We’ve been asked a number of times what the difference is between TEDxWinnipeg and TEDxManitoba. Today, there is no difference, but to understand the question requires a brief history lesson about TEDx in Manitoba.
The province’s very first TEDx event took place in February 2011 under the name TEDxManitoba, which is where the current TEDxWinnipeg traces its roots to. This event took place with 100 guests at the Park Theatre, the attendance being limited by the license issued by TED.
In September 2011, another TEDx event took place — the first under the TEDxWinnipeg banner — with up to 300 people at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG). This larger event was held under a different license from TED and was organized by a different committee, headed by Jamie Townsend. This was the first of two TEDxWinnipeg events organized by this committee, in 2011 and 2012.
Meanwhile TEDxManitoba changed venues to the Tom Hendry Warehouse Theatre and continued through 2012, 1013, and 2014. The organizing committee has had continuity since 2011, though with some changes to the steering committee over that time. In 2014 we were notified that TED would no longer issue licenses for a geographic name as large as a state, province, or similar region, however, our license for that year would be issued as TEDxManitoba — this was an exception for continuity, but would not be continued.
For our 5th anniversary event in 2015, we applied for a different name as we had been notified that they wouldn’t issue a license for TEDxManitoba under the new naming guidelines. We did not apply for TEDxWinnipeg because we it was in use by another group, and we felt it might be confusing in any event. It came as something of a surprise to us when our license was issued under the name TEDxWinnipeg! We immediately contacted Jamie Townsend, who was very gracious about the whole matter, and transferred the website domain and social accounts to us. From his perspective, he was happy to see TEDx events continue in Winnipeg, and his committee at that time did not have any plans to continue hosting TEDx events.
It’s worth noting that each TEDx event license is granted annually, for one year only. Upon review of the year’s event, a license for the following year can be applied for and may or may not be granted, at TED’s discretion. Since 2011, in addition to TEDxWinnipeg and TEDxManitoba, there have also been events for TEDxUManitoba, TEDxUniversityofWinnipeg, TEDxYouthFortGarry, and TEDxKildonan. (In fact, TEDxUManitoba has their 2016 event scheduled for later this month.)
So in the end, except for 2011 and 2012, there is no difference between TEDxWinnipeg and TEDxManitoba. Prior to 2015, the current incarnation of TEDxWinnipeg was known as TEDxManitoba.
For 2016, TEDxWinnipeg has been granted a different form of license which enables us to have more than 100 guests (we are accepting up to 230 guests this year) and allows us to charge an admission fee (a modest $25 this year) to help offset the cost of hosting the event.