Under The Accessibility for Manitobans Act, all private businesses must have customer service accessibility policies in place by November 2018.
While that seems like a long way off, prudent businesses are preparing now. This issue is more than a legal and moral duty, too, since more accessible businesses have a larger customer base that includes the elderly and differently abled.
You have an opportunity to inform your strategy by attending a free half-day information event put on by Manitoba's Disabilities Issues Office. Hear from business leaders on how accessible customer service can attract new sales and build customer loyalty.
Creating A Universal Experience of Great Customer Service
Main Floor, Viscount Gort Hotel
1670 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg
Free on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, from 9:00 am – Noon
Get more information about Manitoba Access Awareness Week on their website.
Legacy Bowes has a place within Manitoba, providing assistance in three distinct pillars - Executive Search, Human Resources and Business Advisory Services. In the past 13 years, our team have been able to assist companies build their teams with exceptional people and implement human resource strategies. We have established this footprint in various industries at both the executive level and throughout organizations. We have also established an expertise working with not for profit organizations and associations and we are trusted partners with First Nation Communities and Economic Development Offices throughout Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. The original founders, Paul Croteau and Barbara Bowes have established themselves as experts in these areas with over 80 years of combined experience. With the addition of three new partners – Bill Medd, Terry Brown and Lisa Cefali – we continue to provide the Business Community with the expertise they deserve.
Like many of you who are planning and looking to what your future will bring, we too see the future of our organization becoming even more entrenched in supporting the growth of all business organizations.
Last year, at the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Gala Dinner, Legacy Bowes Group announced we were adding to our practice and becoming involved in something new and different. Not only will we continue to provide the support we are well known for; we have expanded our offerings to provide access to Funding and Grants for businesses to grow in various areas of their operations.
In this past year, 40 organizations have signed on with us - The North West Company, Number Ten Architectural Group, Starlite Communications, ScootAround, Vector Construction, Monteferro, and Bothwell Cheese to name a few who have sought funding for Business Growth, Telecom Optimization, Innovation Initiatives, Capital Projects and Training and Development. Through a unique partnership, Legacy Bowes Group have created funding opportunities just shy of $5M for their clients.
What is this funding for?
Legacy Bowes wants to help with funding for those Capital and Software Purchases companies have planned in order to grow or funding for those Trade Shows in new markets you want to expand to. We connect you to funding for Training Programs you have scheduled into the 4th quarter. Finally, we can make your SR&ED experience pleasant, streamlined and the outcome even larger! That’s it. We are here to help. You. Legacy Bowes Group is a firm that has been assisting companies grow, change, and be successful. The future looks bright as we bring even greater success to even more Manitoba businesses.
Do you know what's new and on-trend for Mother's Day flowers in Manitoba?
As the only farm-fresh, seasonal bouquet florist in Winnipeg, Callia Flowers stays in touch with local demand while observing national trends through their Vancouver and Edmonton businesses. Founder Catherine Metrycki intentionally built her business to be flexible to consumer trends, rotating a three bouquet offering based on what’s in vogue each month.
Metrycki and the team at Callia Flowers have noticed the rise in popularity of these three trends heading up to Mother’s Day 2017. Maybe it's time to give the stereotypical rose bundle a rest with a chic pick?
1) Greens, greens and more greens: Eucalyptus is the new trend in florals, with Pantone even choosing "greenery" as their Colour of the Year for 2017. “We've got bouquets with six different kinds of eucalyptus -- did you even know there are 6 different kinds of euc?! The smell is gorgeous and calming, and they last for weeks,” says Metrycki.
2) Unusual scents: Moms are over carnations and daisies -- they want unique, sweet-smelling blooms. “We're seeing trends with stockflowers, which give off the sweetest sweet-pea like scent,” says Metrycki. “We're also in love with Venetian lavender, which besides smelling amazing also lasts forever -- so she can turn her bouquet into a sweet bedside or kitchen posy.”
3) Hand-tied, textured garden style: Gone are the manufactured "perfect" bouquets from the last decade -- it's now about fresh, hand-tied style bouquets that look like they came straight from the garden. “A mix of big blooms, sweet waxflowers and greens make these bouquets unique, edgy and looking like you picked them yourself,” says Metrycki.
While P3 projects aren’t new to Manitoba, the announcement showed the provincial government will be taking a closer look at them. While each P3 project is unique, several themes are common throughout. Typically the public sector provides the general framework of what they want built, and they leave it to the private sector to come up with the most innovative and efficient way to accomplish it. The private sector gets paid based on their performance, so they are incentivized to complete the project on-time, on-budget, and without any deficiencies.
P3 projects are done to maximize the value for money that taxpayers receive, something The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce has long been in favor of. Before a P3 project goes ahead, an analysis is done to see if the private sector can provide a more cost-efficient option. In the case of the Chief Peguis Trail Extension, those cost savings worked out to $31 million. As well, P3s encourage innovation, which is an area where Manitoba needs improvement, as the Conference Board of Canada has ranked us third last amongst all provinces.
While it is still too early to tell if these new schools will be built under the P3 model, it is encouraging to see the provincial government look at more innovative and cost effective methods for infrastructure procurement.
Recently, I attended a discussion called “Future of Philanthropy”. When a slide showed “Giving Statistics – Baby Boomers & Millennials”, I asked– “What about the generation between them?” The speaker said we weren’t covering GenX.
This isn’t new.
I am passionate about next generation philanthropy. I worry we consistently recruit volunteers and donors who are very generous baby boomers without thinking about engagement of younger generations. I see Boomers (born 1946-1959) actively ready to pass the torch to a new generation of volunteers but when I mention this, I often hear about the organization’s strategic plan to recruit millennials (born 1981-2000). While good, I’m often left disappointed they have no strategy to engage Gen X (1960-1980) as this is something they hadn’t considered.
Gen X: Often called the “forgotten generation” or as I recently heard, “The Prince Charles generation” because they’re waiting for an older generation to leave their roles while dealing with much celebration for the generation that is coming up (with hurtful suggestions of skipping over them completely). It’s important to remember Gen X will not only likely inherit the wealth of the Boomer generation but also has been engaged in the charitable sector and helped to define what it is today.
They were influenced by Terry Fox and were the first kids to fundraise in his memory. They’re the kids who jumped rope for heart and sold girl guide cookies door to door. They remember Live Aid. They grew up hearing about AIDS and watched Princess Diana – one of their icons - visit the homeless and hold hands with AIDS victims. They’re the generation that began to work in the charitable sector in the 1990s and 2000s as coordinators, officers and now are leading fundraising teams across the planet. They’re the doers, drivers and are fiercely independent. They’re the kids who had to play outside, use their imaginations and come home after the street lights came on. They graduated into recession and learned to be adaptable. Many of them have faced job loss or fear it and work very hard to prevent it.
What the presenter forgot to include (and charities often forget) is the opportunities GenX brings. They can be translators. GenX is the only generation who can research on a microfiche and a tablet. They have the opportunity to be the bridge between the two rather loud generations surrounding them. They can help ease the charitable sector through some of the changes it faces. They know you don’t necessarily need to shift immediately into crowd funding or have an annual report on Instagram but they can help you figure out what is next and how to get there. They can help ease this transition and help with the change that is necessary. But first, they just need to be included.
Quick: name a sector growing at twice the rate of the provincial economy that employs over 22,000 Manitobans.
The correct answer is the cultural sector, whose GDP contributions include our libraries and heritage institutions, live performances, the visual arts, written and published works, audio-visual, interactive media, sound recordings, cultural education, training, funding and professional supports.
The cultural industries are responsible for almost 3.0 per cent of Manitoba’s GDP, which is around $1.7 billion. That works out to just over $1,300 on a per capita basis. From 2010-2014 the cultural sector in Manitoba grew by 23 per cent, twice the rate of the overall provincial economy. The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce has long been a strong supporter of the creative and cultural industries, and Manitoba BOLD featured several recommendations on how to grow those sectors.
One of those recommendations was for the province to review and modernize arts and culture policies, as the last review took place 25 years ago. The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce was pleased when the province announced in late March that they would be undertaking such a review - and that it would be open to public submissions. The Winnipeg Chamber has begun working on a submission to the province that will incorporate policies from Manitoba BOLD, as well as look at various ways of innovate in the sector.
"Arts and new media" is one of five key sectors the province has identified for the creation of a targeted growth strategy. While there has been tremendous growth in the sector, there is the potential for so much more. As an example, the cultural sector in Ontario contributes over $500 more on a per capita GDP basis than in Manitoba. If Manitoba were to increase the per capita GDP contribution of the cultural sector to the same level as seen in Ontario, it would result in an almost $700 million boost to the provincial economy. That boost would be the equivalent of doubling the machine manufacturing sector in Manitoba.
In addition to the economic impact, the arts and cultural sectors bring additional values that can’t be measured. These sectors improve our quality of life, fuel creativity, and help us express our unique voices and identities. These contributions go beyond the bottom line, and The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce will continue to put forward solutions to ensure the continued success of the culture and creative sectors.
Valerie Creighton is one of the most influential people in Canadian media. As President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund, she oversees the investment of millions of dollars into cultural enterprises across the nation.
As Manitoba evaluates it's cultural priorities and policies, we've invited Valerie to speak on a strategy to grow our arts and culture sector. Here's a taste of where she thinks our province needs to go.
The Winnipeg Chamber: For those who don't know, what is the Canada Media Fund?
Valerie Creighton: The Canada Media fund is a unique private-public partnership created to invest in television and digital media production in Canada. Through contributions by the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors, the CMF develops funding programs that support the country’s audiovisual production industry. Last year alone we invested over $370M in 1,270 productions, at the development, production or marketing stages. This triggered $1.4B in production activity in the country.
The beauty of this model is in the unique partnership between the private and public sectors. For every dollar we invested last year, an additional $4 was leveraged by the private sector to create exceptional Canadian content enjoyed by audiences across the country and sold to hundreds of territories beyond our borders.
The CMF relies on market validation to ensure funding is allocated to projects that will resonate with consumers. A system has been put in place whereby Canadian broadcasters help determine which television productions are most likely to succeed. The majority of funds provided by the CMF go directly to independent producers who have received a license from broadcasters.
In addition to funding content, we provide research that contributes to Canada’s competitive advantage. We support and commission new research on developments impacting the television and digital media industry and we share curated research on our dedicated CMF Trends website.
The third pillar of our activities is centered on the promotion of Canadian content in Canada and abroad. We participate at international markets and help Canadian producers promote their projects at these events. Much of the work we do on this front is a collaborative effort with several Canadian funding organizations and industry associations at the national, provincial and territorial levels. Collaborating with other agencies allows us to speak with one voice to effectively leverage the “Canada brand.”
WC: Both Manitoba's government and the federal government are reviewing cultural/arts funding and policy. Do you think there's some reason cultural reviews are in vogue?
VC: It’s a good question, and with the exception of the 1991 amendments to the Broadcasting Act, one not comprehensively addressed since the Massey Report on June 1, 1951. That was a year before I was born, making it 65 years ago.
So much has happened in 65 years. Especially in the last decade. In ten years we’ve seen the birth of the iPhone, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The arrival of Netflix in Canada, and the birth of Amazon Prime and Crave. Spotify and Google Play numbers now dictate the Billboard charts. These are but a few examples of new technologies changing the cultural landscape, not just in Canada but all over the world. Technologies that allow us to not only access, but also to create content in some cases. The disruption these innovative technologies have created is unprecedented in the cultural industries. They have essentially erased boundaries, which means we are now operating in a virtually open and borderless environment.
Many believe that our current regulatory system is outdated and that the arrival of foreign OTTs in Canada has created a two-tiered system. With Netflix alone occupying 38% of Canada broadband in peak hours and others in the wings, clearly a better solution needs to be found. However, at the same time, OTTs offer a new business opportunity for Canadian content that was not available a few years ago. The question is how we integrate relatively new players into the system.
Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, often points out that Canada’s cultural industries combined account for more than 600,000 jobs and generate 3 % of Canada’s GDP, or $47.7 billion a year. That’s double the size of Canada’s agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors combined.
Neglecting to review the various policies that regulate and support such vital industries would be reckless in the face of so much change and evolution in the market. That is why I fully support the cultural policy reviews undertaken by the federal government, the Government of Manitoba and other provincial governments. I look forward to the results of these reviews.
WC: What innovation have you witnessed driving the growth of Canada's cultural industries?
VC: There is so much innovation in the cultural industries. I mentioned platforms such as Netflix, Spotify or social media. Beyond that there are new mediums we were unfamiliar with just a few years ago. Even if the technology is still quite nascent, augmented and virtual reality are catching on quickly. Technology has provided innovative options for sharing stories with audiences from all parts of the world. In this context, the Canada Media Fund made a strategic decision to invest in an ever-growing number of virtual and augmented reality projects as an important part of the funding we provide to Canadian digital media.
Canadian companies are at the forefront of digital media innovation. By way of example, Montreal is fast becoming a global centre of excellence in virtual reality, rivalling much larger production hubs around the world. Thanks to the reputation of Canadian digital media content, the expertise acquired by producers, and a funding ecosystem that supports innovation and creative storytelling, Canada is well positioned to lead in the promising virtual reality market and to respond to consumer trends.
Producers in Canada and around the world are turning to VR projects as a way to create experiences that push the limits of art and technology. Since 2012-2013, the Canada Media Fund has invested in 59 innovative VR and AR projects, totaling $24.5M in funding. Last year alone, we invested in 29 VR projects with over $11.6M in financing.
The videogames sector is another major driver of growth and the potential is enormous for Canada. The Canadian videogame industry, one of the largest producers of video games in the world per capita, employs some 20,000 talented individuals earning on average a respectable annual salary of over $71,000 a year working in 472 studios spread across the country, which contribute $3 billion to the economy. It is an industry half the size of the one in the US, but in a country with a tenth of the population.
WC: How does Canadian audiovisual content build our brand as a country?
VC: Investing in Canadian content is not just good cultural policy. It’s also good economic and foreign policy. It allows our stories to reach the world and build Canada’s brand value, while bringing in billions of dollars in sales and revenue leveraged from outside the country.
The key to branding Canada is to give the world an exciting story about us. Canada has a great story to tell, of an optimistic, sophisticated, creative, multicultural, multilingual, inclusive country with extraordinary natural wonders and vibrant, cosmopolitan cities. The time is ripe for Canada to double down on this branding exercise because all the ingredients are there for Canada to shine brighter than ever before. Now is the time to build the Canada brand to its full potential. The benefits the country will draw from these efforts are immeasurable.
Canada is well–positioned to be a leading player in the world content market as we continue to combine the entrepreneurial skills of our content producers, the creativity of our artists, financial resources and supportive public policies. We are fortunate to be blessed with a wealth of creative resources and ideas. I believe that no one has a monopoly on a good idea. No one can stop an idea whose time has come. In a world driven by ideas, ingenuity and imagination, our creators are one of our greatest natural resources and clearly their time has come.
Culture is now a strategic resource that, in a global knowledge-based society, contributes enormously to the economy, both directly and indirectly. It leads to further creativity and innovation, without mentioning the countless other benefits to our society through the telling of our stories and the international projection of Canada.
Of all the instruments of international branding, culture is perhaps the most self-defining and long-lasting. Our sense of pride as a nation can only grow from seeing our stories on a multitude of screens and sharing our extraordinary talent with the world.
WC: What's the biggest opportunity you see for our cultural sector, specifically audiovisual, as the world media landscape shifts?
VC: As I mentioned earlier, we are no longer operating in a hermetically closed system. Culture and audiovisual content, like many other things, are now global, not local. At a time when countries around the world are rejecting globalization. When governments turn to insular policies, it is important that we remind ourselves that it is bridges and not walls which have lead us to this golden age of innovation and creativity. That is why we must look beyond our borders for new partnership opportunities.
At the CMF we a continuously align our programs to maintain steady growth for the Canadian industry. Of the variety of projects the CMF funds, developing new international coproduction opportunities for Canadian producers continues to be a top priority and one with great opportunities. As consumers have growing access to content from all corners of the world, the production business benefits enormously from working on the international front and pooling resources, sharing expertise, talent and access to markets. Maximizing the potential of coproductions is one of our goals at the CMF. This is why we are developing and renewing partnerships with funding organizations similar to ours in countries around the world. We have agreements with eight different jurisdictions and will add more in the months to come.
Extraordinary productions have come to life because of coproduction agreements between Canadian and international producers. For instance, Vikings, a CMF-funded, Canada-Ireland coproduction. Broadcast on the History Channel, the first season of Vikings reached an average US audience market share of 5.3% compared to the network’s average 1.8%.
Having made the top 10 on US Cable, there are surprisingly no Americans in the show. Love for Vikings and the people and places it explores has expanded into a universe of fandom. Subtle influences having been making their way into the mainstream, from hairstyles to tattoos. An abundance of Instagram fan accounts share photos of the show and related culture. Feeding audiences’ desire for more, the team produced the Real Vikings documentary, now a series of its own, a Vikings comic book, a board game and even a new card game. Its newest expansion is a behind the scenes interactive journey Vikings: A World Revealed, where the stars guide us in the making of the show.
In Finland, the series’ average audience market share in the coveted 25-44 age category was 97% above the average for the network. Now you have to admit that a Canadian coproduced series about Vikings, achieving that kind of success in a Nordic country is not bad!
Join Valerie Creighton in Winnipeg on May 18 at Investing in Our Cultural Capital, generously supported by Get On Set Manitoba. Tickets and details here.
This article first appeared in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce "5 Minutes for Business" May 2, 2017
From Europe to the U.S.A., our largest trading partners are burning up with anti-trade fever. Is it a short-term flu of harmless populism or the most destructive strains of anti-globalization since the 1930’s?
Last week the Trump Administration leaked a draft executive order to withdraw the U.S. from NAFTA. “I was all set to terminate,” Trump told the Washington Post “I looked forward to terminating. I was going to do it.” What changed his mind?
He backed down after an uproar from U.S. business groups, ferocious blowback from Congress (Senator John McCain said it would be a “disaster”), and calls from the leaders of Canada and Mexico. Apparently the decisive factor was a map of the United States showing the areas that would be hardest hit from cancelling NAFTA and highlighting that many of those counties, particularly in agriculture and manufacturing had voted Trump last November. The blustery threat and same-day retraction inflamed public opinion in Canada and Mexico, so that it will be even harder for those governments to make concessions to the U.S. What could be nuttier?
Frexit. If France elects a President dedicated to exiting the European Union and abandoning the Euro, it would be much worse than Brexit, perhaps leading to a break-up of the EU. Should we be worried?
We will find out on May 7th when the people of France vote in the second round of the Presidential election. The parallels with the U.S. are striking – Marine Le Pen presents herself as a champion of the oppressed working class, les oubliés (“the forgotten”) and she promises to stop immigration, withdraw from the EU, and impose tariffs to protect French business. Her opponent, Mr. Macron is in the centrist Hillary position with somewhat vague promises that are proEU and include investments in training, along with more flexibility and lower taxes for French business. Mr. Macron has a massive lead in the polls, but analysts point to severe trauma in the French political system. From the Euro crisis and bank bailouts, to an influx of migrants, economic stagnation, and terrorist attacks, the French have never been more disenchanted with their elites. In fact, both of the major parties (the equivalents of the Liberals and Conservatives) were eliminated in the first round.
There’s been much talk about a world-wide trend of government elites losing to anti-trade populists, but don’t count on a big win for Madame Trump. Extremist candidates were defeated in The Netherlands and Austria, because of concern about the economic consequences and also because messages of openness do resonate. Polls show that significant numbers of Trump voters and Brexiteers are experiencing regret.
Personally, I think Ms. Le Pen has pushed her luck too far with a promise to exit the Euro. This means that all financial assets, debts and pensions would have to be converted from Euros to some new currency to be introduced by Ms. Le Pen. Hear that, French seniors? Your life savings could be devalued and switched into new Francs from the Front National. Good luck.
That’s the point of Brexit, Frexit, threats to withdraw from the EU/NAFTA and trade wars generally. It’s lots of fun to bluster and bash trade, but there are real consequences and real job losses. Sometimes we only see the benefits of free trade when someone threatens to take it away. So let’s hope the French come to the same conclusion as so many Dutch, Austrians, remorseful Brits and American businesses to embrace openness. Because despite all the uncertainty, faster growth in global trade is just around the corner.
Canadian companies face hiring challenges, especially in areas outside of major cities. Talent Beyond Boundaries wants to work with Canadian employers to fill their need for loyal, talented employees free of recruitment fees.
Talent Beyond Boundaries was established to connect companies to a hidden, international talent pool: professional and skilled refugees who move to Canada as skilled workers. Thousands of engineers, computer programmers, IT professionals, skilled trades workers, healthcare providers, accountants, teachers and other skilled professionals have been forced to flee their homes and jobs. They want to resume their work, rebuild their lives and contribute to their new communities.
In July 2016, with funding from the U.S. State Department and a Cooperation Agreement with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Talent Beyond Boundaries launched its digital “Talent Catalog” to collect detailed descriptions of the work experience, training, education, language abilities and other special talents of the refugee populations in Jordan and Lebanon. More than 8,000 refugees have registered and UNHCR is conducting targeted outreach to additional UNHCR-registered refugees to meet hiring needs. Employers with hard-to-fill positions may with to consider partnering with Talent Beyond Boundaries and include talented refugees as part of their future workforce.
For additional information, please contact Sayre Nyce, Executive Director, Talent Beyond Boundaries at email@example.com.
I’ve enjoyed being part of an inspiring and educational program called Leadership Winnipeg. The Winnipeg Chamber and Volunteer Manitoba partner to offer a 10-week program that provides Winnipeg’s young leaders a glimpse into community programs, leadership skill training, and themed tours of Winnipeg’s profit and not-for-profit community.
During our recent visit to Red River College we began the day with a smudge and teaching circle. Elder Mae Louise Campbell and Elder Jules Lavallee shared the seven sacred laws. These spiritual teachings were shared to give understanding to the way First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples of North America are brought back into oneness with their Creator and all of Creation.
Paul Vogt, President & CEO shared the role of Red River College in the community. He spoke to how Red River College is Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning with more than 200 full-time and part-time programs across nine campuses in Manitoba. Thanks to their continuing and distance education offerings, state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, and instructors with industrial expertise their graduate employment rate consistently exceeds 94 per cent, with a graduate satisfaction rate consistently exceeds 92 per cent.
The remainder of the day was filled with a campus tour (Technology Access Centre for Aerospace & Manufacturing, Vehicle Technology and Energy Centre, Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure and the Building Envelope Technology Access Centre) and listening Red River College's faculty guest speakers; Bradley West, Diversity Initiatives Coordinator; Brent Wennekes, Research Manager; Tatjana Brkic, Instructor, Business Administration, Sara MacArthur, Manager, Sustainability Initiatives.
After visiting Red River College, I was left with a sense of excitement for their future students. It’s refreshing to see an openness to spiritual teachings and the numerous innovative technologies being provided in Manitoba’s classrooms. After hearing from Paul Vogt and viewing the facility, there's no doubt RRC delivers one of the highest quality of educations available. Red River College is clearly working to keep their curriculum on the cutting edge through partnerships with industry and by using state-of-the-art equipment.
interested in experiencing Leadership Winnipeg during the 2017/18 session? Registration is now open to a year of connecting with the organizations and individuals who power our city.