déc. 9, 2009
The Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters association is a strong voice for the outdoor industry. Comprised of a record 160+ members this year, the association is stronger than ever and is the perfect lobby group for the industry. Despite outside forces, the record number of members and attendees at the AGM are a testament to the great work of the association. Aikens is certainly an avid supporter of the organization: Pit is the current president and has been since December of 2008, while Gerry is a past president of the association. Pit, Pat, and Julie attended this year's event. The Annual General Meetings took place at the CanadInns hotel in Winnipeg, MB from December 5-7. Members from all over the province, and many that live in other parts of the world, congregated for the three day event. The highlight, as always, was the banquet. This year, we were honored to host the new Minister of Conservation, the Honorable Bill Blaikie as the guest speaker at the banquet. A silent and live auction raised over $18,000 for the association as a record crowd was on hand to bid on the various items. The banquet was attended by 8 members of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, and thus the voice of the MLOA grew larger and larger. In all, a very successful evening for the association. The two days of meetings ranged a variety of topics, from social media advertising and website designs to meetings with government officials on topical issues of conservation and Crown lands. The topics were both informative and timely for our industry. We were also honored to have the Minister of Culture and Tourism (and responsible for Travel Manitoba), Mrs. Flor Marcelino speak at our luncheon on Monday. We also had the Minister of Water Stewardship (and responsible for the Fisheries Enhancement Fund), Mrs. Christine Melnick speak to us on Tuesday. One other exciting thing that happened right before our meetings was that the Safari Club International had a meeting about setting up a local chapter... thus the Manitoba Chapter of SCI was formed! This organization is an international powerhouse in terms of conservation and wildlife projects. We look forward to joining forces with them to brighten the future of Manitoba wildlife! Using the AGM as a point of reference for our industry, it would appear that we are headed in a very positive direction. Although the economy hampered some outfitters and lodges, it appears that most weathered the storm well and we have established a very solid foundation on which to build on for the future. Manitoba is quite a diverse wonderland of outdoor activities, and we at Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge are proud to be a part of both the MLOA and part of the province of Manitoba!