Join Us for this Major
Two Days Information and Networking Session

Calm Air plane
train

2024 Themes

airport

Regional Airport


Speaker: Curtis Ross, Thompson Regional Airport Authority


Thompson’s new $120 million airport currently is under construction with new features and amenities. How will this impact growth, foster new business development, jobs, & improve services in the region, etc?

railway tracks

Rail


Speaker: Michale Woelcke, Arctic Gateway


The Bayline is a very slow method of transportation for cargo and tourists heading to Churchill, a top destination spot in Manitoba. Arctic Gateway is investing over $100 million to upgrade and stabilize the rail bed. How can rail improvements benefit northerners with freight and tourism? Should a railbus be re-considered?

image of prairie highway at sunset

Highway 6


Speaker: Safer Highway 6 Action Group


Highway 6 from Winnipeg to Thompson is the primary transportation corridor to the North. Many communities link to it via secondary roads. 750 km long, it generates constant traffic to Winnipeg for personal, medical, tourism, and freight reasons. In winter, it can become a hazardous and risky journey. What iRAP road improvements should be undertaken to reduce risk?

image of airship

Airships


Speaker: Dr. Barry Prentice, Transport Institute


A Manitoba Task Force is working to establish a cold weather testing and research centre in Thompson to support airships hauling cargo to the Arctic, as well as mine exploration and ore hauling in remote areas. The Canadian military could use airship surveillance as climate change opens Arctic Ocean pathways for foreign commercial and military vessels. When will a new airship industry be established in Manitoba?

Image of person in the snow launching a drone with package

Innovations


Speaker: TBD


Advancements in transportation technologies from drones to pilotless airplanes and airships are being considered for hauling cargo into remote areas of northern Canada. What are the economic opportunities and how will this benefit northern Manitoba?

Indigenous Development

Indigenous Development


Speaker: TBD


Having different or improved transportation will bring new economic opportunities to small communities in the far reaches of northern Manitoba. Freight costs can be reduced substantially. Improved safety, better health, and new jobs can result. What are they and how can this happen?

image of EV car outlet

EV Development


Speaker: Robert Elms


The extremely rapid growth of electric vehicles on a global basis requires a rapid charging infrastructure that is currently missing in Northern Manitoba. Hydro power comes from northern hydro dams that support EV transportation in the south, but not the north. What steps need be taken so that the North can enjoy the same benefits of cheaper and cleaner energy for their vehicles? What new businesses, services, and jobs will come once the North becomes truly electrified?

aerial image of train yard in winter

Intermodal


Speaker: TBD


Can an intermodal use of road, rail, planes, airships, and drones for the shipment of cargo be developed in Thompson to better service northern Manitoba and the high Arctic on a 12 month a year basis? Could natural resources can be extracted in a sustainable manner with the full participation of the Indigenous sector to create economic and social benefits?

image of ice road

Winter / Ice Roads


Speaker: Doug Jansen


Winter/ice roads are diminishing in duration and making it extremely difficult to get goods, fuel and material to remote Indigenous communities in northern Manitoba. Calls are coming from Indigenous leaders for all weather roads be built. What is the cost? Will government do that and how long will that take? What are the short term and long term solutions?

NeeStaNan-Corridor2

Utility Corridor


Speaker: Robyn Lore


NeeStaNan Corridor is a proposal to haul major cargo from western provinces through The Pas and Thompson to Port Nelson on the coast of Hudson Bay. How would this work? Which Indigenous communities are involved? Who would benefit?

robyn lore portrait image

Robyn Lore

Biography
Robyn was raised on a farm in Alberta and studied Economics at University. Formerly a University professor, Robyn has worked in construction, energy, finance, and agriculture throughout his life. He is passionate about assisting Indigenous people develop a utility corridor and transportation system which will create many opportunities as well as assist Canada’s economy.
robert elms portrait image

Robert Elms

Past President, ManitobaEV
Biography
Since 2011, members of the North Forge Fabrication Lab have been proving that technological change creates opportunity. Robert Elms served as the original Chair of the Member Council at that fablab, North America’s most successful product-prototyping and business startup facility. For well over a decade, members of manitobaEV have enjoyed driving a wide variety of electric vehicles, thereby verifying that electrifying transportation is the cost-effective way to eliminate almost 40% of the greenhouse gases emitted in Manitoba. Robert has served as a Director of that EV association, since 2012. For nine of those years he was President. From 2016 to 2019, he was a Manitoba Sustainable Energy Association (ManSEA) Director. The Manitoba Association of Automobile Clubs (MAAC) is comprised of dozens of auto clubs, representing many members throughout Manitoba. In 2017, Robert Elms was acclaimed Chair of MAAC. It was the first time that the president of an electric vehicle association was chosen to lead any of North America’s province-wide or state-wide associations of automobile clubs. MAAC’s message was clear, the future of transportation is electric, and that future has arrived!
volker beckmann portrait image

Volker Beckmann

Biography
Beckmann is a retired business person, but still active Thompson Chamber of Commerce member for over 50 years. He has lived in Thompson since the start and has traveled Highway 391 to Winnipeg since it first opened through The Pas in 1964 and through Highway 6 through Grand Rapids in 1971 hundreds of times over that 750 km route. In 2022, he was part of a Safer Highway 6 Action group that petitioned the Province for a #SaferHighway6 to reduce accidents and deaths. His research showed there are ways that could be done following examples in other countries that have reduced accidents by over 50%!
Curtis Ross

Curtis Ross

Thompson Regional Airport Authority
Biography
Curtis Ross serves as the CEO/CDO of Thompson Regional Airport, leveraging his extensive experience as an entrepreneur and longstanding involvement in commercial development and infrastructure projects. His entrepreneurial journey has been closely intertwined with the development of winter weather testing facilities in Thompson, particularly collaborating with Honda Canada on their cold weather testing platforms. With a career spanning decades, Curtis has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Thompson’s business and infrastructure sectors. He is currently at the helm of the $125 million redevelopment of Thompson Regional Airport, a multifaceted project initiated in 2019 with the construction of the water treatment plant. Presently, the project is progressing through its first of three years, focusing on the comprehensive redevelopment of a new terminal building, apron, and parking lot. Upon its completion, the revamped Thompson Regional Airport will not only retain its status as a vital regional hub but also emerge as a global center for testing, tourism, and freight distribution. Curtis’s leadership is instrumental in steering this ambitious endeavor towards success.
Ross Prentice

Ross Prentice

CEO, Buoyant Aircraft Systems International
Biography
Ross has a strong background in transportation and is truly passionate about understanding how it shapes our world. In addition to a professional designation in logistics, he has worked for nearly 20 years in the intermodal transportation industry. By the nature of his family relationship, Ross kept abreast of nearly all things related to cargo airships for his entire life. Over the years he has contributed multiple volunteer hours assisting with a variety of things including the assembly, testing and ground handling of a research airship. Along with this practical experience, he has a strong desire to help less fortunate people. The cargo airship industry has a chance to improve the quality of life of people who are living in remote communities in Canada and around the world.
Doug Jansen

Doug Jansen

Manitoba Transportation & Infrastructure
Biography
For the past 18 years, Doug has worked for Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure and specifically the provincial Winter Roads Program. Since graduating from Civil Technology in 1990, he has also worked in construction materials testing, timber design & drafting, computer assembly & repair and as a Technology Instructor for Red River College. Recent diversions include motorcycles and artificial intelligence research.

Chief Raymond Flett

St Theresa Point Aninshininew Nation
Biography
Chief Flett spent 16 years as High School teacher and principal Saint Theresa Point First Nation and former Band Counsellor. Started many different school initiatives and school band tours to the city of Toronto. Led the Saint Theresa Point housing committee and brought Youth Build to the community. He led a successful application with Natural Resources Canada for GCIB for school solar project. Chief Flett is now Project Manager for EV educational program to increase awareness and benefits about the EV industry through the Free Ride EV Educational Program for First Nations in Manitoba.

Michael Woelcke

CEO of Arctic Gateway Group
Biography
Prior to working at AGG, Michael spent 30 years at VIA Rail Canada. Over his career he held positions in Property Management, Real Estate, Procurement, Customer Services and during his last five years was the General Manager of Regional Services with full responsibility for VIA’s regional trains including the Winnipeg to Churchill service. Michael has volunteered on several boards and was Board Chair at Concordia Hospital for five years.

Dr. Barry Prentice

Director, Transport Institute
Biography
Dr. Prentice is a Professor of Supply Chain Management, at the I.H. Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba, and the third Director (1996-2005) of the Transport Institute. Dr. Prentice holds degrees in economics from Universities of Western Ontario, Guelph, and Manitoba. He founded a new Department of Supply Chain Management (SCM) at the I. H. Asper School of Business. He has also served on the Boards of Directors of numerous transportation organizations. Dr. Prentice has authored or co-authored more than 400 research reports and articles. In 1999, he was named Manitoba Transportation Person of the Year.  He has organized national and international conferences on sustainable transportation, supply chain logistics, agribusiness logistics, and northern transportation (Airships to the Arctic). In 2011, Dr. Prentice founded Buoyant Aircraft Systems International as the first airship research centre in Canada, and has designed the BARD, a bouyant aircraft rotating depot. He is also Chair of ISO Polar, a non profit organization promoting use of cargo airships for Northern Canada.

Agenda

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These hotels are Symposium sponsors and are recommended. They are clean and comfortable with a reduced rate for this event.

FPO

Best Western Thompson

205 Mystery Lake Road Thompson, MB R8N 1Z8

1(800) 780-7234

Super 8 Hotel in Thompson Manitoba

Super 8 by Wyndham Thompson

180 Thompson Dr N, Thompson, MB R8N 1Y8

1-204-778-0040 Ask for special Symposium Rate

Quality Inn in Thompson Manitoba

Quality Inn & Suites Thompson

45 Moak Crescent Thompson, MB R8N 2B8

1-204-677-5600

Getting Here

  • Thompson is located along paved Highway 6.
  • From Winnipeg it is a distance of 485 miles or 750 kilometers.
  • Approximate driving time is 8-9 hours.
  • For road information, phone 1‑877‑MBRoads (1‑877‑627‑6237) or go to manitoba511.ca
  • Get Directions

Several bus companies travel from Winnipeg to Thompson daily:

Maple BusThompson Bus, and Mahihikan Bus.

  • For CALM AIR’s Symposium discount rate, CALL 1 800 839 2256 Extension 3.
  • or EMAIL to [email protected]
  • Please identify yourself as a Symposium Attendee.
  • Travel time is approximately 1 3/4 hours.
  • Flights from Winnipeg to Thompson are twice a day.

collage of airship, drone, locomotive and EV plug

Early Bird Registration is Now Open

Discount price available until July 19th, 2024.

All registrations include 2 lunches and 1 dinner.


Gold Sponsors

Supply Chain Manitoba
CalmAir

Silver Sponsors

Vale

Other Sponsors

Thompson Airport