Manufacturers Building Their Futures in Manitoba

Manitoba aerospace innovation economic developemnt
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There is no question that advanced manufacturing plays an important role in Manitoba’s economy. Our diversified manufacturing industry produces everything from aerospace equipment, buses, tractors and machinery, to food products, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals and much more. Manitoba is home to scores of companies that produce billions of dollars in products shipped across North America and around the globe. In the last 20 years, Manitoba’s manufacturing output has increased nearly 80 per cent – twice the growth experienced in manufacturing centres in eastern Canada.

Manitoba is the headquarters for North America’s largest manufacturers of buses (New Flyer Industries and its subsidiary, Motor Coach Industries), Canada’s largest manufacturer of harvesting equipment (MacDon Industries) and Canada’s only manufacturer of tractors (Buhler Versatile). Our state-of-the-art aerospace industry is the largest in Western Canada, led by global companies: Boeing Technology Canada, StandardAero, and Magellan Aerospace. Manitoba is Canada’s third largest exporter of pharmaceuticals, with operations for Pfizer Canada, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Medicure, Apotex Fermentation, and the headquarters of Vita Health Products. Food processing is well established here, with operations of global leaders like Maple Leaf Foods, McCain Foods, Simplot Canada and Roquette.

Exterior of GE Aviation's Test Research Development Centre in Winnipeg
Exterior of GE Aviation’s Test Research Development Centre in Winnipeg

Manufacturers and processors work closely with universities, colleges and research institutes to develop new technologies. For example, Winnipeg’s Composites Innovation Centre works with companies in the areas of aerospace, ground transportation, civil infrastructure and bio materials. It also manages global consortia exploring new technologies and materials.

People are often surprised to hear that approximately 85 per cent of the world’s new

GE Aviation Icing Tunnel Winnipeg
GE Aviation’s Test Research and Development Centre Icing Tunnel in Action

large commercial aircraft developmental engines are tested in Manitoba before they are certified for flight. General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce – the world’s largest aircraft engine manufacturers – have invested over $100 million in testing facilities in Manitoba.


The most recent exciting development is the current planning by the National Research Council of Canada to establish a facility in

Exterior of The Global Aerospace Centre for icing and environmental research (GlACier)
Exterior of The Global Aerospace Centre for icing and environmental research (GlACier) test facility in Thompson – a joint venture between Pratt & Whitney Canada and Rolls-Royce Canada

Winnipeg to be the headquarters for its Advanced Manufacturing Program, a national initiative to support the development of advanced manufacturing technologies for Canadian industry. The program is national in scope and will focus initially on the aerospace and automotive industries. In addition to the Winnipeg flagship facility, the program will operate in Montreal, Ottawa and London.


The future is bright for manufacturing in Manitoba. If you’re a manufacturer contemplating an expansion or location decision, you owe it to yourself to have a look at Manitoba. Visit today.