Media Release

Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. Hosts 2016 Annual General Meeting Showcasing 2015 Highlights and Introducing The Way Forward

May 3, 2016: Winnipeg, MB – Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) will host its annual general meeting today highlighting the results of EDW’s operations, including YES! Winnipeg and Tourism Winnipeg. Guests will hear greetings from His Worship Mayor Brian Bowman and the co-chairs of EDW’s board of directors, Don Boitson and Michael Scatliff. Dayna Spiring, EDW’s new president and CEO, will deliver the keynote address presenting her vision for the corporation’s future. Speaking about 2015 results will be EDW’s senior vice-president, Greg Dandewich; Tourism Winnipeg’s senior vice-president, Chantal Sturk-Nadeau; and YES! Winnipeg’s leader, Vince Barletta.

EDW serves as Winnipeg’s principal economic development agency responsible for promoting and fostering business and economic growth, as well as tourism development, in and around the city. As advocates working to promote Winnipeg, EDW coordinates management strategies, orchestrates communications and marketing efforts, and forms consequential coalitions with corporate bodies, related organizations, and government and community stakeholders.

“EDW plays an essential role in leading and shaping Winnipeg’s economic and tourism development initiatives. I look forward to synchronizing the corporation’s efforts in a way that works best for all Winnipeggers and builds upon the successes achieved to date,” said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “But EDW and its YES! Winnipeg sales force, together with its Tourism Winnipeg division, comprise only one piece of this puzzle. While our 2015 results are strong, fully actualizing EDW’s mandate requires the active involvement of the city’s business community, its academic institutions, and both the municipal and provincial governments.”

A tangible confidence is evident in Winnipeg, and investors are attuned to its escalating momentum. Big, bold and exciting projects are in the works, complementing an impressive list of already-completed initiatives that have done much to set the stage for the city’s future. Major developments like SkyCity Centre, True North Square and the just-announced 40-storey skyscraper one block south of Portage and Main’s iconic intersection will redefine downtown Winnipeg’s skyline in the coming years. But Winnipeg is on the rise in other ways that matter to those looking to invest, and it is incumbent upon the city’s leading proponents to join together to present this compelling progress with a cohesive and clear vision of tomorrow. Putting the city’s best and brightest ideas forward like this—an impressive collection by any measure—will ensure its best days are yet to come.     

In 2015, EDW was instrumental in Winnipeg’s selection by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) as a Smart21 Intelligent Community, the fifth time in six years the city has been honoured in ICF’s annual awards program that salutes the accomplishments of communities in developing inclusive prosperity built on a base of information and communications technology. Approximately 400 communities participated in the latest awards cycle, which has so far resulted in Winnipeg being named a Top7 Intelligent Community for the second time in three years. The final stage, naming the 2016 Intelligent Community of the Year, happens in June.

Throughout 2015, EDW also maintained its active involvement with the Consider Canada City Alliance, comprised of 11 major Canadian cities united in promoting Canada’s multifaceted trade and investment opportunities to international audiences. EDW participated in two investment missions last year (to China and Europe). Both trips yielded concrete leads now being pursued.

YES! Winnipeg networked with many companies contemplating a local venture in 2015 and officially assisted eight clients during its fifth full year serving as EDW’s sales force responsible for business retention, expansion and attraction activities. These businesses predict to invest over $93 million and create 863 permanent jobs at maturity. From SkipTheDishes, Canada Goose and Manitoba Harvest to Sightline Innovation, SNC-Lavalin and the Driving Force, businesses operating in diverse industries are betting on Winnipeg in ways that will grow jobs and promote prosperity. Since its launch in January 2011, YES! Winnipeg has assisted 65 businesses with plans to open or expand operations here, with projected cumulative investment of over $490 million and employment of 3,713 full-time positions when operations mature.

Through its Tourism Winnipeg division, EDW’s efforts to celebrate Winnipeg in 2015 were advanced in multiple ways. Most notably, Tourism Winnipeg was instrumental in hosting and promoting two prestigious sports events last year: the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the CFL’s 103rd Grey Cup. Collectively, these spectacles welcomed 230,000 spectators and generated a local economic impact in excess of $100 million.

Winnipeg’s tourism industry continues to experience momentum thanks to a host of complementary initiatives designed to draw attention to the city’s unique attractions, events and festivals (e.g., the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s Journey to Churchill exhibit, the Scandinavian-inspired Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature and the Festival du Voyageur). National Geographic Traveler magazine named Winnipeg one of the world’s top 20 best trips in 2016.          

An electronic copy of EDW’s 2015 annual report will be available following the AGM via its website at www.economicdevelopmentwinnipeg.com.

Media is invited to attend today’s AGM at the Delta Winnipeg Hotel in ballroom B/C, located in downtown Winnipeg at 350 St. Mary Avenue. The event starts at 11 a.m. Interviews will be welcomed immediately following formal proceedings.

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About Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is the lead economic development agency for Winnipeg, encompassing EDW, YES! Winnipeg and Tourism Winnipeg. EDW facilitates investment promotion and attraction, capacity building, tourism development, marketing and communications, and the management of market data. By applying competitive intelligence and by fostering relationships with industry leaders, government officials and community stakeholders, EDW evaluates potential opportunities and innovation drivers to develop key industries and define future economic growth. EDW also supports targeted sector, community and social development, and promotes Winnipeg’s diverse economy and high quality of life.

EDW leads global investment attraction, and local business retention and expansion, with its YES! Winnipeg sales force. YES! Winnipeg’s business development team assists in the creation and retention of jobs, identifies opportunities that attract new investment, focuses on expansion and helps local entrepreneurs launch new commercial ventures.

Tourism Winnipeg is the city’s official destination marketing organization tasked with increasing visitation and delivering the best possible visitor experience. A division of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc., Tourism Winnipeg’s mission is to facilitate a healthy, prosperous, responsible and fully integrated tourism industry that enhances Winnipeg’s economic growth through the acquisition of meetings, conventions, sports and events, group travel and leisure tourism.

www.economicdevelopmentwinnipeg.com

For further information, please contact:

Croft Petersmeyer
Director, Marketing & Communications
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Phone: 204.954.1961 Cell: 204.898.4866
Email: croft@economicdevelopmentwinnipeg.com

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