Portage & District Business Review 2022

Page 1

& DISTRICT Business Review 2021 PORTAGE AND DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Business Award winners Creating an environment for success Strategies for recruiting and retaining employees Portage Local Immigration Partnership helps foster a more inclusive community Local company profiles Inaugural 2022

ioscience Association Manitoba is a non profit organization supporting over 110 companies across

the province, ranging from agricultural biotechnology to health biotechnology to cleantech biotechnology.

We support our members to connect with key stakeholders and government officials by encouraging innovative partnerships These collaborations start locally and often expand globally.



The AG BIOTECH sector focuses on developing and commercializing innovations and tools related to agricultural plants or animals for the purpose of increasing yields, production efficiencies and/or impacts and/or improving nutritional profiles


The HEALTH BIOTECH sector consists of companies developing and commercializing innovations that allow for the early identification, prevention and/or treatment of illness and disease


The CLEAN BIOTECH sector uses materials from or with living organisms to generate new value added products, with the goal to reduce negative impacts on the environment Clean Biotech companies work in the areas of renewable fuels, industrial bioproducts and bioremediation technologies

@ B i o s c i e n c e M B @ B i o s c i e n c e m b Ag Biotech H e a iBnaelChcetoiBhtlto ehc BILLION THE AG-BIOTECH IN REVENUE 5.4 SECTOR GENERATES AG-BIOTECH IN LARGEST BIOSCIENCE INDUSTRY SECTOR
272-5095 1000 Waverley Street Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 0P3 info@biomb.ca
Source: Statistics Canada

is published by DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3L 0G5 President



©DEL Communications Inc. – All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the publisher Publications mail agreement #40934510 Return undeliverable address to: DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road, Winnipeg, MB R3L 0G5

COF does not specifically endorse the editorial, products or services contained within this magazine. These products and services are presented here as an indication of the various possibilities in the Marketplace. COF does not make or imply any warranties as to the suitability of any of these products or services for any specific situation. Furthermore, the opinions expressed in this magazine’s editorial content may not necessarily reflect the opinions of COF.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein and the reliability of the source, the publisher in no way guarantees nor warrants- the informationand is not responsible- for errors, omissions or statements made by advertisers. Opinions and recommendations made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher, its directors, officers or employees.

4 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber
Managing Editor
Advertising Sales Manager DAYNA
Account Representatives GARY BARRINGTON COLIN
Production Services
LYNDON Mc LEAN lyndon@delcommunications.com
OULION dayna@delcommunications.com
Marketing Services Creative Director
PRINTED IN CANADA 09/2022 5 A message from the Executive Director 6 President’s Message 7 Local roots, a legacy of impact 8 Message from Mayor Irvine A. Ferris, City of Portage la Prairie 9 2022 Board of Directors 10 Benefits of Chamber membership 12 Member cost saving programs 13 2021 Portage and District Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 18 Upcoming Chamber events 19 Portage Local Immigration Partnership helps foster a more inclusive community 20 Creating an environment for success 22 Strategies for recruiting and retaining employees 24 From local to the world 26 Long-time member Hills Drug Store proud to help create a better business community 28 A brief history of long-time Chamber member Miller Pressey Selinger 30 From land to skies 32 Southport Aerospace Centre flies high as it celebrates 30 years 36 Portage Golf Club celebrates a century and looks to the future 38 One hundred and fifty years of the Portage Ex 42 Index to advertiseres In this issue PORTAGE & DISTRICT Business Review

A message from the Executive Director Cindy McDonald

Welcometo the first edition of our Portage & District Business Review magazine!

This publication allows us, the Portage la Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce, to showcase the business community by profiling local businesses and leaders and sharing stories that are relevant and current to our area.

The past two years will go down in the Chamber’s history books as one of the most challenging times for our business community. From adapting to changing public health restrictions and mandated business closures to managing supply chain issues and working through labour gaps and deficiencies, businesses have been forced to be nimble and resourceful, all while supporting the mental health of employees (and maintaining their own) in an often volatile and divisive social and political landscape.

Despite these huge challenges, the resiliency of our businesses and community is inspiring. We continue to have much to celebrate, and we hope you agree when you read about our 2021 Outstanding Business Award winners – businesses and organizations that are leading the way in innovation, perseverance, leveraging opportunity, and giving back to their community. Speaking of celebrating, we are also featuring some of our long-term members − members who have been in business in Portage for over 80 years! Now that’s something to celebrate!

Now more than ever we need to continue to support each other. On November 24th, we’ll be celebrating our Outstanding Businesses and non-profits at the Business Awards Gala. Please join us and help to honour our amazing business community.

Portage & District continues to see the opening of new businesses, and we are happy to provide supports to all – advocacy, business savings, networking, and so much more. We take pride in our community and want to share in everyone’s successes. Our Chamber network is strong, and the voice that the Portage Chamber carries to the table echoes our business community. Having discussions with all three levels of government, hosting election forums and events to hear from local businesses and community members, and participating in policy debates on a provincial and federal level are key to the strength of the Chamber.

As we head into another holiday season, we encourage you to #supportlocal. Whether that is choosing to shop locally, doing your exploring within Manitoba, or simply recognizing the great work of a favorite organization, we all have a part to play. We are #strongertogether, and the Chamber will continue to be here to help pave a path to recovery.

We are here to help! Please contact us to learn more about the tools the Portage & District Chamber of Commerce can give your business to prosper and grow.

5Portage & District Business Review 2022

Welcometo the Portage and District Business Review. We are really happy that you’re reading this new publication and thank you for supporting the Portage and District Chamber of Commerce.

The Portage and District Chamber of Commerce is fully back in the swing of things, and we are ready for even more success in the upcoming year with pandemic restrictions easing and people ready to shake off the limitations of the last two years.

Your chamber board has been working closely with our municipal governments and PRED to ensure that business and commerce is able to flourish and grow in our community by making it easier to do business and community beautification.

The Chamber has been working hard to keep jobs in our community and to create an environment where entrepreneurs find it easy to start and do business.

I believe that there are great things to come for the communities in the City and Rural Municipality and that our future is bright. I believe we have a great opportunity to work together to cross-promote each other’s businesses and to wow the customers coming to Portage with outstanding and friendly customer service and out-do our largest competitor, which is Winnipeg.

We want to continuously improve, grow, and bring value to our members, so if you have an idea as to how we can do this better, please drop in or give us a call.

Thank you for taking the time to read this magazine, and please remember to support the businesses that you see advertising here and to talk about the good things that the Chamber does as an organization and the good things that are happening in our community.

Best regards.

6 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber
459 Caledonia Street, Portage la Prairie, MB 204-871-5490 www.aaautoglassmobileservices.com Mobile windshield replacement and stone chip repair at your service and convenience. WE COME TO YOU! PROFESSIONALISM. EXCELLENCE. TIMELINESS. Ian Wishart MLA for Portage la Prairie Constituency Office: 46 Saskatchewan Ave E Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 0L2 Contact: 204-857-9267 ptgemla@mymts.net
A message from the President Guy Moffat

Onbehalf of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, congratulations to the Portage la Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce on this inaugural issue of the Portage la Prairie & District Business Review.

These are local success stories, and stories of hope, optimism, and community spirit. This is what fuels us all, because local is a way of life in the chamber network.

Since March 2020, business leaders across all sectors have navigated complex changes and faced unprecedented obstacles with grace and

determination. With 20 new businesses planting roots in Portage la Prairie in 2020 − during a pandemic − and on track to achieve the same rate of growth this year, your business community has demonstrated an inspiring level of resilience.

In October and November, you’ll be honouring small businesses during BDC’s 2022 Small Business Week, discovering locally made goods at a Made in Manitoba Expo, and connecting with leaders at your chamber’s awards gala. There are so many opportunities and so many reasons to celebrate.

As an umbrella organization, we see

firsthand the impact our local chambers have on their communities – we are all spokes of the same wheel, working toward a strong recovery and a singular shared mission: to drive the economy for a prosperous future for all Manitobans. That’s the true power of the network − thank you for being a part of it for more than 136 years.

Congratulations to the Portage la Prairie business community for innovating, inspiring up-and-coming entrepreneurs, and for investing in economic growth in your region.


7Portage & District Business Review 2022
Local roots, A legacy of impact GENERAL CONTRACTING • SPECIALTY CONCRETE RENOVATION SERVICES • BUILDING MAINTENANCE 525 Stephens Avenue, Portage la Prairie F: 204-857-5871 204-857-5871 ellwoodm@ellwoodmcrorie.ca www.ellwoodmcrorie.ca SUITE 300, 6 ROSLYN ROAD, WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA www.delcommunications.com WE OFFER OUTSTANDING PERSONAL SERVICE AND QUALITY IN THE AREAS OF... • Creative Design • Advertising sales • Trade Publications • Video Production & Editing • Qualified Sales & Editorial Team DEL Communications Inc. Your key to success.

A message from Portage la Prairie Mayor Irvine A. Ferris

Forover 136 years, the Portage la Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce has served our community by supporting businesses and helping us become the City of Possibilities.

Through its mission of being a leader in supporting the needs and concerns of the business community, Portage la Prairie and

the surrounding area benefit from a thriving business sector.

We feel fortunate to enjoy the many benefits the Chamber provides our community through the hard work of its dedicated staff and board. On behalf of Council and our citizens, thank you for all you do.

In 2004, our parent company Ellwood Mcrorie Ltd. started doing water damage restoration. A few years later we started doing mold remediation and fire restoration. In 2014, we renamed our restoration division to Portage Restoration Services, while continuing to operate with the same skilled personnel as always.

Since then we have responded to hundreds of insurance claims and personal projects. We are a 24-hour emergency service company with a team of trained and certified personnel that can help you with all your water, fire, and mold remediation needs. We will even work with your insurance provider to get your claim started – saving you time and getting to work sooner to minimize the damage to your property.

Portage Restoration Services Ltd. is available for contact 24/7. If you have an emergency, please contact us!

Office: 204-239-6073 (8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Mon. - Fri.)

Cell Phone: 204-871-7157 (On call, 24/7)

525 Stephens Avenue, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba portagerestoration.ca admin@portagerestoration.ca

8 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber
Unit 3, 602 Saskatchewan Ave W Portage La Prairie (204) 239-5100 Meet your personal pharmacist. Arpita Patel B.Sc. Pharm, Pharmacist Owner Proudly serving Portage La Prairie and Area Portage La Prairie’s only compounding pharmacy! Like us on Facebook @PortageMedicineShoppePharmacy

2022 Board of Directors –Portage la Prairie Chamber


9Portage & District Business Review 2022
KF Aerospace is proud to deliver innovative aircraft solutions for corporate, commercial and military customers worldwide. Launched 50 years ago out of Canada’s Okanagan Valley, KF has grown to specialize in a wide range of aviation services including maintenance and modifications, air cargo operations, military pilot training and aircraft leasing. At our facility in Southport, Manitoba, we support the Royal Canadian Airforce (RCAF) by providing stateof-the-art Pilot training. 55 Musketeer Road E. Southport, MB 204-428-2500 www.kfaero.ca
Interim President
Vice President

Benefits of Chamber membership

Business Lobby – The Chamber of Commerce is the salesman for its community and businesses. Chambers unceasingly promote these communities’ products and services while at the same time being their watchdog. This results in Chambers protecting their interests, particularly in the political arena.

The united voice of the Portage Chamber of Commerce has often proven effective and beneficial to business where a single voice can go unheard. The benefit of belonging to the Chamber is full-time representation with year-round results.

Through the Chamber, the business community can be assured that the business perspective is heard on issues of the day.

We want to hear from you! Do you have an issue or concern? Call us or email us anytime.

Networking events – Attend one of the Chamber’s events and meet the business leaders and owners of the area.

What if I can’t actively participate? By being a member, you are supporting an organization that represents your interests in the community. Your most important participation is simply signing on as a member.

Community Leadership – Be involved in one of the Chamber’s committees or join the Board of Directors.

We are also Members – The Portage Chamber is a member of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the World Chambers Federation and the International Chamber of Commerce; therefore, we are represented provincially, nationally, and internationally.

Purchasing Power – Save money with one of our many affinity programs. Discounts on insurance, supplies and services, travel and accommodations, and more.

10 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber
Always A Florist For all your floral and rental needs. Carmen Tower – Owner 1625 Saskatchewan Avenue West Portage La Prairie, Manitoba alwaysaflorist@yahoo.com 204.239.5032 or 1.800.263.9816 www.alwaysaflorist.com
For more information on Chamber membership, contact the Portage & District Chamber today!


Chamber Group Insurance – Canada’s #1 insurance plan for small-to-medium businesses, delivering more benefits for you and your company. The Chambers Plan creates a solid foundation for security, based on a benefit program designed for small business owners. Guaranteed coverage, plan flexibility, rate stability, customer service and more! Contact the Group Insurance Guy, Stuart Olmstead, at 204-834-3193 or thegroupinsuranceguy@mts.net for a quote.

FiServ (formerly First Data) – At FiServ, we look for every opportunity to help customers leverage more value from each transaction − developing new solutions to make them simpler, faster, safer, and more rewarding.

If you’re looking for a reason to move your payment processing to leverage the Clover system, this could be it! Clover knows that there are a lot of offers out in the marketplace. Sales reps will often walk in the door with an appealing “flash rate” — the first thing that businesses see about any program but not always the most accurate indicator of savings.

Clover offers merchants a wide selection of devices and payment options, so you never have to say “no” to a customer’s preferred payment method. Plus, the MCC has negotiated market-leading rates for our services, which are not open to seasonal price adjustments.

If you have questions on our Clover offer or require additional information on this program to help your business be more competitive, contact Ryan Preston by phone 905-602-3569 or visit https://www.clover.com/ca

Purolator – Purolator is Canada’s leading integrated freight and parcel solutions provider, and we’re celebrating more than 50 years of delivering Canada a network unlike any other.

As Canada’s largest courier company, Purolator delivers innovative products and superior services on which you can depend. With more couriers, more vehicles, and more planes in more places than any other domestic courier, we provide solutions that are right for Canadians − whenever and wherever they need to ship.

Purolator has developed a tiered courier pricing structure for MCC members that offers the most opportunity for savings, ranging from 25 to 45 per cent off our rates, depending on your organization’s annual volume.

For more information, please contact Tim Hick, Purolator Alliance Partner Program, at 1 (877) 324-0002 for a quote for your business or your chamber.

Rogers for Business – Managed by Vesta Networks, Rogers for Business brings discounts on a variety of products and services such as wireless data, voice, wireline, and Microsoft 365.

12 Portage la
District Chamber
DC SECURITY LTD. www.dcsecurity.ca Serving ALL your locking needs since 1995. 115 - 10th Street NE, Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 1B6 1-204-857-5515 office@dcsecurity.ca Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 to 5:00 We’re on this road together.™ 2640 Saskatchewan Ave. W, Portage La Prairie 204-857-7811 • Independently owned & operated • Fleet HQ • Offers commercial tires • Participates in the AIR MILES® rewards program • Overnight drop-off • Offers online appointment scheduling • Offers shuttle or vehicle pickup • Performance tire specialist • Winter tire specialists
saving programs



I was born and raised in Winnipeg and moved to Portage la Prairie in 2006 after I graduated from the U of M with a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree. I worked at Shoppers Drug Mart for 20 years (in various capacities from cashier to pharmacy manager) until I quit in January 2020 to open my own independent pharmacy under the Pharmasave banner.

We opened in June 2020 and have built a strong client base based on a foundation of personalized patient care and community-based involvement. We use the motto “we live in and love our community” to represent our core values. Our patients appreciate our cozy shop and friendly, efficient staff. We are quick and know most of our patients by name, and we’ve been told that we are always smiling when people come through our doors.

We do everything other pharmacies do, but I feel we give our clients a better experience from start to finish − so much so that many new patients come to us saying that they are “switching their pharmacy” because they read a rave review online or someone shared a positive experience.

To be nominated for Outstanding New Entrepreneur was surprising and humbling. I truly believe that I’m not doing anything other pharmacy owners aren’t doing... but I truly

love what I do, and I believe it shows in my patient care. My staff has been consistent for two-and-a-half years because we have a great work environment − we are an amazing team.

As I watched the video the chamber played about Pharmasave, I turned to my husband and said, “oh my god, this doesn’t even seem like me − what if I actually win?” When it was over, people cheered and clapped. It was at that moment I knew I was going to win and, of course, had no speech prepared. I don’t even remember what I said but I recall mentioning my fear of public speaking and saying, “I’m sure they make pills for this”. I am honoured to have my name among the past recipients of this award.

The future of Pharmasave is bright. We continue to grow even though we’re still in our infancy. I hope to keep doing what we are doing because, as the head of pharmacy operations for Pharmasave for MB/SK told me at our last meeting, “whatever it is you are doing, it’s working.” At the end of the day, I just want to keep providing the same level of patient care to as many people willing to trust us as part of their healthcare team.


308 Saskatchewan Ave E Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 0K8

Phone: 204-239-6923 Fax: 204-239-7014 portagepharmasave@gmail.com

13Portage & District Business Review 2022
Caitlin Giercke
Owner / Manager
Portage Pharmasave #456
1200 Saskatchewan Avenue East, Portage la Prairie, MB 204-857-3554 10 BAYS INCLUDING 2 INDOOR TRUCK BAYS SELF WASH / CUSTOM WASH prairierock@live.com www.prairierocktruckwash.ca


OF COMMERCE Business Awards


I run a health and fitness coaching business here in Portage, where my focus and passion are directed toward helping clients feel their best and healthiest through improved fitness, nutrition, and mindset practices. I believe in a balanced, healthy, and sustainable approach to wellness and in building relationships with those I work with in order to make it more personal and effective. People and their individual habits are so interesting to me. We are all unique, and I really enjoy “the puzzle” of helping my clients figure out the way to bring the most wellness into their lives that best suits them.

I have been doing this part-time since 2008 and moved to full-time entrepreneurship in 2011. It was an honour to be nominated for Outstanding Business, [and I was] quite flattered, as it was unexpected. It was an honour because you know the calibre of businesses you’re surrounded by in the community and how much you admire them, so to be put amongst them was great validation and recognition of the hard work and effort you’ve been giving over the past 12 years. Owning your own business isn’t for the faint of heart but being supported by the community through the nomination and the 2021 Outstanding Business of the Year win was a very gratifying feeling. I still have the award on my

table as a reminder of the support I felt that night and as a reminder to continue to put your heart into your work. It was confirmation to me that people can recognize that. That’s important to me. I want others to know I truly care. The future of my business is to continue to provide a local option for a health & wellness coaching service. I would love to be known as someone who puts quality into their work, along with effort and heart. I will continue to hold fitness classes and packages (online and in-person), offer personal nutrition coaching, offer services through my app, as well as hold group workshops to help pass on my knowledge I’ve gained through the 12 years of working closely with others. Another key element is being able to give back to the community by holding Karma/charity classes throughout the year. So basically, I’d like to continue to serve the community, and I want to do it well.

14 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber
Represent Inform Advise Support Connect www.rmedcorp.ca www.rmedcorp.ca Visa 2 Canada Immigration & Settlement Services Having Difficulty finding employees? Let us help you with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Since 1997, we’ve been assisting employers navigating Canadian immigration law Phone: 1-204-717-4426 Website: www.visa2canada.ca www.jobs2canada.ca Visit: 4th Floor Scotia Tower (above Scotia Bank) Rosser Avenue, Brandon


Business Awards


Southport Aerospace Centre Inc.

Established in 1992, Southport Aerospace Centre Inc. is a not-for-profit property management and development company featuring aviation and aerospace training facilities, research and development of new products, light manufacturing, educational institutions, beautiful open spaces, a golf course, and a fitness centre.

It was such a pleasure to be not only nominated but awarded the Outstanding Contribution to the Community by a Business award. Southport supports the community in many ways, including through monetary donations, in-kind donations, event sponsorships, and employee involvement through volunteer hours. We encourage the pursuit of education by providing scholarships to students seeking a post-secondary education. Annually, we contribute one per cent of our total revenue to Corporate Social Responsibility. It’s a real pillar for our

organization, and it feels great to see those efforts recognized in such a way!

Our Vision

Communities where all abilities are embraced and valued.


VOI provides personalized opportunities for people with diverse abilities to thrive.

Southport’s future is one of abundant opportunities, new partnerships, and development, all of which will continue to benefit the socio-economic make up of the Central Plains Region and the province of Manitoba as a whole. 20 Saskatchewan Avenue West, Portage la Prairie, MB

15Portage & District Business Review 2022
204-239-6698 | info@voimb.ca | www.voimb.ca


Business Awards


Rotary Club

Rotary started with the vision Paul Harris, an attorney, who formed the Rotary Club of Chicago in February 1905. Paul’s vision was to see professionals with diverse backgrounds exchanging ideas and forming meaningful, lifelong friendships.

The overall objective of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service, as a basis of worthy enterprise and to encourage and foster:

1) The development of fellowship as an opportunity for service;

2) High ethical standards in business and professions; and

3) The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

Locally, the Portage Rotary Club put down roots in the summer of 1951, which means our club officially turned 71 this year. It would take far too long to comb through what this organization has accomplished throughout this time, but I can say this club has done well. If you look around our city, there are countless examples of what Rotary stands for, believes in, and our dedication to improving Portage la Prairie for its current citizens and future generations to come.

When we induct new members, we put them through the FourWay Test – basically, a nonpartisan ethical guide to use during personal and professional relationships:

Of the things we think, say, or do…Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? And will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

To be a Rotarian means to adopt the motto of “service above self.” We are truly a club that is for the community, by the community, and I am so grateful to be apart of it, as I’m sure all our members are.

It truly was both an honour and privilege to, not only be nominated, but also accept the Outstanding Not-for-Profit

award. On behalf of our entire club, thank you. I wish to recognize all the dedicated Rotarians who have came before us. These individuals devoted their time, hearts, and energy to this organization throughout the years, and this recognition also belongs to them.

It was such a delight to be chosen from amongst the other hardworking and deserving nominees for this award. The strength of our non-profit sector is remarkable, and our community is fortunate to have such incredible resources.

The Portage Rotary Club was built on the passion and spirit of those original club members in 1905. Their focus and determination were strong, and we’ve carried that energy forward. Recovering from and adapting to a post-COVID world, the club is focused on rebuilding the momentum we had going into the pandemic, which caused us to pivot and learn to serve our community in brand new ways. Moving forward, our priorities and areas of focus remain the same.

We will continue to channel our commitment to service at home and abroad through various avenues of service − Club Service, Vocational Service, International Service, and Youth Service − which are the foundation of our club activity.

In conclusion, I would like to leave you with the words of our founder Paul Harris: “Whatever Rotary may mean to us…to the world, it will be known by the results it achieves”.

Thank you again from the Portage Rotary Club for this meaningful recognition.

16 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber
17Portage & District Business Review 2022 Canad Inns Destination Centre Portage la Prairie 2401 Saskatchewan Ave. W Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 4A6 204-857-9745 | portage@canadinns.com EAT MEET STAY PLAY Your Home in Manitoba Manitoba’s Largest Hospitality Provider Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3L 0G5 Toll Free:1 866 831 4744 | Toll Free Fax: 1 866 711 5282 www delcommunications com We offer outstanding personal service and quality in the areas of: CREATIVE DESIGN | ADVERTISING SALES TRADE PUBLICATIONS | QUALIFIED SALES & EDITORIAL TEAM DEL Communications Inc and you, THE KEY TO SUCCESS
Portage la Prairie & District Chamber

Portage Local Immigration Partnership helps foster a more inclusive community

ThePortage Local Immigration Partnership (PLIP) is a program funded by the Immigrant, Refugee and Citizenship of Canada (IRCC). The PLIP is desigend to assist with making Portage la Prairie and more welcoming and Inclusive community for newcomer immigrants. PLIP is governed by a council comprised of both professionals and newcomer community members who assist in identifying the challenges newcomers face, including transportation, affordable housing, childcare, accredidation, and community cultural spaces. Newcomers also expressed a need for recreational opportunities for nonwesternized sports and social events. The mandate of the PLIP is to foster a more inclusive community while working toward improvements in areas

such as economic development, social integration, and civic engagement for all newcomers.

There are two full-time staff members, Mitch Tilk, who has been working with PLIP since 2019, and Megan Romphf, who has been with PLIP since 2020. Some recent activities and events that PLIP has collaborated on with community partners and stakeholders include I Heart Heritage Festival, the Indigenous Enrichment Gathering, Circles for Reconciliation, and Anti-Racism Week. PLIP was the leading organization in the labor Market Study, consultations with newcomers immigrants around childcare and affordable housing, as well as employment and entrepreneurial research to better the visibility of

newcomer owned businesses. The Employment and Entrepreneurial outcomes from these working groups led to PLIP’s very own Tastes of Portage la Prairie, which showcases newcomerowned-and-operated restaurants.

This year, PLIP has partnered with the Chamber of Commerce for Portage la Prairie’s Chamber Awards. New this year, there will be an Outstanding Contribution to the Community by a Newcomer Award. PLIP will be attending the awards ceremony with the top three nominees in this category. “We hope this award will bring a sense of accomplishment to the newcomerowned business and highlight their importance as an integral part of our community,” Cultural Connector Megan Romphf says.

19Portage & District Business Review 2022
Team members for Portage Local Immigration partnership (PLIP) : Mitch Tilk, program coordinator, and Megan Romphf, cultural connector.

Creating an environment for success

It is a pleasure to greet the Region of Portage la Prairie and have the opportunity to showcase Portage Regional Economic Development Inc., widely known throughout the community as PRED. The mission of PRED is to create an environment that successfully attracts new investment while leveraging the strong regional approach of the two municipalities working together in collaboration.

PRED was founded on collaboration and partnership between the City of Portage la Prairie and the RM of Portage la Prairie. The benefits yielded from taking a regional approach to economic development have been extraordinary and beneficial to the entire Region.

PRED is a well-established and

integrated community organization that functions as a quarterback for economic development across the region as a whole.

PRED advises and makes recommendations and actions matters that pertain to economic development, which include but are not limited to economic development initiatives, incentives, evaluating current business climate, business attraction, retention, and expansion, community economic development, marketing opportunities, and other issues that may promote economic development. PRED assists with providing input and expertise on ways to encourage and help businesses and individuals to invest, thrive and expand in the Region of Portage

la Prairie. It is our goal to support businesses in creating jobs, diversifying, and increasing the tax base, which ultimately leads to a better quality of life for all who work, reside and visit the Region.

Economic development is a multifaceted process that focuses on creating a successful environment for success. At PRED, we concentrate on investment attraction, business retention and expansion, tourism, stakeholder and community engagement along with providing an economic development lens for our community organizations. Economic development cannot be done in a siloed approach. It needs to be a community effort and flexible to match the needs of the community. There

Central Plains Cancer Services is a non-profit grassroots organization that provides services to support the quality of life for people affected by cancer and supports the promotion of cancer awareness in over 70 rural Manitoba communities.

20 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber
Programs & Services • Transportation Program • Care for Kids Fighting Cancer Program • Hearts of Hope Program • Make a Splash Aquafit • Head Coverings • Kids Can Cope Program • Support Groups • Healthy Students & Community Health Programs 318 Saskatchewan Avenue East, Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 0K8 204-857-6100 | info@cpcancerservices.ca www.centralplainscancerservices.com

PRED recognizes that the success of recent investments was attributed to the solid partnership they have formed between the two municipalities.

are many groups and stakeholders involved in ensuring that we have a strong economy, and there are many departments within both municipalities who all work closely in planning the future of the Portage la Prairie Region. It’s this collaborative approach that makes our community a unique and thriving region.

PRED recognizes that the success of recent investments was attributed to the solid partnership they have formed between the two municipalities. Twenty years ago, both the City of Portage la Prairie and the RM of Portage la Prairie entered into a tax-sharing agreement that would incentivize them to work together to attract new business and investment to the region. They understood the importance of regional collaboration and are currently reaping the positive impacts of that decision.

The past few years have been difficult due to the impacts of COVID-19. Our business community in the Region of Portage la Prairie is resilient and should be very proud of the hard work and dedication that they put into their businesses to ensure that they survived through the ramifications of COVID.

Even though times were hard, we have seen continued growth in our economy. Permit values in commercial, residential, and industry, reflected over the past few years, are strong indicators of growth and success. We saw several new small and mediumsized businesses open up and many new expansions to existing businesses. There were also significant industrial activities along with lots of residential

development. Congratulations to all those involved, especially in a time like this; it again shows how resilient and business-friendly the Region of Portage la Prairie is.

To learn more about PRED and stay up to date with current projects happening at the PRED office, log on to Investinportage.ca.

21Portage & District Business Review 2022 “TRY BEFORE YOU BUY STORE” www.shopdinos.ca YOUR LOCAL MANUFACTURE AUTHORIZED SERVICE CENTER 330 Saskatchewan Avenue West Portage la Prairie 204-857-5779 Locally owned & operated by Dean & Debbie Dubois Complete seleCtion of applianCes Your “Sleep Centre” Store AppliAnce & MAttreSS centre inc. COMPLETE SELECTION OF APPLIANCES HOURS:
Friday 9:00
pm and Thursday 9:00
- 7:00 pm
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
am - 5:00

Strategies for recruiting and retaining employees

Drive through the streets of any city or town and you’re sure to see many signs announcing, “We’re hiring!” As more and more industries and services come back on stream, finding people to do the work has become a frequent challenge for most leaders. Building your dream team takes a lot of work, and losing employees can hurt your ability to meet your deadlines and accomplish your goals. Here are eight strategies to help find and keep those valuable people on your team.

Four recruitment strategies

1. Communicate your values

Begin the recruitment process by determining why people would want to

work for you. If you aren’t sure, ask your current employees. Pay attention to the reasons that your best employees give. Prospective employees want to know more than just the job description − they want to work for a leader who can provide value for them as an employee.

2. Build your network

Expand your employee search by building connections that will provide valuable prospects. Connect with your local Chamber of Commerce. Talk to local schools, community colleges, and universities to provide recent grads with experience. Invite your employees to refer people to you. You may even want to incentivize it with a recruitment reward.

3. Hire for “Fit” not for “Function”

Skill and experience aren’t the most important factors when hiring an employee. Making sure that they are a good fit is critical to their ability to contribute to the organization. Key areas of fit should focus on values, thinking style, behaviours, interests, and pace. Proper alignment in these areas leads to job satisfaction and better retention.

4. Plan the interview

The interview provides a key window to assess whether the person is going to fit. Ask questions which help to identify the qualities that are most important to you. Ask the applicant how they would respond to a variety of scenarios. Using a pre-employment assessment tool guides the interview process and provides necessary information on the person you are looking to hire. The entire process of recruitment can feel overwhelming at times. Working together with other people in your organization or an HR consultant can help provide the perspective that you need to navigate the hiring process.

Four Retention Strategies

1. Support their ongoing development

Begin the practice of strength spotting. When you see someone excelling in a particular area, provide opportunities for them to build on their strengths.

22 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber

Providing learning opportunities for people to grow their skills and knowledge increases loyalty while providing a more capable workforce.

2. Keep communication open

Providing supportive and corrective feedback in a timely and effective manner reinforces the values of the organization and addresses concerns early. Listening to your team can reveal issues that need addressing and communicates value and significance.


Encourage accountability and trust

Trust is the foundation to creating a team that will creatively overcome obstacles and generate new ideas for growth. As trust grows, your employees will hold each other accountable to their commitments.

4. Fair compensation

Wages that compete with industry standards and provide adequate compensation are important but are not the only thing to consider when it comes to compensation. Other things like vacation policies, benefits, and

23Portage & District Business Review 2022
• Mature 12 Diploma • Literacy/Upgrading • Newcomer Settlement Services • Employment Assistance Services • Portage Work Experience Program • Manage Your Money Workshops • TLC Daycare Through a positive and supportive environment, the Portage Learning and Literacy Centre is committed to providing the residents of Portage la Prairie and surrounding areas with opportunities to realize individual, literacy, educational, employment, and life goals. 110 Saskatchewan Ave. West Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 0M1 204-857-6304 Est. 1995 PLLC.ca workplace flexibility play a significant role within the compensation package. Investing time and resources into attracting and keeping talented employees pays off with less time and money spent on training and turnover. Our desire at Homefield People and Strategy is to support your efforts in developing your dream team through meaningful training and resources designed to improve your efforts. Find out more about us at www.myhomefield.ca! Partner with the only lender 100% invested in Canadian agriculture and food. DREAM. GROW. THRIVE. | fcc.ca Using a pre-employment assessment tool guides the interview process and provides necessary information on the person you are looking to hire.

From local to the world

Hemphas long been used for its medicinal purposes in helping with heart issues, anti-inflammatory pain, skin conditions, and so much more.

Just ask Danny Kreklewich, who, with co-owners Markus Schmulgen and Wayne Doerksen, operates Better Hemp Company in Portage la Prairie. The three are like-minded individuals who are passionate about hemp foods.

“We started in 2016 when hemp sales were surging in South Korea and demand for hemp foods was growing exponentially,” recalls Kreklewich. “At that time, it looked like hemp foods were about to become a powerhouse in the worldwide food industry. We’ve had some ups and downs due to market conditions and grain costs. However, expectations have come back to earth, and the industry and our company have experienced steady and sustainable growth.”

Numerous health benefits

The health benefits of hemp are extensive. Hemp seeds contain a high-quality and highly digestible protein, an excellent balance of healthy unsaturated fats, including GLA, a powerful anti-inflammatory, Omegas 3, 6 and 9, iron, and numerous other vitamins and minerals.

In addition to the health benefits, hemp is a versatile seed that can add great taste and texture to foods from oatmeal to granola and energy bars to breads, muffins and almost anything else. It works well in savoury foods, such as nut butters, and can add a savoury (and nutritional) balance to sweet foods like honey.

Phone: 204 728 3370

LG.CA brandon@linde.com

Portage la Prairie & District Chamber Better Hemp Company co-owner Danny Kreklewich with just two of his company’s products.
Making our world more productive Your Total Solutions Provider for: ➔ Industrial and specialty gases ➔ PROSTAR™ line of quality products ➔ Welding and cutting automation 650 Nairn Avenue, Winnipeg Phone:
E., Brandon
LG.CA.Winnipeg.OrderDesk@linde.com 710 Richmond Ave.

“We purchase hemp grain directly from farmers,” says Kreklewich. “The overwhelming majority is grown in Manitoba, and we’re always looking for additional local growers to work with. Our primary products are produced at a dedicated hemp facility between Portage la Prairie and MacGregor, Manitoba.”

For specialized products—such as nut butters—the company sends its hemp foods to another manufacturer that uses Better Hemp Company’s product and formulations to make a finished product.

Better Hemp Company is primarily a bulk supplier of hemp foods to manufacturers who use hemp as an ingredient or sell it as is, for its nutritional taste and texture benefits, and because it is a trendy food that consumers want.

“With that said, the benefits of the plant-based protein and the healthy unsaturated fats are the primary focus,” he adds.

What’s next?

A member of the Portage la Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce since 2017, Kreklewich says Better Hemp Company primarily sells to companies outside of Manitoba and Canada, so its local presence isn’t as large as other members.

“Having said that, now that we are moving into the retail product space, we anticipate a greater presence with the Chamber and in the community.”

Better Hemp Company is also collaborating with several companies to develop new and unique ingredients that will set it apart from most of the industry. They are in the later stages of development of a new natural yellow hemp oil, clear refined hemp oil, and several unmatched hemp protein powders with another hemp company.

“Creating great innovative hemp products is where our true passion lies, and we are very excited to be taking the next step with those great products,” Kreklewich adds.

“We view these as game-changing ingredients and retail products and expect them to be sought after by companies in the food industry across Canada, the United States, and abroad.”

25Portage & District Business Review 2022
877-228-2636 stridecu.ca
Bank on our local insight. Benefit from business banking that’s designed with your local economy in mind.
“ Creating great innovative hemp products is where our true passion lies.”
— Danny Kreklewich, co-owner, Better Hemp Company

Long-time member Hills Drug Store proud to help create a better business community

ThisJanuary will mark the 121st anniversary of Hills Drug Store, a well-known landmark to many who have lived in this area for generations.

On January 1, 1901, Jim Kelly Hill purchased the property on the corner of Gaddy Street (now known as 2nd Street NE)

and built the present two-story clay brick building. Featuring Romanesque style, it includes heavily articulated arched windows separated by pilasters, diaper detailing around the arches, and labyrinth-free mouldings.

Since that time, Hills East Drug Store (currently known as Hills Drug Store) has had three owner partnerships up until 2018, when a duo partnership was formed between current owners Rhonda Kitchen and Michelle Leslie.

“In 1992, Hills Drug Store established a pharmacy in the new Portage Clinic as a part of the team of medical professionals creating a single-user space,” says Kitchen, who is also a pharmacist. “That store, known colloquially as Hills Clinic Pharmacy, was the first expansion since losing Hills West to fire in 1976. The Clinic Pharmacy was updated and remodelled when the Portage Clinic expanded in 2018.”

26 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber
Hills Drug Store is an iconic landmark in Portage la Prairie with a fascinating past. PHOTOS COURTESY OF RHONDA KITCHEN.
The Local Drug Store™ YOUR PARTNER IN CARE Hill’s Drug Store 200 Saskatchewan Ave. E. 204-857-4631 Hill’s Clinic Pharmacy 103, 140 9th Street S.E. 204-239-1368
Hill’s Drug Store co-owner and pharmacist Rhonda Kitchen with an appreciative customer.

Today, with both Kitchen and Leslie residing in the neighborhood, their business provides amenities to an array of clients and creates loyalty by offering personable and professional service.

Their clientele includes not only local residents, but also those from smaller rural towns, in addition to Hutterite colonies who utilize Hills Drug Store for their medical and commercial needs.

“This includes pharmaceutical health care, over-thecounter medications, injections, health and beauty, sundries, cards and gifts, diabetic aids, smoking cessation, diet programs, free delivery and home medical equipment,” Kitchen says.

“Many people also seek practical knowledge, assistance with drug management, and privacy for all their health care concerns.”

Chamber of Commerce Membership

Hills Drug Store has been a member of the Portage la Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce for 90 years (since 1932). Kitchen says being a member means showing loyalty to the community that Hills Drug Store is a such an integral part of.

“It’s important to be part of the solution to creating a better business community,” she says. “Membership shows the community that Hills Drug Store supports locals and hopes

that, for the same reason, others will support us.”

She adds that provided there’s a population that continues to age and requires personal health care, there will be a need for Hill’s Drug Store and Hill’s Clinic Pharmacy.

“We will grow with them and provide the services that are important to them.”

The Great Depression and Fire: Part of the Drugstore’s History

In 1902, a year after Jim Kelly Hill purchased the property on the site of Hills Drug Store, the Portage la Prairie Tax Roll indicated an assessed value of $8,300 for the lot, the building, and personal property combined.

In 1918, Hill bought the business of J.A. Dunkin and, in 1927, purchased the Fairbairn Block and the business of R. L. Davidson. Hill’s son George was hired as the manager on the new Hills West Drugstore located in the Fairbairn Block.

However, in 1928, a disastrous fire destroyed the Fairbairn Block and the Merchants Hotel. The onset of the Great Depression set back chances to rebuild.

In 1938, George Hill built the Mayfair Hotel on the old site and incorporated a new Hills West Drug Store as part of the new development. In December 1976, fire destroyed the properties, and Cliff Bagrie and Charlie Oliver, who had been working at Hills West at the time, moved to Hills East to continue a new ownership of the company, as George Hill had retired.

27Portage & District Business Review 2022

A brief history of long-time Chamber member Miller Pressey Selinger

MillerPressey Selinger is the oldest continuous law firm operating in Portage la Prairie. It began in 1909 when William James (W.J.) Cooper retired as The District Registrar of the Portage Land Titles Office and joined Arthur Meighen − who began his own practice in Portage la Prairie in 1903 − in private practice. The firm was called Cooper & Meighen.

W.J. Cooper died in 1913, and Meighen practised alone until his articling student William Raymond (Toby) Sexsmith was called to the bar in 1915. This firm was called Meighen & Sexsmith. In 1917, Joseph

28 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber

Charles (Joe) Miller articled with the firm and in 1918 his brother Calvert Charlton (Cal) Miller began his articles.

Joe and Cal practised with the firm until 1920, when Arthur Meighen was elected as Prime Minister of Canada. The firm was then called Sexsmith & Miller.

Joe and Cal then branched off into their own firm, Miller & Miller, in 1922 and built the law office at 103 Saskatchewan Avenue East in 1926, where it has been located since. They practised together and became quite involved in the community. The firm joined the Portage la Prairie Board of Trade in 1938, and in 1943, Cal was elected president of the Manitoba Associated Boards of Trade from 1943 to 1945. He was then elected as Member of Parliament for the Constituency of Portage la Prairie from 1946 to 1949. Joe himself joined City Council from 1930 to 1935 and became mayor of Portage la Prairie from 1933 to 1935.

In 1954, Cal’s son Bruce Miller joined the firm, which became known as Miller, Miller & Miller. In 1959, Cal was appointed to the Queen’s Bench and was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 1960, then becoming Chief Justice of The Court of Appeal in 1961. He ultimately retired from the bench in 1967. In 1962 Cal’s other son, Clive Miller, joined the firm, and in 1979 Clive was appointed to the County Court (which later became part of The Queen’s Bench), leaving Joe and Bruce as remaining partners. They invited Orest Pressey (the former District Registrar of the Portage Land Titles Office) to join them in private practice as Miller, Miller, Pressey in 1979, and in 1986, Cathy Sherman joined the firm as an associate, practicing with them until 1990. Joe died in 1987 at the age of 93, and in 1988, Bruce also died prematurely. Gordon Selinger (formerly

practising in Winnipeg and Carman) joined as an associate shortly thereafter.

In 1994, Gordon Selinger became a partner with Orest Pressey under the firm name of Miller, Pressey, Selinger. Another lawyer, Brad Patzer joined the firm as an associate in 1998 until he left to join the department of Justice in Northwest Territory in 2001. Orest Pressey retired from practice in 2000, at

which time Gordon Selinger remained the sole partner.

Eric Freedman articled to Gordon Selinger in 2016 and remained as an associate until 2021, when he moved to a law firm in Selkirk.

Since then, Gordon Selinger has continued the practice maintaining the firm name of Miller, Pressey, Selinger.



29Portage & District Business Review 2022
prevented and lives saved That’s the

From land to skies

Jonair (1988) Ltd. is soaring to new heights with crop and forestry protection


la Prairie company is a local leader in aerial application, agronomy, and crop protection.

Jonair (1988) Ltd., located at 28120 Road 67N in Portage la Prairie, provides aerial applications to growers in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan. As part of a consortium, they also sell crop protection products to farmers in the area, as well as provide forest management in Eastern Canada in the spring. The consortium also includes Portage Aircraft Maintenance Ltd., which does maintenance on aircrafts, and Portage Aircraft Specialties Ltd., the dealer for Air Tractor airplanes in Canada.

The company was founded in the early

1980s by John Bodie, who incorporated it in 1988. In 2011, Bryan Dion, an agronomist, and Dave Frisch, a pilot, purchased the company and have been operating it ever since.

“When we bought the company in 2011, we were basically just doing crop protection and aerial spraying in Manitoba,” says Dion. “Since then, we have branched out to do aerial spraying in Saskatchewan and forest protection in Eastern Canada. We joined Air Tractor in 2018 as the authorized dealer for aircraft sales, repairs, maintenance, and parts throughout Canada.”

Currently they have a fleet of nine Air Tractor aircraft, which service large areas quickly, enabling them to treat crops faster and prevent against pests and diseases.

Aerial spraying is advantageous for farmers since there is zero soil compaction, which means by spraying the crops from above there is no ground compaction from tires and heavy equipment, as well as no wheel tracks, and no compacting soil particles. Ground equipment can reduce pore space and restrict oxygen and water movement into and through the soil and root zone. As we have seen with this year, aerial application is also suitable for wet soil, as compaction from ground equipment can be harmful, often making the soil hard and reducing yields.

Jonair’s pilots are highly trained professionals who hold commercial pilot licenses and provincial applicator licenses. They also maintain the most

30 Portage la
District Chamber

up-to-date knowledge of legislation, pesticide hazards, and safe working procedures.

In addition to their aerial spraying work in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, they also protect forests in Eastern Canada from health-threatening pests. Every year at end of May, Jonair is part of a group of over 30 aircraft from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta that take flight to Quebec to participate in the Budworm Program, a spray program that helps to control the spruce budworm, a moth whose caterpillar feeds on trees. The Budworm Program aims to maintain tree survival, preserve the annual allowable cut, and protect wildlife habitat.

The company currently employs 17 full-time staff and four admin staff. In their busy season, they see an additional 12 part-time employees. Dion says that there have been some challenges in finding part-time staff, as well as specialized staff in the industry, whether it’s agronomists, parts technicians, or aircraft engineers. He also notes that government regulations have also been a challenge as of late since they have been experiencing government red tape on everything from regulations at the farm level to the business level.

Proud members of the Portage la Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce since the company was founded by Bodie in the ‘80s, Jonair (1988) Ltd. has grown

and is only soaring to new heights as the company continues to evolve.

“Our customers are extremely happy,” says Dion. “We’ve grown and expanded the footprint in our yard here too.

Since we took over in 2011, we have added two hangers, extended our

crop protection storage, and added onto our main maintenance facility to store and deliver aircraft parts for aerial applicators across Canada. We are currently working with suppliers to expand crop protection products and provide improved options for our customers.”

31Portage & District Business Review 2022
OUR SERVICES Economic Development Investment Attraction Business Navigation Expansion & Retention Site Selections Economic Insights Community Data Pathfinding Tourism Serves RM & City www investinportage ca @investinportage 204 856 5000 www.delcommunications.com Helping your members stay connected is WHAT WE DO. We offer outstanding personal service and quality in the areas of... • Creative Design • Website Design • Advertising Sales • Print and Web Magazine Publications • Online E-newsletters • Online Directories DIGITAL

Southport Aerospace Centre flies high as it celebrates 30 years Southport

Aerospace Centre Inc. (Southport Aerospace), and the community of Southport itself, plays a pivotal role in the Central Plains Region of Manitoba and has done so for the past 30 years. Southport is home to over 200 tenants, as well as the Southport Airport CYPG, a Transport Canada-approved publicuse airport. Southport offers a modern campus, business centre, quality accommodations, countless recreation facilities, and a thriving community. Southport has a rich history rooted in the Canadian military and a future bright with opportunity and development!

1940s – 1990s: Southport in the beginning

Southport’s history dates to the 1940s when the No. 14 Elementary Flying Training School – a part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan –opened its doors. Over a decade later, in 1952, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) reactivated the RCAF Station Portage la Prairie and operated the No. 2 Advanced Flying School in Southport to train RCAF and NATO pilots. In the late 1960s, the station was renamed Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Portage la Prairie.

Aircraft Maintenance training has operated at Southport since 1992. RRC Polytech –Stevenson Campus currently operates their Aircraft Maintenance Journeyperson (AMJ) Apprenticeship Program out of Hangar 4 (pictured) – a program that is the only one of its kind in Canada.

32 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber
The welcome sign to the RCAF Station Portage la Prairie where the No. 2 Advanced Flying School was held.

In 2016, The Central Plains RecPlex received a $3 million renovation to become the stateof-the-art fitness facility it is today. A ninemetre indoor climbing wall now stands where the deep end of the Southport pool once was.

In the spring of 1989, the federal government announced CFB Portage la Prairie would be closing due to budget cuts in the Departments of National Defence. These budget cuts meant that the military flight contract would be contracted out to civilian agencies. Aware of the negative economic impacts of the federal government’s decision, the City of Portage la Prairie and the province rallied together and formed a community-based committee whose mandate was to raise awareness, advocate, and lobby to stress the importance of the base to the local and provincial economies. The committee, called Save the Base, delivered economic

impact reports and maintained a strong media presence to keep pressure on the government in an effort to keep flight training in Southport. Thanks to the successful lobbying efforts and media attention brought on by Save the Base and others, the federal

government, through Western Economic Development, announced the formation of a local corporation to take over the assets of CFB Portage la Prairie. In September 1990, the federal government announced that CFB Portage la Prairie, after privatization, would be an ideal site

33Portage & District Business Review 2022

Eighty per cent of Canadian Air Force pilots earn their wings in Southport, MB.

for many elements of flight training to continue. The not-for-profit corporation would be called Southport Aerospace Centre Inc.

1992 – 2022: The growth of Southport

Southport Aerospace Centre Inc. – a nonprofit, non-share property management and development company − was established in September 1992 as a result of the Save the Base committee’s efforts. Military flight training continued at Southport after the transition from CFB Portage la Prairie through the 3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School (3CFFTS), which was supported by

Bombardier until 2005 and, currently, by Allied Wings (now known as KF Aerospace). Supporting the military flight contract and the subsequent facilities, programs, and services the contract relies on was and still is an integral part of Southport Aerospace’s role within the community, but it’s just the beginning! Southport Aerospace has a diversified commercial tenant base onsite, which includes:

• Health administration

• Education and training

• Manufacturing

• Addictions counselling

• Childcare

• Aircraft storage

With the arrival of new commercial businesses and residential tenants in the community, Southport Aerospace continues to invest in the future of the site with the development of new and renovated infrastructure, as well as the active management of the company’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions through Radicle Climate Smart initiatives.

With a wide variety of recreational amenities, as well as accommodations available onsite, Southport is an ideal community to not only work and live in, but also to play! Visit https://southport. ca/ and see what Southport has to offer!

Cheers to the future!

The future of Southport is filled with endless opportunities, new partnerships, and exciting new development that will benefit the socio-economic environment of the Central Plains Region and the province of Manitoba. The community of Southport has grown exponentially over the past 30 years, and the next 30 are looking bigger and brighter than ever!

Cheers to 30 years!

Centennaire South, Southport’s upscale rental housing development, offers tenants the best in new home construction in a peaceful country setting. Brand new Centennaire South units are available annually, as the development continues to grow.

Portage la Prairie & District Chamber
35Portage & District Business Review 2022 MANITOBA’S ONLY CANADIAN OWNED PROVIDER. 204-477-6600 quintexservices.com Your Paint & Hobby Store! GREAT SELECTION OF GAMES, PUZZLES, ART SUPPLIES, LEGO, PLAYMOBIL & MORE! 475 SASKATCHEWAN AVE., PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, MB 204-239-1411 janzenspaint.com WE OFFER OUTSTANDING PERSONAL SERVICE AND QUALITY IN THE AREAS OF... • Creative Design • Website Design • Advertising Sales • Trade Publications • Online E-newsletters • Qualified Sales & Editorial Teamwww.delcommunications.com Helping your members stay connected is WHAT WE DO.

Portage Golf Club celebrates a century and looks to the future

Frominauspicious beginnings, the Portage Golf Club has become a big part of the community, recently celebrating its 100th anniversary.

in 1922 Portage Golf Club was established on a site previously used a pasture and a rubbish dump, a piece of land littered with scrap iron and was bisected by two narrow sloughs full of

cattails. The first official opening day was May 31st, 1922, and fees for the first year were $20 for men and $10 for ladies. The Club joined the Manitoba Golf Association in 1924 and began selling shares in 1925 at a par value of $50. The first clubhouse building was moved onto the site in 1927.

In 1992, the course expanded from nine to 18 holes, and it now has a licensed restaurant & bar, a sunroom, and a deck overlooking the crescent. A fully stocked pro shop offers a full range of golf equipment and clothing, and golfers can warm up in the hitting net or hit a few practice putts before the round on the recently re-done putting green. The course also has a fleet of 50 electric golf carts, with 40 of them having GPS touch screen to provide golfers with detailed hole layouts and yardages during their round.

36 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber

In 1992, the course expanded from nine to 18 holes, and it now has a licensed restaurant and bar, a sunroom, and a deck overlooking the crescent.


In recent years, the course has hosted the 2018 Future Links Prairie Championships, a Golf Canada Junior event, and renovations and upgrades were made to the Pro Shop in the winter of 2018. That year also saw the clubhouse used as a filming site for the movie Breakthrough.

Spring 2022 saw significant kitchen upgrades, and of course a celebration of the Club’s 100th anniversary with a dinner and dance, as well as a Vegas Scramble.

The golf club is a proud Chamber member and has significant ties to the business community, as well as to various charitable organizations in Portage la Prairie.

“We look to the business community for sponsorships and advertising partnerships each season to support our operations, as we are not-for-profit,” says Deb Pritchard, General Manager & PGA Professional at the Portage Golf Club. “We’re also excited to partner with many charitable organizations in our community to host golf tournaments and other fundraising events that contribute significant revenues to their operations. Additionally, many local businesses take advantage of the golf course for staff and customer appreciations events as we can offer both an activity and food & beverage services in one location.”

Pritchard says the Club is always striving to build upon its great amenities and expand what they can offer to members, guests, and the community as a whole. There’s ongoing planning for the betterment of the course and the services it can offer, such as clubhouse/ restaurant facilities, which show their age more and more each season.

“Determining future needs and formulating a plan for replacement or renovation will be a key focus for both current and future boards to ensure that we continue to move the club forward into the future for generations to come.”

for better business and better recovery

• Help workers heal faster with modified or alternate duties and a timely and safe return to health and work

• Retain valuable employees

• Reduce your WCB costs

The WCB is here to help you get started.

Download our Best Practices Guide at wcb.mb.ca/return-to-work

37Portage & District Business Review 2022

One hundred and fifty years of the Portage Ex

Picturethis: It’s been another long, hot Manitoba summer, filled with the usual trials and tribulations of life as a pioneer on the rich agricultural lands of the west. The year’s harvest has been stored for the winter, waiting to be used for feed or sold to feed the world. It’s a cool fall morning, and you are preparing to head to the western edge of town to experience what would become the longest running fair in Manitoba. The Winnipeg newspaper declared it to have “surpassed expectations” with “400 entries” for an event organized by the Marquette Agricultural Society.

The date was October 16, 1872, and the community of Portage la Prairie in the County of Marquette was experiencing the first successful Western Canadian Agricultural Exhibition. The location of that first fair was in the neighbourhood of 18th Street West, and it was an unqualified success. Within 20 years, attendance at the fair was reported to have exceeded 25,000!

By 1894, the organization had evolved into the Portage and Lakeside Agricultural Society and the fair moved to its current location next to Island Park. This was also the first year the fair was held in the summer, taking place on July 19-20, 1894.

By 1907, the Portage Industrial Exhibition Association had been incorporated and added an additional 15 acres and several new buildings to the grounds.

38 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber

And so it was 150 years ago with the birth of an annual tradition that has become mainstay for many families in the Portage area. The Portage Fair − or Portage Ex as it’s often called − has gone through many changes over 150 years.

Since the early years in the late 1800s, the Portage Fairgrounds have hosted livestock and horse shows like those that took place back in the early days of the community. With large, open greenspace and several barns onsite to house the animals and showrings for competitions, the fairgrounds are still used every year for everything from livestock breed shows and 3D Barrel-Racing to gospel tents and the RCMP Musical Ride.

The biggest changes, however, have taken place in the last 25 years. After over 100 years of racing of both animals and machines, the Portage Ex Racetrack had run its course (no pun intended), and an opportunity presented itself that resulted in the construction of what is now Stride Place, a recreational facility for the benefit of the entire community. This 25-year period also saw the construction of a new Portage Fair Office and Boardroom and the new MNP

Exhibition Building. Both facilities are available for rental for functions ranging from meetings and family gatherings to socials, weddings, and trade shows. Both buildings were also used as additional classroom space during the COVID pandemic.

The change that results in bringing in the most people from outside of the community and many glowing reviews is the Portage Ex Campground. There are 44 sites serviced with power and water, and the campground is within walking distance of Stride Place, the Portage Golf Club, and the downtown businesses.

In 2021, the Portage Ex Campground went online with www. campreservations.ca, so now all

reservations can be made by accessing the link on our website at www. portageex.com .

There have been many changes to the Portage Fair and fairgrounds over the last 150 years, and there will no doubt continue to be in the future. Our goal as an organization harkens back to what we believe was the goal of Kenneth McKenzie and his brethren all those years ago – to provide familyfriendly activities to the people of the community, maintain strong relations with others in the community, be a good neighbour, and do our best to adapt to the changing needs of our community.

Join us for what we hope to be the beginning of the next 150 years of the Portage Ex on July 7, 8 & 9, 2023!

39Portage & District Business Review 2022
40 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber
& District Business Review 2022

Index to advertisers

AA Autoglass Mobile Services 6

Adam Lee Financial .......................................................... OBC

Affiliated Financial Services 22

Always A Florist 10

Bioscience Association Manitoba ...................................... IFC

CanadInns Destination Centre Portage La Prairie 17

Central Plains Cancer Services 20

DC Security Ltd. 12

Dino’s Appliance & Mattress Centre Inc. 21

Efficiency Manitoba ........................................................... IBC

Ellwood-Mcrorie Ltd. 7

Farm Credit Canada 23

Fountain Tire ....................................................................... 12

Hill’s Drug Store 26

Homestead Co-op Ltd. 28

Janzen’s Paint & Decorating 35

KF Aerospace 9

Linde Canada Inc. 24

Miller Pressey Selinger 28

MLA Ian Wishart - Portage la Prairie 6

Pharmasave ........................................................................ 13

Portage Learning & Literacy Centre (PLLC) 23

Portage Regional Economic Development 31

Portage Regional Recreation Authority ............................... 36

Portage Restorations Services Ltd. 8

Prairie Rock Car & Truck Wash 13

Pro Image Signs 10

Quintex Services Ltd. 35

Rural Manitoba Economic Development Corp. ..................... 14

Safe Work Manitoba 29

Shreem Systems & Solutions Ltd. 3

Stride Credit Union ..............................................................25

The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy 413 8

Vertex Construction Ltd. 33

Visa2 Canada Immigration & Settlement Services 14

Visions Of Independence 15

Westland Insurance 23

Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba 37

42 Portage la Prairie & District Chamber
www.delcommunications.com YOUR KEY TO ONLINE & PRINTPUBLISHING SUCCESS. We offer outstanding creative and sales services:• E-newsletters • Online directories • Websites• Full print publications (including magazines, directories, newsletters)