Community Feature: Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries

For more than a decade Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries (originally through the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission), has been supporting the LGBTTQ* community in numerous ways. It first began with support for the Rainbow Resource Centre’s annual Swish Gala and has grown into multiple areas of rainbow support, including being a Gold Partner for the 2016 Pride Winnipeg Festival.

“We have a responsibility to the community,” says Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries CEO, John Stinson, pointing out that the responsibility is more than just the support for outside events, it’s also about fostering a safe and inclusive work environment and tailoring offerings for the LGBTTQ* community.

Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries has grown aware in recent years of the needs of LGBTTQ* individuals. On the inside they have made serious strides forward to ensuring they are a welcoming employer, have zero-tolerance policies, and are in the process of developing an LGBTTQ* staff group. On the outside they’re furthering their commitment by providing gender-neutral washrooms at the casinos and at their corporate offices, ensuring that anyone concerned about heading out to a casino parking lot will be accompanied by security personnel, and by promoting products that might be popular with LGBTTQ* folks at their liquor markets during Pride Week such as Half Pints Queer Beer.

However, based on what Stinson is seeing, there is a lot more that can be done. Areas of interest are the community events and events that take place outside of the Pride Festival. “We need to leverage more fundraising events, big and small,” says Stinson. “These events need our support.” Stinson views these events as not only being important to the community but also helping Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries reach other segments.

“Apart from being able to say ‘Bottoms Up,’ we really want people to tell us what they want,” says Stinson. “Please don’t be afraid to engage with us. We need the thoughts and ideas of the LGBTTQ* community to help us serve you the best we can.”

*Please enjoy Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries’ products and services responsibly.