Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: George Semper (1880-1976)

Theatre manager, fox farmer.

Born in England on 16 June 1880, he immigrated to Canada in 1901 and came to Manitoba around 1910. In 1912 he established the Canadian Amusements Company in Winnipeg with the dream of one day running a chain of cinemas throughout Western Canada. In August 1912, he purchased Brandon’s Bijou theatre on Eight Street and relocated there with his family to manage it. In 1917, he and a couple of local business partners built the Strand Theatre on Tenth Avenue. He managed it until shortly after it was bought out by the Allen family of Toronto. In 1925, Semper and his business partners opened the Brandon Silver Fox Company, a fox farm, on Victoria Avenue. On 17 December 1914, he married Elsie Stembekker (1889-1964) at Winnipeg they subsequently had six children: George Theodore Semper (1915-1935), Morley Swift Semper (1917-1932), Harold S. Semper (1918-1975), James Semper (1921-?), Robert Semper, and Dorothy Semper. By the 1960s, the couple had retired to British Columbia. George died at Vancouver on 15 June 1976 and was buried in the Brandon Cemetery.

Sources:

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Negotiating for a new theatre here,” Brandon Sun, 8 April 1916.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

Death registrations [George Theodore Semper, Morley Swift Semper], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Death registration [Elsie Semper], British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Taking a Strand,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 January 2017.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Christian Cassidy and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 January 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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