Indigenous entrepreneurship, resilience and growth are the focus of this year’s Vision Quest Conference & Trade Show
“Last year’s return to an in-person Conference really set a new standard,” notes Carol Johnston, Chair, Vision Quest Board of Directors. “Our goal is to continue that momentum with outstanding keynote speakers and a full Conference lineup of opportunities for learning, networking, information sharing, and partnership building. The focus is on promoting Indigenous business, community and economic development.”
Vision Quest’s theme, “From Vision to Reality” is exemplified by keynote presenters, JR LaRose, Grey Cup champion, community leader and member of One Arrow First Nation, and Waneek Horn-Miller, Olympian, activist, and speaker on Indigenous health and reconciliation.
“Both JR and Waneek are high performing athletes who have shown leadership and a deep commitment to upholding traditional Indigenous values as they strive for excellence,” says Johnston. “They embody hope, resilience and grace, overcoming personal hardships to achieve their goals, and ultimately a better life for themselves, their families, and communities. We are honoured to welcome JR and Waneek to Treaty #1 Territory to share their powerful stories.”
Two pre-Conference courses kick things off on Tuesday, May 16th from 2 to 5 pm: Financial Management for Non-Profits, presented by Jason Denbow, Community Futures Leadership Institute, and Tips & Tools to Develop Group Facilitation Skills, with Sharalyn Reitlo from Community Futures Winnipeg River.
The two-day Conference, which starts at 8:30 a.m. on May 17, includes 14 interactive workshops, a Trade Show that is free of charge to the general public, and a closing banquet with entertainment, cultural and award presentations. Trade Show exhibitors include small and large businesses, artists and crafters, post-secondary education and training opportunities, non-profit services and government agencies.
Vision Quest is pleased to partner with Indigenous Business Development Services in featuring the Dragon’s Quest Business Plan Competition, which is dedicated to inspiring and assisting Indigenous entrepreneurship across Manitoba. Award recipients will be announced at the closing banquet where the Steve Prince Memorial Bursary and the Kim Bullard Memorial Bursary will also be presented. Both bursaries support Indigenous students pursuing studies in the Indigenous Business Education Partners program at the University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business, who have also demonstrated involvement in their community.
Banquet attendees will be mesmerized by Chris Funk’s Redefining Wonder, an engaging and visceral multimedia experience that brings together magic and music.
Johnston urges attendees to embrace everything the Conference offers which, in addition to the full speaker program, includes an Elders’ Corner where delegates and the public can share and learn, a community art project with Graffiti Art Programming, and an array of cultural experiences with Manitoba’s Indigenous veterans, traditional drummers and dancers, and Indigenous visual and performing artists.
“There are so many opportunities at this year’s Vision Quest Conference & Trade Show,” says Johnston. “Make new connections, be inspired, learn new ways of doing what you need to do and what you’d like to do. You might even discover a new path for you or your organization.”
About the Vision Quest Conference & Tradeshow
Vision Quest Conferences Inc. is a community based charitable organization formed through partnerships with five Indigenous Community Futures Development Corporations (Cedar Lake CFDC, Dakota Ojibway CFDC, Kitayan CFDC, North Central CFDC, Southeast CFDC). Since 1997, the Vision Quest Conference & Trade Show has taken place in Winnipeg, Manitoba bringing together innovators, entrepreneurs, youth, and business leaders to discuss and promote Indigenous business, community, and economic development. At the heart of Vision Quest is the mission of supporting sustainable Indigenous economic development, and the goal of the emergence of best business practices that support and synergize community and individual development.