Board retreats should never be boring... and they never will be when you stage them in Winnipeg!
Whether your group is all about getting together in a historic setting, celebrating within a new world-class cultural institution, boarding a train, ship or canoe, this guide will ensure your next retreat is a real treat.
Here’s just a few great options in Winnipeg:
A view to the Arctic – At Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq, a number of unique and artsy spaces are available for your next retreat. Its iconic modernist boardroom holds 20 around the table, with room for 40 as a lecture setup or 60 as a stand-up reception. Its Rooftop Sculpture Garden features lovely views of the downtown, plenty of sculptures to admire surrounding the reflecting pool, and can hold 200 in a theatre-style setting or 250 for a stand up. The WAG’s numerous event and retreat spaces are all serviced by its onsite caterers, WOW Hospitality, one of the city’s oldest, largest, and most accomplished culinary companies whose award-winning head chef Luc Jean is also the star of the Ici Radio-Canada Télé (CBC Television French) show La main à la pâte.
Qaumajuq, the WAG’s raved about new Inuit Art Centre that showcases the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art, has several chic spaces that pay homage to the stark beauty of the Arctic landscape. Ilipvik – Learning Steps is a 90-seat theatre, perfect for getting the message across to your team with its full AV setup that includes blackout curtains for film presentations. This space also overlooks the Ilavut – Entrance Hall, which features a celebrated three-storey glass vault that houses thousands of sculptures from across the Arctic.
A boardroom set within the clouds – … The Glass Cloud that is. There’s nothing like the architecture of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights anywhere on earth, particular its glass cloud design that encompasses the west side of the building like the closed wings of a dove. You can set your retreat right within this setting in the Senator Nancy Ruth Boardroom and Carolyn Sifton Foundation Terrace. Seating 20-60, with room for 90 for a stand-up reception, this board room and terrace will see you looking out onto downtown’s skyline and the surrounding prairie, all nestled near the top of the glass cloud. Like all the CMHR’s spaces (and there are many), free Wi-Fi, customized event planning, and private gallery tours are all included.
Did someone say Spa Suite? – Step off the elevator into the lap of luxury at Hotel Fort Garry’s Ten Spa, where group retreats are made to be like New York City’s Plaza Hotel. Ideal for up to 12 guests, the 9th floor Hospitality Suite features a dining table, delicious holistic spa dishes, and two large televisions in a très chic setting. The onsite change room features Ten Spa products to prepare you for your personalized group treatments, while the whole experience is tailored for corporate functions, with the option to book a hotel stay at 15 per cent off. This space works both as standalone event space or as the ultimate indulgent pre-party spot before you move to whatever awaits downtown.
A stately affair within Gates – Who wouldn’t want to retreat to a stately brick mansion on the Assiniboine River in one of Winnipeg’s most picturesque neighbourhoods? Ralph Connor House, located just minutes from downtown in Armstrong’s Point, is a historic former home and National Historic Site that contains a number of charming and grand rooms ideal for breakout sessions, along with verdant riverside grounds for outdoor receptions. Run by the University Women’s Club and serviced by West Gate Catering, this accessible venue can suit groups from 12 to 100. As they rightly state: “Our home is yours, from mingling in the luxurious drawing room to dancing the night away in our spacious lower-level theatre.” This is a true hidden gem.
Step into history – With its wraparound porch and fanciful Victorian interior studded with unique rooms, The Dalnavert Museum and Visitors’ Centre is indeed a “small mansion with big history.” As a venue, this 75-seat, accessible and licensed facility features a full galley-style catering kitchen (you must bring in your own caterer), audio visual equipment–including a 10’ x 10’ ceiling-mounted projection system in the auditorium space, and many great little rooms, including the stained-glass windowed parlour. The grounds come included in the rental, while there’s options to rent just the main floor, the main floor and second story, or just the yard and veranda. And hey, before you book, you can always take a virtual tour.
Hop aboard history, then hop to some hops – Two of Winnipeg’s top offerings are all about the Nonsuch. The Manitoba Museum’s famed Nonsuch Gallery was built specifically to house the famous replica 17th century ship, which indeed made its way across the Atlantic to Winnipeg through the Great Lakes. You and your crew can hop aboard the ship and explore the port that surrounds it, all of which is meant to be Deptford, England, circa 1669. From there, head across the street to the modern and oh-so-chic Nonsuch Brewing Co. Here, on stylish green furniture underneath a sea of cascading multicoloured tassels you can sip Belgian-inspired beers (all of which come within their own distinct glass) and eat from an excellent menu that features charcuterie boards, delectable vegetarian fare, and Canada’s best burger (we swear).
A serene sanctuary right in the city
FortWhyte Alive (FWA) is all about " connecting humans with nature" as your group will quickly become aware when looking out on its lakes, aspen-studded trails, and huge herd of bison. Its motto for retreats–"fresh air nurtures fresh ideas"–is what it's all about, as this stunning centre combines great indoor spaces with the great outdoors. FWA's three main rooms–The Alloway Reception Centre, Siobhan Richardson Field Station and Doug Harvey Lakeside Meeting Room–all feature multiple windows out onto the wetlands or mature aspen forest, and can accommodate 140, 35 and 20 people respectively. Alloway Reception Centre and the Lakeside Meeting Room both can include catering from the onsite Buffalo Stone Café, which specializes in farm-to-table fare (some of which is grown at FortWhyte Farms), while outdoor group activities can include canoeing on the lakes, sailing, and atlatl tossing in the summer, or snowshoeing, ice fishing and sliding in the winter.
Train by the Seine – Resto Gare and Train Bar Bistro has everything you’re looking for when it comes to a small, culinary-centric gathering. Its train cart holds 45 for intimate, multi-course dinners; the dining room can hold up to 90; and the plant-studded patio (located near the banks of the Seine River in beautiful St. B) holds 49, all of which are serviced by a menu that celebrates French cuisine utilizing local ingredients. Live music is a must in the summer on the patio (and can be arranged when booking), while year-round the whole operation has charms that travel well beyond just rail fans. Get the full details here.
If you have an upcoming board meeting 2022 or 2023, call a member of our Tourism Winnipeg team to learn more about our special promotion today at 1 855 PEG CITY (734-2489)