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The Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF), the lead agency for the delivery of the Look North Report and Action Plan is reminding everyone of our upcoming On-Line Forum from November 2nd - November 6th. As presented below, we have a full schedule of exciting speakers from various industries. The forum will not only present CEDF’s “Year in Review” on the various initiatives and projects undertaken in the delivery of Look North, but will also provide an opportunity for our many communities and other stakeholders to provide their feedback on what is important to them and what areas of focus CEDF should have in the various industries that it supports. Our forum is being facilitated by inVision Edge using the Innovation Engineering process to generate new and exciting ideas for economic activities in our focus industries. 

Register today for the Look North Online Forum!!!

To register fill out either form (word) or (pdf) and fax to (204-778-4313)
or email it to You can also contact your local
Look North Advisor toll free at 1-800-561-4315
MONDAY - NOVEMBER 2nd   1:30 - 3:30 PM
Part One - "Year in Review"  Update on Look North Initiatives
Part Two - Crystal Hunt  "Opportunities with Shopify"

James (Jamie) Wilson - Opaskwayak Cree Nation

Appointed Chairperson of the Board.

Jamie is Vice-President of Corporate Development for the Arctic Gateway Group and former Deputy Minister of Manitoba Education and Training and Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade. Jamie previously served as Treaty Commissioner at the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, Director of Education at the Opaskwayak Educational Authority and he was an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and a U.S. Army Ranger.

Oswald Sawh - CEO - Manager of the Look North Initiative

Oswald Sawh has been the CEO for the Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF) since 2013. He has been with CEDF since 1998 in different capacities including CFO, Manager of Community Based Programs, TEAM Coordinator and Business Loans Consultant. Oswald has served in a leadership positions on various boards including the Thompson Chamber of Commerce, MAPS, Thompson Humane Society, Royal Canadian Legion, Thompson Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation, and the Ma-Mow-We-Take Friendship Center. Oswald was also a former Councillor and Deputy Mayor for the City of Thompson. Oswald has a MBA, CPA designation, Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) degree, EDAC Economic Developer’s Certificate, Manitoba Municipal Administrator’s Certificate, and an Aboriginal Economic Developer’s Certificate from CANDO.

Chris Thevenot - CFO and Manager of Developmental Loans

Raised in Thompson, Manitoba, Chris is the 6th of 7 kids who grew up taking advantage of all the North has to offer; fishing, camping, and boating in the summer while enjoying skiing in the winter. He went away for his post-secondary education but has spent the majority of his adult life in Thompson with his wife raising their two daughters. Chris has been with CEDF since 2012 and has over 15 years of experience in the field of finance, previously working with major financial institutions.  He started with CEDF as a business loans consultant before moving to his current role as CFO and Manager of Developmental Loans.  Since entering the industry, he has found working in the field of economic development rewarding, seeing the impact it can leave on a community and an individual.

Crystal Hunt - Diversity and Belonging Specialist at Shopify
Co-Chair of Shopify's Indigenous Employee Resource Group

Driven by her commitment to making commerce better for everyone, she takes pride in her work to achieve a diverse workforce that is reflective of the Shopify ecosystem and the world in which we live. Belonging is at the core of Crystal’s work, which seeks to bring more voices to entrepreneurship and ensure that everyone at Shopify feels included, valued, and heard. As a Diversity and Belonging Specialist, her goals include reducing the barriers to entry into the Shopify workforce for people from underrepresented communities, and building partnerships with communities and all levels of government across Canada. While not at work, Crystal serves as a member on the CivicAction Future of Work Champion’s Council.  

TUESDAY - NOVEMBER 3rd  1:30 - 3:30 PM
Growing the Digital Media Industry in the North
Lola Zhang - Senior Analyst at Nordicity Toronto

Lola has been mostly involved in digital projects and program evaluation, as well as projects covering business strategy, commercial due diligence, and financial modelling. Lola’s most recent projects include Audience Analytics Collective (AAC), Content & Distribution Storage Innovation (CDSI) and British Council DICE Entrepreneurship Fellow Guide review (DICE). Lola worked for a Beijing media advisory firm providing strategic consultancy. The projects she worked on range from universities' film & technology discipline development to VR for traditional Chinese opera performance as part of the 5G experiment for one of the major telecommunication providers.
Kristian Roberts - Nordicity’s Managing Partner

Kristian has over over ten years of consulting experience with the creative industries, and a deep knowledge of Canada’s interactive industries, Kristian has become a recognized expert in digital media. He has advised clients including (but not limited to) Canadian Interactive Alliance, the City of Mississauga, Calgary Economic Development, Telefilm Canada, Ontario Media Development Corporation, New Media Manitoba, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Government of Newfoundland, and the Government of Canada on the games industry – and how it might be supported. Through several recent engagements, Kristian has also worked with the games industry in several jurisdictions to position their games industry to attract inbound investment. Kristian is also a leading expert in the design and implementation of survey tools, particularly as they relate to obtaining data from creative industry companies.
Daniel Blair - CEO and founder of Bit Space Development Ltd.

Daniel focuses on building innovation-focused research projects for clients exclusively from the planet earth. Daniel is an award-winning entrepreneur & software developer. Through initiatives and organizations, Daniel has been directly involved in the interactive digital media and entrepreneurship ecosystem by sitting on boards and committees that align with a singular goal, to create the best possible ecosystem for hacking and building. Daniel is well known for being a tinkerer, mad scientist, and lifelong learner.   
WEDNESDAY - NOVEMBER 4th  10:00 - 12:00 PM
Tourism Opportunities in Northern Manitoba
Colin Ferguson - President and CEO, Travel Manitoba
Colin Ferguson joined Travel Manitoba as President and CEO in early 2011. Since then, he’s had the opportunity to travel to all corners of the province, experiencing all that makes Manitoba an ideal travel destination. Well known in Winnipeg’s advertising and marketing community, prior to joining Travel Manitoba, he was a partner in Ferguson Walker Marketing Communications and earlier, Senior Partner and General Manager of Palmer Jarvis Advertising/Palmer Jarvis DDB, working with local, provincial and national clients. Colin is also been active in the not-for-profit sector, as one of the founding directors of Partners in the Park, now Assiniboine Park Conservancy; President of the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation; and strategic planning and marketing lead for Winnipeg’s hosting of the 1999 Pan Am Games. Colin is also the founder of the Canadian Women’s Bandy team, headquartered in Winnipeg, and currently ranked fourth in the world.
Celes Davar - Owner/Operator - Earth Rhythms, 
Experiential Tourism

Located in the Gaspereau Valley of Nova Scotia. Celes started Earth Rhythms in 1996 while living in Onanole, outside Riding Mountain National Park. He is a tourism operator, facilitator, and experiential tourism coach, creating innovative experiences with community partners to surprise and delight travelers. He loves working with local folks to help them create high value, high yield experiences. His passion and purpose are aligned around the things he cares most about - local stories, nutritious food, cultural traditions, climate change, art, live music, and nature.

A smile comes to his face each time he is involved in the creative process of working with others to create new experiences. It’s all about community economic development through responsible and regenerative tourism, where the bottom line is a triple bottom line, ensuring environmental responsibility, social accountability and profitability for communities as hosts and travelers as guests. Celes has been coaching and supporting community based experiential tourism development with tourism businesses and other stakeholders in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, PEI, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland for the past fifteen years. His greatest joy comes from seeing light bulbs go on in the minds of community partners who suddenly realize that they have a role to play in the visitor economy, and that their story has commercial value as a uniquely crafted experience. Celes has been coaching the CEDF team and colleagues with Travel Manitoba and ITAC during the fall of 2020, to learn about experiential and indigenous tourism. The end result of any good training, in his view, is that new experiences are created, costed, priced and taken to market within a year demonstrating credibility through results.
THURSDAY - NOVEMBER 5th  10:00 - 12:00 PM
Sustaining & Growing Value Added Opportunities in the
Northern Commercial Fishing Industry
John Osler - President / CEO, InterGroup Consultants

John Osler is an economist with over 25 years of experience in resource development and management. John has experience coordinating environmental assessment processes, including socio-economic assessments and public participation programs and undertaking financial and economic analysis for public and private sector ventures in western and northern Canada. He has been the Principal on recent socio-economic impact assessments for projects in northern Saskatchewan. Mr. Osler holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Sheffield.

John is a member of the International Association for Impact Assessment as well as the International Association for Public Participation. John is particularly interested in Canada’s inland freshwater commercial fishery where he has had the opportunity to contribute to the understanding of this important natural resource.

FRIDAY - NOVEMBER 6th  10:00 - 12:00 PM
Expanding Community Based Opportunities in Forestry

Shauna Kortz - Bachelor of Science in Forestry

Shauna is a graduate of Lakehead University with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry Degree.  She has spent 10 years working in British Columbia for various consulting companies, large sawmill operations and First Nation forestry companies. During this time Shauna was responsible for First Nation logging, milling and building construction. She then moved back to her home province of Manitoba and took a forestry job in Thompson. Shauna has now made Thompson her home and has been here for approximately 18 years working with various logging companies, large industry, non timber forest industry and various local sawmill operations.

InVision Edge - Innovation & Strategy Coach

Ryan Ramsdale

Ryan is an engaging and enthusiastic virtual and in-person facilitator. He is passionate about group discussions that stretch an individual's innovation and strategic thinking skills through the discovery of new concepts. Ryan guides participants through a systematized approach to addressing challenges, leveraging inVision Edge’s Innovation and Strategy methodology to achieve breakthrough results.

Your local Look North Economic Development Advisor
can be reached by cell or call Toll Free: 1-800-561-4315

Thank you for your continued support. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones during this difficult time.
Stay safe,  The CEDF / Look North Team
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