|The Winnipeg Robert Burns Club is proud to be a member of, or associated with, a number of organizations, locally, and internationally. Among them, the Robert Burns World Federation, the Robert Burns Association of North America (RBANA), the Scottish Heritage Council of Manitoba, and the Scottish Association of Winnipeg.|
|A casual remark in London’s Embankment Gardens led to the formation of the organization known today as the Robert Burns World Federation.|
In the summer of 1884 prominent Burnsians had gathered in London to attend the unveiling of a bust of Robert Burns in Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey. Shortly afterward, three of them, Provost David Mackay and Captain Sneddon of Kilmarnock and Colin Rae Brown, President of London Burns Club were strolling along the Thames Embankment and in the course of the conversation Provost Mackay remarked that it would be a good thing to establish a federation of Burns clubs and societies throughout the world. That chance remark led to a preliminary meeting, in London in February 1885 and an inaugural meeting in Kilmarnock on July 17 to form the Burns Federation.
17 gentlemen were at that initial meeting, 14 from Kilmarnock, two from Glasgow and Mr Rae Brown, a Glaswegian then resident in London. They decided unanimously to form the Burns Federation and subsequently every club and society throughout the world, known to have a Burns or Scottish character, was notified.
Perhaps the notion of a Federation was too abstract a concept at the time, as it was slow to generate interest in the beginning, though by 1890 some 49 clubs had become affiliated. A major step forward, however, was the launching of the Burns Chronicle in 1892; this provided the vital medium through which the Burns movement could communicate and thereafter progress was more rapid.
On the suggestion of Colin Rae-Brown, since the idea had been formulated in London, the Burns Club of London was granted the distinction of being number 1 on the Federation role. Conscious of the Masonic system of numbering lodging Captain Sneddon announced that Kilmarnock would have the roll number 0.
The Winnipeg Burns Club joining the Federation in 1911, was granted the roll number of 197.
The main objectives of The Robert Burns World Federation Limited are to advance the education of the public, without distinction of sex or political, or religious opinions about the life, poetry and works of Robert Burns and in furtherance thereof:-
I. To encourage and arrange competitions among the general public, students and/or school children and to stimulate the teaching and studying of Scottish literature, history, art, music and language.
II. To stimulate the development of Scottish literature, art, music and language.
III. To conserve buildings and places associated with Robert Burns and his contemporaries.
IV. To strengthen the bond of the fellowship amongst members of Burns clubs and kindred societies throughout the world by encouraging Burns clubs and kindred societies to honour the memory of Robert Burns and his works.
The high-point of the Federation's calendar is the Annual Conference, usually held over the second weekend in September, though something of a 'moveable feast', depending on local requirements. The earliest conferences were held in Kilmarnock but since 1894 a different venue has been chosen most years. The Annual Conference is by no means confined to. It was first held south of the border in 1907, when Sunderland was the venue, and since 1950 it has been a frequent custom to hold the conference in every other year with venues in England, and more recently, overseas. The Annual Conference was first held outside the British Isles in 1979, when it was staged in London,Ontario; since then it has been held in Annapolis, Maryland (1983), Hamilton, Ontario (1988) Calgary, Alberta (1993) Atlanta, Georgia (2001) and Winnipeg (2007).
The 2019 conference was held in Irvine, Ayrshire.
|RBANA is an association dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of the life, works and philosophies of 's National Bard - Robert Burns.|
To promote Scottish culture and heritage in North America.
The association was conceived in London, Ontario in 1979 during the first Burns Federation Conference ever held outside of the United Kingdom. This event was so successful that the North American delegates decided to hold a reunion in London, Ontario in 1980. This, again, was so enjoyable that it was decided to hold a "get together" on an annual basis.
In 1981, representatives from eight (8) Founding Clubs, met in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. The Clubs were, Annapolis, Niagara Falls, Galt, Detroit, London (Ont.), Toronto, Hamilton (Ont.), and Winnipeg -the nucleus of N.A.A.F .B. was formed, and an "ad hoc" committee was established.
In 1982 at a meeting in Hamilton,Ontario a constitution was drawn up. The name "The North American Association of Federated Burnsians" was adopted. At the 2000 Annual General Meeting in London,Ontario the name " The Robert Burns Association of North America " was adopted.
RBANA is affiliated with the Robert Burns World Federation Limited, headquartered at Dean Castle, Kilmarnock,
The business of the Association is conducted by an Executive Committee, which is elected at the Annual General Meeting for a two year term.
Three members of the club have served as President of RBANA: Jim Carrigan, Dr Tony Grogan, and Colin Harris.
An Annual Conference and General Meeting is held every year, normally alternating between Canada and the U.S.A. Conferences usually take place in spring or early summer.
Annapolis, Maryland was the location of the 1983 conference, held in conjunction with the Burns Federation.
Other conference locations have been London, ON (1984, 1991 & 2000), Annapolis, MD (1985, 1990 & 1999), Galt ON (1986), Detroit MI (1987, 1996 & 2010) Hamilton ON (1988*), Niagara Falls ON (1989, 1995 & 2013, 2019), Atlanta GA (1992 & 2001*), Calgary AB (1993*, 2002 & 2015), Milwaukee WI (1994 & 2005), Vancouver BC(1997), Halifax NS (1998 & 2006), Baltimore MD (2003), Merrickville ON (2004) and Winnipeg (2007* & 2011), Houston (2008), Mississauga ON (2009), Williamsburg VA (2012), Columbia SC (2014), Dallas-Ft Worth TX (2016), Medicine Hat AB (2017), and Philadelphia PA (2018). It had bee planned to return to Atlanta in 2020, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic forced its cancelation. Plans for 2021 are not yet determined.
(The asterisk denotes those conferences held in conjunction with the Burns Federation.)
|What began as an ad-hoc committee to plan a Tartan Day celebration in 2010, grew as it was asked to take charge of the annual Selkirk Settlers Community parade in September, and ultimately the commemeration of the bicentennary of the arrival of the Settlers in 2012. This increased mandate led to what is now the Scottish Heritage Council of Manitoba Ltd.|
Burns Club members were on the original ad-hoc committee, as well as the steering committee that became the founding board. Burns club members continue to take a leading role in the Council as members of the Board of Directors.
|Following the demise of the hugely successful Mug Pub at Folklorama, a number of Scottish organizations, banded together to sponsor a new Pavilion of Scotland.|
Under the leadership of Ena Sutton, previously a Mug Pub Coordinator the pavilion grew to become one of the Folklorama favorites.
Of the original founding members, both the Heather Belles Pipe Band and the Caledonian Singers have passed into history, leaving the Ena Sutton Highland Dancers as the last.
The Burns Club have, for many years, sponsored a booth in the Cultural Display area, speaking to visitors about Scotland's National Poet, and welcoming new members.