Downtown Advocate To Receive Distinguished Alumni Award

Stefano Grande, Executive Director of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ

Stefano Grande, Executive Director of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ

The tireless work of one of Winnipeg’s downtown advocates, Stefano Grande, executive director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, will be celebrated at The University of Winnipeg’s Spring Convocation on Thursday, June 6th at 2:30 p.m., where Stefan Jonasson, President of the UW Alumni Association will present him with a prestigious honour: the Distinguished Alumni Award. Grande graduated from UWinnipeg in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science. Past recipients of this award have included Margo Goodhand, Ida Albo, and Susan Thompson.

Alumni Association President Stefan Jonasson lauded Grande, saying “one of the main reasons for Stefano’s selection is the positive impact he has had on the downtown in such a short time; it has truly reflected the University’s mandate of giving back to the community.”

“Stefano is a true leader in every sense of the word; he has inspired community and business leaders to step up and move our downtown forward strategically,” said Councillor Jenny Gerbasi, who, along with former UWSA President Jason Syvixay, submitted Grande’s nomination. “He sets a true standard for what we want to see in our city, and is a champion in everything he does. This award is a testament to his unwavering support and dedication to our city and our downtown, and the rest of our city congratulates him.”

“I am very proud to serve our city,” said Grande. “This is a wonderful honour and it reminds me of the importance of The University of Winnipeg in the revitalization of our downtown and in helping to positively impact many future generations to come. I am inspired and motivated, and believe now more than ever, that we are closing in on our shining vision for the heart of our city. I hope all Winnipeggers will join me in making this a reality.”

In 2011 Grande established an annual BIZ Bursary for deserving business students at The University of Winnipeg.

As the current executive director for the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, his focus over the last eight years has been increasing the BIZ’s service delivery to business members in the areas of safety and litter removal in particular, as well as increased advocacy in areas that include downtown housing, police foot patrols, Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Rapid Transit, and other key policies critical to the long term renewal of downtown.

Grande’s volunteer board commitments include serving on the International Downtown Association, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, and Downtown Winnipeg Council, and as Chair of the Winnipeg Parking Authority Advisory Board.

Grande is passionate about helping the less fortunate off the streets and into permanent, healthier lifestyles. At the BIZ, he has helped raise funds to assist the homeless and connect them with supportive housing and employment opportunities.

About the University of Winnipeg Distinguished Alumni Award

The University of Winnipeg Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award honours alumni for outstanding contributions to their professions or their communities. Established in 1990, the award is the Alumni Association’s highest tribute.

About the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ

The Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone (BIZ) represents 1,400 businesses in the district and runs programs targeting downtown image, cleanliness, safety, transportation and parking. The BIZ is committed to the downtown community, providing programs that respond to the needs of business members, residents and all visitors to the downtown. For more information on the downtown, visit the Downtown BIZ  at


Kevin Rosen, Director of Marketing & Communications,
The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.786.9381, E:

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