Media Release

Winnipeg Named a "Smart21 Community" for 2018

Winnipeg Named a

Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg has been recognized once again as one of the most intelligent communities in the world. The Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) list of the Smart21 Communities in the world includes cities from Canada, the United States, Taiwan, Australia, Finland and France from nearly 400 overall submissions.

This is Winnipeg’s sixth commendation from the ICF as a Smart21 Community since 2011. In 2016 and 2014, the ICF selected Winnipeg as a Top7 Intelligent Community, recognizing the city’s global leadership in education and training initiatives, skilled workforce and opportunities for business development.

You can read our official nomination documents here and here.

“We are honoured to receive this designation that recognizes Winnipeg’s current talent and future potential,” said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “Being included in the 2018 Smart21 Community designation confirms Winnipeg’s international reputation as a forward-thinking, tech-savvy city that is prepared to take a leadership role in shaping our world. This distinction allows us to help shape the conversation about what it means to be an intelligent community, and we look forward to competing for the Top7 Intelligent Community, and beyond.”

The awards program salutes the accomplishments of communities in developing inclusive prosperity built on a foundation of information and communications technology. Each year, a theme is chosen that relates to this overall objective. This year’s theme, Humanizing Data, asked applicants to consider the ways individuals and communities use and incorporate data to improve their health and well-being. Indicators such as data accessibility, knowledgeable workforce and an innovation-driven economy were some of the topics the ICF considered when making its Smart21 community selection.

Winnipeg’s ICF submission highlighted several local initiatives that incorporate data benefits. The municipal government’s Open Data Portal, which allows anyone access to machine-attributable data, creates a collaborative platform for data sharing and analysis. This initiative offers a gateway for businesses and investors to access municipal data freely and independently. Another local initiative, TRAINFO, provides real-time railway data for Winnipeg’s 250+ rail crossings, and is working to predict train commuter information to improve traffic conditions.

“Winnipeg has put forward another strong submission as a 2018 Smart21 Community,” said Lou Zacharilla, Intelligent Community Forum co-founder.  “With this year’s theme, ‘Humanizing Data,’ we wanted to see results from cities that are making a positive economic, social and cultural impact on the needs of individuals with the need to live their lives in accordance with the demands of this century. We are pleased to recognize the accomplishments of all of our Smart21 cities that are, like Winnipeg, continuing to help transform the way we interact and enable the world around us.”

ICF will announce their 2018 Intelligent Community of the Year from its cohort of 2018 Smart21 Communities on June 7, 2018. A broadcast-quality video announcing the 2018 Smart21 Communities is available via the following link:

About Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.

Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is the lead economic development agency for Winnipeg. EDW facilitates investment promotion and attraction, capacity building, tourism development and the management of market data. By utilizing 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 opportunities for 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.

About the Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum (, headquartered in New York, is a global movement of more than 160 cities, metro regions and counties with a think tank at its heart.

ICF studies and promotes the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the new demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology (ICT). To help cities and regions build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts global events, publishes books, and produces its high-profile annual international awards program. The Forum sponsors research Institutes in North America dedicated to the study of the movement, and national organizations in Canada and Taiwan, both home to many Intelligent Communities.

In 2012 ICF was invited to participate at the Nobel Peace Prize conference in Oslo and in 2014, its model and work was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which, according to the American government, was "aimed at creating a more flexible and responsive system of workforce development to meet the needs of employers looking to fill 21st century jobs.” The Forum’s membership is made up of more than 160 designated Intelligent Communities worldwide.

For more details on the Intelligent Community Forum’s recent publications and programs,

For more information, please contact:

Matt Schaubroeck
Specialist, Corporate Communications
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Phone: 204.954.1961 Cell: 204.791.3323

Matthew Owen
Director of Operations
Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: 001.646.291.6166 ext. 105

Louis Zacharilla
Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: 001.646.291.6166 ext. 102


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