Madeleine Arbez, New Executive Director of CDEM

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Madeleine Arbez, New Executive Director of CDEM

(Photo Credit: La Liberté)

January 9, 2023


It is with great pleasure and pride that the presidents of the CDEM and the AMBM announce the appointment of Ms. Madeleine Arbez as the new Executive Director of the CDEM.

Currently employed by Francofonds, Ms. Arbez will gradually move into her new position starting in January and will assume her full-time duties on March 1st, 2023.

“Francofonds is an important institution for Manitoba’s Francophone community and for our municipalities. In consultation with Francofonds, we will support a smooth and responsive transition so that Madeleine can successfully complete the current fundraising exercise and support the Foundation until new leadership is in place. We would like to take this opportunity to encourage as many people as possible to participate in the current fundraising campaign,” says Mr. Ivan Normandeau, AMBM President.

An Exceptional Woman

A true figurehead of Manitoba’s Francophone community, Madeleine Arbez’s reputation for excellence is well-established and extends well beyond the province’s borders.

Madeleine Arbez is a builder known for her energy, her honest leadership, her dedication to the Francophone community, and her sense of innovation and entrepreneurship. A proud Franco-Manitoban with an MBA, she has held a variety of key marketing and communications positions with prominent Manitoba organizations.

In 2012, Madeleine took over as Executive Director of Francofonds, one of the largest French-language provincial community foundations in Canada. A visionary with a strong focus on results, Madeleine has transformed the fortunes of Francofonds. Working with the organization’s governance and staff, she increased the Foundation’s capital from $5.6 million to $15 million, more than doubled Francofonds’ grantmaking to $466,270 annually, and increased fundraising by 150%.

Ms. Arbez is well-versed in the principles and nuances of economic development and demonstrates a deep understanding of our bilingual communities, both rural and urban.

“Throughout her career, Madeleine has also been known to create important leverage effects to increase the impact of the organizations where she has worked. It is notably thanks to the partnerships put in place by Madeleine for Francofonds that our municipalities have had access to new sources of financing over the past few years. Our Board of Directors is very excited to welcome Madeleine and to continue to work with her to bring the CDEM to its full potential for the benefit of our bilingual communities,” said Gab-Riel “Pit” Turenne, CDEM President.

In her new position, Ms. Arbez hopes to carry on the work begun by her predecessors by continuing to operationalize the AMBM’s vision through the implementation of the Economic Recovery Strategy for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities and by strengthening the CDEM’s presence in rural communities.

“I am proud to join the great team at CDEM and the AMBM family. Through my work at Francofonds, I have been working with Manitoba’s bilingual municipal leadership and CDEM for the past ten years. I firmly believe that their participation will be crucial to the realization of Vision 2035 of a prosperous Manitoba Francophone community, master of its destiny, strong in its diversity and inclusive, proud and even more fulfilled, where each of its members can live in French in all aspects of his or her daily life, throughout Manitoba.”

Mr. Turenne also acknowledged the invaluable contribution of Mr. Louis Allain as he enters retirement: “It is important to recognize Louis’s commitment as he completes his term as Executive Director of the CDEM and takes a well-deserved retirement. His knowledge of the municipal and economic development environment, combined with his years of management experience, have certainly helped us navigate many complex issues and have been of great assistance to Manitoba’s bilingual municipal leadership, particularly during the pandemic. I would like to thank him warmly for his collaboration and for the time and energy he has dedicated to the CDEM since 2007, as well as for the key role he will play during this transition period.”


A Transparent and Rigorous Selection Process

The hiring of Madeleine Arbez is the result of a transparent and rigorous selection process conducted by a joint CDEM-AMBM selection committee. We would like to highlight the meticulous work done by the committee, which received high quality applications. At the end of the process, Ms. Madeleine Arbez stood out because of her many skills, her extensive experience and her vision, all of which perfectly match the profile for the position of Executive Director of the CDEM.

We would also like to take this opportunity to wish the elected officials and staff of Manitoba’s bilingual municipalities, the members of the boards of directors and staff of the three entities of the AMBM Group, as well as all of our allies a happy and healthy 2023. Together, let’s continue to build strong, prosperous and welcoming communities.


About the AMBM Group

Building on the vitality and prosperity of Francophone and bilingual communities, Manitoba’s bilingual municipal leadership has developed a real political and economic force, bringing together three organizations with complementary mandates: the AMBM, the CDEM and EWC.

The Association of Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (AMBM) is the voice of Manitoba’s 15 bilingual municipal governments. It has two subsidiaries:

  • The Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM) whose mandate is to encourage, stimulate and organize economic development in member municipalities; and
  • Eco-West Canada (EWC) whose main role is to raise awareness and support small and medium-sized Canadian municipalities in greening their local and regional economies and in their climate change adaptation strategies.


Information: Office of the Chief Executive Officer (O-CEO) of the AMBM, (204) 289-4077, or CDEM Marketing and Communications Branch, (204) 797-7121,