Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Joseph Gordon Shillingford (1960-2016)


Born at Moosomin, Saskatchewan in 1960, son of Joseph Charles Shillingford (?-1972) and Dorothy Anna Craig (1922-1965), he lived at Fleming until being orphaned at the age of 12. Brought to Winnipeg to live with his aunt and uncle, he graduated from Kelvin High School in 1978. From 1980 to 1984, he managed the music band Dub Rifles and, after it disbanded, he studied music, history, and literature at the University of Winnipeg, receiving a BA degree in English. In 1986, he and a friend started Blizzard Publishing. When the partnership ended, he went to work for the Manitoba Arts Council. He later returned to literary publishing, starting Scirocco Drama and J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing (1992). He acquired the firms Watson & Dwyer and the Muses’ Company, publishing work in theatre, poetry, Canadian social history, politics, religion, true crime, and biography. Several of his publications received Governor General’s Awards. A patron of the arts in Manitoba, he supported Theatre Projects Manitoba and a playwriting competition at local high schools. He died of cancer at Winnipeg on 25 January 2016, leaving a widow and one child.


“Engagements,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 February 1958, page 6.

Obituary [Dorothy Anna Shillingford], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 January 1965, page 32.

“Married ... with books,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 November 2003, page D1.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 30 January 2016.

Manitoba publisher Shillingford remember fondly by literary community,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 January 2016.

We thank Maria Zbigniewicz for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 June 2019

Memorable Manitobans

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