East Winnipeg news in brief for Jan. 18, 2023


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St. Boniface

Sage Creek

Arbez takes the helm at CDEM

Madeleine Arbez is the new executive director of the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM).

Arbez — currently the executive director of Francofonds — will begin transitioning into her new role this month and will assume her full-time duties on March 1, according to a release. She replaces outgoing CDEM executive director Louis Allain, who has retired.

Supplied photo courtesy of La Liberté

Madeleine Arbez is the new executive director of the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM).

“In consultation with Francofonds, we will support a smooth and responsive transition so that Madeleine can successfully complete the current fundraising exercise and support the foundation until new leadership is in place,” Ivan Normandeau, president of the Association of Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (AMBA), said in the release. “We would like to take this opportunity to encourage as many people as possible to participate in the current fundraising campaign.”

Francofonds is one of the largest French-language provincial community foundations in Canada. Arbez is credited with helping transform the organization’s fortunes; working with its governance and staff, she increased the foundation’s capital from $5.6 million to $15 million, more than doubled Francofonds’ grantmaking to $466,270 annually, and increased fundraising by 150 per cent, organizers say.

Arbez is recognized as a figurehead in the province’s francophone community and has held a variety of key marketing and communications positions with prominent Manitoba organizations.

“Throughout her career, Madeleine has also been known to create important leverage effects to increase the impact of the organizations where she has worked,” Gab-Riel (Pit) Turenne, CDEM’s president, said in the release.

“It is notably thanks to the partnerships put in place by Madeleine for Francofonds that our municipalities have had access to new sources of financing over the past few years.”

In the release, Arbez said she’s “proud to join the great team at CDEM and the AMBM family” and looks forward to continuing working with Manitoba’s bilingual municipal leadership.

Tender issued for new French-language school in Sage Creek

The provincial government has issued a tender for the construction of a new French-language kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Sage Creek.

According to a news release, École Sage Creek School will meet current enrolment needs and anticipated growth in the southeast Winnipeg neighbourhood for Division scolaire franco-manitobaine.

Design work on the school, which will accommodate 450 students, began in April 2022, officials say.

“Providing families with a quality education in French is essential to the development of a community’s culture and language,” Alain Laberge, DSFM’s superintendent, said in the release.

The school is slated to include 18 classrooms, a gymnasium and multi-purpose space, and a life skills, resource and guidance suite. The capacity includes two cohorts of kindergarten to Grade 8 classrooms, plus a 74-space daycare program. The school is scheduled to open in September 2024.

Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko said in the release the construction of École Sage Creek School is part of the province’s guarantee to build 20 new schools in 10 years, which includes a kindergarten to Grade 8 school and a Grade 9 to 12 school in Waverley West are also under construction in Pembina Trails School Division.

Go online at for more information.

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