Generous gift creates Great-West Life Healthy Campus and Research Centre

GWL Research Centre May 13 2014 WEB Community wellness hub anchors new UNITED Health & RecPlex – Architect’s rendering  May 2014


 WINNIPEG, MB –The most comprehensive athletic, health, wellness and healing facility ever built in the heart of Winnipeg’s inner city will now include the Great-West Life Healthy Campus and Research Centre, thanks to a generous $500,000 gift announced today from Great-West Life to The University of Winnipeg. Part of this donation will support a new position – Executive Director, Wellness and Student Life at UWinnipeg, enabling development of a robust healthy campus initiative.

The UNITED Health & RecPlex, on track to open in September 2014, provides unparalleled recreational and health opportunities for the community, and supports enhanced student sports programs and academic research.

The $40 million facility on Spence Street adds to the revitalization of Winnipeg’s downtown and West End, helps alleviate the chronic shortage of safe and affordable activity space for inner city youth and residents, and provides new health services in the neighbourhood.

“As Winnipeg’s urban, downtown University, located in one of the most diverse communities in Canada, our mission to create the best learning environment possible, where people can thrive is intrinsically linked to the health and well-being of our surrounding community,” said Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg.”We are deeply committed to dissolving the line between our campus and community and this partnership with Great-West Life allows us to share our resources in a way that will benefit our students and faculty, and just as importantly, the youth and families who are our neighbours.”

The Great-West Life Healthy Campus and Research Centre houses various UWinnipeg Faculty of Kinesiology research programs including concussion and diabetes prevention with further programming in development.

“As a major employer in Winnipeg and an active member of the community, we’re very pleased to be a part of this exciting new development,” said Dave Johnston, President and Chief Operating Officer for Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. “The UNITED Health & RecPlex will benefit both students and residents of our shared neighborhood. The University of Winnipeg is forward-thinking and inclusive – a strong organization taking the interests of Winnipeggers to heart.”

The new RecPlex is connected by skywalks to UWinnipeg’s renovated Duckworth Centre which offers an athletic therapy clinic, employing the expertise of athletic therapists, massage therapists, sports medicine practitioners and general physicians. Services are open to the student body and the general public, providing an entire block of health care and recreation options.


An integral part of the UNITED Health & RecPlex is access for inner-city children and youth, particularly from the surrounding neighbourhoods. A unique Community Charter entrenches UWinnipeg’s partnership with the community and ongoing guidance is provided by the Community Access Advisory Committee.

The state-of-the-art indoor green space accommodates a multitude of sports such as soccer, flag football and track and field, as well as recreational, cultural and community events. Key features inside the UNITED Health & RecPlex include:


• a large multi-use artificial turf field

• a four-lane rubberized sprint track

• a practice gym

• retractable batting cages

• a multi-events room

• food and beverage kiosks

• an underground parkade for 200 vehicles and a secure bicycle lock-up

Construction of the $40 million UNITED Health & RecPlex facility is possible because of government grants, with the Province of Manitoba contributing $15 million and the City of Winnipeg committing $2 million to the project; A UWSA sponsored student athletic fee of $30 per term was approved by referendum in fall 2012 and is providing significant support to the project.  Generous donors now include Great-West Life, and the Thomas Sill Foundation, among others.

Find out more at: EDITOR’S NOTE: A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the UNITED Health & RecPlex will take place on June 17, 2014 at 10:30 am.

– 30 –


Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7135, E:


Ted Wakefield, Media and Public Relations, Great-West Life

P: 204-946-4201, E:



Comments are closed.