Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Charles Arthur Barbour (1906-1975)

Recreation director.

Born in Mosa Township, Ontario, Barbour graduated from Northwestern University. He was director of physical education at Lower Canada College and several other Montreal educational institutions in the 1930s, and served as trainer for the Montreal Maroons in 1934-35. As summer recreational director for the town of Mount Royal, he employed the motto, “The family that plays together stays together.”

Barbour came to Winnipeg in 1946 to become the City’s director of recreation, serving until his death. Barbour was associated with many developments during his tenure with the city, including the expansion of the community club concept, the introduction of the Little League, and the establishment of Rainbow Stage. He was awarded the City of Winnipeg’s Citizen’s Award in 1974. He died in Winnipeg.

More information:

A City at Leisure: An Illustrated History of Parks and Recreation Services in Winnipeg, 1893-1993 by Catherine Macdonald (1995).


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 26 January 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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