June 2013

Manitoba Chamber of Commerce

Issue link: http://publications.winnipegfreepress.com/i/141831

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Selkirk continues to embrace its marine heritage as the city sets its sites on a bright future. Photos courtesy of the City of Selkirk complex and enhanced community green space with a playground and walking trails. The city is working on rezoning the site in preparation for development. "It's important to keep our community and downtown vibrant and I really feel we're on a roll," Johannson says, adding that 99% of the population supports the Water Tower project. "We're very progressive. We want Selkirk to grow. The plan is to see the community in a much better place when we go than when we got here." Selkirk has a stable population of 9,800, with plenty of retailers and other amenities to attract people from the surrounding areas. "People aren't passing us by anymore. We have the things that they want. It's a good time to be here," Johannson says. Selkirk Biz has a new tourism development committee with a mission to highlight local attractions and services. Last year, merchants participated in a Black Friday Weekend event that featured prize draws for shoppers who visited at least five stores. "Our Black Friday was the first of its kind as far as a community event outside of Winnipeg," Skalesky says. "We also have fishing and boating. We have the Marine Museum, which is one of the gems of Selkirk — it's home to boats which are a century old. We have the Lower Fort Garry. We definitely have a rich heritage of shipbuilding, pioneers and the Scottish settlers." City Council recently hosted planning sessions with business leaders and community members to help formulate a new strategic plan. "We're excited to see these sessions result in a dynamic and organic plan that becomes something tangible at the end of the day," Skalesky says. "We have an enthusiastic council in place that shows a lot of foresight. If we attract more residents and more businesses, that makes for a stronger community." With Selkirk undergoing a renaissance, it was time for the local chamber to get an update as well. Rebranded as Selkirk Biz, it adopted a sleek new logo, which was inspired by the Red River, and launched a new website. "People still thought of the chamber as an old boys' club — stuffy and old fashioned. We definitely wanted to change that image," Skalesky says. "It was time to have a new look and a new spin on things." The new Biz is about forging connections and building lasting relationships in the community, and Skalesky hopes it will engage youth as well as established leaders. "We're working to make the community better and stronger," she says. "We're not just about having lunches or patting ourselves on the back. We're a collective voice for the business community." www.selkirkbiz.ca SUMMER 2013 MBiz June 2013_final.indd Sec2:q 'peg BIZ | 17 6/21/13 4:48:42 PM

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