Minister Vandal announces federal funding to bring artisans, and buyers to downtown Winnipeg

Over $308,000 to support a unique makerspace for crafters and artisans to collaborate at The Forks Market

WINNIPEG, MB, July 6, 2023 /CNW/ – A meeting place dating back 6,000 years, The Forks is one of Winnipeg’s most important landmarks. From the establishment of the trading post at Fort Rouge to being a key site of early development of the Canadian railway, The Forks has evolved to match the times. Now, as a vibrant downtown space and popular destination for locals and tourists alike, The Forks is adding a unique space to their market building geared towards crafters and artisans.

Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and Member of Parliament for Saint BonifaceSaint Vital, announced an investment of over $300,000 at The Forks Renewal Corporation in downtown Winnipeg. This investment will support the opening of the collaborative community hub and rotating maker booths, located on the second floor of The Forks Market.

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.

Collaborating with communities is at the heart of this investment, leveraging the existing customer base of The Forks and helping to promote small businesses. Supporting the growth of local small businesses is a priority for the government of Canada and leads to a stronger Prairie economy.


“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.”
–The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and Member of Parliament for Saint BonifaceSaint Vital

“Here at The Forks we care about innovation, entrepreneurship, incubation, and supporting local. And this makers market space is a fantastic representation of those core values. We are excited to welcome diverse and multi-disciplinary makers, artists and local talent to this vibrant space. We are grateful to Prairies Economic Development Canada and their recognition of the importance of building strong small businesses that contribute to a thriving local economy.”
–Sara Stasiuk, Chief Executive Officer, The Forks

“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, it enables us to give customers more of what they love about our shop: a fun, reliably well curated shop local, shop small experience.”
–Brad Hewlett, Owner, The Forks Trading Company

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is working to fuel economic growth through innovation and create more well-paying jobs for Canadians.
  • 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.
  • This project supports micro-enterprises, entrepreneurs, and micro-entrepreneurs to start and grow.

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SOURCE Prairies Economic Development Canada

Minister Vandal announces federal funding to bring artisans, and buyers to downtown Winnipeg WeeklyReviewer

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