Chambers from across the Manitoba Chamber network made their way to one of the province’s most picturesque areas to renew old acquaintances, talk policy, and hear from business leaders who are leading a new wave of innovation. Hosted in the heart of Riding Mountain National Park by the Wasagaming Chamber of Commerce in Clear Lake Country, the 87th Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place May 3-4.
This year’s AGM had a keen eye for the future and was highlighted by a series of speakers who are reshaping the way business is done and presented to the public at large. During a rousing hour-long speech, Jeff Ryzner, the president of Manitoba’s innovation hub North Forge, spoke about the growing and diverse amount of creation happening in Manitoba. The AGM delegation also heard from the national Chamber on the current state of their policy work, with a specific focus on the current state of trade. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Vice-President of Policy, Jason MacDonald talked about the possibilities that exist with global trade deals like the Canadian/European Union Trade Agreement and the renewed Trans-Pacific Partnership. The best ways to address economic development was tackled from a variety of angles during a panel session featuring the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, Brandon University, and the co-chair of the province’s economic development task force. The session focused on how we can work on building sustained development. A constant message was not on who should be the driving economic development but building the structure for success.
In the wake of the current Truth and Reconciliation work being done across the country, Kevin Chief, Vice-President of the Business Council of Manitoba, returned to talk about the role business and chambers can play in this process. Creating a brand and how to market that brand also took centre stage as Karly McCrae, one of the driving forces behind the new Discover Clear Lake brand, joined a panel that included Tripwire Media founder Doug Darling, and Vantage Studios Principal Kyle Romaniuk. The three spoke at great length about the value of a strong brand, how to present it, and the key elements of telling your story within the context of your brand goals.
The Honourable Blaine Pedersen made the trip to Elkhorn to talk about the work the ministry of Growth, Enterprise, and Trade is focused on and the role MCC has, and will continue to play moving forward.
The Lakehouse in Wasagaming was the location of this yea’s host Chamber night. The local hotel did a great job showcasing the charm and beauty of the area. They also ensured that Jets fans from across the network were able to catch game 5 of the Jets and Predators. A TV was set up outside for the everyone to enjoy the game. Despite the 2-1 loss, everyone enjoyed the unique evening.
MCC would like to thank our partners this year’s, along with all those who attended this year. We are looking forward to seeing you at the 88th AGM next May that will be hosted by the Gimli Chamber of Commerce.