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IUS 50th Anniversary

In 2019, the Institute of Urban Studies celebrated its Golden Anniversary!

In honour of that anniversary, the IUS held a series of events during the 2019-2020 academic year:

IUS 50th Email

  • In April 2019, the IUS held the first event as part of our 50th Anniversary Speakers Series. The panel, entitled Beyond the Ivory Tower: Universities and Community Engagement, discussed the role of universities and applied research centres such as the Institute in community-based research.
  • For the 50th anniversary, we expanded our Student Paper Contest, and in the summer of 2019 we awarded our 50th Anniversary Student Paper prize to Rachel Dunsmore for the paper “Ending or Obscuring Homelessness? Applying the White Racial Frame to Homeless Literature in Canada.
  • In July 2019, long-time Director Jino Distasio stepped down, and Dr. Chris Storie was appointed the new Director of the IUS.
  • On November 29, 2019 the IUS celebrated with a 50th Anniversary Party and retrospective at the University Club, Wesley Hall.

Since 1969 the Institute of Urban Studies (IUS) has been an academic and applied research centre committed to examining urban development issues. Over the past 50 years, the IUS has created a significant legacy. It has played a role in many of Winnipeg’s largest urban interventions, from municipal amalgamation and urban revitalization to community social housing and housing provision for homeless people. It has also been a training ground for planners, policy makers, and academics, with many alumni serving at municipal, provincial and federal postings across Canada. The Institute has fostered longstanding relationships and collaborations with community-based and government partners. 

A brief history of the IUS can be found here.

The Institute’s expertise and work continue to focus on affordable housing, housing market dynamics, homelessness, neighbourhood analysis, urban Aboriginal issues, community development, and urban poverty. Over the course of 50 years, the Institute has completed and published on over five hundred projects (now available on the Institute’s website). These include:

  • Definitive work on the Winnipeg Unicity amalgamation,
  • Multiple examinations of rooming houses and SROs in Winnipeg,
  • Reviews of changes in the Downtown,
  • Analysis of inner-city neighbourhood dynamics,
  • Work with Indigenous communities and housing initiatives,
  • Projects on building communities that work for older adults,
  • A decade-long multi-city research demonstration project on the Housing First intervention to address homelessness, and
  • Work on eviction prevention and housing stabilization.

IUS Established
IUS established, 1969
 First Director, Lloyd Axworthy (center)

1970 Desk work

Two students working at the IUS offices,
Possibly Doug Corbett & Gail Rutley

1975 TV Station

Lloyd Axworthy and IUS staff helped establish a public access television station
(Lloyd Axworthy, far right) 

1971 Tony Hnatiuk

Tony Hnatiuk with a video camera loaned by the National Film Board.
IUS organized a conference to explore the possibilities and technicalities of videotaping. 

1983 Alan Artibise

Alan Artibise, Director at The Winnipeg 2000 Conference (1984)

1985 Rivers Conference

Winnipeg Rivers Conference, held on the River Rouge

IUS Office 346 Portage

IUS Office, 1990s

346 Portage Ave.


Community Tour Expo, Early 2000's
Mike Maunder, Jino Distasio

2014 Gem Award

IUS wins Gem Award from Downtown BIZ

1979 Anniversary

10th year anniversary of the IUS

1985 Staff

IUS Staff, 
Linda Newman, Wendy Fraser, Alan Artibise, Jeri Breckman, Kay Uitvlugt

2009 IUS Staff and bear

IUS Staff & polar bear in Churchill, while working on the Churchill Sustainability Plan

2017 Staff

IUS Staff photo