Federal funding for downtown artisans aims to boost Winnipeg’s economy

The Forks Market, as seen in this file photo. Global News / Sam Thompson

Dan Vandal, minister responsible for PrairiesCan and member of Parliament for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital, announced an investment of over $300,000 to open up new doors for artisans in Winnipeg on Thursday.

The money will be going toward supporting the opening of the collaborative community hub and rotating market booths located on the second floor of The Forks Market downtown.

This space will provide new opportunities for artists and artisans to create and display their work, make sales, and grow their networks by engaging with the diverse community at The Forks, the minister said.

“Our government recognizes that investing in small businesses is a key part of a strong Prairie economy. The Forks is one of Manitoba’s most vibrant destinations, with thousands of people visiting from near and far. Creating a space that will help grow small businesses and support entrepreneurs at the heart of our city is a smart and meaningful investment,” he added.

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The government of Canada says it is working to fuel economic growth through innovation and create more well-paying jobs for Canadians. The Forks continues to be a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

“We’re extremely thankful for the opportunity to expand the way we meaningfully support makers and artisans in Manitoba and beyond. The rotating maker booth program and the collaborative community hub will not only add value for the maker community and micro business,” said Brad Hewlett, owner of The Forks Trading Company.

“It enables us to give customers more of what they love about our shop: a fun, reliably well-curated shop local, shop small experience.”

The Regional Innovation Ecosystem Program, administered across the Prairie provinces by PrairiesCan, assists not-for-profit and similar organizations develop and increase their reach.

The program helps build the entrepreneurial environment necessary for more innovative regional economies and increases the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), women entrepreneurs and underrepresented groups.

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