Thank you Minister Guillemard for a great meeting with Fisher River Cree Nation to discuss our initiative to protect our lands and waters for all Manitobans.

Minister Guillemard presented Fisher River Cree Nation with an excellence in sustainability award in recognition of its efforts to establish protected areas, along with innovations such as the largest solar farm in Manitoba and an initiative to install geothermal energy for more than half the nation’s homes.


Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced the recipients of the 2018 Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Awards today.

“Our government is pleased to recognize and celebrate the successes of Manitobans, and local organizations and businesses in our community that are taking action to reduce their environmental footprint,” Squires said.  “I’d like to congratulate these award winners for their leadership and dedication to ensure a sustainable future for all generations.”

This year’s award winners demonstrate that private- and public-sector organizations recognize and embrace their responsibility to promote sustainability in Manitoba.  This year’s champion for sustainability is Diversity Food Services.  This joint venture of the University of Winnipeg’s Community Renewal Corporation and SEED Winnipeg delivers food services to the University of Winnipeg, Fort Whyte and the Player’s Golf Course, while at the same time providing employment and ownership opportunities for the community.

Other award winners include:

  • Assiniboine Park Conservancy – outstanding achievement in sustainability;
  • Dr. Doug Cattani – innovation for sustainability;
  • Fisher River Cree Nation – sustainable community with an honourable mention to City of Dauphin;
  • Prairie Architects Inc. – Building Blocks on Balmoral Project – action on climate change, air quality and energy efficiency;
  • Rural Municipality of Louise Waste Management Facility – sustainability in pollution prevention;
  • William L. Taylor – education for sustainability; and
  • Randy Proven – honourable mention, champion for sustainability (posthumously).

The Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Awards honour people, projects and ideas that successfully turn the province’s principles and guidelines of sustainable development into concrete and lasting achievements.

Sustainable Community: Fisher River Cree Nation
Fisher River Cree Nation (FRCN) serves as a model for sustainable development. FRCN has the largest solar farm in Manitoba, and will generate 1.45 gigawatt hours per year, which is enough to power 350 to 400 homes. It contains over 2,900 Heliene Tier 1 solar panels, which were made in Canada. Nine community members were employed and trained in the construction of the solar farm. FRCN has more homes powered by geothermal than any other community in the province. Half of the homes on the reserve are now powered by geothermal energy, as is the school, laundromat and fitness centre. FRCN was one of the first two communities in Manitoba to install geothermal heating and cooling systems in 2013 through an innovative social enterprise program. The program created jobs in the community and saved families more than $1,000 a year on their energy bills. It has all but eliminated the FRCN’s reliance upon burning wood to heat homes, protecting nearby forests and drastically reducing carbon emissions. FRCN devoted more than a dozen years to establish Fisher Bay Provincial Park. The 84,150 hectare, non-operational park is comprised of lands adjacent to Fisher Bay, island areas including Moose, Little Moose and Tamarack islands, and the beds of Fisher Bay and Lake Winnipeg.

Honourable Mention: City of Dauphin
The City of Dauphin has committed to becoming a leader in sustainability with two consecutive mayors making the environment and sustainability a central theme for the community’s growth.
The City of Dauphin has engaged in a number of initiatives:

• Partnered with Dauphin Neighbourhood Renewal on a large-scale rainwater catchment system, reducing the amount of treated water used to water flower baskets and community gardens. The cost of this system will be recovered within five years with the savings in treated water costs.
• Entered into a contract with PureSphera for the collection of whitegoods (household appliance) for recycling.
• Evaluated and prioritized repairs to reduce the amount of infiltration and inflow into the city’s sanitary system.
• Conducted a building performance optimization evaluation at Credit Union Place, the city’s recreational facility. The operation of the chillers, ice plants and all of the mechanical systems were assessed and 14 recommendations were made to optimize energy performance of these systems. Work on implementing these recommendations is underway and will save Credit Union Place operational costs as well as energy costs while preventing catastrophic failures.

For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.
  • Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-945-4916.
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