Sibling Revelry: Brother and Sister Share their Business Journeys at WTC Talks Event Jul 4, 2024

By: Kristin Marand

The final WTC Talks (World Trade Centre) event of the 2023/2024 season took place on a sunny patio perched above downtown Winnipeg last Wednesday. Featured speakers, siblings Christian and Andréanne Dandeneau, shared their experiences in entrepreneurship, including insights on navigating business challenges and adapting to changing market conditions. They emphasized the importance of collaboration and perseverance and discussed how their Métis heritage has shaped their business practices.

Pictured from left to right: André Brin, Christian Dandeneau and Andréanne Dandeneau.

Both siblings are approaching landmark anniversaries in business: Christian’s digital transformation company, ID Fusion, will celebrate 25 years next year. ID Fusion is a full-service technology consulting company that offers desktop support services, consulting on technology choices, custom software development, and resource augmentation.

Andréanne’s sustainable fashion brand, Anne Mulaire Designs, has been in business for nearly 20 years. Anne Mulaire is Canada’s first Indigenous-owned apparel manufacturer with B Corp certification. The brand is a micro-manufacturer that places high importance on sustainability, including initiatives to reduce waste and carbon emissions, recycle, and use sustainable fabrics. Andréanne was recently awarded the first-ever sustainable economy award at the inaugural Red River Métis Business Excellence Awards for her efforts in this area.

“The reason behind WTC Talks is about telling stories,” explains WTC Winnipeg CEO André Brin. “We don’t tell our stories enough, our success stories, about the businesses doing incredible things.”

Following a land acknowledgement, Brin remarked on the tie between WTC’s current aims—to support burgeoning entrepreneurs and trade efforts—and the first entrepreneurs and traders who called this land home—the Indigenous peoples.

“I find it interesting that WTC Talks was launched to celebrate entrepreneurship and trade. The Indigenous people were the first entrepreneurs and traders on this land. And I think we know that our economy is built on those efforts, and the future of our economy lays in large part in economic reconciliation, which will help our province succeed,” he said.

Throughout the conversation, led by Brin, the Dandeneaus discussed how their upbringing and heritage shaped their approach to business. From a family of six, they discussed how all four siblings have an entrepreneurial side, likely due to their business exposure while growing up. Their mother’s family owned a grocery store where many family members worked, and their father managed his music career.

“I think they instilled the idea of entrepreneurship by changing how they would motivate me to do things,” Christian remembers, discussing getting paid for chores. “We had to budget and plan [if we wanted to buy something]. I think that kind of language is really important to have. As a parent, I’m trying to do that with my children. I saw them as role models, successfully approaching opportunities in an entrepreneurial way.”

Brin shared an anecdote from their parents, who were in attendance, that they knew early on that Christian had an entrepreneurial spirit as he would subcontract his chores to his sisters and keep a commission. Andréanne laughed at the recollection and shared that for her, work ethic was something she learned from her parents, recounting how, each summer, they would encourage the children to take on and execute a project.

“It’s giving you these little tidbits of what you can do in life and what opportunities are out there. They laid the foundation for us to start believing in ourselves, and they were always there supporting us,” she said.

“We were brought up to respect the land. My mom was all about buying better, buying less. We valued and took care of our clothing and what we bought. That’s a big testament to how we are today, how we see life, how we approach business decisions and how we carry our values,” Andréanne added, discussing why sustainability is a central focus for her company.

Pictured from left to right: Christian Dandeneau and Andréanne Dandeneau.

Christian explained that discovering his family’s heritage transformed his company’s purpose and core values. Part of ID Fusion’s mission is to bring about positive change for Indigenous people.

“They were entrepreneurs. They were very hardworking; they understood adversity. They didn’t back down; they were persistent. They’re also very social and communal. These are all core values that we have in our company. It’s how we were raised, which also connects very well with our heritage,” he explained. As an example of that commitment, ID Fusion recently trained six IT professionals in northern First Nations who are now experts in their communities.

The siblings discussed some challenges they have each faced in business, including balancing creativity and running a company. Many attendees thanked the speakers for candidly sharing and expressed how much they could relate.

Looking to the future, Andréanne talked about the research and development required to support the sustainability mission and shared that they will launch a product made entirely from post-consumer waste this fall and are looking to expand internationally. Christian discussed how his business is helping companies navigate the emerging ubiquity of artificial intelligence and how to incorporate it to their advantage. He also expressed a desire to see the profile of local tech companies raised and to encourage more students to enter STEM, science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related fields.

The WTC Talks series will resume in the fall, with the first three dates scheduled for September through November. Registration is open, though the speakers have yet to be announced. Register before August 1st to take advantage of 2023/2024 pricing of $10 per attendee. For more information on WTC Winnipeg and its services, including access to market research, business and trade advisors, finding funding opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and helping businesses export and expand to other markets nationally and internationally, visit

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Trade Talks: Winnipeg Entrepreneurs Share Stories, Spark Connections
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