The Winnipeg Robert Burns Club was founded in the fall of 1907, by a group of Scotsmen largely employed in the CPR shops at Weston. They resolved to celebrate the birth of Burns "in a suitable manner." Consequently the first Burns Supper held under their auspices was held on January 25, 1908. The key address of the evening, the Toast to the "Immortal Memory" was delivered by Dr. C. W. Gordon (otherwise known as Ralph Connor, Canadian author of 26 novels based in Western Canada, and a resident of Winnipeg)
The club membership increased over the years, and, in 1936, a statue of Robert Burns was erected on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature. The statue is a bronze figure of the poet, created by George Lawson and is identical to one he created in Ayr, Scotland, close to the birthplace of Burns.
The Winnipeg club has been a member of the Burns Federation (now the Robert Burns World Federation Ltd) since 1911, and is also a member of the Robert Burns Association of North America. These memberships enable us to connect with over 400 clubs and to attend their events worldwide. In the club's centennary year of 2007 Winnipeg played host to the Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Federation, and four years later hosted the RBANA Conference.
A number of members of the club have served on the RBANA board in recent years; currently the President and Secretary/Treasurer are Winnipeg members.