J. Maurice Gilbart founded Gilbarts of Selkirk and Gimli in 1935, coming to Selkirk in 1928 and working for the local undertaker. The owner went broke in the Depression Years, and local folklore says it was mostly from bad investments. The casket company in Winnipeg foreclosed and sent out a new manager. Some local men did not care for someone parachuted in and so they asked Maurice to take over the business.
Here was a man who was broke, but Maurice thought he could get going with a bank loan of $400. That was 1935 and the rest is history. Son Roy took over from Maurice in 1954, grandson Wes took over in 1992 and great grandson David has been working with Wes since 2003 and will be taking over in the future.