Meet the Co-chairs of the 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society: Mariette Mulaire and Hubert Mesman
Mariette Mulaire has served as President and CEO of the World Trade Centre Winnipeg since April 2012. Most recently, she spearheaded the creation and hosting of Centrallia, the first international B2B forum of its kind in Western Canada. Ms. Mulaire has also been a member of several boards and organizations. In May 2011, she received the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award under the “Leadership” category. In 2010, she received the Quebec government’s Ordre des francophones d’Amérique award, aimed at recognizing the contributions of individuals who dedicate themselves to maintaining and developing French in the Americas.
Hubert Mesman was the first President and CEO of Travel Manitoba. His many projects include leadership roles in the successful bid for and hosting of the 1999 Pan American Games and the development of an Aboriginal tourism strategy for Manitoba. Hubert has served on numerous national, regional and local industry boards and committees. In 2010, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada recognized Hubert’s many contributions throughout his career with his induction into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame.
Mariette and Hubert have certainly helped to create a better Manitoba in their professional lives, it only makes sense they would choose to do the same as volunteers. We asked them about their desire to co-chair the 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society, favourite sports, and which part of the Games they’re most excited to see in Winnipeg in 2017.
Why did you decide to get involved with the 2017 Canada Summer Games?
MM: When I was approached to get involved, it was to assist in the preparation of the bid for the 2017 Games in Winnipeg. But as a result of better understanding the extent of these games, the benefits to athletes, family, friends and to the host community, I decided to stay involved. The fact that these Games will celebrate 50 years and that our country will celebrate 150 years in 2017 certainly enticed me since I firmly believe in the unity through sports and this is also a way to contribute to Canadian unity. I also firmly believe that sport helps develop self discipline , concentration, personal achievement and teamwork in athlete: qualities that will serve a lifetime.
HM: In addition to a lifelong passion for sport, I spent a good part of my career in Tourism involved with bids for major events, including the Pan American Games. These Games represent another great opportunity to showcase our city and province to the rest of the country. I also strongly believe that sport and sport competition can have positive, long lasting impacts on overall personal development. I view this opportunity to be involved with the Games as real honour.
What effects do you think the Games will have on the City of Winnipeg?
HM: The most obvious effects include the overall economic impact of the Games and the new Canada Games Sport for Life Centre, as well as major upgrades to a number of existing sport facilities. In addition to further enhancing overall sport development throughout the province, the Games will rejuvenate our huge volunteer network and strengthen the linkages between Sport, Culture and Tourism. We also hope that the Games will serve as conduit for youth leadership development. And since the 2017 Games coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Canada Games movement and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, we think this is an incredible opportunity to showcase Winnipeg in the best possible light to the rest of the country. Lastly, it would be great to see all Winnipeggers embrace the Games and come out to support our best young athletes from across Canada.
MM: This Games will shine a bright light on our city and our province. This is an opportunity to showcase our home, and highlight the gems of our tourism and cultural industries, as well as our first-class sport facilities. The economic impact of these Games is well known, and our province will see the return on this investment. I’m sure our retailers, hoteliers, restaurants, and shops will see the positive impact.
Which part of the Games are you most excited to see come to life?
HM: I had the opportunity to attend the 2013 and 2015 Games. Both were great experiences and watching the high level of competition, spending time with some of the athletes, and witnessing the Opening and Closing Ceremonies were definitely highlights. I also love the Festival, where athletes, family, fans and volunteers get to mingle, have fun and enjoy great entertainment. I always remind people that while this is a Sport event, even if you’re not into that, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and daily Festival entertainment will appeal to Winnipeggers of all ages and interests.
Beyond that, what will excite me the most is watching our Volunteers and the Hospitality Industry take great pride in hosting people from across Canada and showing them, once again that Winnipeg knows how to put on a great show and make people feel welcome and at home.
MM: For me, the Opening Ceremonies will without a doubt be exciting, because it sets the tone, it’s the kickoff to two fun weeks, of competition, of victory, and yes, some losses, but it’s sure to be an exciting event.
What is your favourite sport? To watch or to play?
HM: My playing days are mostly fond memories, but I do a lot of cycling, hiking and kayaking. I can also scare people on the golf course. I'm still a big hockey fan and follow the Jets with passion. As for the Games I will attend all the sports, but will have particular interest in Athletics, Tennis, Cycling and the water sports.
MM: Personally, I’ve practiced martial arts, but as a spectator, I really enjoy track and field. Though every sport, and especially each athlete is captivating and I will without a doubt be forced to choose at times.
For the coaches, athletes, and tourists who will visit Winnipeg for the Games, what is your one must-do or must-see attraction in the city?
HM: So hard to pick just one of our new iconic attractions like our great new Zoo and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and the Manitoba Museum. Naturally they should hang out at the Forks for our Festival evenings and roam around the Exchange District. The Games will be on during Folklorama and that’s definitely a must see. And of course we always encourage people to stay longer and visit parts of rural Manitoba.
I suggest they take advantage of the variety of packages that Tourism Winnipeg and Travel Manitoba will put together for the Games, so they won't have to limit themselves to just one experience.
MM: I would start with Saint-Boniface and all its gems, whether it be Gabrielle Roy House, the Saint-Boniface Museum and the Louis Riel tour, or the local chocolate shops, bakeries, and jewelry stores...there’s something for everyone! Then off to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, the Forks, the Exchange District, Osborne Village, the Zoo, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Manitoba Museum, the many boutiques, restaurants...our visitors will have plenty to see and do!