Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Harvey Kavaner (1886-1962)

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Harvey Kavaner
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Grain merchant, businessman.

Born at Perth Road, Ontario on 22 August 1886, son of George Kavaner and Theresse Clough, he began working in Winnipeg’s grain trade in 1911, later being transferred to Calgary, Alberta where he worked for the Vancouver Milling and Grain Company. He returned to Winnipeg in early 1918 to become General Manager of the Dominion Elevator Company. In 1925, he founded and was President of the Red River Grain Company which, in early 1927, developed a new porridge called Red River Cereal made from cracked wheat, rye, and flax, which he later sold to the Maple Leaf Milling Company. He was General Manager of the grain department of D. S. Paterson and Company (1930) and President of Red River Products, a manufacturer of heating and ventilating equipment (1931).

He and first wife Gertrude Edna Skilling (1887-1946) had three children: Merren Gertrude Kavaner (c1917-?, wife of George A. Murray), Jean Skilling Kavaner (1919-1926), and Harvey Kavaner (1920-?). The family lived at 901 Wellington Crescent (1931) and 1095 Wolseley Avenue (1935). In late 1932, he ran for a seat on the Winnipeg city council but was defeated. He served as President of the River Heights Community Club (1935). He moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where he ran a real estate business.

He died at North Surrey, British Columbia on 21 October 1962 and was survived by his second wife Grace Christine Black (?-?).


1916 and 1921 Canada censes, Ancestry.

Death registration [Jean Skilling Kavaner], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Child succumbs to burns from electric heater,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 November 1926, page 1.

“New industry making cereal of Manitoba grains,” Manitoba Free Press, 26 February 1927, page 27.

“Society,” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 June 1929, page 6.

“Malden sells brokerage business to D. S. Paterson,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 January 1930, page 17.

“Named manager,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 January 1930, page 24.

“New industry,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 February 1931, page 19.

“44 candidates seek election on November 25,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 November 1932, page 2.

“Red River Grain Co. resumes operations,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 June 1934, page 17.

“Harry Kavaner to head River Heights Club,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 March 1935, page 2.

“Murray – Kavaner,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 June 1941, page 11.

“Vancouver property,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 February 1944, page 19.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Friends honor Murray,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 November 1982, page 27.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 May 2018

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