News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

July 24, 2020

Manitoba Looks for New Ways to Support Tourism and Hospitality in the Westman Region

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Province to Invest in Development of Action Plan to Grow Keystone Agricultural and Recreational Centre into the Future: Minister

BRANDON—The Manitoba government will support the development of a long-term sustainability action plan for the Keystone Agricultural and Recreational Centre to help the Westman entertainment hub grow into the future, Municipal Relations Minister Rochelle Squires announced here today.
“The Keystone Centre is vital to Westman and Manitoba’s tourism industry, and our government is committed to working with the Keystone Centre to help build a vibrant and sustainable future,” Squires said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the entire Manitoba economy and our tourism industry has been hit particularly hard.  We want to work with all of our partners, including the City of Brandon and the Keystone Centre, to maximize the potential of this major Westman venue.”
The province will work with the Keystone Centre and its partners to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to hire a consultant to help work with the Keystone Centre on a long-term sustainability action plan to assist in determining its future capital funding requirements. The province has earmarked $150,000 to invest in this project.
“The City of Brandon has long been a proud partner with the Province of Manitoba and the Provincial Exhibition in the creation and ongoing operation of Brandon’s Keystone Centre. I’m pleased to see this investment by the province, which will help guide our collective efforts in ensuring the Keystone Centre remains vibrant and successful long into the future,” said Mayor Rick Chrest, City of Brandon. “As one of only a precious-few signature event centres in Manitoba, this initiative highlights the Keystone Centre’s importance to Brandon, to Westman and to Manitoba as a whole.”
“I believe this is a necessary step forward in order to demonstrate the significant capital funding needs of the Keystone Centre,” said Matt Bolley, board chair, Keystone Centre. “I hope and expect that this study will be the first step toward getting long-term sustainable capital funding from our partners to ensure the Keystone Centre remains a world-class event venue and recreation complex for Westman and the entire province.”
The Manitoba government will continue to support the Keystone Centre with $375,000 in operational funding this year and will work with the centre and its partners in reviewing this year’s capital requirements, the minister noted.
The Manitoba government recently launched an $8-million #RestartMB Event Attraction Strategy that aims to maximize Manitoba’s potential to host large-scale meetings, conventions and events while carefully balancing public health considerations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic with the ongoing efforts to restart the Manitoba economy. The province successfully won its first bid under the #RestartMB Event Attraction Strategy and will host the Canadian Football League (CFL) should the league proceed with a shortened 2020 season.
“We are excited to work with Travel Manitoba and key economic stakeholders to develop our #RestartMB Event Attraction Strategy that will benefit the entire Manitoba economy, especiallyhard-hit sectors like tourism,” said Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler. “This strategy will consider opportunities across our beautiful province. Our goal is to attract events to Manitoba, including Brandon, which could benefit the Keystone Centre – a facility with a storied history of hosting world-class events including the Tim Hortons Brier in 2019.”
Squires noted the #RestartMB Event Attraction Strategy builds on Manitoba’s long and proud history of hosting major world-class events such as the Pan American Games, the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, FIFA Women's World Cup, the Canada Summer Games, the Juno Awards and several CFL Grey Cup championships.
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