  • Cal Poly State University, Landscape Architecture Faculty Member

  • Junior College District of St Louis County, Physical Facilities Office, Sept 1966-Aug 1967

  • Bell McCulloch Spotowski Architects Edmonton, Design Architect – Sept 1967-July 1968

  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Architectural Technology Instructor, Sept 1968 to Aug 1971

  • M. O. Foss SR Architects, Fargo, 1972-1974

  • North Dakota State University, Department of Architecture, Sept 1973-Aug 1974

Biography

Alice C. Loh (b.1936, née Cheng) has practiced as an architect in China, Canada, and the United States. She obtained her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1966, receiving the thesis prize for her graduating class. Loh registered with both the Manitoba Association of Architects (MAA) and the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA). In Manitoba, she was employed by the firm Waisman & Ross. There she worked on several projects, including the Stonewall Elementary School, the Air Canada Building, and the St. James “Safeway” Shopping Centre. Loh is a Faculty Emerita at Cal Poly State University.

Elizabeth Lord sits at her home officer surrounded by her four children.
Elizabeth Lord working from her home office. Winnipeg Tribune fonds, University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections

Lord, Elizabeth (née Crawford)

1918-1994

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1939

Affilations

  • Member, Manitoba Association of Architects (registered in 1944)

  • Member, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

  • Member, Royal Institute of British Architects

Employement

Biography

Elizabeth M. Lord (1917-1994, née Crawford) was Manitoba’s first registered architect. Lord graduated from the University of Manitoba’s School of Architecture in 1939. She worked at various firms in Winnipeg, including Moody Moore Architects, Smith Carter, and Green Blankstein Russell. By 1953, Lord was running her own architectural practice. Lord was politically active: she ran for City Council in 1960 and sat on the executive of the Welfare Council of Greater Winnipeg. She was also the Executive Director of the Manitoba Division of the Community Planning Association of Canada. Lord designed several residences in Winnipeg and St. Norbert.

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Mykolyk, Isme Mary (née Haines)

1926-1985

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1949

Affiliations

  • Member, American Institute of Architects

Employment

  • Private Practice - Mary Mykolyk

  • Curtis & Davis & Associates Architects & Engineers

Biography

Ismay Mary Mykolyk (1926–1985, née Haines) was British citizen born in Nairobi, Kenya. She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1949. Mykolyk moved to Minneapolis and later to New Orleans where she worked as an architect for Curtis & Davis before establishing her own firm. Mykolyk was an important New Orleans modernist. Some of her major projects in the city include the Guste Housing Project, the Loyola University Law School, and the Loyola University Science Complex. She registered with the American Institute of Architects in 1956.

Elizabeth Pilcher
Elizabeth Pilcher working at the GBR offices. GBR fonds, Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

Pilcher, Elizabeth (later Causwell)

b. 1920

Education

  • B. Arch, University of Sydney, 1945

  • Harvard Graduate School of Design

  • Post-graduate degree in town planning, Edinburgh College of Art c. 1953

Employment

  • Chief of the Planning Department, Green Blankstein Russell, 1958 – c.1952

  • Draftsman, Army Service of Supply, United States, 1942-44

  • Planner/architect, Cumberland County Council, NSW Australia, dates unknown

  • Stephenson & Turner, dates unknown

  • London City Council, dates unknown

  • Assistant Director, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, 1963-4

  • Planner, Government of Kingston, Jamaica c. 1964-1980

Biography

Elizabeth Mary Pilcher (b.1920, later Causwell) was an architect and town-planner who studied and worked in Australia, North America, and Europe. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Sydney in 1945, studied under Walter Gropius at Harvard University between 1947-48, and obtained a post-graduate degree in town planning from the Edinburgh College of Arts in c.1953. In 1958, Pilcher was hired by Green Blankstein Russell to be Chief of their Planning Department. While in Winnipeg, Pilcher worked on the Winnipeg International Air Terminal, conducted research for the Willow Park housing co-op, and was commissioned by MP Laurier Régnier to design an underground car park that could act as a nuclear shelter. Pilcher left Winnipeg and later settled in Jamaica where she worked as a Planner for the Kingston Government for over 15 years.

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Pritchard, Marjorie (née McNulty)

d. 2014

Education

  • B.I.D., University of Manitoba, 1952

Employment

Biography

Marjorie Pritchard (d. 2014, née McNulty) graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1952 with a Bachelor of Interior Design. Pritchard worked for the architecture firm Green Blankstein Russell between 1958 and 1964. One of her notable projects with the firm included the interior design and colour scheme for the Mutual Life Building at 1111 Portage Avenue. Pritchard also worked for the Government of Canada designing public and residential projects, Grant Marshall Interior Design, and had her own private practice.

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Mary Rosalind Robertson
Mary Rosalind Robertson at work. Winnipeg Free Press, February 15, 1958

Robertson, Mary Rosalind (née Johnson, later Forbes)

1931-2018

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1954

  • M.Arch (City Planning), University of Manitoba, 1962

  • B.F.A. UBC

  • B.F.A. (Ceramics), Alfred University

  • M.F.A. (Ceramics), SUNY New Paltz

Employment

  • Architect, Planning Division at the City of Winnipeg

  • Chief City Planner, City of Winnipeg

Biography

Mary Rosalind Robertson (1931-2018, née Johnson, later Forbes) received both a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Architecture (City Planning) from the University of Manitoba in 1954 and 1962 respectively. Robertson was hired as an architect for the Planning Division of the City of Winnipeg in 1956 and ultimately became the City of Winnipeg’s Chief City Planner. She was instrumental in putting together the 1966 Development Plan for Greater Winnipeg. Later in life, Robertson went back to school to study fine arts.

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Russell, Edna

b. 1913

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1938

  • Master of Architecture, University of Manitoba, 1942

  • Bachelor of Civil Engineering, University of Manitoba, 1946

Biography

Edna G M Russell (b.1913) graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1938. That year, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that Russell would be leaving Winnipeg to pursue post graduate work at the University of Southern California. She ultimately returned to Winnipeg, where she continued her studies at the University of Manitoba. Russell obtained a Master of Architecture in 1942 followed by a Bachelor of Civil Engineering in 1946, the first Manitoba woman to graduate with this degree. As is the case for many women in the profession, there is no evidence to suggest she registered as either an architect or engineer in the province.

Headshot of Beverly Sandalack
Beverly Sandalack. Image Source: CSLA

Sandalack, Beverly

Education

  • Technical Diploma in Horticulture, Olds College, 1976

  • Bachelor of Physical Education, University of Calgary, 1980

  • Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Manitoba, 1991

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Oxford Brookes University, 1998

Affiliations

  • Fellow, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects

  • Member, Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects

  • Member, Canadian Institute of Planners

  • Member, Alberta Association of Landscape Architects

  • Member, Alberta Professional Planners Institute

Employment

Biography

Beverly Sandalack obtained a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1991 and then went on to graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford Brookes University in 1998. While much of her career has taken place outside of Manitoba, Sandalack worked on several projects in the province during her time at HTFC Planning + Design. This includes the Campus Development Plan for Keewatin Community College in Thompson and Brokenhead Ojibway Nation’s Community Plan.

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Schwalm, Edith Jane

1914-2004

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1937

Employment

  • Mercer and Mercer Architects

  • Duncan McNab

Biography

Edith Jane Schwalm (1914–2004) graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1937. She moved to Vancouver in 1946 where she collaborated with Mercer and Mercer Architects and became an Associate of Duncan McNab. Schwalm was a contributor to Western Homes and Living magazine.

Drawing by Ruth Scott
Drawing by Ruth Scott. GBR fonds, Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

Scott, Ruth A

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba

Employment

Biography

Ruth A. Scott graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1942. Following her graduation, she worked in the Buildings Department of the Hudson Bay Company. Scott left that position in 1944 to join Green Blankstein Russell and Associates. Scott was the second woman to register with the Manitoba Association of Architects. In 1948, she moved to New York, NY to practice architecture.

Semmens, Helen

Education

  • Diploma in Interior Decoration, University of Manitoba, 1939

Biography

Helen Semmens was the first person to graduate with a Diploma in Interior Decoration from the University of Manitoba. In 1940, Semmens moved to Vancouver, BC where she designed sets for a motion picture company. She continued this career and became a unit manager and director for the company. In a 1947 Winnipeg Free Press interview, Semmens stated that she spends her time "script writing, editing and directing 16mm color shorts". The article reported that Semmens was moving to China to marry Roy G. Dunlop, a former CBC production manager. She expressed her desire to continue her career in film in China.

Headshot of Jennifer Shay
Jennifer Shay. Image Source: Manitoba Historical Society

Shay, Jennifer

1930-2018

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, London University, 1952

  • Master of Science, University of Manitoba, 1959

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Science), University of Manitoba, 1964

Affiliations

  • Honorary Member, Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects

Employment

  • University of Manitoba: Research Associate (1957); Lecturer (1960s); Assistant Professor (1965); Associate Professor (1967); Full Professor (1975); Professor Emeritus (1995)

  • Founding Director, University Field Station at Delta Marsh, 1966-1986

  • Joint Appointment, Department of Landscape Architecture and Botany, University of Manitoba, 1975-1986; 1989-1993

Biography

Jennifer Shay (1930-2018) was a Botanist who trained many University of Manitoba landscape architecture students. Shay was the Director of the Delta Marsh Field Station and has been remembered as an anchor of the landscape architecture programme in its first years. Shay consulted on several projects within the province, including the Prairie Living Museum and the South St. Boniface Development. She was an Honorary Member of the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects.

Skucynska, Janina

Affiliations

  • Member, Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects

Employment

  • Winnipeg Parks and Recreation Department

Biography

Janina Skuczynska was the first woman to register with the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects (MALA). She was Member No. 21 and registered on March 7, 1979. In the 1991 MALA member roster, she was listed as an employee of the Winnipeg Parks and Recreation Department. Skuczynska practiced in the profession for over 40 years, working across Canada and in Europe. In 1992, she applied to MALA for Retried Member Status noting that she was retiring from City Service on January 1, 1993. She ended her MALA membership in January 2001.

Black and white headshot of Gerri Stemler
Gerri Stemler. MAA President Picture

Stemler, Gerri (née Holland)

b. 1947

Education

  • Bachelor of Environmental Studies, University of Manitoba, 1974

  • M.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1977

Affiliations

  • Member, Manitoba Association of Architects

  • Member, Royal Architectural Institute of Manitoba

Employment

  • Shelter Canadian Properties

  • Murray Malkin and Marshall Haid

  • Prairie Partnership

  • RJC Engineering

Biography

Gerri Stemler (b. 1947, née Holland) graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in 1974 followed by a Master of Architecture in 1977. Stemler worked at several local firms and also as a manager for Shelter Canadian Properties. Between 1998–1999, Stemler served as the President of the Manitoba Association of Architects, the first woman to hold the position. Shortly thereafter, in 2001, she became the first Manitoba woman to become an RAIC Fellow.

Image of Margaret Stinson
Margaret Stinson. Photo courtesy of Margaret Stinson

Stinson, Margaret (née King)

b. 1930

Education

  • B.I.D., University of Manitoba, 1960

Affiliations

  • Fellow, The Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba

  • Fellow, Interior Designers of Canada

Employment

Biography

Margaret Stinson (née King, b. 1939) obtained a Bachelor of Interior Design from the University of Manitoba in 1960, graduating with the University Gold Medal. Stinson worked with many of Winnipeg’s most prominent architectural firms, including Waisman Ross, Green Blankstein Russell, and Libling Michener. While working with Green Blankstein Russell, Stinson was responsible for the interior design of Winnipeg City Hall. Stinson also worked on the Centennial Concert Hall and the Museum of Man and Nature (now the Manitoba Museum).

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Sundeen, Joy Ann

b. 1924

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1950

Affiliations

  • Member, Saskatchewan Association of Architects

Employment

  • D.V.A. (Drafting), 1948

  • Portnall, Stock, & Associates, summers of 1949 and 1950

  • Stock, Ramsay & Associates, 1950 - ?

Biography

Joy Ann Sundeen (b. 1924) is a Saskatchewan architect. She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1950 and became the first woman to register with the Saskatchewan Association of Architects.

Doris at the University of Manitoba
Doris Newland Tanner at school. Photo provided by Doris Tanner family and sourced from Women Building Alberta website

Tanner, Doris Newland

1912-1997

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1954

  • Studied Acoustics and Housing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1956-1957

Affiliations

  • Member, Alberta Association of Architects

  • Member, Manitoba Association of Architects (registered in 1962)

Employment

  • City Architects Department, City of Edmonton, May 1944-May 1949

  • Dewar & Stevenson, 1950-1952

  • Private practice, c. 1950s/early 60s

  • Canadian Engineering Surveys Ltd

Biography

Doris Newland Tanner (1921-1997) graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1944 and later studied Acoustics and Housing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tanner worked for the City Architects Department at the City of Edmonton and had established her own practice by the late 1950s or early 1960s. Tanner was registered with the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) and later registered with the Manitoba Association of Architects (MAA) in 1962 when she was retained by the Canadian Engineering Surveys Ltd for architectural work in Thompson, MB.

See Women Building Alberta for more information.

Wagner, Laurie Lamb

b. 1953

Education

  • Bachelor of Environmental Sciences, University of Manitoba, 1974

  • Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Manitoba, 1982

Affiliations

  • Member, Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects

  • Fellow, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects

Employment

  • Planning Assistant, Province of Manitoba, Municipal Planning Branch in Thompson, 1974-76

  • Planner, Province and Manitoba, Parks and Recreation Branch in Winnipeg, 1977

  • Landscape Architect, Hilderman Feir Witty and Associates (now HTFC Planning + Design), 1978-83

  • Landscape Architect and Planner, Selo Ukraina Design Group, 1984

  • Partner and Senior Landscape Architect, David Wagner Associates, 1984-2018

  • Landscape Architect Emeritus, David Wagner Associates, 2018-current

Biography

Laurie Lamb Wagner (b. 1953) holds a Bachelor of Environmental Sciences and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Manitoba. Wagner worked at HTFC Planning + Design between 1978-83 followed by a one year position as the Landscape Architect and Planner for the Selo Ukraina Design Group. In 1984, Wagner went to work with her husband, architect David Wagner, becoming a Partner and Senior Landscape Architect at David Wagner Associates. Projects include Vimy Ridge Memorial Park, Central Community Center Freight House, and the 1985 extension to Central Park. Wagner was named a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects in 2009.

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Black and white image of Blanche working at a table
Blanche Lemco van Ginkel. Image source: McGill School of Architecture

Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco

b. 1923

Education

  • B.Arch, McGill, 1945

  • M.C.P., Harvard, 1950

Employment (Manitoba)

  • Van Ginkel Associates, 1966-68

Biography

Blanche Lemco van Ginkel (b.1923) is one of the most well-known women architects in Canada. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from McGill University in 1945 followed by a Master of Community Planning from Harvard University in 1950. Between 1966 and 1968, Van Ginkel’s practice, Van Ginkel and Associates, was based in Winnipeg. She registered with the Manitoba Association of Architects (MAA) during her time in the province. Van Ginkel worked on several projects in Manitoba, including alterations to two homes in Armstrong’s Point, now a Heritage Conservation District.

Van Ginkel's archive, which includes documentation of her work in Winnipeg, can be found at the Canadian Centre for Architecture

Black and white headshot of Joyce Varley
Joyce Varley. The Manitoban, November 24, 1933

Varley, Joyce

1915-1962

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1937

Employment

  • Librarian, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the University of Manitoba, 1939-40

Biography

Joyce Varley (1915-1962) was an early woman graduate of the University of Manitoba’s School of Architecture and the recipient of the architecture thesis prize in 1937. Shortly after her graduation, Varley worked as the librarian at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the University of Manitoba. By the early 1940s, Varley had moved to British Columbia with her husband, architect Charles Dexter Stockdill.

Walford, Dorice Constance (née Brown)

b. 1924

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1950

  • M.Arch, McGill University, 1958

Affiliations

  • Member, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

  • Member, Royal Institute of British Architects

  • Member, Ontario Association of Architects (OAA)

  • Member, Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ)

  • Member, Canadian Institute of Planners

  • Member, Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC)

  • Member, Ordre des urbanistes du Québec (OUQ)

Employment

  • Barrot, Marshall and Merrett

  • Marshall & Marrert

  • Office of Le Corbusier

  • Department of Foreign Buildings Operation in Paris

  • Moshe Safdie

Biography

Dorice Constance Walford (c. 1924, née Brown) obtained a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1950 followed by a Master of Architecture from McGill University in 1958. Walford is most well-known for being one of the first women to specialize in the design of institutional buildings. Notable projects include the Chemistry Building at Queen’s University, the McIntyre Medical Sciences Centre at McGill University, and the Bell Telephone Pavilion at Expo 67.

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Advertisement for the Kensington Beauty Salon
Kensington Beauty Salon ad. Published in the Winnipeg Tribune, September 19, 1945.

Wallace, Sadie Ethelyn

1907-1987

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1932 (first woman graduate)

Affiliations

  • Associate Member, Manitoba Association of Architects

Biography

Sadie Ethelyn Wallace (1907-1987) became the first woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba (1932). Wallace was briefly an associate member of the Manitoba Association of Architects. In Winnipeg, Wallace designed the Kensington Beauty Salon located in the Hurtig Building and was also enlisted to prepare plans for a Day Nursery, however there is no evidence the nursery was constructed. Wallace moved to British Columbia in 1953.

Watson, Ada Lou (née Barber)

b. 1928

Education

  • B.Arch., University of Manitoba, 1950

Affiliations

  • Saskatchewan Association of Architects, registered in 1951

Biography

Ada Lou Watson (b. 1928, née Barber) graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1950. Following graduation, Watson worked as a designer in the office of H.K. Black and in 1951 became the second woman to register with the Saskatchewan Association of Architects.

Watson designed many projects in the Regina Beach area. Her archive, which includes architectural drawings, can be found at the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.

A group black and white picture of the 1941 Architectural Society
Margaret Wilde is standing in the middle row, eighth from the left. Brown and Gold Yearbook, 1941.

Wilde, Margaret Ida (Chown)

Education

  • B.Arch, University of Manitoba, 1943

Affiliations

  • Associate Member, Manitoba Association of Architects

Employment

  • Structural draughtsman in a war plant in Toronto, c. 1943

  • Architect, Canadian Pacific Railways, 1944 – unknown

Biography

Margaret Ida Wilde (Chown) received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1943. Wilde worked as a structural draughtsman in a war plant in Toronto. After the war, she returned to Manitoba and worked as an architect for the Canadian Pacific Railways (CPR), the first woman to hold this position. While working for CPR, Wilde was involved in the design of railway and power stations. She was an associate member of the Manitoba Association of Architects (MAA). In 1949, Wilde moved to Ontario.

Yeo, Donna Mae (née Tully)

1928-2016

Education

  • B.I.D., University of Manitoba, 1950

Affiliations

  • Fellow, The Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba

  • Member, Interior Designers of Canada

Employment

  • Interior Designer at Ridgewood Studios Ltd. In Vancouver, 1950-1952

  • Interior Designer at Wilson Stationery Company in Winnipeg, 1953-1960

  • Interior Design Consultant in Winnipeg, 1960 - 1979

Biography

Donna Mae Yeo (1928-2016) studied at the University of Manitoba, graduating with a Bachelor of Interior Design in 1950. Upon graduating, Yeo moved to Vancouver and worked as a designer for Ridgewood Studios between 1950–52. Yeo returned to Winnipeg in 1952 and began a position as Interior Designer at Wilson Stationary Co., where she worked until 1960. Yeo was a freelance Interior Designer for various commercial clients until 1979. She was a founding charter member of The Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba (PIDIM) and contributed to the organisation throughout her life.

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Thank You

This project would not have been possible without the support, research, and assistance of many people and organisations: Nicole Aminian, the Blankstein family, the Chivers family, Cynthia Coop, Cynthia Cohlmeyer, Heather Cram, Ursula Ferguson, Ashley Huot, Serena Keshavjee, the Kettner family, Lisa Landrum, the Lexier family, Susan McLennan, Judy Pestrak, Barb Pritchard, Liz Sellors, Gerri Stemler, Margaret Stinson, Jeffrey Thorsteinson, the Manitoba Association of Architects, the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects, and the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections.