Phone: +1(204) 996-3422
The Winnipeg Branch delivers an annual Speakers Program between September and June. Our speakers include academics, professionals, advocates, and practitioners from all backgrounds representing a wide range of opinion. Most CIC events in Winnipeg are free to the public, while CIC members enjoy exclusive access to the speakers.
The Winnipeg Branch showcases local speakers and occasionally invites external speakers to engage Manitobans in discussions about issues related to Canadian foreign policy. Branch events range from individual speakers to multi-speaker panels and multi-panel conferences. Our events are delivered in -in-person, virtual and hybrid formats. Virtual and hybrid events allow local experts to reach a wider audience. The Winnipeg Branch also sponsors student conferences, such as the J. W. Dafoe Political Studies Student Conference at the University of Manitoba.
The Winnipeg Branch is dedicated to diversity, inclusivity, and equity in all that it does. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard. We expect all working with our Branch to embrace respect and tolerance as core principles of our work and to express them in interactions and through everyday practices.
We recognise that Canadian foreign policy is a product of the complex interplay between our national values and interests, and the policies, behaviours, and perspectives of other states. We encourage discussion on any topic that provides insight about the ideas that influence the behaviour of states and individuals. We aspire to help Canadians develop the knowledge necessary to find their way in a complex and competitive world.
The Winnipeg Branch was originally formed in 1928 as a Branch of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs (CIIA), from three local groups known as the Canadian League. The Winnipeg Branch, the largest of the original 1928 branches, was one of the most active branches during the 1930s. In 1935, the Winnipeg Branch began sponsoring popular radio broadcasts on international affairs. John W. Dafoe, editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, contributed greatly to the growth and success of the Branch, first as vice-president and later president of the CIIA. On 19 November 2008, the Winnipeg Branch was the first Branch created under the auspices of the Canadian International Council (CIC), successor to the CIIA.
Elizabeth St. John
Filiz Aktas Suzen
University Faculty Advisors
Bryce Offenburger (University of Manitoba)
Saad Khan (University of Winnipeg)
Jonathan Sears (Canadian Mennonite University)
Mamadou Ka (Université de Saint-Boniface)
University Student Representatives
Kieran Cucina (University of Manitoba)
Liam Reid (University of Winnipeg)
Vacant (Canadian Mennonite University)
Helen Martin (Université de Saint-Boniface)
Featured Past Events
Event with U.S. Consul Bryan Koontz – February 22, 2023
The Branch hosted U.S. Consul Bryan Koontz for a “politics at the pub” – style event at the Winnipeg Squash Racquet club on Wednesday, February 22, 2023. As the United States is Canada’s closest ally and largest trading partner, over the years the Branch has invited several U.S. Consuls from their Consulate in Winnipeg to present to the Branch on the bilateral issues of the day. This briefing follows on events held by several other Branches with their local U.S. representative, including an event CIC Ottawa held with the U.S. Ambassador to Canada in September 2022.
Consul Koontz covered a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues of shared interest during his presentation. On the economic side, Koontz noted that both countries are still adjusting to the post-COVID reality of labour shortages and inflation but that trade between the countries remains strong and mutually beneficial. It remains either the largest (or one of the largest) bilateral trading relationships in the world.
Koontz noted that much of the rest of the world is splitting into regional blocs, both on the economic and military fronts, which makes Canada and even more important partner for the United States as the two countries forge stronger ties through the trading relationship and military cooperation through NORAD.
He also highlighted Canada-U.S. cooperation in challenging the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, and for the countries’ coordinated response with our NATO allies and others both to supply the Ukraine with materials to defend itself, but also to assist in the humanitarian crisis. Russia’s unprovoked attack destabilizes the region, has caused billions of dollars in damage, and has provoked one of the worst humanitarian crises since the Second World War. Koontz recognized the strong response by Manitoba’s Ukrainian community to accept a disproportionate number of displaced persons from the Ukraine.
At the conclusion of his presentation, Koontz accepted questions from the audience, including: the U.S. response to Canada’s longstanding failure to meet its target of spending 2% of GDP on defense (it’s been an issue for multiple U.S. administrations of both parties but the U.S. is pleased to see Canada’s recent increase in military spending), any holdover effects from former President Trump’s unpopularity in Canada (the bilateral relationship is too strong, established and mutually beneficial to be derailed by any one person), and the ‘buy American’ provisions would not have much effect on Canada-US trade.