Archive, Community Conversations

No Skating on This Trip (September 16 & 17, 2009)

Brenda Cameron Couch, Director of Community Outreach

Brenda Cameron Couch, Director of Community Outreach

Coming from Ottawa there is a bit of skepticism about Winnipeg’s claim that it now has the longest skateway. Arriving to greet the weather in September we parked that conversation and enjoyed The Forks, a fine restoration along the river.

It is interesting that after years of neglect cities and towns across the country are reclaiming their waterways as a vital part of the community. We have seen some terrific examples in our travels. This work is often the result of vision from neighbourhood action, environmental, heritage and arts organizations, all part of the sector.

In Winnipeg, we met with representatives from the United Way of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Foundation, Manitoba Federation of Nonprofit Organizations, and an organization serving people with disabilities.

We have heard in many communities that the issues around attracting and retraining staff are a major challenge. We were reminded that for those organizations supporting persons with disabilities and other vulnerable populations this is a critical issue.

We also had a discussion about the important role that charities and nonprofits play in lives of the urban aboriginal and immigrant communities in Canada. Once again when you think about it, Canada would be a very different country without our charities and nonprofits.

Oh by the way, Winnipeg’s skating rink may be a “bit” longer, but when it comes down to surface area for skaters, Ottawa trumps the Manitoba capital :)

~Brenda

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