June 1960 Halter Building Ad
Aubrey Halter and Nola Brown met in the late 1950's and their first partnership revolved around the arts.
In 1960 Nola Brown felt that it was the right time for a new style of 'modern' bookstore in Winnipeg, one dealing in literature and art. She told the Free Press "we hope to bring back to Winnipeg the fullest tradition of the personal book store" (Dec. 8 1960).
Aubrey Halter had just opened the four-storey Halter Building on Graham Avenue, just a block from The Bay. The main floor retail included Ellerby and Hall Chemists. Upper floor office tenants included the Occidental Life Insurance Company, an optician and CBC administration.
December 8, 1960, Winnipeg Free Press
The second main floor retail space became home to Nola's Macdonald's bookstore which opened on December 9, 1960 just a few days after her father, Francis Roy Brown, died. The "book and arts centre" was a bookstore, magazine shop, art gallery and carried a record section featuring folk and "off beat" albums.
Source: Reese Halter
On January 18, 1963 Aubrey and Nola created another partnership: marriage.
From 1966 to 1989 the Halters lived at the Sures House at 1021 Wellington Crescent. They had three children: Dr. Reese Halter, a California-based conservation scientist; Jason Halter, a Toronto-based artist and art dealer. Daughter Diana lives in British Columbia.
May 27, 1989, Winnipeg Free Press
Nola continued as a book reviewer and a media personality, including a stint as a panelist on the CTV / CJAY quiz show "Twenty Questions" that debuted in 1961. Her co-panelists included Stewart McPherson (right) who went on to host the UK version and numerous other BBC shows and Edna 'Rassy' Ragland (bottom), Neil Young's mother.
Aubrey continued with his role as a sometimes controversial developer, tangling with the city over zoning matters and other regulations, especially with the construction of 221 Wellington Crescent.
December 1987, Winnipeg Free Press
The Halters continued to be supporters of the arts. They sat on many boards and fundraising committees, including the Winnipeg Humane Society, Manitoba Theatre Centre and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Another group favoured by the couple was the Women's Health Clinic. The clinic opened in 1981 on the other side of Graham but in 1987 they moved to the Halter Building. Aubrey Halter donated the building to the Clinic in 2004.
Nola Peveret Halter (née Brown) died in in Vancouver on March 25, 1998. Aubrey Halter died October 21, 2008 at the age of 90.