Leadership Winnipeg - A Day of Arts and Culture
What makes Winnipeg a vibrant city? Is it our cold
winters, sandy spring streets, unbearably hot summers? If you were looking on a
map and deciding where to travel in Canada as a tourist, you may not choose
Winnipeg for these reasons. Yes …we are the coldest city of its size in the entire
world … achieving this world record doesn’t seem to draw people here.
Culture. Arts. Music. Dance. Colour. Winnipeg is a hub
Friday, April 22, was a tour into the life of Winnipeg’s
Arts and Culture Districts. I have a newfound love for the Manitoba Museum. I
remember shining a piece of soapstone and putting it on a piece of pink string
in Grade 1, then bringing it home to my Mom. Apparently they still do this.
Claudette Leclerc is the CEO, opening my eyes to much
more. If you haven’t been to this museum in a while, I guarantee there is
something for you. The organization is probably larger than you thought,
providing $13.7 million annually in economic input to Manitoba. There is an “access
for all program,” where approximately 60,000 admissions are redeemed each year,
a sponsored sleepover program for at-risk youth (I want to sleep at the
The museum is growing, too. There is a $116-million capital
renewal program, where some new highlights will be a travel section, keeping up
to date with Canada’s stories, including HBC, newer immigration exhibits, and
more aboriginal history. There is going to be a community space that you can
hang out in outside, that you don’t have to pay for.
Debra Fehr is director of sales, marketing and
programs, who realized a huge market is the adult population. Have you been to Yuri’s
Night held in the
Science Gallery on April 12? I checked it out for the first time this year. It
celebrates Yuri Gagarin’s first time in space, the first human to do so,
completing orbit on April 12, 1961. This is not for children. You get to be a big
kid all by yourself, doing crafts, “touching” all of the things, making a race
car or creating animation. The world-class planetarium hosts a DJ with
unbelievable sound for you to dance to or just sip a cocktail with friends.
We heard from some of Manitoba’s leaders in film,
television and music. We host two of Canada’s “Royal” companies; The Royal Winnipeg Ballet
and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. The talent in our arts industries is world
class. We learned of the roles leaders and members play in organizations such
as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Opera, Manitoba Music, Manitoba Film and Music, On Screen Manitoba
and what exactly the Manitoba Centennial Centre Corporation is to this district.
In the afternoon we heard from the president and CEO of
the 2017 Canada Summer Games. It excites me to hear what goes into the planning
of such a huge event, taking three years from start to finish! This will be its
50th anniversary, and is also falling on Canada’s 150th anniversary.
It is Canada’s largest multi-sport event, bringing in about 20,000 visitors. Economic
Development Winnipeg estimates there will be $153 million in revenue next
The Games’ pledge is “athlete’s first,” and 50% of our
Olympians have played in these Games at one time or another. 500 volunteers are
required now in leadership positions, and 5,500 more will be required for the actual event. My
own son has asked if he can volunteer next year, and is hoping to be a
participant one day soon, in soccer. Yes, I will facilitate this in our busy
schedule somehow. :)
I also enjoyed hearing from Mariette Mulaire, president
and CEO of World Trade Centre Winnipeg, also the co-chair of Canada Summer Games.
Upcoming on May 25-27 is an international networking event called Centrallia.
They work with 52 countries, trying to establish business-to-business
relationships. It is like a “speed-dating” event, but for business, and very
targeted for creating lasting relationships you may not otherwise have an opportunity
to experience. Mariette has a lovely way to showcase Manitoba to guests. Want
to know what is great about this province? Ask Mariette, she is an ambassador
Neat facts: Our hydro and electricity is the lowest
rate in North America, we were built on fur trade, and “we can walk on water,
and then swim in it.” Manitobans are amazing!
What will I get from this day? I have created
connections with people I had never imagined. It makes me even more excited to
call Winnipeg my home.