Great Western Garment Company

, Edmonton

The Great Western Garment Company (GWG) was established in Edmonton in 1911 by Alberta Premier Alexander Rutherford and partners Alfred E. Jackson and Charles A. Graham. It produced work wear and, during the First and Second World Wars, military clothing. It outgrew its premises and moved, in 1914, to 10438 Namayo Street (97 Street) where it remained until 1953. The workforce comprised mostly women and, by 1914, there were 150 operators; by 1919, 375; and, by 1939, 500. The clothing range continued to expand including women’s wear and uniforms for City employees in the 1930s. A “line system” was implemented that saw seamstresses doing piece work with financial incentives for number of pieces completed per day. In 1940, two-thirds of production shifted to uniforms and a two-storey addition to the main plant was built. The 1950s saw further expansion with a new plant being built a few blocks away and casual family clothing introduced. Over the years, efficiencies in clothing production continued with resulting pressures on individual operators to complete as many pieces of work per day to keep their wages high. Shifts in the economics of the clothing industry including offshore production resulted in plant closure in 2004 with over 400 individuals losing their jobs. The plant was an important source of employment for women throughout its history using them to operate cutting, sewing and pressing machines and as office workers. In its early years, most workers were of English descent with some of Ukrainian and Scandinavian origin. During the Second World War many recent immigrants were hired including Assunta (Peron) Dotto, who worked at the plant from 1943 to 1945. She believed that work there gave her a “start” in her life in Canada. In the early 1950s, GWG became an important employer for Italian women. Paolo Veltri from Grimaldi, a caretaker at the factory, helped various women including Estera Albi and Franca Cavaliere to obtain work there. Later, while working for Canadian Immigration, he served as a translator. Italian women also worked in other clothing companies including Maria (Caria) Mauro at White Stag.

Read more about the history of Edmonton's Italian community at the Edmonton City as Museum Project with Adriana A. Davies' three-part chronicle, There Were No Safety Nets.

Comments - 04 Apr 2017

Dear Sir ! Ms. Ngo Thi Thuy Trang Ms. Nguyen ThiNgoc Lan District 1, Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam Mobile: +84908585219,+84918122254 Email:, Attention: Board of Directors Ho Chi Minh City, April 2017 Dear Madam/Sir, I’m Trang Ngo, I would be appreciated at your kindness considering my group application. We are joining in Textile field especially Apparel field since 1998 until now (18 years). We can monitor from sourcing, development step, purchasing, producing process … to deliver finished garments to customer as their request, follow up payment process… We are including sale member, merchandiser, technician, quality controller, worker to make samples. Last but not least, we have operation member as well. The experiences while working period have made us confident in carrying out the assignment of your company and contribute our strength to your company. ACHIEVEMENTS, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCES: § Have good communication skill, organizational skill, interpersonal skill, presentational skill, solving problem skill and management skill. § Have knowledge in Garment/Textile Industry and experience in outer/casual wear, woven, knit, for US, Europe and Asia market. § Gain experience in sourcing material/supplier/manufacture, dealing with domestic and oversea supplier/manufacture/buyer; costing/negotiating the price; developing sample/material; purchasing; managing capacity/production plan; shipping; organizing and managing stock inventory. § Management experience order form from development stage to production and shipment stage. § Monitor all issue relating logistics field until customer receive their cargo. § Training for team member regarding how to be good merchandiser, salesman, logistics handler. § Team working spirit but also able to work independently. Organizing office, building up the merchandising team, creating SOP and experience in international working environment. § Being able to use fluently office skills such as Microsoft Office and other relevant computer skills, telephone, fax, email, photocopy, scan, filing… § Updating new information about local law, customs law, textile/garment news as well as market trends in order to have the strategies for coming month/year. Thank you for your time reading our application. We would appreciate an interview to show you how we can contribute our working abilities to the development of your company. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon. Best regards, Ms. Ngo Thi Thuy Trang (Trang Ngo), Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lan Please allow me to send email to you on behalf of our team.

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Era: The War Years
Themes: Trade & Industry
Cultural Groups: Italian
Area: Central

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