Brandon: Communities in Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Parsai Immigration Services will be providing an overview of 11 Canadian communities. These communities are listed under Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. The sixth community we’ll be looking at is the City of Brandon, Manitoba.

What is the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot?

In short, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven government program. This program will help rural Canadian areas attract foreign workers. These areas need more workers in order to meet economic development and labour market needs. You can find more information on the pilot program by clicking here.

What can you expect from each community?

According to the government of Canada, the communities will:

  • promote the pilot and their community to possible candidates
  • identify job opportunities in the local economy and work to match applicants to jobs
  • assess possible candidates who:
    • best fit the economic needs of the community
    • have a genuine employment opportunity
    • have the intention of staying in the community
  • recommend candidates for permanent residence to IRCC for a final decision
  • provide a welcoming community for immigrants
  • connect immigrants to official members of the community and settlement services
  • report on the results of the pilot

Now, let’s explore the City of Brandon.


Brandon is the second-largest city in the province of Manitoba, Canada. It is located in the southwestern corner of the province on the banks of the Assiniboine River. Brandon is approximately 214 km west of the provincial capital, Winnipeg. It’s also located 120 km east of the Saskatchewan boundary. Brandon covers an area of 43 square kilometres (26 square miles). Its official population is 48,859 (2016).

In 1881, General Thomas Rosser chose a location for a major divisional point of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He named this new townsite “Brandon”. The city’s name has been passed down for centuries. It’s derived from the Blue Hills of Brandon. The Blue Hills of Brandon received their name second hand from a Hudson’s Bay trading post known as Brandon House. The Brandon House received its name from a hill on an island in James Bay where Capt. James moored* his ship in 1631.

With that, hundreds populated the new development of Brandon to reap the benefits of the rich and abundant farmland. They came quickly. In fact, Brandon grew so rapidly that it never received the status of a village or town, but became a city overnight. Brandon’s growth creates opportunities for individuals, families, and businesses to succeed.

Brandon has been nicknamed the “Wheat City” in honour of its rich agricultural heritage and reputation as a prosperous farming community. The city’s hockey team is called the Brandon Wheat Kings.

*Moored: to fasten a boat by attaching it by cable or rope to the shore or to an anchor.


Brandon’s Labour Force is extremely stable, committed and well educated. Totalling 58,700 and growing, the labour force is drawn from not only the city but the surrounding municipalities. About 19% of Brandon’s labour force lives in rural communities outside the city’s boundaries. The combination of a well-educated and rural rooted workforce is a key strength of Brandon.

A 2018 Labour Force Survey shows that Brandon has 32,100 employed and 1,500 unemployed residents aged 15 years and over. The city has an unemployment rate of about 4.5% (2018). The City of Brandon has a 71.0% participation rate of employment for all persons aged 15 years and older.

Brandon is centrally located in the midst of a large trading area. It has access to major transportation systems, a dependable labour supply, low utility rates, and no municipal business tax. There are many advantages to locating your business in Brandon.

You can learn more about business in Brandon by clicking here.


A whopping 57% of Brandon’s residents graduate from post-secondary educational institutions. Brandon University, Assiniboine Community College and the Manitoba Emergency Services College provide highly skilled professionals to Brandon’s employers year after year.

Health care

According to Economic Development Brandon, the Brandon Regional Health Centre (BRHC) offers a variety of services and programs. BRHC offers these services and programs to the residents of Brandon and the surrounding municipalities of Cornwallis, Elton and Whitehead. The city has over 100 physicians and specialists with admitting privileges at the Health Centre. There are also numerous medical clinics located throughout the city in order to meet the needs of all residents.


Historically, Brandon experienced minimal immigration. Between 1995 and 2003, an average of 66 immigrants made Brandon their home annually. A growing economy, coupled with a national labour shortage and highly successful Provincial Immigration Program resulted in notable immigration growth from 2004 onward as reflected in the table below.

In 2004 Brandon’s historical average doubled and continued to climb upward peaking in 2010 when Brandon welcomed 1,433 immigrants. In the past five years, Brandon has welcomed 3,226 immigrants including 720 in 2018.

The majority of immigrant growth since 2011 has been in 3 language groups; Gujarati, Mandarin and Cantonese.


Brandon is fortunate to have a varied economic base. This diversity, coupled with strong economic growth experienced in the past decade, has enabled Brandon to weather the recent global economic crisis with far greater resiliency than other North American centres. Of the over 2,000 businesses operating in Brandon, agri-food products and related services represent the area’s largest industrial cluster. The manufacturing of metals, chemicals and pharmaceuticals account for the bulk of the remaining industrial jobs. Oil drilling and production continues in the area, employing
a number of people and supporting business growth.

While the agricultural community has a strong impact on many businesses, the manufacturing of products and services are diversified sufficiently. This allows the economy to remain stable, despite peaks and valleys in the farm economy.

In terms of development opportunities, Brandon offers many developed/undeveloped properties for the establishment of businesses and industries.

Fun facts!

The following facts are courtesy of Travel Manitoba. Visit their website to explore the province and plan a trip to Brandon today.

  • The Brandon Hills Wildlife Management Area, located south of Brandon on Highway #10, is a must-visit for anyone who loves hiking, cross-country skiing, cycling or simply the great outdoors.
  • You won’t find a general store quite like Crow’s General Store in Manitoba. From the outside, Crow’s General Store is something out of an eclectic western. On the inside, it’s a 50’s style parlour.
  • Even those without a keen interest in aviation will appreciate the vast collection of aircraft and information at the Commonwealth Air Training Museum.
  • Catch a glimpse of Brandon’s character and identity through its art at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba.

Doha Hanno
Publicist, Parsai Immigration Services

If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review the form for free. We will only contact you if we find you an opportunity. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free. However, you will receive formal advice from a licensed practitioner.

This article provides general information. It may not be up to date. It does not offer legal advice. Do not rely on this article for legal advice or immigration advice. We cannot be held responsible for the content of these articles. If you have legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.

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This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

The characters and places in the articles:
All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.

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Doha Hanno