The Vision of the Society for the twenty-first century is to expand its leadership role of the last two centuries in the promotion of Scottish culture and heritage in Winnipeg and Manitoba.
The Mission of the Society is to promote and preserve Scottish culture and tradition for the people of Manitoba and to create awareness of the Scots' role in the development of our Province.
The St. Andrew's Society of Winnipeg is the oldest continuously active Scottish society in Western Canada. The Society was founded in 1871, the year after Manitoba became a province, and incorporated in 1896 by Act of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. At its inception the Society had two objectives: the care and welfare of immigrant Scots; and the promotion and preservation of Scottish culture in Manitoba. Over time, immigration from Scotland to Canada has declined and government policy has developed to ensure that current immigrants do not require such assistance. The current positions of Honorary Physician, Honorary Chaplain and Honorary Solicitor were, at one time, actively involved in the aid of new immigrants; however their contemporary counterparts no longer play such a role. Consequently the modern role of The St. Andrews Society of Winnipeg is primarily as a financially sustainable Scottish cultural, philanthropic organization which is reflected in the current Mission of the Society "to promote and preserve Scottish culture and tradition for the people of Manitoba".
Under the leadership of an Executive Committee (Society President, Immediate Past President, Vice-President, Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer), and a Board of Managers (15-20 Society members), the Society provides an annual calendar of cultural and social events for members and their guests. Of these the Annual Dinner marking St. Andrew's Day (November 30) is considered the highlight and is attended by many Society members and guests. Normally it is held on the last Friday in November. The Dinner features a keynote address delivered by a prominent Scot often brought from Scotland for the event. It is also the principal fundraising event of the year, with charitable donations from ticket sales to The St. Andrew's Society of Winnipeg Trust Fund.
The Society accomplishes its mission by creating and promoting fund-raising projects and events, the proceeds of which support a variety of Scottish activities and programs. Members are supported by the Society in ways that are designed to bind more closely those of Scottish descent. In its acknowledged leadership capacity the Society assists other Scottish groups who promote heritage activities. Honour is bestowed on those who achieve success in promoting Scottish culture. A deep commitment to Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg is inherent in the Society which achieves its goals by fairness and cooperative enterprise. The Society does not engage in party politics.
A Proud Heritage
A History of The St. Andrew's Society of Winnipeg 1871 - 1982 by Thomas Saunders 1982 Pequis Publishers Ltd. Winnipeg, Manitoba