Filmon kick-starts book tour in Brandon

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Former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon dropped by the Riverbank Discovery Centre Wednesday night to host a book launch for his autobiography, titled “Yes We Did: Leading in Turbulent Times.”

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/09/2021 (370 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon dropped by the Riverbank Discovery Centre Wednesday night to host a book launch for his autobiography, titled “Yes We Did: Leading in Turbulent Times.”

While the book was officially released earlier this month, Wednesday marked the first time that Filmon has promoted the book in person, using this public venue to read select chapters from his 280-page memoir.

Before the event took place, Filmon told the Sun that choosing Brandon as the first stop on a short book tour wasn’t an accident, since he and his wife Janice lived in the Wheat City between 1967 and 1969.

Kyle Darbyson/The Brandon Sun Former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon signs copies of his autobiography during a book launch at the Riverbank Discovery Centre Wednesday night. This event served as the first leg of a small book tour that also involves stops in Gimli and Winnipeg.

“We still have a lot of friends [here] and a lot of the people that we met along the way, both during our time living here and through public life,” he said.

“So we just thought it was a good place to start.”

While his career in politics wouldn’t begin until 1975, when he was elected to Winnipeg city council, Filmon still views his time in Brandon as a formative part in his life.

“Because of the role that I played as a consulting engineer to most of the municipal jurisdictions in the greater Westman area, I met a lot of people here,” he told a room full of people Wednesday night.

“And it was … a learning experience that came in handy when I went into office and eventually the premier’s chair.”

However, the bulk of Filmon’s book details his 11-year run as the premier of Manitoba between 1988 and 1999.

Throughout this period, Filmon had to deal with all manner of crises, from the Meech Lake Accord negotiations to the Red River flood of 1997 to the loss of the Winnipeg Jets.

During a longer conversation with the Sun that took place earlier this month, Filmon said he has spent the past five years writing this book and hopes all the anecdotes and details he has managed to dredge up paint a vivid picture of Manitoba’s political landscape at the end of the 20th century.

“Having done it, I’m really happy that I did, and I just hope it’s a contribution to the understanding of what life was like in the ’90s and the time leading up to that,” he said on Sept. 15.

Filmon’s book tour will continue with a stop in Gimli on Saturday, followed by a virtual reading that’s taking place in Winnipeg on Oct. 26.

However, Filmon also told the Sun he’s hoping to put together an in-person event in Winnipeg for the first week of November.

» kdarbyson@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @KyleDarbyson

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