Remarks by
The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

James W. Burns Executive Education Centre
Friday, December 7, 2018, 9:00 a.m.

Fellow Manitobans, present and future leaders, participants in a wonderful learning journey – it’s a pleasure to join you today as you venture further into your year of discovery.

We are gathered on Treaty One land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.

Today we have come together a stone’s throw from the traditional heart of Winnipeg to talk about a vital aspect of leadership.

Just outside the doors of this building, the arteries of Winnipeg extend outward along Portage Avenue to St. James, along Main Street to the Kildonans and across the Red River to St. Vital, and east over the Provencher Bridge to St. Boniface.

What you’ll be discussing today – the role and function of not-for-profit boards – plays a similar role.

Boards ensure that the vital resources of money and staff time are available throughout an organization to allow it to do what it was created for.

The board isn’t the visible part of the organization and it’s not doing the main work of the organization. But if it isn’t functioning, the organization will need to go on life support.

As Manitobans with a passion for leadership and learning, it’s important for you to consider this aspect of public service.

I’m sure that you all have volunteered your time and expertise in many ways. You don’t need to be convinced that helping your community is profoundly rewarding.

As talented, smart and committed Manitobans, you’re going to be needed more and more to step up to volunteering on boards.

This kind of service can be a little bit of a hard sell, because it often is far from the fun and exciting side of the organization.

If helping children learn and grow is your passion, it’s easy to see the appeal of coaching or leading a youth group.

If the arts are your passion, working at festivals and plays or galleries is obviously going to be great experience.

It’s not so clear that you’ll have fun going over financial statements or HR policy manuals with your fellow board members.

But thoughtful leadership at the board level truly does make the difference between a dynamic organization that fulfills its mandate and one that struggles year after year.

So we need you, in the heart of Canada, to keep the heart beating at the hundreds of not-for-profits that serve the health, educational, cultural, social and other needs of the people of this community.

Have a wonderful and productive day and outstanding Leadership Winnipeg experience, and thank you for your commitment to learn and to serve.

Merci. Meegwich.