In June 2019, North Forge East and the Pinawa Community Development Corporation partnered with University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business to host a student exchange with China’s Hong Kong Community College, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Lingnan University.
Twenty students from these Chinese post-secondary institutions, along with their professors, joined 10 students from University of Manitoba for a six-day educational tour of Manitoba before travelling to China to gain insight on Chinese culture and entrepreneurship
During the Manitoba duration of the exchange, students spent five days at the University of Manitoba for presentations from successful Manitoban entrepreneurs and business leaders. They also toured the North Forge Fabrication Lab, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, New Flyer Industries and the Assiniboine Park and Zoo.
The group spent their final day in Canada in Pinawa to visit the Pinawa Dam Heritage Park and Pinawa Suspension Bridge, then enjoyed recreational time rafting on the Pinawa Channel and canoeing and watesliding on the Winnipeg River. They wrapped up at the Wilderness Edge Retreat and Conference Centre for dinner, lectures and presentations.
Pinawa Mayor, Blair Skinner, presented on economic development in the global environment and Ben Dueck, executive director of the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce, spoke about entrepreneurship and leadership.
The Manitoba experience was well-received, fostering a stronger understanding between different cultures and broadening the perspectives of students. The participants then went to China to learn about entrepreneurship and culture in Hong Kong.
Education tourism is part of Pinawa’s tourism strategy, and this experience co-hosted by North Forge East and the Pinawa Community Development Corporation was a success in growing knowledge of global networking, cultural understanding and business opportunities in savvy young students from Manitoba and China.