Minister Vandal announces federal investments in Manitoba’s tourism experiences at Winter Cities Shake-Up Conference

News release

More than $3 million to boost tourism initiatives in Manitoba

Federal funding of over $3 million to support tourism initiatives across Manitoba

February 17, 2023 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – PrairiesCan

Manitobans embrace all that winter has to offer and as temperatures drop and rivers freeze, there are so many unique experiences to be had in the heart of the Prairies. From the northern lights and Electric Vehicle Tundra Buggy in the polar bear capital of Churchill, to the “Hé Ho” that can be heard echoing from St-Boniface’s Festival du Voyageur, there is something for everyone in Manitoba. The Government of Canada knows the importance of a vibrant and thriving tourism sector in building strong communities and an economy that works for everyone.

Today, while kicking off the final day of the Winter Cities Shake-Up Conference, The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) and Member of Parliament for St. Boniface – St. Vital, announced $3,066,721 in federal investments toward eight Manitoba tourism projects through the Tourism Relief Fund. Several projects announced today have a focus on expanding tourism offerings in Manitoba’s one-of-a-kind winter season. Among them:

  • Pinawa Unplugged will develop cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and e-bike tours and packages,
  • Bakers Narrow Lodge will winterize 15 log cabins and construct an aurora pod for northern lights viewing, and
  • Elkhorn Resort will develop a world-class, four-season Nordic Spa to provide a unique year-round tourism experience

Manitoba is home to world-class tourism attractions all-year round, however once winter arrives both residents and visitors alike embrace a season rich with events and activities that cannot be had at any other time of year. These new investments will create unforgettable winter experiences across Manitoba for residents and visitors alike. 


“There is no better place to experience all that winter has to offer than right here in Manitoba. We embrace the winter and all the unique experiences that locals and visitors alike can enjoy. Our government stands alongside the hard-working tourism operators and employees as they welcome all who brave the cold, and find joy in what Manitoba has to offer.”
–The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, Member of Parliament for St. Boniface – St. Vital

“As we move past the acute phase of the pandemic, Canada’s tourism sector is showing strong signs of growth. The Government of Canada’s investments in tourism over the last two years focused on the survival of our visitor economy. As we move to revival and the growth of the sector, we continue to provide targeted support to tourism businesses so they can keep delivering unforgettable experiences. A fully recovered and robust tourism sector is key to our government’s ongoing work in building an economy that works for all Canadians.”
–The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“For tourism businesses large and small, the years of the pandemic left an indelible mark on a once thriving and robust industry. But together we persevered and made solid progress towards recovery. The continued recovery of our industry depends on increasing the number of market ready and export ready tourism businesses, and this funding is a way to support operators to do that.”
–Colin Ferguson, President and CEO, Travel Manitoba

“Manitoba offers incredible opportunities to enjoy nature in all seasons. Support like this from PrairiesCan will help Pinawa Unplugged evolve from operating only in summer, to a four-season business. By expanding our offerings, we are providing visitors more opportunities to appreciate the beauty of the boreal forest in Eastern Manitoba on skis, bikes, or snowshoes, and adventure outdoors all year round. “
–Susan Appleyard, Owner of Pinawa Unplugged

Quick facts

  • The Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) was a $500 million program to support the tourism sector in Canada, with $485 million in regional priorities funding administered by Canada’s regional development agencies. A minimum of $50 million of TRF’s regional priorities funding was allocated to support Indigenous tourism initiatives.

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

Chris Minaker
Director, Policy, Planning and External Relations
Prairies Economic Development Canada

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