When you stage a business event in a worldly city where more than 100 languages are spoken, where Reconciliation is at the forefront, and where diversity is celebrated daily, your delegates are guaranteed to have an inspiring experience.
Here in Winnipeg our local organizations, institutions and talented community members are always willing to help bring your meeting or convention to the next level when it comes to understanding, celebrating and learning from different cultures.
More than 100 languages are spoken here, while we’re the home of important cultural institutions like Folklorama–the world’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival, and Manito Ahbee–one of the biggest gatherings on Turtle Island of its Indigenous peoples.
Located on Treaty No. 1–the original lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininiwak, Dakota and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation–Winnipeg continues to grow as one of Canada’s most-diverse cities.
Here’s just a few ways to ensure your next meeting or convention can be uplifting, entertaining and educational for your delegates, all while helping create meaningful Reconciliation here in Winnipeg.
Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and entertainers are here to help grow understanding at your next event
Winnipeg is home to Canada’s largest Indigenous population and has become a focal point as we move toward meaningful Reconciliation. As the home of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), Winnipeg is central in teaching about Canada’s residential school history.
There’s no better time than now to celebrate and support Indigenous talent and to continue to learn from Indigenous peoples and Knowledge Keepers about their cultures, histories and teachings when you hold your business event in Winnipeg. You will be helping to build stronger nation-to-nation relationships by inviting and welcoming Indigenous voices into your conference programs. This respectful relationship building is also part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action #92 for businesses.
Local Elders we work with regularly here at Tourism Winnipeg include Barbara and Clarence Nepinak, Pine Creek Ojibway First Nation members whose community work includes serving on the Special Indigenous Advisory Council at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) and guiding educational experiences via storytelling, bannock baking, and history lessons at The Forks for over two decades. Via Folklorama, the Nepinaks can be booked to offer blessings to open your conference, or to hold breakout sessions where delegates can learn in-depth about this region’s Indigenous history and how Reconciliation will help us all move forward.
There’s also no shortage of Indigenous talent in the city that is ready to perform at your conference, be it hoop dancing, circle drumming, blessings, and even Red River Jigging.
Work with our ethnocultural organizations
Being such a worldly city where new immigration continues to enrich our outlook, Winnipeg has countless enthno-cultural community groups that are active and willing to help share their cultures.
There are more than 50 such organizations in the city, many of whom work directly with Folklorama to run pavilions and create awareness and goodwill throughout the year. These include the Afro-Caribbean Association of Manitoba, African Communities of Manitoba Inc, Trinidad and Tobago Society of Winnipeg, the Ghanaian Union of Manitoba and numerous others that would relish the opportunity to bring their culture to your next event through food, dance, music, and presentations.
By working with Folklorama Ethno-Cultural Arts, you can also find more than 80 performers to choose from, literally bring the world to your event via dance, interactive music like African drum circles, storytelling, tea ceremonies and so much more.
Look to our Museums and cultural institutions for guidance on inclusion
At the Manitoba Museum Indigenous Elders, artists, academics and linguists have worked with museum staff to create the “Welcome to Treaty 1” program. Delegates can book this participatory workshop at the Museum, which will provide an eye-opening experience covering Canadian colonialism, pre-colonial Indigenous ingenuity and Treaty history—all utilizing a striking number of artifacts.
The CMHR too is a vital resource when it comes to both Reconciliation, and the worldly nature of Winnipeg itself. Content about Indigenous rights can be found in every gallery, including an original 360-degree film in the beautiful Indigenous Perspectives gallery that introduces Indigenous Peoples’ views on original rights and responsibilities to humanity and the land. Programming during events can be tailored to provide your delegates with thematic tours that expose the horrors of Indian Residential Schools, while your attendees will be guided through exhibits that are meant to challenge stereotypes and encourage action to create meaningful Reconciliation.
The CMHR’s leadership itself is incredibly diverse, with a great deal of real-world experience. Its CEO, Isha Khan, is a former human rights lawyer; its new Director of Equity and Strategic Initiatives is Haran Vijayanathan, whose advocacy and program director background includes the HIV, LGBTQ, and mental health sectors; and its Vice President of External Relations and community engagement is Riva Harrison, a communications professional and former newspaper columnist who has won two Manitoba Human Rights Commission journalism awards.
Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq is home to the world’s largest collection of Inuit art and has seen rave reviews from the likes of The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, Elle, The Globe and Mail, Forbes and enRoute since the new connecting building opened in 2021.
As journalist Bert Archer states in his enRoute review,
Qaumujuq breaks so many molds, and is a true beacon for Reconciliation: It’s not just that Qaumajuq… is the first major Canadian cultural institution to be given an Indigenous name by Indigenous people; or that it was built to house the world’s largest public collection of Inuit art; or that the collection is co–managed by an Inuit curator; or that the whole project has been overseen by an Indigenous advisory circle made up of members from Manitoba First Nations and the four regions of Inuit Nunangat (Inuvialuit, Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, Nunavut) as well as Alaska and Greenland. Any one of those factors would have made Qaumajuq unique. But together, they signal nothing less than the arrival of Inuit art onto the world stage as some of the most significant, moving, meaningful, subversive, sophisticated, and straight–ahead gorgeous contemporary art on the planet. In 2021, what could so easily have been (and briefly was) called the Inuit Art Centre is putting to final and spectacular rest the colonial notion that art by Indigenous people is a branch of anthropology.
INUA, Qaumajuq’s first exhibit, was created by an all-Inuit curatorial team representing all four regions of the Inuit territories, while the WAG itself is always working with its Indigenous Advisory Circle—full of Language Keepers, academics and community members—to ensure its content follows both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Needless to say, the WAG is more than ready to provide an authentic cultural experience.
Our Tourism Team can help make your Winnipeg experience inclusive and educational for all
Our Tourism Winnipeg Team is always willing to help facilitate your next meeting or convention in Winnipeg.
As part of our Meeting Services, we can direct you to which local speaker would be best for your conference—be it an Elder, a worldly member of Folklorama–including its performance groups, or a local celebrity or motivational speaker.
We look forward to help bring an authentic, educational and uplifting cultural experience to your next business event in Winnipeg.