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Guest Blog: Brandon Manitoba Mayor Rick Chrest

January 18, 2016

We Are Brandon!

At a modest population of 50,000, Brandon is Manitoba’s second largest City and is the de facto hub of the western side of our Province.  Brandon is a very stable, steadily growing city, in fact boasting one of the most robust growth rates of medium sized cities in Canada.  Most people across our land are familiar with Brandon be it through our Brandon Wheat Kings hockey team, Brandon University with its renowned school of music or Bobcat sport teams, or perhaps the numerous national and international sporting events we’ve hosted over many years.  Visitors and newcomers to Brandon, after a short stay, rapidly become imbedded and are anxious to put down roots.  National companies generally have difficulty in transferring their employees out of Brandon once they’re settled.

 So what makes this great little City on the prairies right in the middle of the country so infectious?  Some might argue that its not the winters although our crisp bright winter season matched up with long sunny beautiful summer days are a perfect Canadian combination.  However, the friendly and unique spirit and sense of community tend to be a special factor in welding people into the Brandon fabric.  Through many years in private business and my long involvement in community affairs and local government, I’ve come to understand that the spirit with which Brandonites tackle things is rather unique.  The collaborative and constructive approach enjoyed among the business community, within charities and local organizations and throughout local government and institutions is typically unlike many other communities.  It is a positive energy, “can-do” attitude, and a desire to help each other.  In the last decade Brandon has experienced an explosion of immigration bringing several thousand new residents from more than a dozen countries, while at the same time highlighting our sense of welcome, inclusion and diversity. When asked to describe this unique positive spirit, the technical term I’ve coined is simply: “We Are Brandon!” 

Now of course I could easily add the typical Mayor’s enumeration of “stuff” that makes their community great.  A sizable Brandon University, top-notch Assiniboine Community College, enormous regional Health Centre complete with Cancer treatment facility, a formidable public school division, along with a robust business sector offering opportunities and services in industry and manufacturing, hospitality, retail, professional services and transportation.  Add to that a myriad of recreation and cultural amenities including museums, art gallery, professional concert hall and one of the largest combined arena and convention centres in the country in our renowned Keystone Centre.  I could go on and on…but I’ll leave this very long list to our Economic Development and Tourism departments.

We Are Brandon! and we’d love to have you join us…for a business expansion, as your new home, and just for a visit.  Thanks for reading!  Questions: mayor@brandon.ca

Sincerely,

Mayor Rick Chrest

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