Celebrating Winnipeg

Generosity of Winnipeggers comes through for our community.

More than 600 people came together to celebrate the generosity of Winnipeggers during the 2015 Campaign  – United Way’s 50th campaign – on Wednesday night at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre.

“Over the past year, Winnipeggers have been celebrating 50 years of caring and compassion through United Way,” said 2015 Campaign Chair Kelvin Shepherd before beginning a countdown to reveal the 2015 achievement.

Some of the people who were prominent faces of the 2015 Campaign, including Cassandra Golondrina and Signe Knutson, were on stage to help unveil the generosity of Winnipeggers.

With superhero music playing and confetti popping, cards were raised to display a total of $20.4 million given by Winnipeggers to help ensure an essential network of hundreds of United Way programs, partnerships, and agencies continue to be available when people need them most.

“Amazing Winnipeg! I am very proud to say…Winnipeggers this year have raised more money than ever before,” said Kelvin, who led the superhero-themed campaign with the ‘Captain Community’ moniker.

“Another important milestone on the road to a better Winnipeg we can all be proud to call home.”

Two big screens in the corner of the Victoria Inn’s Centennial Ballroom displayed photos guests shared on social media using a #CelebrateWPG hashtag.

Two more screens showed off the Volunteer Excellence Awards – recognition of campaigns that shared their enthusiasm and spirit with photos and videos through social media.

MC Ace Burpee announced the winners of the Campaign Chair’s Award, which he introduced as the “highest level of achievement a workplace can receive from United Way. It demonstrates strong campaign growth, leadership, and a commitment to our shared vision of a better Winnipeg.”

The award winners, who all received a framed certificate of recognition from Kelvin, were Resolute Technology Solutions Inc., PCL Constructors Canada Inc., Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company & Wawanesa Life Insurance Company, Payworks Inc., Manitoba Public Insurance, and James Richardson & Sons, Limited and Affiliated Companies.

Ace also announced the Employee Campaign Chair Awards to Om Bhatnagar and Jennifer Cloutier of Investors Group and Eleanor Rudd from Bayer Crop Science.

Canvasser Awards went to Deloitte LLP and Health Sciences Centre – WRHA. “Their creativity, enthusiasm, and energy are key to a campaign’s success.”

The Honourable Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba, brought greetings from the Province.  His Worship Brian Bowman, Mayor of Winnipeg, brought greetings from the City.

The evening featured great performances from the Dirty Catfish Brass Band, as well as Drummers United with special guests Summer Bear Dance Troupe and The Peaceful Village Drummers, and hip hop dancers from Graffiti Art Programming’s Studio 393.

Marvin Boakye, the Chief Human Resources Officer from the night’s Platinum Sponsor – MTS – spoke about the impact that our collective generosity has to so many.

Marc Kuly provided perspective on the effect that generosity has in our community. Formerly a consultant at United Way agency partner Manitoba School Improvement Program the Gordon Bell teacher inspires students to embrace diversity and connects them across cultural boundaries through storytelling.

The evening was capped off with the introduction of the 2016 Campaign Chair – Neil Besner.

Neil, Provost and Academic Vice-President at the University of Winnipeg, was welcomed to his term as campaign leader by Kelvin with a gift of several campaign-themed academic textbooks.

“It’s a bit of a tradition for the outgoing chair to equip the incoming chair with all they will need for success in the coming year,” said Kelvin.

“It’s a lot to study, but I’m confident you’ll be successful.”

Thank you, Winnipeg, for another year of incredible generosity, compassion, and caring for your community!