CITY OF THOMPSON AIMS TO BE #1 LOCATION FOR COLD WEATHER TESTING

Announcing the Launch of New Economic Development Corporation, SubZero North

Thompson, MB – Thompson Manitoba reignites its winter weather testing initiative with the relaunch SubZero North, a one-stop-shop for manufacturers to test their goods in the most real and harshest cold weather environments.  

Focusing on its real-world conditions such as extreme cold weather, isolated community, and the beautiful Boreal Forest, SubZero North’s goal is to reinvigorate the cold weather testing industry and attract industry leaders manufacturing electric vehicles, autonomous transportation, robotics and sensors for decades to come. 

“With an average 240 days a year of sub-zero temperatures, and up to six months of snow cover, Thompson has the potential to be the best outdoor cold weather test site not only in North America, but worldwide,” says Dennis Green, President of Thompson Chamber of Commerce.  “We are excited to relaunch this initiative and welcome new industry partners to our city.

 In 2021, a newly formed Thompson Community Development Corporation was formed, and the Winter Weather Testing project moved from the umbrella of the Chamber of Commerce to the new corporation. The TCDC was successful in obtaining funding to move the plan in motion.

Key goals for the upcoming year 22/23 include:

  1. Positioning Thompson into the testing ecosystem by establishing partnerships with provincial, national and international organizations and businesses and hosting the first ever Cold Weather Testing Conference.
  2. Establishing a winter weather testing campus in Thompson for testing and research.

“SubZero North will provide unique opportunities to test durability and efficiency in a real-world environment,” says Connie Krahenbil, Executive Director of the TCDC. “We like to say, if it works in Thompson, it will work anywhere.”

This November, Sub Zero North will host its first ever Cold Weather Testing Conference.  The conference, hosted in partnership with Transport Canada and the National Research Council’s Community of Practice will take place over 3 days in Winnipeg and Thompson November 15-17, 2022.

The agenda is packed with opportunities to learn and network with speakers and delegates from across Canada and beyond.  Featured speakers include Dr. Jean Andrey, a Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on weather-transportation interactions including road safety, winter maintenance practices, and the implications of climate change on transportation. Also, on the lineup is Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, otherwise known as Professor Popsicle. Dr. Giesbrecht is a Professor of Thermophysiology in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management at the University of Manitoba. The conference takes place over 3 days in November. 

Ready…Set…Test! 

SubZero North’s First Ever Cold Weather Testing Conference
Featuring Alternative Fuels in the Canadian Environment

November 15-17, 2022

Early Bird rates are in effect until September 30th, 2022 and seats for Thompson are limited.  Book your spot today by visiting subzeronorth.ca

-30-

For more information please contact: 

Connie Krahenbil, Executive Director, Thompson Community Development Corporation
Email:    [email protected]
Ph:         431-354-2225

Background

Thompson is the largest city in the Northern Region of Manitoba, Canada and is situated along the Burntwood River, 761 kms (or 346 miles) north of Winnipeg and 830 kms north of the Canada-U.S. border.

In the late 80s several companies such as Ford, and Chrysler came to Thompson to test their products in extreme winter conditions and sparked a new industry for the north.  Over time a variety of automobile, snowmobile and jet engine manufacturers began testing their products here and even established testing sites.

In 2005, the City of Thompson with funds from Inco’s Grant in Lieu contributed towards a 10-year contract and created an economic development corporation, Thompson Unlimited, to stimulate economic growth and diversification. Thompson Unlimited operated for over 10-years and played a significant role in developing the winter weather testing industry based on recommendation from the report. In 2015 Thompson Unlimited disbanded, and thus the momentum to continue developing the industry downsized.

The desire and ambition to rejuvenate the prodigious industry has emerged in 2019 through collaboration with several community stakeholders and championed by the Thompson Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce established a winter weather testing committee to reinvigorate the local testing industry. The initiative called for the development of a new feasibility and business plan for SubZero North.  A professional consulting team lead by CAVCO was hired in 2020 . The initiative is now housed under the umbrella of the TCDC and moving forward with establishing itself in the testing ecosystem, building a local campus for testing and research.  

GET STARTED

Put Thompson to the Test.

Learn More.