The History of the Brandon Career Symposium:

The Brandon Career Symposium was created from the success of the Winnipeg Symposium that started in 1980. Tom Prins who was the Career Consultant for Manitoba Education and a member of the Manitoba School Counselors’ Association (MSCA) approached the Brandon Chapter of MSCA in 1985 to see if they were interested in the concept. The result was that the first Career Symposium in Brandon took place in 1986 and was an instant success. MSCA was the main sponsor with the support of Manitoba Education and the Brandon Regional Office of Human Resources Development now Service Canada. The Title of the First Symposium was “ Don’t Miss The Boat! Discover a World of Careers.” The Steering Committee Members in 1986 were: Brenda Blanco, Ruth Anne Black, Louise Carels, Ron Chalmers, Ruby Chalmers, Rick Chrest, Al Clark, Craig Clearwater, Sherril Colert, Steve Davidge, Nolan Erickson, Reg Forbes, Trudy Hemstad, Pat Heuchert, Andrea MacDonald, Fred McGuinnes, Jake Poetker, Tom Prins, Bill Schaffer, Colleen Seymour, Roy Sobchuk, Heather Walker and Ben Ward. The Coordinator was Jennifer Harrison and the Secretary was Maryanne Sparrow. The Brandon Career Symposium is the longest running Career symposium in Canada. The Brandon Career Symposium was incorporated July 23, 2013.  


The Board of Directors will consist of representatives of each of Brandon’s three Secondary Schools, two to three representatives from Secondary Schools in neighboring school divisions, one representative each from Brandon University, Assiniboine Community College, Employment Manitoba, Career and Employment Youth Services, and up to three additional board members from various community and government groups, as well as any funder who wishes to have a representative sit on the Board and that representative will be an ex-officio representative. The board of Directors membership shall not exceed fifteen.  


The purpose of this organization shall be conducting an annual career symposium in the City of Brandon which shall operate as a non-profit organization without pecuniary gain to its members and which shall include the following among its aims and objectives:
a) To create an environment where youth and adults can visit informative and interactive displays, attend speaker sessions and meet with leading representatives in business and education to discover career and educational paths for ongoing personal growth and development;
b) To make youth and adults aware of the educational and technical skills they would require for future employment;
c) To encourage youth and adults to pursue their education and enroll in relevant fields;
d) To encourage exhibitors to share their professional experiences of sustaining a career in their displayed profession.


The Brandon Career Symposium is held annually at the Keystone Center in Brandon, Manitoba. The event runs over a period of three days and occurs in the first part of March. As indicated earlier the Brandon Career Symposium is the longest running Symposium in Canada. The Symposium features over a hundred Exhibitors and an audience of over 3000 people on a yearly basis. This year’s symposium is scheduled for March7-9, 2016.


The Brandon Career Symposium runs on a budget of about $100,000.00. The Career Symposium Budget relies solely on the income from the event to balance their budget. The following is a breakdown of the budget:
• 75% of budget comes from income from Exhibitors
• 11% of the budget comes from participants entrance fees
• 11% of the budget comes from Sponsors
• 3% comes from other sources

Guidelines for Board Members and Officers

Commitment and General Duty
Board members are responsible for understanding, representing, and communicating the strategic direction of The Brandon Career Symposium to community members and stakeholders;
Board members in partnership with the staff of the Brandon Career Symposium, will assist in the determination of the mission, long-term goals, philosophies and general policies, making certain the organization meets the ongoing objectives it was established to address;
Board members must ensure the continuity, vitality and faithfulness of the organization to its mission and long-term goals. This responsibility includes periodically reviewing the mission/goals and revising them as needs and priorities change;
Board members will determine and maintain strong financial direction and procedures of the organization, assuring its financial soundness and accountability to all the funders.

A Board Member is committed to:

 Fulfillment of the needs of the people the organization serves;
 Ensuring the financial integrity of the organization;
 Promoting the organization’s goals and objectives within the community serves;
 Maintaining competent staff in sufficient numbers to fulfill the objectives of the corporation in terms of service;

General duties of an effective Board member are:

 Attending all Board meetings and participating in a meaningful manner;
 Sending regrets if you are unable to attend the meeting;
 Attending committee meetings; must be prepared to sit on the committee that will recruit, interview, select and evaluate the Coordinator’s position;
 If three (3) meetings are missed in a fiscal year, a letter will be drafted and sent to the Board member’s parent organization requesting they reassess the availability of the candidate they have chosen to sit on the Board;
 Assuming leadership when requested or when required;
 Keeping informed of the organization’s policies and services;
 Keeping informed about needs and trends with the organization’s membership and the community served;
 Assisting Career Symposium staff in the planning and implementation of fundraising events and / or partnership opportunities to promote the agency;