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Planning, Property & Development

Mayor's Business Improvement Zone Awards

On May 12, 2017, Mayor Brian Bowman presented the Mayor's BIZ Awards to recognize and celebrate the contributions that Winnipeggers and businesses have made to enhance their local Business Improvement Zone.

"Our local BIZs play an important role in building our city as well as enhancing pride in our city," said Mayor Bowman. "The Mayor's Awards provide an opportunity to show our appreciation for all the great work our BIZs do making our communities, neighbourhoods, and our city a better place to live, work, and do business. I want to congratulate all the award recipients today, and thank you for contributing towards a stronger Winnipeg."

This prestigious award is presented annually to individuals, organizations and businesses that have made significant contributions to their local Business Improvement Zone. Awards are presented for exemplary work that contributes to BIZ programs in a variety of ways, including: special events, marketing, promotions, beautification, physical enhancement, and safety.

Thank you to the 16 Business Improvement Zones representing 5,000 local businesses in Winnipeg. Below are links to each of the 2017 BIZ Award Recipients.


BIZ Awards Recipients
Mayor Bowman

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Academy Road Business Improvement Zone Award
Academy Road Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: Jeff Kerr, Paradise Art School

Jeff Kerr joined the Academy Road Business Improvement Zone Board in 2001. Over the years, he served as treasurer, chairperson, streetscaping committee member, webmaster, and social media coordinator. Under his guidance, Academy Road Biz was one of the first BIZ Zones to develop a website and use social media.

Jeff has a background in landscape architecture and used these skills to improve Academy Road streetscaping. He designed interpretive panels that illustrate the history of the road’s most iconic buildings. As well, additional community seating areas and historical panels are currently in development.

As well, he created a walking tour of the neighbourhood to interpret many of the area's oldest buildings: from the 1920s Spanish-style telephone exchange building on Grosvenor, to the ‘Grain Baron’ mansions along Wellington Crescent.

Jeff and his wife run Paradise Art School on Academy Road, established in 1993. The business began as a small art studio offering after-school lessons to children, and lessons to adults on Saturdays. Now, Paradise Art School provides drawing, painting and sculpture classes to over 300 students per year.

Jeff has been instrumental in helping to make many changes to Academy Road and his tireless efforts are greatly appreciated.

Congratulations Jeff!

Corydon Avenue Business Improvement Zone Award

Corydon Avenue Business Improvement ZoneAward recipient: Rob Benson, Corydon Hardware

Corydon Hardware is more than just a hardware store; it's a Winnipeg icon. This classic bit of Winnipeg history is operated by Rob Benson, a third generation hardware retailer. Rob's grandfather Ed Benson opened Corydon Hardware in 1949.

Although the Corydon area has changed over the years, Corydon Hardware has remained a traditional staple in the neighbourhood. The Benson family has maintained their unique approach to building strong relationships with their community.

Corydon Hardware is known for providing valuable and personal assistance to customers. Rob understands the types of homes in the area and has a good idea of what sorts of things are going to need replacing.

The Corydon Avenue BIZ is proud to have Rob receive this prestigious award on behalf of Corydon Hardware. He is a great supporter of the BIZ and is always ready to give a helping hand.

Congratulations Rob!

Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone Award

Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement ZoneAward recipients: Shawn Mathews, Amanda Chalmers, Christy Loudon, Taggart Porter, and Bryan Gatchell - Downtown Watch Ambassadors and Community Homeless Assistance Team

The Downtown Watch Ambassadors are an easily recognizable goodwill team that patrol downtown seven days a week, year round. This team promotes safety and a positive atmosphere to downtown workers, visitors, and residents through the free Safe-walk program, offering directions, tourist information, first aid (CPR-certified), and assistance wherever needed. They also participate in community events and act as additional ‘eyes and ears’ for the Winnipeg Police Service.

The Community Homeless Assistance Team (CHAT) pursues a unique, preventative outreach approach that addresses the dynamic barriers and complexities faced by the downtown homeless population. They play a vital role in connecting those in need with individual and culturally relevant service. CHAT Outreach Workers facilitate individual transition from homelessness to enhanced stability – inclusive of housing, employment and educational support. This team can be identified on the street by their name badges, and work in collaboration with other agencies to ensure a meaningful approach is employed that complements all service provider efforts in supporting this vulnerable population.

Congratulations Downtown Watch Ambassadors and Community Homeless Assistance Team!

Exchange District Business Improvement Zone Award
Exchange District Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: Zephyra Vun, anARCHI design

Zephyra Vun is an internationally-recognized visual artist and designer. She is the Founder and Owner of anARCHI design, a multi-disciplinary design and art studio located in the Exchange District. 

Zephyra is an active participant and promoter of numerous architectural and design events in Winnipeg. She participates in First Fridays in the Exchange District with her monthly Drink & Draw event at King & Bannatyne. Zephyra is also the Executive Director of Design Quarter Winnipeg, a non-profit organization aimed at providing a platform for design-conscious consumers to experience Winnipeg's central hub of creative and innovative destinations.

The Exchange BIZ would like to recognize Zephyra for her contribution to arts and culture and for her active promotion of the Exchange District to the broader community. She is a valuable resource to the Exchange BIZ and anARCHI design – along with her ideas, thoughts and vision – have given the BIZ valuable tools to support a crucial aspect of their business community.

Congratulations Zephyra!

North End Business Improvement Zone Award
North End Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: Robert McDonald, Surplus Direct

Robert McDonald started the liquidation store Surplus Direct in the mid-1990s. In 2007, the business moved to a new location at 843 Main Street. Shortly thereafter, he began a complete exterior upgrade of the building, adding to the curbside appeal of the area, a key location in the North End BIZ.

As a result of the Surplus Direct move to the North End, Robert joined the North End BIZ board as a volunteer and served on the board for six years. During Robert's time on the Board, he worked with the BIZ and the City of Winnipeg to redesign the east side Diamond lane in the North End BIZ, to help support area traffic and businesses alike.

Surplus Direct is a family business. Robert believes in supporting his community and endeavours to hire local employees. Surplus Direct donates regularly to Siloam Mission, North End Women's Centre, local day cares, and to local individuals.

Surplus Direct is a destination stop and customers from all over Winnipeg and rural Manitoba shop there. Expanding on this success, Surplus Direct recently opened a second location, a clothing store, at 1244 Main Street.

Robert McDonald is passionate about the area, is a great advocate for the North End BIZ, and is a tireless and dedicated volunteer.

Congratulations Robert!

Norwood Grove Business Improvement Zone Award
Norwood Grove Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: Glenn Crawshaw, Desjardins Funeral Chapel

The Norwood Grove BIZ is delighted to recognize the dedication and leadership of Glenn Crawshaw. He served as a board member with the Norwood Grove BIZ for six years where he primarily served as Board Chair. During his term, Glenn provided constant guidance and passion for area businesses.

His hard work didn't end at the board meetings and Glenn would take every opportunity to support local businesses. As a funeral director at Desjardins Funeral Chapel, Glenn ensured where possible that his business used local Norwood businesses in their service offerings.

His commitment to a community mindset led the Norwood Grove BIZ board in a direction that saw a higher attendance at membership events as well as an increased amount of community events. Before leaving the board, Glenn was instrumental in facilitating a contract services standard for labour and services for the BIZ. Glenn continues to be a community leader and friend of the BIZ.

Congratulations Glenn!

Old St Vital Business Improvement Zone Award
Old St Vital Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: Tim Woodcock, Woodcock Cycle Works

Tim Woodcock opened Woodcock Cycle Works in 1987 and recently celebrated his 30th year in business in the Old St. Vital BIZ. The original Woodcock Cycle Works location was a 600 sq. ft. house on St. Anne's Road. As his business grew, he needed larger space to accommodate his customers. In 1997, Tim expanded to a 2400 sq. ft. location. The neighbourhood embraced the business and Tim employs many people from the area. As well, Woodcock Cycle Works with local schools to provide work placements.

In 2007, the business expanded once again. Tim purchased the 433 St. Mary's Road location and it has become one of the largest bicycle shops in Canada. Included in the expansion was the opening of the Yellow Derny Café, a local meeting place for the cycling community and neighbourhood.

Over the years, Woodcock Cycle Works has formed partnerships with the local business community, including Bike Rodeos with the Optimist Clubs, and supplying bikes to the Community Policing Office in Partnership with the BIZ.

Tim has been involved with the Old St. Vital Biz Zone for several years. As a former board member, he understands that the BIZ works hard to better their community through street beautification and improvements. Tim looks forward to the continued growth of Woodcock Cycle Works with the support of the BIZ Zone and community.

Congratulations Tim!

Osborne Village Business Improvement Zone Award
Osborne Village Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: John Coward, Buccacino's

John Coward started his career in the restaurant industry at the Fort Garry Hotel, the Wildwood Club and Kettle's. His love for the hospitality industry grew and he continued to look for new and exciting opportunities. He met Darin Amies and Brad Houghton when they were beginning to build their empire with the opening of Moxie’s in St. Vital and on Regent Avenue. They needed help to Moxie’s Polo Park and John joined the management team. The Polo Park location instantly broke Canadian sales records.

Next, Darin and Brad developed a new restaurant concept called Buccacino's, to be located in the heart of the Osborne Village. John Coward seemed like the perfect person to manage Buccacino’s operations. After a few years operating as the store's General Manager, John purchased the business. He has owned Buccacino’s for nine years.

John joined the Osborne Village BIZ Board in 2011. Since then, he has held a variety of roles, including chairperson. John worked with the Executive Director of the Osborne Village BIZ on the recent lanterns installment and addition of 48 bike racks and 20 bench and stool areas. John is proud to have built close ties with many of the fellow business owners in the Osborne Village area.

Congratulations John!

Provencher Blvd Business Improvement Zone Award
 Provencher Blvd Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: Eric Plamondon, Nuit de_ART

Since 2013, Nuit de_ART has offered a gathering place that honours the past, elevates the present, and transcends linguistic barriers. As a result, the old Saint Boniface civic campus becomes transformed into a contemporary sculpture garden. Eric Plamondon, Former Director of La Maison des artistes, aligned the necessary assets to create a garden party with a unique flair. For one night only, the sculpture garden becomes a dynamic celebration of art in the heart of Winnipeg's French community. Nuit de_ART invites all of Winnipeg to discover Provencher's marquee building, L'Hôtel-de-Ville and its surroundings. The event features uniquely lit permanent art, live music (including a DJ spinning from the roof), local chefs, and unique drinks.

Nuit de_ART has become the largest gathering of art lovers on Saint Boniface's main artery, le boulevard Provencher. The event has enabled the public to learn that Saint Boniface has a vibrant history and believes in the power of art because it has no linguistic or demographic barriers, and it contributes to a dynamic community.

Congratulations Eric!

St James Village Business Improvement Zone Award
St James Village Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: Chapman Goddard Kagan

Chapman Goddard Kagan is a legal firm located in the heart of St. James Village at 1864 Portage Avenue.  A long standing business and BIZ member, the firm is a dedicated community member.

Mr. Chapman founded the firm in 1923 and in 1950, the business moved across into the former Dominion Business College where the firm has remained ever since. The Chapman Building has been a landmark in an ever changing area for 75 years.

Over time, the firm evolved into the present partnership, Chapman Goddard Kagan, created in 1982. The firm's commitment to the community has been dedicated to supporting growth, initiatives and change. More than just members of the community, the firm is involved on a number of boards and spends time on committees for various local organizations. Chapman Goddard Kagan has held a position on the St. James BIZ Board for as long as anyone can recall – only stepping down for the period as required by BIZ bylaws. The St. James Village BIZ thanks Chapman Goddard Kagan for their dedication, support and for being an exemplary member of the business community.

Congratulations Chapman Goddard Kagan!

St Norbert Business Improvement Zone Award
St Norbert Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: Ward Bruner, Federated Co-Op The Marketplace

The St. Norbert BIZ would like to recognize Ward Bruner: first as a founding member back in 2011, and over the years in various roles he has held on the board. The St. Norbert BIZ is Winnipeg's smallest Business Improvement Zone, but through strong leadership from Ward and other business members, it has been able to accomplish great things in its short duration.

Ward Bruner is the Manager of the Federated Co-op The Market Place grocery store located in the heart of St. Norbert. Ward has been instrumental in the renewal of the area and has played a key role in the transformation of St. Norbert, known as the gateway entrance to the City of Winnipeg.

The community of St. Norbert now greets visitors with welcoming signage, an abundance of flowers, seating areas, street banners, and pedestrian lighting. Ward has been involved in all of these projects and the St. Norbert BIZ is grateful for his guidance and support.

Congratulations Ward!

Selkirk Avenue Business Improvement Zone Award
Selkirk Avenue Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: Michael Gruber, Ideal Electric Mfg. Co. Ltd.

Ideal Electric Mfg. Co. Ltd. represents three generations of family ownership since 1924. Over the years, the Gruber family has maintained their store front operations at 372 Selkirk Avenue with a manufacturing plant in the south of Manitoba supplying fixtures until the plant closed many years ago. So, while manufacturing has moved elsewhere, David and Michael Gruber have kept a profile in the North End.

Michael Gruber has served on the Selkirk Avenue BIZ board for six years. He has always been interested in bettering Selkirk Avenue for businesses and their customers and the Selkirk Avenue BIZ greatly appreciates Michael’s dedication. David Gruber accepted the award on behalf of the Michael and Ideal Electric Mfg. Co. Ltd.

Congratulations Michael!

South Osborne Business Improvement Zone Award
South Osborne Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: Denis Fletcher, Consultant, South Osborne BIZ

Denis has dedicated most of his career to supporting the creation and success of BIZ Zones throughout Winnipeg. He believes in small, local business and has long supported programs and initiatives that contribute to their growth and that of BIZ Zones. 

Denis joined the South Osborne BIZ while simultaneously providing support to the St. James Village BIZ and Academy Road BIZ.  After several years, Denis remained solely dedicated to his work with the South Osborne BIZ. 

While Denis formally retired from service as consultant for the South Osborne BIZ in December 2016, he continues to engage, support and volunteer for various activities in support of the BIZ and related events.

Congratulations Denis!

Transcona Business Improvement Zone Award
Transcona Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: Wendy Galagan, Transcona BIZ

Wendy served for many years as past Executive Director of the Transcona BIZ where she was instrumental in the development of the Transcona Centennial Square, Farmer’s Market Garden, and development of many programs in partnership with local schools, senior’s groups and volunteers.

Wendy was a strong advocate for Transcona community planning and programming and spearheaded numerous fundraising and sponsorship programs. 

Wendy is being recognized for her dedication, professionalism and unwavering support to the Transcona BIZ, local businesses, and her community during her tenure at the Transcona BIZ.

Congratulations Wendy!
West Broadway Business Improvement Zone Award
West  Broadway Business Improvement Zone

Award recipients: Andrew Eastman and Chloe Chafe, Synonym Art Consultation

In 2013, Chloe Chafe and Andrew Eastman founded Synonym Art Consultation, an arts initiative that makes art more accessible to the public and supports both emerging and established artists. Synonym Art Consultation has curated and facilitated over 50 unique art installations and events in various venues across the city. In West Broadway, Synonym runs The Tallest Poppy Residency Program and a monthly First Friday After Party.

The West Broadway BIZ enjoyed working with Andrew and Chloe for the inaugural Wall-To-Wall Mural and Culture Festival in 2014. The event was so successful that it has become an annual festival. As well, the BIZ looks forward to collaborating with Synonym Art Consultation on new murals in West Broadway in 2017.

Congratulations Andrew and Chloe!

West End Business Improvement Zone Award
West End Business Improvement Zone

Award recipient: Christian Cassidy, Daniel McIntyre Community Association

Christian Cassidy is an active community worker with Daniel McIntyre Community Association. He is also a local historian, blogger, radio host, and writer for the Winnipeg Free Press. His love of history shows through in the engaging stories he shares and he can always be counted on to provide some amazing trivia facts.

Christian has been extremely valuable on a variety of projects throughout the years, making his research and knowledge readily available, coming to the office as needed and generally being a champion of the Daniel McIntyre Community Association, the West End, the West End BIZ, the downtown, and the city in general. He also volunteers around the community where needed, including as a West End tour guide each year for the annual Jane's Walk.

He is an amazing resource that is being recognized for his support and efforts in not just keeping our history alive, but helping make it relevant today.

Congratulations Christian!

Previous Mayor's BIZ Awards

Last update: February 20, 2018