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Investor Highlight


July 19, 2021

Vermillion Growers is very proud and humbled to have a large number of investors, all a diverse group made of of individuals who, for one reason or another, believe in us and our tagline of Growing Food, Growing People, and Growing Communities. Our prioritizing the triple bottom line of protecting people, planet, and profit speaks to most investors, and we are grateful for each and every one of those who has invested their dollars into our state-of-the art glass greenhouse in Dauphin, MB.

Today we want to introduce you to two of those investors, both from different work backgrounds, though their lives have definitely intertwined over the years. Indeed, they are brothers! Both Art Gagnon and his younger sibling, René Gagnon, came to know Vermillion Growers separately, but both made the decision to invest time and money into our project. 

Art’s formal training was as a Mechanical Engineer, but he has worked in various fields. From residential real estate to supplying technology to large scale construction projects, Art enriched himself with experience.  But it was his decision to take over the family farm in St. Amélie, MB, just southeast of Ste. Rose du Lac, which would give him his most hands-on role. Art started with small grain, and then branched out to crops which would feed his successful seed business, Gagnon Seeds. He also farmed feeder cattle. The day-to-day operation of a farm, where he would remain for over 40 years, allowed Art to hone skills in business and agriculture, and develop a number of relationships. One of those relationships was with someone in the Ste. Rose du Lac Municipal Office, considering the nearby location of Art’s seed business and farm. This relationship had already started years before - it was his brother, René. 

Before René Gagnon worked at the Municipal Office, he attended Red River College, like older brother Art did, but in Business Administration. At the Municipal Office, Art and René’s work would be intertwined until René began working in the Northern Affairs Office in Thompson. While René thought the stint up north would only last a  few years, he remained for over 33 years, finishing up as Director of Finance. During his tenure he didn’t get to see as much of Ste. Rose and the Parkland Region as he would have liked, but, like Art, his thoughts are often there. 

It was Art who first learned about our greenhouse project through regional committees he serves on. Having sold his farm, Art still wanted to be involved in agriculture in the Parkland, and he feels this is the project he wants to support. Art and his wife Irene have invested not only money, but Art also serves on our Advisory Board, given the wealth of his experience. 

René learned about Vermillion Growers from Art and attended one of our investor events at the DeLuca’s South Landing store in Winnipeg. He saw the benefits of the project right away. 

“We are going to be going to the grocery store and getting tomatoes when they are ripe, and not ones that are gassed in Mexico and sent up here in a truck eventually,” he says.

 And René, and his wife, Shirley, both love the benefit our project will provide the area. 

“We love the economic boost for the area, and we wanted to invest in that," René says. And with their love of travel, René adds, “We look forward to the dividends and tax credit to fund our trips.”

 Art and Irene also love the benefits they will see from Vermillion, both personally from the dividends and tax credit, but also for the area.

“We are very eager to see the economic development it can create, and the jobs, of course," Art says.

 We agree with both brothers, and are thankful to them and every single one of our investors for their unwavering support.

NOTE: This blog entry features references to a ’tax credit’ for having invested in Vermillion Growers. This tax credit, available to eligible investors, is the Manitoba Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit which provides a credit of up to 45% of the amount invested. If you would like information on this investment tool, please feel free to reach out to us from the Contact Us menu.