Brand New Launch It! Participant, Friendly Manitoba, Opens At The Forks


August 15, 2017


Winnipeg, Manitoba – Friendly Manitoba, a local clothing line “celebrating the lame facets of prairie provincial lifestyle” just got its first big break – a rent free space on the second floor of The Forks Market until mid October.

Kyle Doucette, 30, recently entered into a three-month agreement with The Forks in a new installment of the Downtown BIZ ‘Launch It!’ initiative. In the last two weeks, Doucette transformed the empty storefront into a colourful and fun lifestyle shop to sell his locally printed gear, interact with tourists and Winnipegger’s alike, and play a little Nintendo in his down time.

Launch It!, which has helped businesses like Lennard Taylor, Synonym, One Nation Exchange and Friday Knights to name a few, is a retail incubator and pop up shop that gives rent free storefront to young entrepreneurs for 3 months. In addition, the Downtown BIZ provides support in the form of signage, Wi-Fi, mentorship, networking opportunities and workshops.

This is the first time the Downtown BIZ and The Forks have collaborated to give a local entrepreneur this kind of platform. “We’re really excited to expand our Launch It! opportunity to The Forks and we’re grateful for their support and partnership”, said Stefano Grande, CEO of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “Kyle and Friendly Manitoba are a great fit for both Launch It! and The Forks and we hope he’ll discover long term success from this opportunity.”

Doucette looks to start things off with a bang by giving away a free beer at The Common this Thursday (August 17) to those who purchase a hoodie from Friendly Manitoba between 7 pm and 9 pm.

I’m excited to have been given the opportunity to set up shop in a place like The Forks where I can interact with people on a face-to-face level” said Doucette. “I strongly believe that this type of personal connection is what really helps a local business thrive – especially considering Winnipeg’s 2 degrees of separation.”

Catch Friendly Manitoba at The Forks until October 10 Tuesday-Thursday from 11 am to 5 pm and Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 8pm.

Entrepreneurs looking to find out more about Launch It! can contact the Downtown BIZ at 204-958-4640 or visit

Youth entrepreneurialism can and is transforming our Downtown and our city. With the support our property owners and youth mentors, Launch It! is helping youth test drive our downtown retail market with low risk in hopes of helping turn these ideas into something permanent.

For more info – or to schedule a phone call or an interview with Kyle, please call:

Eric Olek
Project Coordinator, Launch It!