Sheila Rabinovitch fonds

An Inventory of Her Papers and Audio recordings at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Kevin Palendat, J. Nichol, and Tyyne Petrowski
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Finding aid encoded by Tyyne Petrowski (May 2014)
Finding aid written in English.

Collection Summary

University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Winnipeg MB R3T 2N2

Sheila Rabinovitch

Sheila Rabinovitch fonds


0.20 m of textual records, 14 audio reels (approx. 18 hours)

Mss 416 (A13-109)


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Biography of Sheila Rabinovitch

Sheila Rabinovitch was born Sheila Cohen on July 10, 1914 in Canora, Saskatchewan. Her father, Samuel Cohen, was a successful manager of hotels including the Brooklands Hotel (now Brooklands Inn) on Keewatin St., established in 1926 when the Cohen family relocated to Winnipeg. Rabinovitch’s paternal grandfather also built the Nugget Hotel in downtown Winnipeg and her ancestors were among the founders of the Congregation Shaarey Zedak. Rabinovitch graduated from Daniel McIntyre Collegiate in 1932 and then attended the University of Manitoba. With the outbreak of World War Two, she moved to Toronto to work as a journalist and was quickly promoted to department editor for Industrial Canada magazine. She also attended the University of Toronto.

In 1946 she married Milton Rabinovitch and moved to his hometown of Morden, MB where they raised a son (David) and twin daughters (Celia and Sandra). She and her husband later relocated to Winnipeg, where she got actively involved with the art scene. She taught painting and other art forms in Winnipeg public schools and was art consultant to the Toronto Dominion Bank for a period of time. In the early 1970s, she simultaneously embarked on a new career as a writer and broadcaster, working for a period of time with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Her interviews received many accolades including first prize from the Media Club of Canada for "Cora Hind - Woman of the West" and an Actra Award nomination for documentary excellence for "Ralph Connor - The Man from Glengarry." During her career she produced many documentary profiles of Manitoba personalities of local and national interest, which constitute the bulk of the fonds. Rabinovitch passed away on October 2, 2012 at the age of 98.

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Scope and Contents of the Records

The fonds consists of a collection of 14 taped interviews and miscellaneous recordings conducted by Sheila Rabinovitch from approximately 1970 to 1981. The broadcasts range from partial programs to complete and final ones as aired on CBC radio. Also included is her textual research related to the taped interviews in this fonds and those already preserved in a previous donation.

Furthermore, a small amount of textual material related to her personal and professional life are included, such as CBC contracts and documents related to her art collection and philanthropic interests. Broadcast and research subjects include prominent Manitoba personalities such as Ken Leishman, Ralph Connor, E. Cora Hind, Lewis St. George Stubbs, John W. Dafoe, and others that contributed to the artistic, cultural and social environment.

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Organization of the Records

The fonds' arrangement upon entrance into the archive was based upon subject, and was split into two distinct series, one comprising eleven reel-to-reel tapes, the other a small amount of textual materials. The original arrangement has been kept intact, but the fonds have been organized into three series:

  • Interview Recordings
  • Research Materials
  • Personal and Professional Papers

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Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

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Restrictions on Use

Any excerpts or quotations from the completed programs, unedited tapes, offcuts, scripts and transcripts of the recorded material must not be used without acknowledgement and attribution to the source. Furthermore, the material is not to be used for broadcast without the written consent of the copyright holder and the donor.

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Custodial History

The fonds, an accrual to the earlier donation by Sheila Rabinovich, was organized and posthumously donated to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by the creator’s children, Celia, Sandra, and David Rabinovitch in 2013.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Interview Recordings [ [19–?]-[19–?] ]
Ken Leishman prison interview - tape 1 (5")
12 Ken Leishman prison interview - tape 1 (5") 14 September [19–]
3 Ken Leishman prison interview - side b (5") 14 September [19–]
4 Ken Leishman prison interview - tape 2 (5")
5 Ken Leishman prison interview - tape 3, side a (5") 14 September [19–]
6 Ken Leishman prison interview (5")
7 Double Standard of Women in Aging - Susan Sontag, Penelope Washbourne (5")
8 Maple Leaf - Walder (3")
9 Jackson Beardy (3") February 1982
10 Wolf Howl (3")
11 Art and the Establishment: Master Tape 1 (items) (5")

1. Gus Da Rosa - Architect

2. Philip Fry - Curator

3. Joanne Bryers (Lochhead) - Educator

4. Dr. [Ferdinand] Eckhardt

5. [Bill] Lobchuk

6. Group of young artists

7. Ken Lochhead

8. George Swinton

9. [Karyn] Allen

10. Dr. [R. H.] Hubbard

12 Art and the Establishment: Master Tape 2 (items) (5")
13 [George] Swinton (5")
14 Sergei Sawchyn (5") 14 August 1970

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Research Materials 1954-2005
21 Ed Mirvish 1954-1973
2 Ralph Connor 1976-1977
3 Cora Hind 1971-1973
4 Ken Leishman/Frantic Films 2003-2005
5 Lewis St. George Stubbs 1975
6 John W. Dafoe 1974-1979
7 Carla Williams 1990-1992
8 Tony Tascona; Miscellaneous 1997-2005

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Personal and Professional Papers 1953-2007
31 Art Collection 1973-1991
2 CBC Contracts 1971-1982
3 Philanthropy 1975-1997
4 Awards & Honours 1953-2007
5 University of Manitoba Archives 1996-2003

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