The 2018 Vision Quest Conference benefitted from $20,000 of Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) funding. WD granted the funds through its Western Diversification Program.
Vision Quest events are formed through partnerships with 5 primarily Indigenous-based Community Futures Development Corporations:
- Kitayan CFDC
- Southeast CFDC
- Cedar Lake CFDC
- North Central CFDC
- Dakota Ojibway CFDC
These gatherings promote Indigenous business, community and economic development.
In 2018, Vision Quest marked its 22nd annual conference and trade show: "From Vision to Reality". The event took place from May 15 to 17 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It hosted about 1,000 people and showed 90 exhibits at its trade show.
The conference features the Dragon's Quest Business Plan Competition. Finalists make a live pitch to a panel of business professionals. Participants can compete in 2 categories -Rural and Urban (City of Winnipeg). This year, the Urban winner was Matt Nobess for Indigenous Vitality Sports Camp. The Rural winner was Dakota Sipie for Sipie Mobile Wash. The winners are announced at the Gala Banquet.
Video credit: Vision Quest Conferences Inc.
One of the keynote speakers of this year's conference was Earl Lambert, a Cree/Métis motivational speaker, life coach and storyteller. He is also CEO and President of PROUD TO BE Apparel. The clothing line inspires people to stand strong and be proud of who they are. The other keynote speaker was Andrea Menard, a Métis actress and singer/songwriter. She has appeared in the Netflix series Blackstone and has had roles on shows such as Supernatural.
WD has funded 10 of the past 22 Vision Quest conferences. The 2018 event was a resounding success, and proudly displayed the strength of Manitoba's Indigenous business community.
Photo Credit: Vision Quest Conferences Inc.