Neepawa, Manitoba: Wikis


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Town of Neepawa, Manitoba
Looking west towards Neepawa
Location of Neepawa in Manitoba is located in Manitoba
Location of Neepawa in Manitoba
Coordinates: 50°13′44″N 99°27′56″W / 50.22889°N 99.46556°W / 50.22889; -99.46556
Country Canada
Province Manitoba
Region Westman
Incorporated 1883
 - Mayor Bob Durston
 - MLA Ste. Rose Stu Briese
 - MP Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette Inky Mark
Population (2006)
 - Total 3,298
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) Central (CDT) (UTC-5)
Postal code R0J 1H0
Area code(s) 204
Website Town of Neepawa

Neepawa is a town in Manitoba, Canada located on the Yellowhead Highway at the intersection with Highway 5. As of 2006 its population was 3,298 [1]. It was incorporated in 1883.



Neepawa Courthouse

Known to aboriginals as a good hunting and gathering area. Neepawa means plenty or abounding in. The name was first used in about 1873 and probably came from the Cree language. Early fur traders and settlers knew Neepawa as an area of stable climate, good soils and abundant harvests.

When the Province of Manitoba was established in 1870, the Neepawa area was in what was then known as "The Northwest Territories", just to the west of the postage stamp province. During the next 30 years, a wave of settlers descended upon the area. The first settlers came from the British Isles and Eastern European settlers soon followed. In 1881 the western boundary of Manitoba was extended to its present location, and Neepawa became part of Manitoba.

Andrew Baker was the first to homestead in 1878 the SE of 33-14-15W, now the ground Neepawa sits on. A family of 14 Grahams and 16 others from Ontario homesteaded in the Neepawa vicinity in 1877. James Graham (99) and his wife Catherine(101) died soon after and were the first buried in Riverside cemetery.

In 1881 John Hamilton and John Davidson built a store and a grist mill near the junction of Boggy and Stoney Creeks. The first post office opened in 1882. Soon a village grew and in 1883 the town of Neepawa was incorporated. Moses McFadden built the first frame house in Neepawa and surveyed much of the surrounding area. John McFadden, his son, was the area's first doctor and druggest. Dr. David Harrison who owned a private bank in Neepawa was elected Premier of Manitoba in 1887. Neepawa's first hospital was completed in 1904 and had the capacity for 20 patients. The hospital included a nursing school. Neepawa's first school opened in 1881. It was a three story building finally completed in 1898 and used until 1928. The Neepawa Salt Company mined salt here from 1932 until 1970.


The economy of Neepawa and the region is strongly dependent on agriculture. The rolling fields in the area support many types of crops and livestock operations. Neepawa serves as a major agricultural service centre for many of the producers in the region. Some of the larger industries are:

  • Springhill Farms, a hog slaughter facility which employs approx. 300 people.
  • Neepawa Food Processors (a division of Champs Food Systems Inc.) is a chicken hatchery and farm division.
  • Prairie Forest Products, a manufacturer of pressure-treated wood products, employs approx. 75 people.

Growers in Neepawa produce some of the finest lilies in the world. These flowers are shipped directly from Neepawa to many of the major international floral markets. This is what has earned the town the title of "world lily capital".

As well as being an agricultural centre, Neepawa's businesses serve as a shopping and retail centre for much of the area's residents. Neepawa provides almost all of the expected retail and professional services. Neepawa also attracts a number of tourists throughout the year.


Hazel M. Kellington Elementary School (named after long time teacher) has about 350 students and the Neepawa Area Collegiate Institute has about 500 students. Neepawa Nursery School teaches 3 and 4 year old children. Neepawa is part of the Beautiful Plains School Division

Assiniboine Community College has a campus in Neepawa and offers various post-secondary courses.Westlake Employment Services offers various training opportunities to enable residents to re-enter the work force. Neepawa is located 45 minutes from Brandon and the University of Brandon and the main campus of Assiniboine Community College.

Touchwood Park Association has services available to help mentally challenged students live independently.


Neepawa District Memorial Hospital has a capacity of 38 beds, surgical services, lab and x-ray, ultrasound, physiotherapy, laparoscopic surgery and chemotherapy treatments. East View Lodge, full service nursing home with a capacity of 124 beds and offers Meals on Wheels service to seniors in their own homes.

  • Neepawa and District Ambulance
  • We Care Home Health Services
  • Neepawa Health Unit (1 Public Health Nurse, 1 ½ Continuing Care Case Coordinator, 1 Continuing Resource Coordinator, 2 Family services, 2 ½ Mental Health Workers, 2 Child and Family Services)
  • Three fully staffed medical clinics with 6 doctors

Neepawa has a new personal care home and a cancer ward. Specialized medical services available in Neepawa include:

  • 2 Dental Offices
  • 2 Chiropractors
  • 2 Physiotherapists
  • 2 Pharmacies
  • 3 Optometrists
  • 3 Reflexologists
  • 3 Massage Therapists


The Town of Neepawa is located along the Yellowhead Highway 16 and Highway 5, the Parks Route. The community is located 45 minutes northeast of Brandon, the region's largest centre, and 2 hours northwest of Winnipeg, the provincial capital. Neepawa is also located 1 hour from Riding Mountain National Park. The Town of Neepawa features a 3,500 foot runway that is able to service air ambulance and small jets. The Canadian Pacific Railway services Neepawa for freight transportation. Neepawa is serviced by both Grey Goose and Greyhound Bus lines. Daily Courier services are provided by three major companies. Trucking services are provide by Gladstone Transfer and Gardewine, which maintains a depot in Neepawa.


Margaret Laurence Home

Margaret Laurence Home

The Margaret Laurence Home is a designated Provincial Heritage Site and a Level 2 Museum. Her approval and blessing was given in 1986 when it was purchased. It is a cultural centre where such events as writers' workshops, book launchings and Elder Hostel education programs have taken place. When the house was purchased the Margaret Laurence Home Committee, Inc. was formed, its mandate being to restore and renovate the structure.

In 1986, the Neepawa Area Development Corporation donated the initial seed money of $10,000.00. In 1991 McClelland and Stewart, Laurence's publishers, gave a similar amount through the donation of 500 of her memoirs, which quickly sold. Renovations and restorations have been made through Provincial Grants and Foundations. Neepawa businesses and local citizens and others from across Canada and elsewhere were generous in assisting.

Gifts from Margaret's children include her typewriter, doctoral robes, award certificates and much more. Many books, papers, magazines, letters, video and audio tapes are available for research or to peruse. Space is available for meetings or special outings by groups.

An annual sale of Antiques and Collectables is sponsored by the Margaret Laurence Home Committee. For collectors and dealers alike it is an important event.

The Manawaka Book, Souvenir and Gift Shop offers books by Laurence and others as well as work crafted by local artists. The stamp of Margaret Laurence, released in 1996, available on a first day cover or paper weight can be purchased here.

Manitoba Holiday Festival of the Arts

The Manitoba Holiday Festival of the Arts is held annually in Neepawa during the month of July. The MHFA consists of classes for youth, adults, and seniors in many different art mediums such as clay, painting, and music.

Beautiful Plains Museum

Hamilton Street & Museum

The Beautiful Plains Museum, established in 1976, was relocated from Viscount School to the CNR Station in 1981. This Heritage Railway Station was built in 1902. The museum was created as a tribute to our forefathers, in honour of their fortitude and courage. Throughout the three floors of the station you will see a general store, medical hall, log cabin, chapel and much more.

Viscount Cultural Centre

The Viscount Cultural Council began as an outgrowth of the Manitoba Holiday Festival of the Arts. It was recognized that there was need for year-round cultural programming and in 1976 VCC was formed. In July 2005, the Viscount Cultural Council purchased the former Baptist Church at 293 Mountain Avenue. The move has provided the VCC with opportunity to have many classes and workshops happening at the same time, as well as several youth concerts organized and operated by the local high school students.

Neepawa & Area Lily Festival


The idea of a Lily Festival first bloomed in 1996 when Eleanor Nicholson and Barrie Strohman presented their idea to Neepawa town council. They explained that more different varieties of lilies are grown in and around Neepawa than anywhere else in the world. The Neepawa & Area Lily Festival Committee was formed and held its first meeting on June 24, 1996. The committee's mission statement is" To put the town of Neepawa on the map as the world lily capital and to organize an annual lily festival during the third week in July, focusing on lilies, music, food and fun.

In 1996 the committee began promoting the development of lily beds on both public and private properties. In 1997 the first annual lily festival was held with a Lily Golf Tournament, Lily flower show, bus tours, breakfast among the lilies, entertainment events and a barbecue. The first festival was attended by about 6000 people.

In 2004 there were over 2,000 named varieties of lilies in and around Neepawa. The name "Neepawa & Area Lily Festival" was officially registered in February 2000 with incorporation being completed in March 2000. In October 2001 the Logo was officially trademark certified.

The Lily Festival is organized by 20 executive volunteers in the months preceding the festival. During the actual festival week there are about 300 volunteers who make the festival a reality.

The Neepawa & Area Lily Festival is a non profit organization with proceeds being used for festival events and for beautification of the Town of Neepawa. Five large lily parks have been developed in the town and each year the lily festival partners with the Town of Neepawa to enter the Communities in Bloom competition.

From its humble beginnings in 1996 the Neepawa & Area Lily Festival has grown to attracting between 11,000 and 12,000 people annually from around the world. By resolution Town Council has declared Neepawa "Lily Capital of the World".

Neepawa has been awarded Manitoba's "Most Beautiful Town Award" more often than any other community.

Riverside Cemetery

Riverside Cemetery

Riverside Cemetery is located on Smith Drive, in the North East corner of Neepawa. There are well over 2500 graves covered each summer with flowers, under the perpetual care program. It is said that there are more flower covered graves at Riverside than in any other graveyard in North America.

Riverside Cemetery is the final resting place for famous author, Margaret Laurence and contains the family burial plot for the founding family, the Grahams. Riverside Cemetery is the furthest west burial place for a victim of the sinking of the Titanic (Lewis Hickman). The cemetery is well known for the Davidson Memorial, more often called the Stone Angel.

Kaleidoscope Concert Series

For more than 25 years Kaleidoscope Concerts has brought high quality live entertainment to Neepawa. Each year Kaleidoscope presents four concerts. These concerts have included performers from across Canada as varied as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Rusalka Dancers, Men of the Deeps, Jerusalem Ridge, Loreena McKennitt, Stuart McLean and many others.




Neepawa is governed by a town council consisting of a mayor and six councilors. The town council is elected to a four-year term. The current mayor of Neepawa is Bob Durston. Current councilors include: Wendy Menzies (Deputy Mayor), Monty Simon, Ron Forsman, Wayne Hollier, Bill Stilwell, and Jim Cockburn.


  • 2002 - 2009 - R. Durston
  • 1998 - 2002 - Ken Waddell
  • 1992 - 1998 - Roy McGillivary
  • 1981 - 1992 - Homer Gill
  • 1978 - 1981 - G. M. McElmon
  • 1975 - 1978 - R. L. Hurrel
  • 1968 - 1975 - H. B. Smith
  • 1960 - 1968 - George Rey
  • 1954 - 1960 - William Whitmore
  • 1952 - 1954 - D.E.R. Ewer
  • 1948 - 1952 - Dr. Paul Cleave
  • 1934 - 1948 - W. G. Pollock
  • 1932 - 1934 - Robert H. Fusee
  • 1929 - 1932 - W. G. Pollock
  • 1928 - 1929 - T. G. Murphy
  • 1927 - 1928 - G. V. Stonehouse & W. G. Pollock
  • 1926 - 1927 - G. V. Stonehouse
  • 1925 - 1926 - T. G. Murphy
  • 1924 - 1925 - John Hall
  • 1923 - 1924 - J. A. Davidson & John Hall
  • 1921 - 1922 - J. L. McKay & John. Hall
  • 1917 - 1921 - J. L. McKay
  • 1914 - 1917 - John Brown
  • 1913 - 1914 - R.H. Fusee
  • 1912 - 1913 - J. J. Hamilton
  • 1909 - 1912 - W. H. Gossell
  • 1908 - 1909 - J. J. Hamilton
  • 1906 - 1908 - J. H. Howden
  • 1905 - 1906 - E. J. Harris
  • 1904 - 1905 - John Brown
  • 1900 - 1904 - J.H. Howden
  • 1895 - 1900 - J. A. Davidson
  • 1893 - 1895 - J. A. Clare
  • 1892 - 1893 - J. J. Hamilton
  • 1887 - 1892 - B. R. Hamilton
  • 1884 - 1887 - J. J. Hamilton


Neepawa is included in the provincial riding of Ste. Rose. The current Member of the Legislative Assembly for Ste. Rose is Stu Briese (Progressive Conservative).

Former MLAs


Neepawa is included in the federal riding of Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette. The current Member of Parliament is Inky Mark (Conservative). Mr. Mark has been the MP for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette since 1997.

Former MPs

Places of worship

  • Calvary Chapel
  • Christ Lutheran Church
  • First Baptist Church
  • Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Knox Presbyterian Church
  • Neepawa United Church
  • St. Dominic's Roman Catholic Church
  • St. James Anglican Church
  • St. John's Ukrainian Catholic Church


Neepawa is home a number of sports teams and facilities including:

  • Beautiful Plains Agricultural Grounds (6 baseball diamonds, riding rings)
  • Evan's Bowling Lanes (5 pin bowling)
  • Neepawa Curling Club (6 sheets of ice)
  • Neepawa Golf and Country Club (18 hole public golf course)
  • Neepawa & Area Collegiate Institute Athletic Track
  • Neepawa Swimming Pool (outdoor, olympic size pool)
  • Neepawa Rifle Club (indoor shooting range)
  • Yellowhead Centre (hockey, figure skating, hall)
  • Soccer fields (located at highschool and in the valley)
  • Skateboard Park

Junior and senior sports teams in Neepawa include:


Local newspapers

  • Neepawa Banner - weekly (circulation 11,000)
  • Neepawa Press - weekly (circulation 8,856)

Regional newspapers

  • Winnipeg Free Press
  • Winnipeg Sun
  • Brandon Sun
  • Wheat City Journal

Local television

Regional television

  • CKY (CTV station from Winnipeg)
  • CKND (Global station from Winnipeg)

Local Radio

  • 97.1 FM - CJ97 (CJBP-FM)


  • 880 AM - Q Country(Brandon)
  • 94.7 FM - Star FM (Brandon)
  • 101.1 FM - The Farm (Brandon)
  • 96.1 FM - KX96 (Brandon)
  • 106.5 FM - Assiniboine College Campus Radio (Brandon)
  • 97.9 FM - CBC Radio 1 (Brandon)
  • 92.7 FM - CBC Radio 2 (Brandon)
  • 91.5 FM - NCI (Winnipeg)
  • 99.5 FM - Radio Canada (Winnipeg)

Notable natives



External links

Coordinates: 50°13′44″N 99°27′56″W / 50.22889°N 99.46556°W / 50.22889; -99.46556


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