Nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is the most common malignancy diagnosed in Caucasian populations, but little is known about its occurrence in Canada. We sought to determine the historical change of the occurrence and risk of NMSC. All first diagnoses of NMSC reported in Manitoba between 1960 and 2000 were identified. Rates were reported as well as lifetime risk of developing the disease. Basal cell carcinoma was the predominant form of NMSC, accounting for 79% of all NMSCs. The annual percentage change of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma increased 2.4%, mainly in people older than 40 years of age from the early 1970s to 2000. The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with NMSC increased by two to three times in the 1990s compared to the 1960s. We concluded that because of the potentially high impact of NMSC on resource utilization and treatment-related costs as well as its easily preventable character, priority should be given to prophylactic measures.