Organizers of the annual CEO sleep out in Winnipeg are seeing a record number of participants this year.          

Winnipeg CEOs spend a night camping out at the Portage Avenue and Main Street intersection in September to raise funds for the homeless.

There are 150 CEOs participating in this year’s sleep out, up from 55 in 2012, including four mayoral candidates in Brian Bowman, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, Coun. Paula Havixbeck and Gord Steeves.


Business leaders sleep out at the corner of Portage Ave. and Main St. in 2012 in Winnipeg to raise awareness and money for homeless issues. (Abdoulaye Cissoko/CBC)

“There were 100 participants last year,” said Ari Driver with the Downtown BIZ. “For those people that slept, you all know where we were on the corner and you know how much space we had – we weren't cramped, but we were cozy.

“Multiply that number by 30. That's a lot of people; that's how many people are on the streets of Winnipeg!"

Driver estimated hundreds of people live on the streets of Winnipeg.

City councillors, police officers, and CBC Manitoba senior managing director John Bertrand will be among those spending the night on the street Sept. 18. 

The 2013 CEO Sleepout raised around $200,000.

In February, the Downtown BIZ donated $173,773 of that money to five Winnipeg social agencies working toward solving homelessness in the city: Siloam Mission, Graffiti Art Programming, Red Road Lodge, Artbeat Studio, and MacDonald Youth Services.