CEOs, Community Leaders Prepare to Sleep Outside

Marina James, CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg, and Carole Vivier, Manitoba Film & Music CEO and film commissioner, take part in last year’s “CEO Sleepout” in downtown Winnipeg on Thursday, September 29, 2011. (TED GRANT / CHRISD.CA FILE)

More than 50 Winnipeg CEOs and community leaders will brave the not-so-chilly overnight temperatures by sleeping outdoors tonight.

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s second annual Change for the Better CEO Sleepout will raise funds and awareness for homelessness and poverty issues in the city.

“Our goal this year is to educate our downtown community and the public about supportive housing and employment as means to ending homelessness in our city and our downtown,” said Stefano Grande, executive director of the Downtown BIZ. “We’re challenging CEOs, community leaders, and key decision-makers to play a role in building a community that creates opportunities for our city’s most vulnerable, resulting in socio-economic improvements for our downtown and city.”

Last year’s sleepout raised over $100,000 for Change for the Better, a program that helps people who are homeless get off the street into permanent paid employment and a healthier environment.

For a list of participants and to make a donation, visit