This was the powerful theme that ran through Mayor Scott Gillingham’s State of the City address, hosted by The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, March 2 at RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg. Economic Development Winnipeg’s President & CEO Dayna Spiring had the opportunity to share our vision for Winnipeg with the jam-packed room of 1,000+ attendees.
Spiring delivered an update on our organization’s plans and progress, our shared vision for a better Winnipeg, and the implementation of the Winnipeg place brand, Winnipeg – Made From What’s Real.
“A place brand is not just about a logo or wordmark or slogan – it’s meant to capture the essence of a location and its people... who we are at our very core,” said Spiring. “It is meant to connect the elements that define us, and most importantly, shape the story we tell the world about our city. It’s a platform that empowers us all to deliver a cohesive message with confidence wherever we go.”
The Winnipeg place brand, launched at the 2022 State of the City address, was designed to be bold, intriguing and broad. But above all, it was designed to be authentic, to reflect who we are, and to help define who we have yet to become.
“EDW launched the place brand to Winnipeggers first because we knew we needed you to recognize it, embrace it and own it, which you did,” said Spiring. “Since then, our teams have been taking the brand on the road and we’re standing out from the crowd. It’s paying off in increased awareness of our city, we’re building advocates and we’re generating economic impact.”
“This year, we’re doubling down on the Winnipeg place brand and taking it global. We’re preparing new campaigns and initiatives to showcase our city, through the creativity of the brand, to the world. Our goal is to continue making impressions that last and connections that matter.”
Spiring also encouraged attendees to fill out and mail a postcard–provided by EDW–to a family member or a friend to invite them to travel to Winnipeg this summer.
“Be an ambassador. Celebrate our city. Talk about the great things that happen here and ask others to discover or rediscover Winnipeg. Invite someone to join you in taking in a festival, soaking up the sun on a patio, exploring nature in our urban forests and parks, or indulging in our renowned food scene.”
At EDW, our mission is to be the catalyst of the fastest and most resilient economic recovery in Canada.
“We believe we can deliver on this mission fueled by the support and optimism of our investors, partners, government and most importantly, our business community and our residents. We ask you to think about the story you’re telling the world about Winnipeg.”
ICYMI: His first state of the city as Winnipeg’s Mayor, Mayor Scott Gillingham spoke with heart and conviction about the four pillars upon which he based his 2022 election platform:
- Implementing action to deal with homelessness
- Addressing safety
- Downtown revitalization
- Championing economic development
“I believe that we all love this city, and that better is not only possible, it’s urgent and it’s necessary,” said Mayor Gillingham. “We are focusing this year on homelessness, as we simply cannot say that it’s not our problem. It is our problem, and it’s not sustainable to continue providing typical emergency interventions only. We must provide help and wrap-around services that go beyond the crisis.”
During his election campaign in 2022, Gillingham committed to working with all 15 councillors to build a strategic plan for the city, which he says is already in development as a result of having reached unanimous agreement on a list of priorities.
Mayor Gillingham also shared the following statements:
On downtown recovery and revitalization:
- “We must reignite the momentum in our downtown because it generates greater revenues and provides more employment than any other region of our city. The core is our heart, and the heart is struggling a bit right now.”
- The Mayor talked about Centre Plan 2050, a blueprint for growth. “Our staff took the initiative to comb through 80 studies conducted over the past 20 years on Winnipeg’s downtown revitalization. We’ve selected from all those plans the top strategies and we’re coordinating them into a super plan.”
On issues of safety and crime:
- Mayor Gillingham believes that to effectively address challenges -- which affect most major cities -- we must be coordinated in our action, and deliver a combination of social supports and enforcement.
On economic development:
- “We are propelled by relentless hope and we have people dedicated to Winnipeg’s story – and we all need to write this story. We can overcome currents and headwinds but it’s going to a shared responsibility. Everything we do should contribute to progress and we count on partnerships to help us - we need to empower business leaders like you or get out of the way.”