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events with a fresh boldness and an appreciation for the direct spending imparted from visitors to Winnipeg. A perfect example? Winnipeg’s recent stint on the world stage as a host city for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. A great venue (the $204-million Inves- tors Group Field), a little luck (the U.S. team played here) and a willingness from the community (and from the public and private sectors) to take part in a rare opportunity all coalesced into a very memorable few weeks. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way our city came to- gether to ensure out-of-towners experienced Winnipeg in its most appealing light. Tourists, mostly Americans,


The Corporate Climb


Marina James


were everywhere. Tey rode our buses, they packed our hotels, they frequented our attractions,


and they dined in our restaurants. Although official eco- nomic impact numbers won’t be calculated until early fall, it’s safe to say the projections proffered by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance prior to the tournament’s com- mencement will be roundly exceeded. Winnipeg was alive during the World Cup; we celebrated, shared and supported. And perhaps best of all (at least for tourism marketing/services and economic developers), Winnipeg felt relevant. Te FIFA Women’s World Cup was a persuasive reminder


of the power of sports and entertainment in propelling Winnipeg forward—both as a tourist hotspot and as a means of providing windfalls in complementary indus- tries. It gave our city a chance to punch above its weight, and it showcased our unique value propositions to those who might not otherwise have had reason to experience them. But it also proved once again that Winnipeg offers fertile ground for employing sports and entertainment as a springboard to more far-reaching economic development initiatives citywide. Apart from the World Cup, plenty of evidence suggests


that Winnipeggers are really beginning to comprehend the economic impact sports and entertainment can have on our city. From MTS Centre and the Winnipeg Jets (and now the Manitoba Moose) to the Winnipeg Blue Bomb- ers and the Winnipeg Goldeyes, professional sports play a key role in defining our city—and in adding fuel to the economic engine that keeps many associated businesses humming along. Similarly, Winnipeg’s entertainment scene is contribut-


ing to the city’s perpetual push toward bigger and better things. We’re popularly considered the cultural cradle of Canada, in part stemming from our ability to attract world-class performing artists—or to nurture them from right here at home. Winnipeggers understand that not every musician worthy of our admiration will sell out either MTS Centre or Investors Group Field, and that’s okay because we offer an array of other exceptional venues that will leave concert-goers with an equally radiant post- performance glow. From the Burton Cummings Teatre and the West End


Cultural Centre to the Centennial Concert Hall and the Pantages Playhouse Teatre—and many others besides— Winnipeggers embrace creative people and give them lots of places to ply their craft. Critically, in supporting these


The recent World Cup soccer games showed we could make it happen. Photo courtesy of FIFA


talents as passionately as we’re inclined to do, we’re also helping to create more vibrant districts throughout the city that have either sprouted or sustained a variety of business- es that routinely benefit from this kind of entertainment. Whether the sports or entertainment draw is big or


small, it’s clear that economic development happens in and around its vicinity. While it’s imperative we swing for the fences whenever we get the chance—the 2015 Grey Cup and the 2017 Canada Summer Games are each significant wins—it’s important to acknowledge that incremental advances resulting from smaller-scale triumphs can of- ten serve as catalysts for even more impressive economic growth over the long term. I’m encouraged that a core group of Winnipeggers is


working hard to get this message out. Whether they’re the less-visible ambassadors of Tourism Winnipeg’s ‘Bring It Home’ program, which urges those with a strong Winni- peg connection to champion our city as an ideal place to host a convention or a sport or special event, or the more recognizable faces of Winnipeg’s sports and entertainment community—people like Mark Chipman of True North Sports & Entertainment and Jeff Hnatiuk of Sport Mani- toba—they all subscribe to the idea that a rising tide lifts all ships. Ultimately, Winnipeg’s economy benefits when sports and entertainment options are keenly envisioned and smartly executed. When it comes to finding ways to expand Winnipeg’s


economic base, all of this focused effort matters. It matters to the visitors who may choose to come here. It matters to the local entrepreneurs contemplating a business launch here. It matters to those of us working to attract foreign


direct investment here. And it matters to people weighing their options about where to settle down, raise a family and pursue a rewarding career. Research suggests that a rich variety of entertainment


and recreational options is a key motivator when it comes to attracting people to a community—and convincing them to stay. And this perception feeds an even bigger motivator essentially expressed as ‘quality of life.’ It’s often said these days that talent is the new business currency: no matter how brilliant your product or plan, you can’t succeed without sufficient numbers of skilled workers to implement it. Perhaps it’s no surprise that in-demand tal- ent wants to live in in-demand places, and yet it’s difficult to create in-demand places without in-demand talent leading the charge. It’s quite the paradox. Tankfully, Winnipeg is increasingly equipping itself


with the tools necessary to address this challenge. Sports facilities and entertainment districts are powerful draws for locals, visitors and potential newcomers alike. And like other large and small North American cities besides ours that aren’t by default catapulted to the top of the de- sirability index—Edmonton, Alberta; Ajax, Ontario; and Arlington Heights, Illinois, all spring to mind—many of our city’s public- and private-sector leaders are making a carefully considered wager that shoring up our sports and entertainment offerings will pay consequential dividends throughout Winnipeg in the coming years. From my per- spective, it’s a solid bet that deserves even more attention (and investment) from this point forward. Let’s keep playing to our strengths as we build on this momentum together.


Back to school? How about back to basics! Business basics that if done right, will earn you honours in the real world


A


s the “back to school” hype continues to circulate, those of us who have graduated from high school/ university many moons ago are simply


reminded that we are perhaps getting old (but obviously aging delightfully - like wine). So, here’s an idea ladies (and gents!)… Rather than drowning our sorrows in that


same wine - while desperately trying to zip up our high-school grad dresses (okay, maybe that’s just me after one glass too many) - let’s all take this time to review some back-to- school business basics. Tese are oldies but goodies, and we all tend to forget them from time to time. Business basics we too often forget • Always do what you say you’re going


to do Simple, right? Tis is seemingly a no-brain-


er, yet everyone has a handful of examples of a situation where they have been let down, personally and professionally, by people who have broken often simple promises. If you told someone you would have something to them by the end of the day, and you don’t have it at 4:45, they will totally understand if you get it to them tomorrow, right? WRONG.


8 Smart Biz


If you have promised something, it is your duty to deliver. If there is some reason that you absolutely cannot deliver your promise on time, then you must tell the person prior to the deadline with an honest and hopefully very good reason. Of course, everyone is human, but if you start to not live up to simple promises, or miss even casual deadlines, your clients, co-workers and even friends will lose faith in you, and trust will be broken… scoring you a big fat 'F' in reliability. • Be honest We are, by nature, people pleasers. Everyone


The Corporate Climb


Laura Wittig


loves to be able to deliver the answers that clients want to hear. But what happens when you don’t actually have the answer, or you are unsure? While it might be easy to promise that the project will absolutely, 100 per cent be completed by Friday (because your team won’t mind not sleeping on Tursday, right?), it makes you look much better and more profes- sional in the long run if you come clean and let them know that you will have to double check,


and get back to them by the end of the day (at which point, please refer to the first item above). Not positive on some of the more technical details in your proposal? Let your


www.smartbizwpg.com


client know that there are people much smarter than you in your organization who specialize in these details, and it will require a simple check-in with them in order to provide the best answer possible. It will work out much better for your client (and you) to provide them with the most accu- rate information possible, rather than look incompetent or dishonest later for promising something impossible. • Care for yourself! You wouldn’t drive your car to work with no gas in


the tank, right? We will have many cars throughout our lifetime, but we only have one body. When we get busy and stressed out, one of the first things we cut is time for ourselves. Eating properly, drinking water, getting enough sleep and exercising are things that wellness experts have all emphasized. So why are these the first things to get ditched the very second that we have too much on our plates? If we don’t take care of ourselves, nobody else will. Fuel that tank, honey! So take off your grad dress, swap it for some cozy fall


jammies, and maybe do the unthinkable and fill your wine glass up with some good ol’ H20. It’s a long road, and everyone has experienced some times where there just simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Make sure you have enough fuel in your tank to make it through - as the intelligent, healthy and energetic guy or gal that you are.


September 2015


Te power of sports and entertainment M


ore than ever, there exists a sense of confidence in our city that allows us to build world-class at- tractions and welcome internationally renowned


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