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Winnipeg sets the stage for trailblazing diabetes innovations

Winnipeg’s reputation as a hub for cutting-edge diabetes research is attracting national diabetes conferences, with event organizers leveraging the bright minds of the city who are paving the way for advancements in diabetes prevention and treatment. 

“Winnipeg has long been on the map for world-class diabetes programs, particularly in the area of Indigenous health, with many researchers working with our children from the North,” says Lori Berard, Diabetes Nurse Educator. 

The Diabetes Research Envisioned & Accomplished in Manitoba (DREAM), funded by the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, works to improve the wellness of children and their families living with type 2 diabetes through collaborative research.  

This is typical of the open, friendly attitude of those who operate within the health sciences field in Winnipeg, working synergistically to obtain better health outcomes for all. 


Synergy for success  

As Winnipeg’s expertise in the prevention and management of diabetes continues to grow, multiple health disciplines are playing a key role in developing innovative solutions.  

“More and more disciplines in Manitoba, including nephrology and cardiology, are getting excited about work that needs to be done in the area of diabetes,” says Berard. 

In 2020, the Winnipeg Foundation Innovation Fund awarded a grant to a team in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, enabling them to create heart tissue using a 3D bioprinter to study the development of diabetes. 

The project looks at the source of diabetic cardiomyopathy, a cardiovascular disease that can lead to heart failure, one of the leading causes of death in people with diabetes.  

The Winnipeg Foundation Innovation Fund provides the seed money for innovative thinkers at the University of Manitoba to collaborate with multidisciplinary teams, strengthening the life sciences ecosystem by encouraging original ideas and propelling them to the next level.  

A collaborative approach between local academia, government, investors, health professionals and companies creates a fertile soil in which innovative concepts and cutting-edge health programs can germinate and grow.  

Winnipeg is fast becoming known as the ideal host city for business events and conferences in the life sciences sector, with the Meetings Winnipeg Team ready to connect event organizers with local thought leaders who can enrich their programs with inspiring seminars, workshops and facility tours.

Natalie Thiesen, Vice President of Tourism, Tourism Winnipeg

Luring distinguished events  

The highly-anticipated Diabetes Canada/CSEM Professional Conference was held in Winnipeg in October 2019, managed by Diabetes Canada, a national charity whose mission includes serving the 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes.  

Attending delegates participated in networking and information sharing with the country’s leading diabetes and endocrinology experts and learned about significant advances in diabetes research, treatment and care.  

“This critical conference attracted a high level of engagement as delegates were eager to learn from Winnipeg’s renowned expertise in the field of diabetes research and treatment,” says Thiesen.  

In addition to hearing from global thought leaders who are creating better health outcomes for people living with diabetes, delegates took the opportunity to explore some of Winnipeg’s world-class attractions, such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, an architectural masterpiece and the first museum solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. 

Event organizers can fill delegates’ down-time with a visit to Assiniboine Park, where they can bask in exotic florals at the Conservatory and English Garden, admire art in the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden and Pavilion, or marvel at the Arctic animals in Journey to Churchill, an award-winning exhibition that brings delegates almost nose-to-nose with playful polar bears and seals.  

“Add to that Winnipeg’s buzzing culinary and nightlife scene, and you’ve got an unforgettable conference program that delegates will be raving about long after it’s come to an end,” says Thiesen. 

The acclaimed RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg is renowned for hosting quality conferences and events, with its state-of-the-art Encore Presentation Stage ideal for hybrid events. The RBC Convention Centre has everything from ballrooms to boardrooms and a 131,000 square-foot exhibit space, all within walking distance of hotels, sports facilities and restaurant hub. 

Winnipeg is the latest Canadian city to join the Hybrid City Alliance, a reflection of our commitment to providing solutions for international event organizers.”  

Canada’s heartland 

Winnipeg is located in the geographic center of Canada and North America, making travel time shorter and more convenient for delegates to fly in from both coasts to Winnipeg's award-winning airport terminal. The city is just 100 kilometers from the United States border. 

Meetings with purpose 

By augmenting speakers’ series with thought-leaders in the health sciences sphere and enriching programming with localized tours and creative off-site venues, business event organizers can attract delegates, increase revenues, and inspire future generations.  

“We call that 'meeting with purpose’,” says Thiesen, pointing out that when the time is right for in-person events to resume, Winnipeg is poised to show off its life sciences ecosystems and the brilliant minds who are pioneering medical treatments to combat diabetes.   

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