Janice Filmon to Speak at Women’s Endowment Fund Luncheon

by Stu Slayen | Apr 06, 2016

If you’ve ever spent a moment or two with Janice Filmon, you will remember her forever. And she will probably remember you.

Filmon, who was appointed Manitoba’s 25th Lt. Governor in June 2015, is known throughout the province and beyond for her charisma, community spirit, and love of people. She rarely forgets a name; and she rarely misses an opportunity to motivate others to find ways to “step up” and make life better for the community.

On May 11, 2016, she will be sharing her message and telling her story at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba’s Women’s Endowment Fund Luncheon at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

“I was inspired by my dad. He was a great role model for me,” says Filmon of her late father, Harold Wainwright. “He was community-minded and never judged others. And he never took for granted what a privilege it was to live in Manitoba. He motivated me to write my own story, and always do the best that I could do.”

From a young age, Filmon got the message. As a teen, she remembers hopping on a bus and going across town to volunteer at the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre. As an adult, her volunteer track record is legendary, having served with CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, Leadership Winnipeg, and many more. She is especially proud of her leadership and founding role with the Nellie McClung Foundation, honouring the woman who was at the forefront of the movement to grant women the right to vote. January marked the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote in Manitoba, an appropriate time for Janice Filmon to reflect on her new role.

“Nellie McClung and her colleagues knew how important their struggle was. They knew that women bring a different perspective to public discourse,” says Filmon.

Her pride in McClung and her belief in the importance of the role women play in public life contribute to her enthusiasm about her current role as Lt. Governor.

“I’m only the second woman to hold this position in 147 years,” she says. “I do think it was about time.”

As Lt. Governor, Janice Filmon has some very important official roles to play as the Queen’s representative in Manitoba, including presenting the Speech from the Throne and granting Royal Assent to legislation. Away from the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature, Her Honour is doing what she loves best – meeting people, hearing their stories, and motivating them to excel.

It’s a role you could say she has always played whether as Lt. Governor, professional social worker, leading volunteer, or wife of former Premier, Gary Filmon.

“I learned to be very comfortable in public by Gary’s side,” says Filmon. “He’s totally supportive and proud of me and still keeps very busy in his own life. And he’s very happy to show up with me at events now and let me do the speaking. He takes it all in stride.”