Annual Report 2016 | Page 3

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR I n its June 25, 2016 report by the Globe and Mail, it was reported that the Trans Canada Trail had achieved 86% connectivity in Canada and 92.6% connection in Manitoba. Since that time, much work has been completed on the trail with gaps being closed, as reported this year by Marissa Zurba. Legions of Trail Association volunteers throughout the Province, together with our provincial and federal government partners, have worked to achieve this great milestone. Completion of the Border to Beaches Trail marks the completion of the 385 kilometres of trail through some of the most diverse and geographically unique landscapes in the province. Border to Beaches was seen as a very important pilot initiative for the province and for the Trans Canada Trail. The lessons learned resulting from this long term initiative contributed immeasurably to the completion of trail development in other regions of the province. As one of Manitoba’s most enthusiastic users of the Trans Canada Trail, Premier Brian Pallister marked his own milestone when in late August 2016 the Premier completed his own personal quest to traverse the trail from Saskatchewan to the Ontario border with a celebratory dinner in Westhawk Lake with several members of the Trails Manitoba Board of Directors attending. Premier Pallister recently said “The Border to Beaches trail is an excellent opportunity to explore some of the magnificent natural beauty that Manitoba has to offer, through boreal forest to our incredible lakeside beaches.” The Federal Government’s recent announcement of $30 million for five year funding is another exciting opportunity to enhance and enrich the job creation potential of the world’s longest trail network. In the coming months leading up to the 150th birthday of Canada, events are being planned in cities and towns across the country. Communities wishing to participate in the CAN 150 Celebrations on the Great Trail program are encouraged to utilize Grant Application Guidelines to apply for funding for your communities as we approach July 01. On June 11, our federal partners will officially celebrate the launch of the Great Trail at Fort Whyte Alive. Later this year we anticipate that “Great Trail” Pavilion signage will be officially unveiled at the Forks Market along the Great Trail abutting the Red River. Completion of Manitoba’s 1,555 kilometres of trail network through Prairie, Canadian Shield, Boreal Forest and Beaches yields one of this country’s most exciting and diverse landscapes for global visitors to enjoy and explore for generations to come. Steve Demmings, Executive Director Annual Report 2016-Trails Manitoba p.3