St. Boniface Belvedere will help to bring cultures together.
Gerry Labossiere, Winnipeg Foundation Board Member since 2012, currently serves as a member of The Foundation’s Strategic Initiatives and Investment committees. Prior to retiring in 2015, Mr. Labossiere was founder and CEO of AIS – an international healthcare eLearning company. He has been an active volunteer during the past 35 years, serving as a Board member with the Grey Nuns and the Benedictines, and with various groups in fields of arts, culture and education.
Q: As an active member of the St. Boniface community can you tell us what role the new St. Boniface Belvedere may have in drawing residents and visitors alike to the area?
The Belvedere will significantly enhance the visitor experience of the path being developed connecting The Forks with the St. Boniface area. There will be some spectacular views from the Belvedere overlooking The Forks, the rivers and the Museum for Human Rights. The Foundation, through its CEO Rick Frost, has been a catalyst in this initiative that started in 2012.
Q: Why is this landmark important for our city?
The vision, established in 2012 by key stakeholders of The Forks river area, including The Foundation, was to “Connect properties along the east and west banks of the Red River by developing a heritage precinct that celebrates and educates the area’s culture, traditions and history, while incorporating powerful elements of compassion, health, healing, spirituality, reconciliation and peace.” The vision aligns with the Anishinaabe 8th Fire prophecy, which foresees all cultures coming together. The path is thus important as it will assist with our focus and direction as a city, as Canadians and as global citizens. It will also provide significant tourism and economic development opportunities for the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba.
Q: What other activities are underway in the Cathedral district our readers may not know about?
The Cathedral District is becoming a vibrant, thriving community. Many millennials are buying homes/condos in the area, and there are lots of new and planned construction and renovation projects, including restaurants. This is coupled with programming in the ruins of the Cathedral, at the new Cathedral Hall, and at St. Boniface Hospital that focuses on unity, openness, diversity, meditation and mindfulness. The District is bringing elements of contemplation and action together and aligns with the vision of the area.
This story is featured in the Fall 2018 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.