Winnipeg South Photo Club, Inc. (WSPC) was an idea born from a casual conversation in a local camera store, “Camera Craft”, in 1981.  That conversation led to action with Jim Roy and Evelyn Keele agreeing to take lead roles in forming a club.  The Winnipeg South Photo Club (WSPC) was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1983 to provide an opportunity for persons interested in photography to meet on a regular basis.

The founding executives were:
Evelyn J. Keele                   President
Dennis M. O’Rourke          Vice-President
Jim D. Roy                            Treasurer
Anne Lasby                           Secretary
Sylvester Lasby                    A/Secretary

Stephan Wan and Roland Humer volunteered to be technical support people for the club.

This executive established an overall approach of having a speaker program, organized field trips and image reviews.  The first meeting of WSPC with a speaker was held on September 7, 1983 and featured the following program:

Slide Presentation:

  • Basic Picture-Taking Techniques and
  • The Beginning of Photographic Composition

Those first years established a winning presentation format with club members treated to a variety of professional, highly respected photographers who were guest speakers willing to give freely of their time.  In November 1988, Bill Bremner and Don Berthman were recognized with Lifetime Honourary Membership for their on-going support for WSPC.

The variety and quality of speakers continues to this day with presentations from renowned photographers such as Mike Grandmaison and Dennis Fast.  It is fair to say that WSPC would not exist today without the significant support from the professional community of photographers in Manitoba as well as the on-going support of semi-professionals and members.

A newsletter, WSPC “Bulletin” later known as “Shutter Release”, was started with the very first meeting and was coordinated and published by Evelyn Keele.  The advent of the WSPC website has made information sharing a little easier and the Shutter Release newsletter has been discontinued.

The main principle established from the very first meeting can best be summarized as “We are photography enthusiasts in a photography club, not a camera club.”  Our emphasis and interest is in improving and share our photography.

In support of that principle, executives, both past and present, create “an educational and recreational program that benefits the members” in a friendly, non-competitive environment.  Although WSPC has never had internal competitions, club members do participate in competitions sponsored by other clubs and organizations.

WSPC profiles images by members in galleries on the WSPC website and with exhibits at such forums as Great-West Life and the Millennium Library.

One of the key features of WSPC since its inceptions, is the hosting of image reviews in members’ homes.  This is an opportunity for members to receive constructive feedback on images, discover new ideas for photography and socilize with other members.

In addition to the “Lifetime Honourary Members”, WSPC has given “Life Member” status to the following individuals for the contributions to the club:

Evelyn Keele
Reg Keele
David Low

WSPC has remained true to its roots as a small and friendly club.  At the same time, it has grown into a diverse and respected club with photographers from novice to professional levels – all sharing their passion for photography.

Thank you to Evelyn Keele for her recollections of the beginning of WSPC.