The late Marshall McLuhan is the 2019 inductee to the WinnipegRealtors Citizens Hall of Fame program. McLuhan is the 46th inductee chosen since this program launched in 1986.
“McLuhan’s coined famous expression is the ‘medium is the message’ and he also spoke about how technology would turn us into a global village,” says Cliff King, chair of the program. “A true visionary, McLuhan anticipated the world-wide web and was the forerunner and pioneer of media studies courses with his seminal work in 1964 entitled Understanding Media.”
McLuhan spent his formative years in Winnipeg until obtaining his master’s degree in English Literature in 1934 at the University of Manitoba. He was often referred to as a media guru and one who was highly sought after internationally to weigh in on how technology was and will reshape thinking and behaviour through new mediums of communication.
Founded by Realtor Harry DeLeeuw in collaboration with former Winnipeg mayor Bill Norrie, this initiative was set up to recognize citizens who contributed to Winnipeg’s quality of life with exceptional achievements in leadership and community service. WinnipegRealtors president Ken Clark presented the Citizens Hall of Fame bronze medallion award to Marshall McLuhan’s son Michael McLuhan at an induction ceremony and reception held in McLuhan’s honour.
WinnipegRealtors, in a news release, says McLuhan never forgot his roots in Winnipeg. “He affectionately called Winnipeggers Winnipigeons. He wrote of the Western skies and horizons as one of the most beautiful things about the West. He spoke of how Winnipeg had a real human scale where the individual still has a significant dimension.
As McLuhan’s biographer Philip Marchand said in the text for the Marshall McLuhan Hall plaque, McLuhan was the foremost commentator on media and communications of the twentieth century.
“Building on a solid foundation and fertile ground, which Winnipeg provided McLuhan up until he left to pursue higher education and his field of expertise, it should not come as a surprise to Winnipeggers how their city has been an incubator for truly amazing citizens who are exceptional in their body of work,” says King. “Technology may be an enabler but McLuhan showed what the human mind is capable of producing and observing.”