Resource Assistance for Youth Inc. or RaY is a street-level agency that works with homeless and street-entrenched youth, under the age of 29, to better their lives and reduce harm to them. Often deemed unreachable, these youth face a variety of obstacles in moving to a life of independence.
RaY’s street outreach program is often the initial access point for street-involved youth as the program connects young people with the services they need.
RaY provides a one-stop shop for numerous frontline services, from basic needs and life skills training to addictions support, systems navigation and recreation activities. These services are provided to youth on their own terms and allow them to determine their own pace and skill level.The environment is welcoming, non-judgmental and accepting.
RaY also plays a role in system-based advocacy and serves as a vehicle for people, companies and organizations to understand, get involved and act on social issues.
Over its 40-year history, The Winnipeg Folk Festival has pushed its creative boundaries to ensure that it’s remained relevant to the folk genre, its audiences and volunteers.
Each summer, more than 80,000 people attend the festival, generating $29.4 million in gross economic activity.
Named one of the top 10 music festivals in the world by Delta Sky magazine, the Folk Festival’s life-blood continues to be its volunteers. Practically unheard of … 90 per cent of its 2,800 volunteers return year-after-year. Building on an already strong, but aging community of volunteers, the Folk Festival recently introduced an Apprentice Program for youth 13 to 17 and a customized training program for new Canadians.
Under its Guest for a Day program, free tickets, transportation and onsite meals are given to people who otherwise would not be able to attend the folk fest, including impoverished youth, people with disabilities and mental health issues, newcomers and Aboriginals.
Po-motion Ltd.’s co-owners never intended to start a business. A YouTube video that went viral had people from around the world asking them for interactive projection solutions.
The software they developed allows everyone from advertising agencies to teachers to create their own interactive surfaces using any projector, computer and Web camera.
The software also includes marketing tools, such as creation templates, remote content management and user-behaviour tracking. Agencies can then leverage the interactive displays to increase the connection between consumers and brands.
Because of their lack of business experience, Po-motion’s co-owners established an advisory board. Together with an angel investor, this resulted in getting the guidance they needed to refocus their business plan and create a marketing strategy to start generating revenue.
Today, their software is distributed around the globe through an e-commerce Web site and is being used by Samsung, Google Tokyo, Nestle and Air New Zealand.
365 Technologies Inc.
365 Technologies Inc. operates as though it’s your own IT department, providing remote and on-site troubleshooting of network issues.
In an industry built on billable hours, 365 is different – it’s committed to a full, fixed-fee pricing model, ensuring predictable technology costs. Task automation is essential.
365 is proactive - it conducts monthly best practice reviews to fine-tune security, infrastructure and backup, while quarterly myCIO meetings ensure that business owners maintain a strategic view of their technology management.
In the past year, 365 has partnered with two companies todevelop a business continuity and disaster recovery solution, sold as a monthlymanaged service for smaller businesses which can’t afford a large capitaloutlay.
365 also protects businesses against local server failures with a standby virtual environment, automatically replicating server images off-site to a secure data centre.
Metis Economic Development Organization
The Metis Economic Development Organization is a business investment and management firm that works with the Manitoba Metis Federation to generate profit and build capacity for Metis government, business and citizens.
MEDO subsidiaries include a retail pharmacy, marketing and communications agency, IT management services, property development, construction and equity investment fund.
One of MEDO’s innovative initiatives is its affinity program. Metis citizens joining the loyalty card program benefit from aggregate buying power, discounts, special offers and reward points. MEDO Affinity tracks the consumer activity of the fastest-growing sector of Canada’s population and generates revenue for the Metis government and its programming.
More than 390 Metis-owned companies are of part of the Affinity Program business directory and have been aligned with partnership and market opportunities through the MMF’s Metis Employment and Training Program.
MEDO has seen more than $1 million in goods and services purchased from Metis suppliers, nearly $2 million invested in Metis-owned or controlled companies and more than $14 million invested by MEDO Developments in Point Douglas.
Small Business Category:
La Liberté (recipient)
It’s no accident that in 2013, La Liberté celebrates 100 years as Western Canada’s oldest French newspaper. It has constantly had to reinvent itself, adapting to shifts in public perception, new technology and changing revenue streams. Once only a newspaper, it now has many faces: Web site, online subscription, Twitter and Facebook.
In 2009, reeling from a steep decline in advertising sales, La Liberté came up with a tailor-made solution. Completely separate physically and philosophically from its newsroom, it created an advertising cell, which produces the content for special inserts in the newspaper.
In 2010, it added graphic design services and Web support, updating content and providing news stories and videos for client Web sites.
In 2011, it rolled out La Liberté MIC to reach a younger crowd and to give a voice to Manitoba’s francophone bands. Different Indie bands are featured each month in an in-studio interview and live performance, broadcast on La Liberté’s YouTube channel, Web site and Facebook page.
1 Life Workplace Safety & Health Ltd.
Thinking outside the box has been a cornerstone of the success of 1 Life Workplace Safety & Health Ltd., which helps Manitoba business owners protect their people and their businesses.
In Manitoba, 100 workers are injured every day, two amputations occur every week and three workers are killed every month. The only insurance against such statistics is an effective safety management system.
1 Life combines its employees’ knowledge and skills with innovative tools and technology to make safety management easy and affordable.
In 2010, 1 Life launched mySafetyAssistant.ca, which provides business owners with their own online virtual safety professional, accessible 24/7 to provide technical and legislative updates, hazard alerts, tutorials, expert interviews, record-keeping systems and more.
In today’s climate of staggering fines for safety infractions, the ability of a sub-contractor to establish themselves as a good risk is becoming a competitive advantage. 1 Life’s myContractor, a user-friendly Web-based wizard, makes evaluating contractors quick and easy.
IMT- Infomagnetics Technologies Corporation
InfoMagnetics Techologies Corporation is known throughout North America as the little company that can fix anything – solving problems that larger competitors can’t solve.
An incubator and investor in research and experimentation, IMT creates intellectual property assets and software, as well as identity and master data management solutions, primarily for healthcare and national defence.
Innovation is part of its culture with formal targets for developing software solutions that don’t exist today. New services and products created from R&D have resulted in new companies, where IMT employees receive equity.
For innovation to take root, however, an environment of trust must be created, where employees feel safe to look for new and innovative solutions. IMT provides test labs and quiet areas for them to conduct their investigations and research; and time to learn and explore new solutions or applications based on client experiences.
Medium Business Category:
Number TEN Architectural Group (recipient)
Number TEN Architectural Group is actively involved in the renaissance of Downtown Winnipeg through such projects as the Winnipeg Convention Centre, the University of Winnipeg urban campus and the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre.
Innovation and inventive, creative design solutions have resulted from an open exchange of ideas among the design team, engineers, building contractors and clients. Number TEN utilizes a studio concept, which allows architects and designers to develop skills and expertise related to specific building types. This greater depth of knowledge stimulates new approaches to familiar challenges.
Number TEN is also the first architectural firm in Winnipeg to adopt 3D printing, a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital model, which helps clients visualize a design. Number TEN also uses Building Information Modeling technology to construct a project in the digital realm, before it’s actually built. If any information changes in the model, it changes everywhere.
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods has made a name for itself as the world’s largest hemp food manufacturer that grows, makes and sells its own brand of products, including raw shelled hemp seeds and hemp protein concentrate.
When the company began 15 years ago, there was not even a hemp foods industry. The company’s co-founders helped legalize industrial hemp in Canada and built a market for their products, along the way dispelling commonly held misconceptions about hemp.
Manitoba Harvest, the first hemp food manufacturer to be certified as having achieved the global standard for food safety and quality, invested half a million dollars in the industry’s only internal quality control lab for product testing. It also invested in extensive equipment upgrades and changed operational processes to increase capabilities and shorten order turnaround.
In 2012, Manitoba Harvest successfully built demand for hemp foods through an aggressive sampling program, which saw a spike in retail sales following the distribution of more than one-million individual product samples.
Today, Manitoba Harvest products are sold across North America at independent health food stores and leading retailers such as Costco.
“Think big - dream bigger than most people think practical, and expect more than others think probable” – that’s one of the guiding principles of Pinnacle, founded in 2002 to provide recruitment and human capital solutions to a broad spectrum of industries.
Pinnacle truly believes its employees are its biggest resource, and fuels their innovation by offering a high level of trust and growth opportunities.
All employees are given one paid day off a month for themselves, family or to give back to the community. Lunch is provided every Friday, encouraging staff to take the time to better know each other. Also every Friday, one employee receives the heavy-weight belt for going above and beyond for a colleague. Throughout the week, when someone completes a project or has a professional success, a gong is rung and everyone comes together to share the success.
Pinnacle has also used technology to its advantage. It is the only recruitment firm in Canada to create video profiles of its staffing candidates.
Through these efforts, 96 per cent of the executive and professional-level candidates Pinnacle placed in 2012 remain working in that role or have been promoted.
Large Business Category:
Emterra Environmental (recipient)
Emterra started in 1976, when recycling could barely be called an industry. Today, Emterra leads the multi-million dollar Canadian waste and resource recovery industry through its technology, strong relationships with end markets and quality improvement.
Emterra operates three divisions. Emterra Tire recycles 100 per cent of every scrapped tire; Canadian Liquids Processors converts sugar-based waste liquids to ethanol; and Emterra Environmental serves 80 Canadian municipalities.
In the past year, Emterra has invested more than $23 million in Winnipeg for a state-of-the-art recycling plant, featuring optical sorting technology, and Canada’s largest Compressed Natural Gas fuelling station, along with a fleet of nearly 60 CNG refuse trucks. This represents the largest cold weather operation of CNG refuse trucks in the world, which required significant research into fueling systems and truck engines.
Emterra is currently working on several industry-leading pilot projects, including a test recycling program for plastic bags, overwrap, foam containers and foam cushion packaging, and a partnership with Tim Horton’s on recycling hot beverage laminated paper cups.
Thomas Edison wrote: “There’s a way to do it better. Find it.”
Finding better ways is one of the main reasons Stantec exists. As a global design firm, Stantec provides professional consulting services in everything from planning, engineering and architecture to project management and economics.
For them, innovation requires the imagination and will to look at existing challenges in new ways.
Recently, Stantec made the decision to move its office downtown. As the anchor tenant in CentrePoint, the building will showcase who they are and what they do.
In working on the CentrePoint project, Stantec re-configured its existing office space into pods and relocated the project team to this space to encourage collaboration, communication and shared ideas across disciplines.
The project team believes in creating a sustainable home. CentrePoint will be the first in the city to participate in a geothermal district, which will ultimately incorporate four buildings within a single block. Other sustainable features will include low energy lighting, low consumption plumbing fixtures and “green” building materials.
Winnipeg Airports Authority
With a new world-class airport terminal, Winnipeg Airports Authority wanted airport service providers to be onboard to provide a matching world-class experience.
WAA developed a customer connection and experience program in which all airport service providers – from security, cleaning and retail/restaurant staff to airline employees - became part of the Campus Crew.
Before opening the terminal, the leadership team delivered classroom training and kicked off customer service sessions, so every Crew member would understand their role in being a touch point along the traveller’s journey.
To ensure ongoing communication and to provide an avenue for feedback and discussion, front-line staff were given access to the Campus Crew Intranet portal, which posts campus news and updates.
A President’s Award of Excellence was created to recognize employees who go above and beyond in providing customer service not commonly found at other airports.
As a side benefit, WAA has been named one of Manitoba’s Top 25 Employers and Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2013.
2012 SPIRIT OF WINNIPEG AWARD RECIPIENTS AND FINALISTS
2011 SPIRIT OF WINNIPEG AWARD RECIPIENTS AND FINALISTS