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Brandon is a city in southwestern Manitobamarker, Canadamarker.The surrounding area is often referred to as "Westman".

The city started as a major junction on the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Assiniboine River and was then incorporated in 1882. Brandon, the second largest city and service centre in Manitoba after Winnipegmarker, is a major hub for the surrounding agricultural area. The population of its trading area is between 70,000 and 150,000 people, while the city has a population of 41,511. Brandon's industry reflects its agricultural history; its major industries are related to agriculture and include fertilizer and hog processing plants, as well as retail and government services for the surrounding area of Westman. Brandon is also home to Brandon Universitymarker and Assiniboine Community Collegemarker as well as the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Spruce Woods Provincial Parkmarker is a relatively short distance (by car) to the southeast of the city. Minnedosa Beach is only half an hour to the North.

Brandon's Army Reserve unit is 26th Field Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery and the Canadian warship HMCS Brandon was named after the city.

Politics

City Council



Current Councillors:

Former Mayors



Provincial Representatives

Brandon West



Brandon East



Federal Representatives



Education

Public schools in Brandon are governed by the Brandon School Division #40. There are a number of elementary and middle schools throughout the city. There are three high schools: Vincent Massey High School, Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School, and École Neelin High School. Brandon is also home to three post-secondary institutions: Robertson College, Brandon Universitymarker and Assiniboine Community Collegemarker.

Brandon School Division #40 Board of Trustees (2006 - 2010)

  • George Buri (Chairperson)
  • Ramona Coey (Vice-Chairperson)
  • Peter Bartlette
  • Bea Jolly
  • Brian Mayes
  • Jim Murray
  • Linda Ross
  • Marty Snelling
  • Doug Karnes


Climate

Sports



Brandon is currently home to the following amateur sports teams:

The Wheat Kings play at Westman Communications Group Place, the newly named main arena at Keystone Centre.

Brandon has hosted many curling events, including:
  • The Brier - the Canadian Men's Curling Championship in 1963 and 1982
  • The Scott Tournament of Hearts - the Canadian Women's Championship in 1993 and 2002
  • 1995 World Curling Championship - Men's and Women's Championship
  • 1997 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials - the first ever Canadian trials after curling became an official Olympic Sport


Brandon has held the Canada Games in year of 1979 Winter Games and 1997 Summer Games.

Brandon will be holding the Memorial Cup festivities in 2010.

Leagues



Recreational Facilities

  • Westman Communications Group Place/Keystone Centre (hockey, curling, indoor soccer)
  • Sportsplex (indoor swimming pool, hockey, racquetball, 400m outdoor track)
  • Andrews Field (baseball)
  • Kinsmen Stadium (baseball, football)
  • Turtle Crossing (formerly Curran Park) (softball)
  • Simplot Millennium Park (baseball)
  • Optimist Soccer Park
  • Canada Games Soccer Park
  • Crocus Plains Field Hockey Pitch
  • Wheat City Curling Club
  • Riverview Curling Club
  • Thunderbird Bowl
  • Canada Games Rugby Pitch
  • Queen Elizabeth Park (baseball, tennis)
  • Rec Centre Golf Course
  • Deer Ridge Golf Club
  • Glen Lea Golf Club
  • Northern Pines Golf Club
  • Sunnyside Golf & Country Club
  • Hanbury Hill Toboggan Run


Transportation

  • Taxi service is available from numerous local taxi companies.
  • The city of Brandon runs Brandon Transit, which provides daily bus service throughout the city. The system comprises 10 routes that operate only six days a week. (Monday to Saturday)
  • Brandon is serviced by the Brandon Airportmarker, a municipal airport.
  • Brandon has a Greyhound bus station downtown that has daily service to Winnipegmarker and to other communities in Western Canada.
  • Brandon has a system of walking / bike trails throughout the city.


Events and Exhibitions

  • The Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba is a non-profit organization established in 1872, which is now housed at the city's extensive Keystone Centremarker complex. It hosts the
    • Royal Manitoba Winter Fair (March)
    • Manitoba Summer Fair (June)
    • Manitoba Livestock Expo (November)
  • AgDays - Canada's largest indoor Agricultural Trade Show and Program, and one of the premier shows of its kind in North America. Held in mid January each year at Brandon's Keystone Centre.
  • Brandon Folk Music and Arts Festival is a weekend event held annually in late July. The festival is held outdoors on the grounds of the Keystone Centre.
  • The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, located at the Brandon Municipal Airport.


Media

Music and the Arts

Brandon at night
  • Russ Conway (1913-2009), an American actor was born in Brandon.
  • Brandon hosts the Brandon Festival of the Arts every February and March. This festival is associate with the Manitoba Festival of the Arts, and participants regularly represent Brandon at the provincial level of the festival.
  • Brandon hosts the Brandon Jazz Festival. This non-competitive, education based festival brings in over 3500 participants from schools across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, and the Northern USA. The 3-day festival hosts 20+ adjudicators and performers.
  • Brandon hosts an annual Folk Festival. Organized by the Brandon Folk Music and Arts Society, the Brandon Folk Festival takes place every summer 'under the trees' on the Keystone Center. The festival actively pursues local and regional talent. Notable past performers include Big Dave McLean, Murray Evans, Wally Landreth, Crash Test Dummies, Rheostatics, Ben Sures, Hugo Torres, Papa Mambo, Scruj MacDhk, Swing Soniq, The Hummers, The Wyrd Sisters, Bill Bourne, Fred Eaglesmith, Harry Manx, Ellen Mcllwaine, Fred Penner, Wailin' Jennys, D Rangers, Bob Evans, The Plaid Tongued Devils, Burnt, and Tagaq.
  • Brandon regularly hosts numerous musical and non-musical theatre productions every year, including shows by all three high schools (Vincent Massey High School, Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School, Neelin High School), whom each put on a yearly production.
  • Brandon University School of Music hosts an annual 'Pro Series'. Guest artists from across North America are brought in to Brandon to perform at the Lorne Watson Recital Hall. Past performers include Bob Brookmeyer, George Crumb, The Penderecki String Quartet, and Charles Rosen. Numerous student performances and four annual visits from the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra fill out the calendar, except in the Summer.
  • The Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition takes place each May, rotating between Voice, Piano and Strings events each year.
  • Brandon hosts the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba which hosts exhibitions from artists both local and from across Canada.
  • Brandon also plays host to three non professional theatre groups. 7 Ages Productions, Mecca Productions and the Outcast Theatre Company.
  • Brandon is fortunate enough to have an active community orchestra. The Brandon Community Orchestra meets weekly on Saturday morning at the University and performs various concerts throughout the year.
  • "Words Alive" is an annual literary festival held in downtown Brandon. Authors to have participated in this festival include Robert J. Sawyer, Maggie Siggins, Fred Stenson and Corey Redekop.
  • Brandon hosted the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards on September 17 to 19, 2009.


City Issues

ACC Relocation to Brandon Mental Health Centre (BMHC)

The Brandon Mental Health Centre is a picturesque group of buildings located in the city's north end. Mental health services were moved away from an institutional setting, and into the communities of the patients. The provincial government announced in 2005 that part or all of Assiniboine Community College (ACC) would move to the site.

Public Services Building

Central Fire Station
The city's Fire and Police Services both require new facilities as their main buildings have grown too small for their current uses. Despite public opposition as well as opposition from the Brandon Fire Services, city council has chosen 120 - 19th Street North as the new location for the Fire Services building and 1010 Victoria Avenue as the new location for the Brandon Police Service.

Downtown Revitalization

With most of the city's retail activity having moved to the major Eighteenth Street shopping centres, downtown renewal and the viability of the Business Improvement Area (BIA), a downtown development organization with taxation powers, became a larger concern. The BIA was disbanded in 2006, however, the future of the downtown is still under debate.

Industrial Pollution

There is a significant presence of agri-chemical producers in eastern Brandon, including former Simplot Chemicals, now Koch Fertilizer Canada, ULC. As residential land has expanded eastward towards the existing agri-chemical plant in the past thirty years, increasing residential complaints of smells, clouds and dust have been raised. To date, these issues have not been aggressively pursued by civic or provincial workers.

Notable Residents



See also

Further Reading

References

External links




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