Brandon University has been chosen by the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Northwest) to house up to 100 cadets and support staff this summer during their Cadet Training Centre program that will take place from the end of June to the end of August. 'The agreement will also bring the cadets back to Brandon in 2023, with an option to extend the relationship to be revisited at that time,' states the media release.

“We consider it a true privilege to welcome Cadets Canada to our campus this summer. In a season where things tend to be a little quieter here at BU, this group will bring great energy to our residence and ancillary spaces,” said Jackie Nichol, Manager of Ancillary Services, which operates the residences at Brandon University. “We will provide the participants with accommodations, meeting and classroom options, and space to relax and enjoy their experience here in Brandon. The benefits to our campus, our university and the wider Brandon community are far-reaching. We are grateful for the opportunity to open our doors to them.”

Cadet Summer Training Centres are located across the country, and facilitate the summer camp programs for literally thousands of Air, Army, Navy and Sea Cadets throughout the summer months.  The Training Centres were last held in 2019, due to the pandemic, offering training for youth who have completed their third year of Cadet training or higher. The Centres will return to in-person training this summer, with each group of air cadets spending six weeks in Brandon and receiving training to qualify for their Transport Canada Gliding License.

The University worked together with the Brandon Flight Centre (BFC) and Brandon First in preparing the bids. The BFC will host the training for the cadets.

“The Brandon Flight Centre is excited to welcome Cadets Canada to Brandon this summer,” said BFC said in a statement. “We have a proud history of offering professional flight training, and we look forward to working with Cadets Canada to help their graduates further their aviation dreams.  With the increased demand for pilots worldwide, it is essential that we find new opportunities to support aspiring aviators. Brandon offers a number of different opportunities to expose the cadets to the diversity of the careers available within the aviation industry. We hope this program inspires a new generation of pilots and we look forward to supporting their mission.”

"Brandon has hosted the Brandon branch of the air cadets for a long time, however this is the entire northwest division, which includes the provinces as well as the northern territories.  So we are thrilled to have them join us this summer!" shared Jillian Borreson, Student Service Coordinator for Brandon Flight Centre.  

The Cadet Summer Training Centre for the air cadet flight training program has been based out of Gimli, MB since the 1970's.  However, due to deteriorating infrastructure the program was to be relocated.   "They were looking for a new home and Brandon just happened to be one of the places that popped up," explains Borreson. "We bid on it, and were one of 9 locations, and the only one in Manitoba.  So, we were lucky enough to get it and we're thrilled to be able to keep this here in Manitoba where we think it belongs!"

"We're just really glad for the opportunity to continue to support aviation and make sure there's lots of opportunity in the Brandon area, as we've got a fantastic training zone. We're happy to support this addition!" 

Borreson says its wonderful to be able to increase their air training through the recent partnership with Assiniboine Community College, and now Cadets Canada.  "'We're just really, really thrilled with how much work we've been able to put in to growing this program and expanding aviation opportunities in the Westman area."

BU will facilitate room and board and classroom time for the participating cadets, officers and training staff. The Brandon Flight Centre facilitates the glider training that takes place with Canadian Forces officer and civilian instructors doing the actual instruction.  "We have all their equipment here on site, but we are not actually training them, we just house their equipment.  They will walk away with that 6-week glider license program, and when they're done with that glider license program, it's really easy for them to upgrade to get their private pilot license with us, which is great as they'll be in an area they're already familiar with and they'll be able to join our training fairly easily," she adds.

Brandon First, the event recruitment and destination marketing organization for Brandon and area, is also proudly supporting the local hosting efforts put forth by both BU and the Brandon Flight Centre.

“While this may not be typical style of event people are used to seeing us recruit, like a softball tournament or a curling championship, we are no less excited to have worked with BU and BFC to bring this event to Brandon,” Brandon First Interim Executive Director Jennifer Watson said.  “We can’t wait to welcome Cadets Canada to Brandon, to show them why we are known as a top-notch host city, and why Brandon Brings You Back again and again.”

Photo below: Air Cadets march through Winnipeg's downtown during a special summer ceremony