Weaving from conversation to conversation, you couldn’t help but feel humbled by their stories and their amazing accomplishments.

So many incredible people in our community doing such incredible things; all of them under 40; all of them deeply invested in making this an even better place to live. To a person, they are connected by a white-hot passion for change; for giving back and for making a difference.

Our Future 40 project was about putting a spotlight on Manitoba’s top leaders, builders and change-makers under 40. We wanted to trumpet the next generation of women and men who are using their diverse skills and abilities in areas ranging from arts and culture to social activism to volunteerism and health care.

After whittling down almost 200 nominations — no easy task — most of the 40 finalists came together recently at Artspace in the Exchange District to celebrate with CBC Manitoba and with each other.

Some brought along their moms and close friends, some brought along the people who nominated them, and others just wanted to meet, mingle and share with as many Future 40 recipients as possible.

And what a group. There were artists and entrepreneurs, teachers and cancer researchers. There were people who work with inner city kids and people who are devoted to sustainable living and food security. One was an advocate for anti-bullying while another was focused on indigenous education.

The stories go on and on — and you can learn more about all of the Future 40 nominees at CBC.ca/Manitoba.

Celebration of community

I have lived in Manitoba most of my life. My roots are here, my friends and family are here. I have made deliberate choices to stay and I feel fiercely proud of my home. I want this city to be a great place to live and work and raise a family.

At CBC Manitoba, I am not alone in that feeling.

As your public broadcaster, we are charged with sharing and telling the stories of what it means to be Canadian and what it means to live in a particular part of this wonderful country. We want to be the public space at the heart of our conversations and experiences as Canadians.

Part of that storytelling will be governed by strong and transparent journalistic principles of balance, fairness and accountability. We also need to be relentlessly connecting with all parts of this diverse and changing community to be as relevant and reflective as possible.

We need to tell the stories of challenge and solution. And we need to celebrate the people who are making a difference in our community.

That’s what Future 40 is all about. It is a celebration of our community.

I very much want to thank all of the nominees, not just for being part of this CBC initiative but for all that you do and will continue to do.

I did feel very humbled meeting those people at Artspace, but I also felt proud — of them and this place.

We really are in very good hands.

If you have something to say about what we do and how we do it at CBC Manitoba, you can reach me directly at 204-788-3213 or by email at john.bertrand@cbc.ca or on Twitter @CBCjohnBertrand.