Dorian grew up in Winnipeg’s West Central neighbourhood, a community tied to one of the poorest postal codes in the country.
In high school, drug and alcohol abuse distracted many of his friends from achieving their full potential. He watched as his peers began “slipping away” from the education system. He also found himself distracted and falling behind in his studies as he struggled with a difficult situation at home.
“I’ll admit, my grades weren’t great,” says Dorian. “But I’m still determined to save what’s left of my education.”
Two years ago, he was introduced to the Spence Neighbourhood Association (Spence) Homework Club. During the after-school program, he was able to catch up on his school work with the help of a mentor.
Spence’s Homework Club is designed to provide accessible support and mentorship to at-risk youth, enabling them to succeed in and beyond the classroom. First, students are assessed to identify their learning needs. After the assessment, profiles are configured on a software platform that matches students with suitable mentors. The match identifies mentors with the strongest compatible skillset to help students overcome their academic challenges.
“We know kids in this neighbourhood don’t always have the same opportunities as others,” says Jamil Mahmood, Executive Director at Spence. “The education system doesn’t work for everyone, especially in the inner-city. We can’t change the system overnight, but we can impact how youth relate to it.”
Spence’s youth programs were initially developed in response to a need identified by their safety committee. The volunteer group noticed many young people in the neighbourhood were skipping classes, hanging out in back lanes and committing petty vandalism. The first youth programs sought to encourage these young residents to focus on building relationships and take pride in their community. What began as one after school club has since expanded to eight different programs supported by almost 20 staff.
These youth programs are tied to Spence’s core mandate, which is to address broader systemic issues that affect Winnipeg’s West Central neighbourhood. By focusing on five core improvement areas, the organization helps minimize the detrimental impact of poverty and community trauma.
“We have conducted extensive community consultations to better understand how residents want to see this neighbourhood develop,” says Jamil. “Our job is to make that happen.”
Spence is also committed to being agile and responsive to the urgent needs of its neighbours. For example, West Central residents were growing concerned as violent conflict on the streets started taking young lives. In response to these tragedies, the organization opened up a 24-hour safe space that now shelters and protects over 50 youth every night.
“Spence Neighbourhood Association serves the heart of Winnipeg’s inner-city and has a profound impact on the lives of the most vulnerable youth in our community,” says Dave Johnston, Chair of the TELUS Manitoba Community Board. “We’re proud to partner with a charity that seeks to empower youth by connecting them with real people who truly care about personal growth and individual success. Thanks to TELUS’ generosity, our board members are able to support grassroots initiatives that strengthen neighbourhoods in need and make a lasting difference in the lives of young Manitobans just like Dorian.”
With grant funding from the TELUS Manitoba Community Board, Spence was able to expand their Homework Club program and mentor more youth who were excited to take control of their education and futures.
Today, Dorian is only a few classes shy of completing his high school diploma. After graduation, he looks forward to conquering his next challenge: starting a business, joining the military or becoming a musician.
“By providing a small incentive or support to a child, we can change their life,” says Jamil. “We have hundreds of stories about kids who have gone through our programs and are now doing amazing things. All it took was one person who cared enough to make a difference.”
Do you know a registered charity helping Manitoba youth succeed?
With support from the TELUS Manitoba Community Board, charities are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in one-time grant funding for a new or existing grassroots project. The next application deadline is January 15, 2019. To apply online, visit community.telus.com.
We often receive feedback from attendees related to the amount of sponsor speeches at our events. Sure, it’s great to tell us about your company, however, audiences at our events have expressed a few ways that sponsors can ensure attendees are more engaged.
Here are 5 Sponsorship Stage Tips to Follow:
2. Tell a Story
Stories are a great way to connect. They tell people what your company is all about without sounding like a pitch. A well-told, engaging story impacts attendees and gets them thinking about your organization.
3. Give Advice
Instead of pitching your company, provide a piece of business advice based on your organization or speaker’s expertise. Providing advice makes you more accessible for networking and can lead to real connections.
5. Add to the Topic
What is your company’s connection to the event’s topic? What expertise can you add to the topic? Providing a tidbit of information and educating the audience frames your organization as an expert in that field and promotes your brand very positively.
The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce craves Le Burger week every September. This year, The Chamber decided to visit our members to taste their burger creations. The results did not disappoint.
Check out a recap of our Members' burgers!
Chamber Member - Oakwood Cafe
Our new Director of Policy, Colin, kicked off Le Burger Week early to visit our chamber member at The Oakwood Cafe for their La Svizzerina burger!
La Svizzerina featured an all beef patty, with delicious fix-ins like Italian sausage, provolone, and parmesan topped with a meatball.
Until next year, Le Burger Week!
On August 28th, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce was one of a select group of stakeholders invited to participate in a consultation with the federal Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare.
Established as part of Budget 2018, the Council has been tasked with providing advice to the government on how best to implement a national prescription drug coverage program.
While the Chamber was happy to represent Winnipeg’s business community in this important discussion, Chamber CEO Loren Remillard noted it’ a concern the government appears to have decided to proceed with an expensive national program without understanding what problem it’s trying to solve.
“If the issue is coverage for those who aren’t currently insured, then a national program should complement what the private sector is already doing,” Remillard said. “If this is about the expense of drugs, then let’s look at ways to reduce those costs for everyone.”
Currently, more than 25 million Canadians have access to prescription drug coverage through their group health benefit plans. Many employer-sponsored plans cover a wider range of medications than existing provincial plans and also offer innovations like case management programs for individuals with chronic conditions.
“What has worked best in this country is an approach that embraces the best of the private, public and non-profit sectors,” said Remillard. “With Pharmacare, we urge the government to proceed with caution, and to recognize the role the private sector plays in providing health care, and the significant number of Canadians who are employed in the health benefits industry.”
The federal government has released a discussion paper on National Pharmacare and is seeking feedback from the public. This will also be one of the topics of discussion at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM taking place in Thunder Bay later this month.
What do you think about a national prescription drug program, and how might it impact your business? Send your thoughts to Colin Fast, Director of Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2016, 24 excited Winnipeggers journeyed to China with The Chamber's travel program. We had hosted trips to China before, but this particular trip would be like no other. This would be the trip where we met May, tour guide extraordinaire.
To say that May went above and beyond with our group would be an understatement. Not only did she flex her skills as our translator, she also led us on several adventures to destinations off the beaten track. May left a lasting impression on all of our travelers, but developed an extra special bond with Chamber Operations Manager/Chamber travel program host, Marion.
This past summer, it was Marion's turn to show May around. Taking up Marion's offer to visit Winnipeg, May travelled from China to explore Canada.
And May didn't waste any time. Her adventure included a trip to Whistler for some horeseback riding, ATVing, ziplining and a helicopter ride around a glacier. She went to Vancouver to bike around Stanley Park, and even managed to squeeze in a trip to Brandon to go fly-fishing, kayaking and camping.
And of course, she visited Winnipeg to stay with Marion and see our city's sights, including the Museum for Human Rights and Journey to Churchill at Assiniboine Park Zoo.
Interested in meeting the one-and-only May? You're in luck. Our travel program is venturing off to China again in April 2019 for a 10-day trip and — you guessed it — May is our tour guide. The trip includes walking on the Great Wall of China, a day trip to Suzhou with a Grand Canal Cruise, savouring a delicious Peking Duck Diner, and much more.
The Chamber hosts all-inclusive international getaways that offer travelers great pricing on top-notch tours and guides with premium accommodation. Our trips are open to members and non-members. Exciting destinations have included China, India, Turkey, Iceland, Ireland, South Africa, Vietnam & Cambodia, Peru and more. And sometimes, our trips even foster international relationships.
Travel with the Chamber!
Join us next April when The Chamber hosts our next trip to China. It's your chance to explore one of the most popular destinations in the world and be amaze by its architecture, culture and history.
Wonders of China - Travel Program
Wednesday, Oct.24, 2018 at 6:00 pm
Canada One Travel, 1365 Pembina Hwy.
Please RSVP to Ellen at email@example.com
Our 2018-2019 event season is kicking-off at our first Membership Luncheon of the year on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at The Fort Garry Hotel, where Jan Gehl will share his leadership secrets with hundreds of businesses.
You’ve got your season seats, and YOU’RE READY TO NETWORK.
Here are nine tips to maximize your time (and leads) at our luncheons:
3. Have specific goals
Our events bring in anywhere from 400-1500 attendees and it can be hard to navigate through all the action. You definitely won’t be able to talk to everyone, but if you come prepared with specific goals and perhaps individuals you want to connect with – you’ll be successful.
For example, say you do sales for your organization – you can set the goal to schedule meetings with three new leads. Or, if you do fundraising – you can set the goal to spark conversation with three of the organizations that donated to your last campaign (donor relation at its finest!).
4. Update your LinkedIn Profile
If you’ve attended our events in the past, you’ll notice after each event you’ll receive at least a few LinkedIn invites from your fellow tablemates or someone you had exchanged business cards with during the networking session. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date with your current position and contact information. Bonus points if you update your feed regularly with useful content that will add value to your followers (e.g. saving programs your business has to offer to other Chamber members).
6. Dress to impress
People often ask our team what to wear at our events. Truth is, we don’t expect you to come in a suit, in fact it’s not necessary (for example, company t-shirts are also a guest favourite!). An easy rule is to treat the luncheon like a business meeting. Whether you’re coming straight from the office or from home – dress how you want your business represented.
7. Be interested
You’re finally at our event – now it’s time to network and make some genuine business connections. You’ve practiced your elevator pitch which is great, but the key to great networking is asking questions. Find out about their business and what initiatives they have going on. Be genuinely interested in their business. Maybe there’s an issue their business is facing that your business can help resolve.
9. Follow-up ASAP
When you get back to your office that day, be sure to take those business cards out of your purse, or wallets or back pockets. Pin them to your cork board or keep them by your phone as a reminder to send them a follow-up email (you’ll notice how helpful those scribbles on their business cards really make a difference!).
It doesn’t even hurt to follow-up right when you get back to your desk – it shows you’re on top of your business and are genuinely interested in theirs.
If you haven't purchased your season seats yet, no problem! They're still available to purchase online here until Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 11:59 P.M.
In this world of acronyms in which we live, learn, and work, information can easily get lost in translation. For many of you, this headline was probably a breeze: Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT) is hosting the upcoming Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce (WCC) After Business Mixer (ABM).
But what about the up-and-coming generation of professionals who will fuel your businesses and Manitoba’s labour force? They can have all the technical skills in the world but if they can’t comprehend the language of industry (acronyms and all) how can they succeed?
At MITT, we get this. And it’s why we’re a leader in Manitoba when it comes to providing integrated essential and employability skills in every program we offer. Our graduates enter the workforce adept, adaptable, and ready for the realities of their professions.
On Sept. 26, we invite WCC members to enhance their ABM experience by touring our campus, meeting our executive, instructors, students, and staff, and learning first-hand about MITT’s holistic approach to training for careers in trades and technology.
It’s a brand new academic year so bring your business acumen, your networking expertise, and your insatiable curiosity to campus and get ready to learn more about MITT, what we do, and how we can help you.
For WCC members who can’t join us on the 26th, scroll down to brush up on MITT and feel free to connect with us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MITT provides certificate, post-graduate, and diploma-level technical training for career-oriented post-secondary and secondary students in four specialized areas:
For more than 30 years, industry collaboration has been our forte. Together, we identify skills gaps—both technical and soft—develop curriculum to meet them, and create work practicum opportunities that help students build connections with prospective employers while they learn. We also provide comprehensive career development support, based on industry feedback, to prospective and current students as well as graduates, and we’re a leading provider of continuing education and workforce development opportunities through our Lifelong Learning Institute.
The learning environment at MITT supports the academic, professional, and personal success of our students, led by industry veteran instructors who teach, mentor, and serve as students’ industry connection points. Our campus community is a safe and inviting place where students from around the world can easily access the information and resources they need to excel in their programs and successfully bridge from the classroom to a career.
At MITT, we also offer several unique pathway programs for adult and language learners, including:
After Business Mixer
Wednesday, September 26
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT)
130 Henlow Bay
BOOTHS: $175 (Members only)
For additional questions, you can reach our Director of Events, Elizabeth Cron, at 204-944-3308 or by email email@example.com.
The Chamber is calling on all members to spread the word and lend a hand to support a century-long Winnipeg tradition.
As the Winnipeg Parade Committee Inc. prepares for the 109th consecutive Santa parade, Santa’s float has been deemed unsafe to travel. A $100,000 GoFundMe campaign has launched to secure the parade’s future in Winnipeg.
Although the parade generously receives support from sponsors, donors and float entry revenue, this year the costly expense of the float puts the parade in jeopardy.
“The current float is more than 60 years old. With extreme winter temperatures and wear and tear for decades, the old Eaton’s billboards, key to the structural integrity, are damaged beyond repair. The decor is crumbling and the snowmen disintegrating,” said Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade Director, Monica Derksen.
“We’ve created a list of thank-you gifts and we are so grateful for donations and support from friends, families, businesses and supporters,” said Derksen. “If every household and business/organization that attends the parade gives $10, we will reach our goal.”
Presented by Manitoba Hydro, the parade is on Saturday, November 17 at 5:00pm.
For more information, or to become a sponsor, please contact 204-777-2682 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Event swag is a must, but is your swag working for you? Swag is a valuable marketing tool – when used correctly your swag can actually work for you.
If you provide quality items that are thoughtful and match your audience, your clients are more likely to use your product and your name will become unforgettable. But, if your swag is low-quality and random, it likely won’t give you any return-on-investment.
Here are 6 swag ideas that people actually like:
1. Tote bag
Event attendees always need a place to put their swag - and what a better place to put them than your branded tote bag!
2. Bluetooth speaker
Power your company with tech products like this portable speaker from Chartered Professional Accountants Manitoba!
3. Stress ball
Think outside of the box when it comes to stress balls - we love this polar bear stress ball from Assiniboine Park Zoo!
4. USB Flash Drives
Everyday items, like this USB flash drive from Manitoba Building Trades, are great swag gifts because your customers will always see your brand's name.
5. Mini Office Diffuser
Unique swag items, like this mini office diffuser from Chartered Professional Accountants Manitoba, get people talking about your brand.
6. Good quality pens
Investing in good quality pens, like these Pitblado Law pens, means people will actually use them and remember your brand. Investing in poor quality pens actually puts your brand's name at risk - you don't want people associating your brand with inky hands!
Interested in promoting your business?
Learn more about our event and programming sponsorship opportunities contact Jon Goodspeed,
VP of Business Development.
When New York and Copenhagen needed a mastermind to redesign their streets for 21st-century traffic patterns, they went to Jan Gehl - the internationally celebrated architect who believes in building cities for people.
On Sept. 19, Jan Gehl will be in Winnipeg to meet with hundreds of leaders from the urban planning, development, and tourism sectors at our September Luncheon: Livable Cities for the 21st Century.
Here are 10 facts you need to know about Jan Gehl:
1. Jan Gehl is a Danish architect and urban design consultant based in Copenhagen.
He is a founding partner of Gehl Architects, a worldwide architectural consulting firm that helps cities build livable, sustainable and healthy environments.
2. He received a Masters of Architecture in 1960.
Gehl graduated from the School of Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK) in 1960 and worked as an architect before starting his research.
3. In 1966, Gehl received a grant to study the form and use of public spaces.
By observing how and where people gathered and interacted in small-city centres, Gehl developed his theories on how city planning and architecture influence life.
4. His wife, Ingrid Gehl, is a psychologist.
Together they explored how and why human behaviour should be the starting point for architecture. Their theories centered on improving the quality of urban life by re-orienting city design towards the pedestrian and cyclist.
5. He is a renowned author and the subject of a documentary.
In addition to being the subject of the documentary The Human Scale, Gehl has published several books including Cities for People, Life Between Buildings and many more.
6. Gehl kickstarted the pedestrian transformation of Times Square in New York City.
When cities like New York, Sao Paolo, Copenhagen, Syndney, Moscow, and Singapore (to name a few) needed a mastermind to redesign their streets for 21st Century traffic patterns, they went to the internationally celebrated architect’s door.
7. Gehl understands the importance of environmental patterns to city planning.
Gehl and his team developed a plan to rebuild downtown Christchurch, New Zealand after the major earthquake of 2011. The final result includes lower-rise buildings.
8. Gehl believes that "Nothing in the world is more simple and more cheap than making cities that provide better for people".
Many of Gehl's theories focus on re-orienting city design towards developing effective and efficient public transportation, building safe and exciting public spaces, and even planting vegetation to keep the air clean and fresh.
9. Gehl's early research helped develop of one of the longest car-free shopping areas in Europe.
Gehl began observing the Strøget in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1962. His findings helped make the Strøget one of the longest car-free shopping streets in Europe. Today, the Strøget is almost a mile long!
10. He did a TEDx Talk on why we should build that 'move at 5km/hour'.
Gehl's 2015 TEDx Talk In Search of the Human Scale explores how cities built to accommodate traffic are uninviting and offer very little to urban life.
Don't miss Jan Gehl's keynote.
Portage and Main. True North Square. Market Lands. Railside at The Forks… Winnipeg’s public spaces are evolving. The debate on priorities as our city’s footprint develops has never been hotter and more in need of a global perspective. Enter Jan Gehl.