At the Heart of Manitoba's Francophone Community is a documentary film produced by Tourisme Riel and Entreprises Riel, about the strong Francophone and Métis culture in the province.
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) supported the film with $25,000 funding through its Economic Development Initiative program.
The film addresses the need to share the history of the Métis and Francophone communities with tourists and locals alike. It plays 3 times daily in the Tourisme Riel offices in St. Boniface, one of the hubs of the Francophone community in Winnipeg.
The film has spurred a new marketing plan for Entreprises Riel, which includes:
- more Francophone and Métis tourism in Manitoba
- new Francophone and Métis tourism attractions in St. Boniface, St. Vital and St. Norbert
- more Francophone tourism from Quebec and Francophone countries
- more tourism in French by Travel Manitoba in those markets
Tourism adds $1.6 billion to Manitoba's economy. This new plan will help increase that amount.
Michelle Gervais of Tourisme Riel says they were inspired by efforts in Louisiana to market the Cajun culture. She said they wanted to try something similar to promote Métis and Francophone culture in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba.
The project aligns with the Government of Canada's goal of promoting official languages. It also aligns with the goal of promoting Indigenous economic growth, as Winnipeg's Métis population has grown by 30% over the last decade.
It's safe to say this is the start of many great projects from Tourisme Riel and Entreprises Riel.