Business View Magazine | January 2020

327 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE JANUARY 2020 WINKLER, MANITOBA This is where it all begins T he City of Winkler enjoys pride of place on the western edge of the Red River Valley, along with destination status as the shopping, industrial, and entertainment hub of southern Manitoba. Recognized as the regional center for commerce, agriculture, and industry, Winkler is perfectly poised for continued growth and sustainable economic development. Close to 30 percent of the work force is employed in the industrial sector, with health and education coming in second. And the region’s agricultural sector is, hands-down, one of the most productive and diversified in the province. Not willing to settle, the city has undergone an attractive rebranding, culminating in a recently released video highlighting the best of what Winkler has to offer – and there is plenty! As their aptly suited tagline proudly announces, “This is where it all begins.” Martin Harder has been Mayor of the City of Winkler for more than 13 years and is still its biggest fan. Business View Magazine spoke with him, recently, about current projects and achievements and the bright future ahead for the community. The following is an edited transcript of that conversation. BVM: In the past 16 months, Winkler has been in project mode with an exciting work in progress. Can you give us an update? Harder: “A couple years ago, we had plans to be build the Meridian Exhibition Centre; a multi- faceted facility that would include a quarter- pitch indoor soccer arena, combined with the hard surface where we could host events and trade shows, as well as a new arena attached to our existing arena. It’s an 84,000-sq.-ft. space that will be the new wave of how we do things in Winkler and the surrounding region with regards to hosting events. There is no other