Minister Vandal announces federal support for businesses and communities across rural Manitoba

News release

Over $11.7 million  to boost rural Manitoba economy

Over $11.7 million across rural Manitoba to support economic growth, development of community spaces, and tourism initiatives

October 11, 2022 – Portage la Prairie, Manitoba – PrairiesCan

Rural and remote communities are crucial to Canada’s success, and they are leading the way in our economic recovery. The opportunities for further development in rural Canada are unique and wide-ranging. The Government of Canada understands the unique needs of rural businesses and the vital role they play in Canada’s economic recovery, and is assisting them to ensure that innovative businesses can continue to thrive and grow in rural and remote communities, so they can create good-paying jobs, attract new residents and build an economy that benefits everyone.

Today, while visiting the Fort la Reine Museum in Portage la Prairie, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, announced $11,796,593 in federal investments for 24 projects in communities across rural Manitoba. This announcement included projects funded through the Jobs and Growth Fund, the Business Scale-Up and Productivity program, the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, and the Tourism Relief Fund, all administered by PrairiesCan in Manitoba.

Projects announced today include:

  • Elmer’s Welding and Manufacturing Ltd. received $3,339,000 to expand manufacturing capacity and operating efficiency by investing in advanced manufacturing technology, process optimization, personnel and training in Altona.
  • Spenst Brothers Premium Meats received $2,850,000 to expand meat processing and frozen pizza production capacity in Winkler.
  • Agi3 LTD. received $2,766,000 to commercialize an AI-driven crop insurance platform in Oak Bluff.       
  • Rural Municipality of Ritchot received $449,175 to create a marketplace on Main Street in St. Adolphe
  • Communities Economic Development Fund received $400,000 to help local entrepreneurs launch new tourism businesses and help existing tourism operators grow their operations.
  • Rural Municipality of West St. Paul received $137,250 to create a playground and walking trail in West St. Paul.
  • Rapid City Museum received $25,493 to build a memorial garden at the Rapid City Museum in Rapid City.


“Rural communities across our country are instrumental in the overall health of Canada’s economy. The projects announced today represent a wide range of initiatives and demonstrate the unique needs and opportunities for rural communities and businesses. While visiting small towns across the Prairies, I’m always impressed by the revitalization, growth, and economic development that’s happening, being led by the people who live and work here. And that is especially true for communities here in Manitoba. .”
–The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan

"The funding we have received from PrairiesCan has been instrumental in moving us from our research and development phase, into scaling us for operations. Our advanced, artificial intelligence-based crop insurance platform will bring much needed modernization for Farmers, but we needed support to move forward.  We have been able to recruit highly qualified talent into key positions, something that would have been incredibly difficult without the support we have received from PrairiesCan.”
–Ray Bouchard, President & CEO, Agi3 Ltd.

“Investments into projects like our civic site will not only improve community but bring new economic opportunity to the region.”
–Chris Ewen, Mayor of Ritchot

Quick facts

  • Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) advances PrairiesCan’s strategic priorities. It supports high-growth businesses that are seeking to improve productivity, scale-up and commercialize technology. It offers interest-free, repayable funding to incorporated businesses.

  • The Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) provides funding to businesses and organizations to help create jobs and position local economies for long-term growth. The fund, delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs), provides $700 million nationally over 3 years. This includes up to $70 million dedicated to businesses created after January 2020 that meet eligibility criteria.

  • The Canada Communities Revitalization Fund (CCRF) is helping communities across Canada build and improve community infrastructure projects so they can rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a national allocation of $500 million over two years, the Fund's purpose is to support not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, public institutions, and Indigenous communities on the road to economic recovery.

  • The Tourism Relief Fund supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. With a budget of $500 million over 2 years (ending March 31, 2023), including $485 million in regional priorities funding administered by Canada’s regional development agencies.

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Associated links


Kyle Allen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Amanda Houssin
A/Director, Policy, Planning and External Relations
Prairies Economic Development Canada

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