The incredible support from our community has always been essential to the success of MTYP providing arts programming to youth and families across Manitoba. The impact MTYP can have on young people will always be strengthened by individuals, businesses and foundations who understand the benefits of connecting youth with theatre.

Inn at the Forks has been a very loyal supporter of MTYP and their staff are cheerleaders of our activities. As part of our programming, we regularly host artists from across Canada and around the world and Inn at the Forks has become a home away from home for many of these individuals. However, Inn at the Forks has gone above and beyond in recent years by partnering with us to provide hot chocolate for audiences of our MTYP’s Midwinter Mosey in December, offering gift cards for volunteer recognition, having additional space for us to host summer camps, promoting our facilities for rental purposes, and being an excellent dining option for MTYP celebrations.

Joel Waterman, General Manger of Inn at the Forks, kindly provided his thoughts on their charitable activity and why they are a loyal supporter of MTYP.

Inn at the Forks (IAF) has been greatly impacted by the pandemic, yet has found numerous ways to support Winnipeg charities during this time. Can you mention some of these activities and why IAF feels it is so important to give back to the community?
As a local hospitality company that employs close to 400 Winnipeggers during normal times, the Inn’s parent company Sparrow Hotels has deep ties to our community that we work and live in. Sparrow Hotels is the longest running family-owned hospitality company in Western Canada, going back to 1937. Our Core Purpose is “Through the provision of genuine hospitality, we create an environment for people and communities to flourish”. Included in that purpose is a deep rooted philosophy that supporting various entities and partners in our city is our responsibility. Just a few of the ways we have helped different agencies in the last two years include donating toilet paper to various shelters and women’s organizations, donating water, paper goods and bathroom amenities to Main Street Project, laundering winter clothing donations for the United Way’s Koats for Kids initiative, donating to the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre, and many more.

Joel Waterman showing Inn at the Forks laundering coats for kids as part of United Way Koats for Kids.

MTYP is so fortunate to have the support of Inn at the Forks in many ways. Why does Inn at The Forks choose to support MTYP?
Well, first off – we are neighbours! And neighbours help neighbours. Secondly, we are both very important cogs in the experience that is The Forks, Winnipeg’s top tourist destination. Thirdly, our company is a long time supporter of the arts in Winnipeg, through various affiliations, partnerships and sponsorships. Engaging children in our community and connecting them to the magic of theatre is a wonderful and generous thing and we are admirers of all that MTYP does.

Are there any ways Inn at the Forks is addressing inclusion and diversity within the workplace, as well as through community giving?
We commonly look to seek out agencies that support BIPOC, LGBTQ and Women demographics when we consider the hows, whos and whats of our philanthropic efforts. Our management team is currently taking extensive diversity training to give our company a greater understanding of our community. Our company will manage a new Wyndham Garden hotel starting this summer that is owned by Long Plains First Nation and is located on their Urban Reserve on Madison here in Winnipeg. This new venture (Winnipeg’s only Indigenous owned hotel) will give us further insights and involvement around education, giving and providing employment opportunities to a more diverse workforce.

Other businesses share your values on community giving. Why should they also consider supporting MTYP?
Because MTYP rocks! The shows, the school, the people that work for the theatre….the passion shines through and supporting passion is never a bad thing.