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Seaway Food Festival Founder Awarded Fellowship With Venture For Canada

Pictured (from left): Sebastien “Mani” Manigat (Founder & Director Seaway Food Festival), 2x Juno Award Winner Classified, and Matthew Girgis (Operations Director of Summer Beer Fest) during last year’s Summer Beer Fest.

Cornwall, ONT, April 2018: Seaway Food Festival wants to congratulate its Founder and Director Sebastien “Mani” Manigat for being awarded a professional fellowship with Venture for Canada. Currently, Mani is the President & CEO of Bastion Hospitality, a marketing and consulting company in Cornwall, Ont. Earlier this month, he was honored to have been selected as a Venture for Canada Fellow where he will continue to develop his professional career.

Venture for Canada is a non-profit organization that recruits and trains top recent graduates, professionals, and/or entrepreneurs to work at Canadian startups in need of talent, with the mission of fostering entrepreneurship. Mani’s application was one of over 2,500 and he faced a challenging and grueling multi-step process which included essays, phone interviews, a video interview, and an in-person assessment during Selection Day. A little over 60 successful applicants were selected. Fellows will attend a month-long training camp at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University this May and will spend two years working for innovative Canadian startups in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Ontario while receiving ongoing training and support.

Born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Mani is a first generation Haitian Canadian. His journey began when he was awarded an academic scholarship to Columbia University in the City of New York where he played college football and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in American Studies. He then enrolled at the International Culinary Centre in New York and completed the Culinary Entrepreneurship Program. Later on, he pursued his studies at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management where he received an MBA in Marketing and was presented with an MBA Class of 2013 Entrance Award. While at McGill he was also elected Associate Vice-President (2011) and President (2012) of his class.

Passionate about food, Mani began his career in hospitality at NAV Centre in Cornwall, ON, as an F&B Manager with Sodexo. While at Sodexo he was eventually promoted to General Manager and subsequently to Regional Director of Remote Site Management in Chibougamau, QC. In the spring of 2014, Mani founded Seaway Food Festival whose mission is to engage the community through a common shared experience of amazing local cuisine and regional breweries. Over the course of the last 4 years, he organized and coordinated city-wide events such as Cornwall Restaurant Week, La Poutine Week, Le Burger Week, and Summer Beer Fest. In 2016, he was recognized with the Breakthrough Award from the Cornwall & Area Chamber of Commerce and most recently the Cornwall Seeker selected him as one of their 2017 Top Citizens of The Year for his work and achievements with Seaway Food Festival.

As a Fellow, Mani hopes to continue to pursue his interests in communications, technology, and marketing. He is very much looking forward to this unique career opportunity with Venture for Canada.

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