Long-standing Aboriginal business trade show on deck

By RoseAnna Schick (photo of Wab Kinew courtesy of Vision Conferences)

The Vision Quest Conference & Trade Show prides itself on doing three things very well, resulting in the event’s long-term success.
“Our goal is to educate, enlighten and entertain, and that’s what keeps people coming back year after year,” says Kim Bullard, chair of Vision Quest Conferences Inc.
“We put together a top-notch schedule of speakers and workshops, bring in some fantastic performers, and tie it all together with an expansive trade show. We also include programming for youth in order to engage the next generation of business and community leaders.
“So far it’s proving to be a winning formula that has allowed Vision Quest to have such a long and successful history,” explains Bullard.
The 19th Vision Quest Conference & Trade Show takes place May 12 to 14 at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg. Close to 1,000 conference participants will come together from throughout Manitoba and across Canada to discuss and promote Aboriginal business, community, and economic development.
Vision Quest attracts a wide range of delegates such as entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders, community organizations, and youth, as well as accomplished and inspiring speakers.
One of the keynote presenters is Dr. Martin Brokenleg, co-founder of the Circle of Courage and consultant for Reclaiming Youth International, which provides training worldwide for individuals who work with youth at risk.
Winnipegger Wab Kinew is also a keynote presenter. He is a one-of-a-kind award-winning talent, named by Postmedia News as one of nine “Aboriginal movers and shakers you should know,” and the first Director of Indigenous Inclusion at the University of Winnipeg.
Workshops on the schedule cover areas related to business, entrepreneurship, and community. Delegates can take in topics on launching a business, apprenticeship opportunities, how to buy a franchise, understanding credit, and more.
For the first time, Vision Quest is offering certification courses as an exclusive opportunity for delegates. In Foodsafe Food Handling, participants will learn safe practices in the food industry including workshops on food-borne illness, receiving and storage of foods, preparing food, serving food, and cleaning and sanitizing.
The second course is Emergency First Aid and CPR. Recognized certification by all levels of government, Manitoba Workplace Health & Safety, and most employers, the goal of this course is to preserve life, prevent further injury, and promote recovery.
Free admission to the popular trade show
One of Vision Quest’s most popular attractions is the trade show. More than 80 exhibitors will be on display, representing business suppliers, service providers, hospitality groups, career opportunities, economic organizations, educational institutions, information services, and a wide selection of artists and artisans. The trade show is open to the public with free admission.
The conference wraps up Thursday night with a gala banquet, which includes presentation of awards for the Dragon’s Quest Business Plan Competition and the Steve Prince Memorial Bursary. There will be entertainment, too, with music by guitarist Jason Tuesday, a cultural presentation by Plains Ojibway Singers and Dance Troupe, artistry by Jasyn Lucas, and a headlining performance featuring the multi-talented DerRic Starlight and his down-home comedy with puppets.
Vision Quest Conferences Inc. is a community-based charitable organization formed through partnerships with Manitoba’s five Aboriginal Community Futures Development Corporations – Cedar Lake CFDC, Dakota Ojibway CFDC, Kitayan CFDC, North Central CFDC, and Southeast CFDC. Since inception, nearly 13,000 participants have taken part in Vision Quest.
Registration for the 2015 Vision Quest Conference & Trade Show, along with more information, is available online at http://www.vqconference.com.

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