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AFTER THE FLOOD: How an EDA program helps businesses after disaster

TECH 101: Alberta’s entrepreneurial spirit inspires technological change

DOWN BUT NOT OUT: With their industry in flux, oil and gas companies commit to innovation

Alberta’s diverse regions inhabit a spirit of renewal and reinvention INVEST IN ALBERTA 2016 | BUSINES S AND INVESTMENT ACROS S ALBERTA

“We take advantage of the

great trails, courts, rinks, etc., for testing products as well as building a team second-to-none. Without the ‘noise’ of a big city, we can focus on being the best... and have fun doing it!” – Jim Rooney, Managing Director

Garmin Cochrane is commited to building the best-in-class sport, fitness and wellness devices.

“our employees appreciate the

small-town atmosphere, and close proximity to schools and shopping. being situated 20 minutes outside of calgary gives us convenient access to our largest customer base” – Brett Braaten, Marketing Director

Alberta Metal Works is a full service industrial supply shop for fabrication materials.

Cultivating Success.

Considered by a growing list of companies to be the ideal location for development in Western Canada, Rocky View County offers the perfect environment for a range of industries.

World-class retail development, a readily available talent pool and an expansive consumer base throughout the Calgary Region, have amplified these new opportunities.

Rocky View County is a critical part of Alberta’s economy. The development of warehousing, logistics parks and massive distribution centres have thrust Rocky View onto the stage of global logistics. This has been made possible by Rocky View’s direct access to major highways, the Calgary Ring-Road, rail and proximity to the Calgary International Airport.

Cultivate your company’s success and reap the rewards of relocating to Rocky View County.




WIDE ANGLE Tour de Force Alberta’s tourism industry thrives on a strong reputation ................ 14

Friends Abroad Alberta is a hub, linked to the rest of the world through strong infrastructure that supports imports and exports .................. 17


Business as Usual With their industry in flux, Alberta’s oil and gas companies are still committed to innovation and advancement ...................... 19

Finding Connections ON THE COVER: Calgary's Wonderland installation can be found outside the Bow Building downtown.

Alberta’s entrepreneurial spirit propels a breeding ground for technological innovation .................................................... 22


The More You Know A backbone in education helps prepare Alberta for a diverse future ................................................................. 25

DEPARTMENTS Alberta, At a Glance ....................................................... 7 Messages ........................................................................... 8 Alberta, By the Numbers .............................................. 12

25 4

Member Directory............................................................ 105 Invest in Alberta


The Regional Economic Development Alliances



After the Storm

In 2013, a flood devastated large parts of southern Alberta. Afterwards, small businesses found support through the Economic Disaster Recovery Project . ............................... 28

Battle River:

Success is Brewing

Ribstone Creek Brewery found the right ingredients in Battle River ......................... 31


On the Move

The Calgary Region is a logistics hub, keeping people and goods flowing .................... 35



Taking to the Skies A new aerotropolis brings opportunity to the Capital Region

................................ 41



The Bigger Picture Central Alberta’s industries boast an international appeal

................................... 54



A Growing Concern The Mackenzie Region adopts hemp farming as a succession-planning tool

................ 64

North Central:

Research Revelations How investing in regional data helped the North Central Region expand its economic opportunities ...................................................................... 67

North East:

A Knowledgeable Shift Colleges in the North East are generating innovative research and a skilled workforce to help grow regional industry ...................................................... 71



A Welcome Change

The Palliser Region welcomes federal investment at Port of Wild Horse border crossing .... 76

Peace Country:

Filling the Gaps in Dinosaur Country The Peace Region is diversifying their economy while welcoming industrial investment

... 78

Slave Lake:

A Healthy Economy The new High Prairie Health Complex opens up a medical industry in the Lesser Slave Lake Region ....................................................................... 86


South Central:


The Growth Economy Agriculture provides a strong foundation for growing industry in the South Central Region ........................................................................... 88

South West:

The Crown of the Continent Cross-border collaboration brings geotourism development to the SouthWest Region

....... 93

West Yellowhead:

The Mountains are Calling A new survey helps businesses pinpoint where they fit in the West Yellowhead Region

...... 97

Wood Buffalo:

The Transformer Region In the face of a downturn, Wood Buffalo Region considers opportunities for the future Resilience Renewal Reinvention

.... 101

101 2016

Invest in Alberta



invest chestermere EDMONTON

(309 Km / 192 Mi)


City of Chestermere time to: Airport (YYC) - 15 minutes Calgary City Centre - 20 minutes CN Logistics Park - 5 minutes CANAMEX Trade Corridor - 5 minutes









(1009 Km / 627 Mi)



(735 Km / 459 Mi)






Business is better at the lake

Alberta's Economic Regions


Battle River | 31 Calgary | 35 Capital | 41 Central | 54 Mackenzie | 64

North Central | 67 Northeast | 71 Palliser | 76 Peace Country | 78 Slave Lake | 86

South Central | 88 Southwest | 93 West Yellowhead | 97 Wood Buffalo | 101

Suite 127 #406, 917-85 Street SW Calgary, Alberta Canada T3H 5Z9 Toll Free:1-866-671-8182 President:

Matt Cornall


Leann Hackman-Carty

Marketing Communications:

Nancy Toombs

MACKENZIE ■ High Level


Administrative Assistant: Julie Pankow

Published by:

Venture Publishing Inc. 10259 105 Street Edmonton, Ab T5J 1E3 Toll-Free 1-866-227-4276 Phone (780) 990-0839 Fax (780) 425-4921

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief:

Ruth Kelly

Managing Editor:

Lyndsie Bourgon

Art Director:

Charles Burke

Graphic Designer:

Andrew Wedman

Production Manager:

Betty Feniak

Production Technicians:

Brent Felzien, Brandon Hoover

Vice-President, Sales:


Fort McMurray ■■

■■ Peace River

SLAVE LAKE ■ Grand Prairie

Cold Lake ■■



■o Edmonton


Lloydminster ■■


■ Jasper


Anita McGillis


■■ Red Deer

■ Banff

Contributing Writers:

Contributing Photographers and Illustrators:

■ Calgary

Robin Brunet Lisa Catterall Trina Moyles Shelley Newman Ryan Van Horne





■ Medicine Hat ■

■ Lethbridge ■

Brian Bookstrucker Jonathan Devich Diana Duzbayeva Sean McLennan Joey Podlubny CPMPA #40020055 Copyright © 2016. Invest in Alberta is printed on Forest Stewardship Council® certified paper Resilience Renewal Reinvention


Invest in Alberta


Message From the Premier

WELCOME ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT OF Alberta, it is my pleasure to send greetings to the readers of Invest in Alberta magazine. For over two decades, Alberta has had Canada's highest average annual economic growth, fueled by abundant natural resources, a diverse economy and a commitment to support innovation, entrepreneurship and investment. Although there have been challenges over the past year with falling commodity prices, Alberta is still one of the best places in the world to invest. We have world-class universitites and colleges, and one of Canada's youngest and best-educated workforces. We have one of the best managed and most adaptable energy industries in the world. We have the lowest overall provincial taxes in Canada and no sales tax. These benefits make business investment advantageous but also make Alberta one of the best places to call home. The Government of Alberta has an important role to play as a good partner to job creators, entrepreneurs, visionaries and investors. By creating stability supporting innovations, providing modern, efficient infrastructure and enhancing access to capital for businesses, our government

will make Alberta one of the greatest places to start a new business, explore new ideas, and create new jobs. Albertans are know for their resiliency, optimism, and a passion for overcoming adversity. Alberta faces some real challenges, but now is the time we will come together, create real opportunities, and become stronger than ever before. The Honourable Rachel Notley Premier of Alberta 2015


Invest in Alberta


Message From the Minister


ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT OF Alberta and as Minister of the new ministry of Economic Development and Trade, I would like to recognize the passion, drive and hard work that Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) has demonstrated over the past 41 years. It has been instrumental in supporting Alberta businesses and encouraging economic growth in regions across the province. The EDA and all of its members have played a key role in making Alberta a choice destination to live, work and raise a family. This is due in no small part to the fact that Alberta is, and will continue to be, a great place to invest and do business. The innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that helped make Alberta a leader in energy development, will open new opportunities in a variety of sectors including clean energy, petrochemicals, agriculture, foresty and tourism – to name a few. We can also count on our highly-skilled workforce and our small and medium-sized businesses to help lead the way as we

diversify the economy, access new markets for our products and attract investmen from around the world. Our government will contine to offer the tools and supports that Alberta businesses need. We are proud to have partners like the EDA that will continue to offer resources, like the Invest in Alberta magazine, to entrepreneurs across the province in the years to come.

The Honourable Deron Bilous Minister of Economic Development and Trade 2015

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Invest in Alberta


Message From the President

STRENGTH IN DIVERSITY W E LCO M E TO TH E 2 016 IS SU E O F Invest in Alberta – this publication is designed to provide valuable information for investors and showcase the multitude of advantages of doing business in Alberta. In this magazine you’ll find valuable information on Alberta’s diverse economy and read how we continue to capitalize on our many strengths. Here, you’ll read about our province’s commitment to innovation and advancements being made by Alberta industries in key sectors such as energy. You will see how Alberta’s entrepreneurial spirit has advanced technology commercialization, and you’ll read about how Alberta’s tourism industry continues to be a failsafe option for investors. There are also reports on entrepreneurial advancements in the communities that make up Alberta’s economic regions, making them an appealing investment option. Alberta has a highly competitive business environment that boasts a young, skilled and productive workforce, as well as the lowest personal tax rate in Canada. I am quite certain that the information in this issue will prove to be of great value as you consider the potential rewards of making an investment in Alberta.

I am proud to be the president of Economic Developers Alberta. EDA provides information, professional development and networking opportunities to advance the economic development profession in the province. We are Alberta’s leading professional organization for economic developers. By supporting the leadership role economic developers have in their communities, we also fortify their efforts to ensure the economic viability of their communities. On behalf of EDA, I am pleased to provide you with the 2016 issue of Invest in Alberta and thank all of our EDA members for their support of this magazine. We invite you to find out more about how Alberta is offering some of the best investment and economic development opportunities in the world today. Matt Cornall President, EDA


Invest in Alberta


Message From the CEO


INVEST IN ALBERTA IS THE OFFICIAL publication of Economic Developers Alberta (EDA). With this publication, EDA provides you with valuable information about our province as an exceptional place to invest and to do business. We are thrilled with the outcome of this issue. Inside you will read in-depth information on how the economic events of 2015 have been a catalyst for creativity and innovation in our province. You will read reports describing some of Alberta’s industries and the unique projects driving our diverse economy, establishing Alberta as one of the most attractive places to invest in Canada and North America. As the CEO of EDA, my goal is to ensure our members have the tools they need to strengthen their economic development practice. EDA is Alberta’s only professional organization for economic developers that advances the profession by providing opportunities to network with other professionals, presenting education and training options both online and in person and delivering the most

current information and resources. Once such resource is AlbertaBusinessCounts, one of North America’s top business retention and expansion programs tailored for economic developers in this province. EDA is comprised of close to 300 members from across the province representing a range of communities, businesses, Crown corporations, tourism groups, chambers of commerce, government agencies, financial institutions, NGOs and educational institutions. By equipping our province’s economic development professionals with the most current resources and opportunities, they in turn can help to create healthy sustainable communities. Welcome to Invest in Alberta 2016. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly at Leann Hackman-Carty CEO, EDA

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Invest in Alberta


By the Numbers Coal and 1.1% Sulpher

Alberta’s small business corporate income tax rate is 3 per cent, and the small business income threshold is $500,000.

$90.8 billion

16.5% Conventional Crude Oil

Natural Gas 22.8% and Gas Liquids


Natural Gas 15.3% and Liquid Gas Coal and 0.8% Sulphur


$111.7 billion

59.6% Oil Sands

Alberta has the third-largest petroleum reserves in the world, after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.

$364.5 billion

86.1% Crude Oil

ECONOMIC DIVESITY Percentage distribution of GDP

Construction 10.8% Agriculture 1.5%

25.5% Energy

Health 4.8% Education 3.3%

6.9% Manufacturing

Retail and 9.3% Wholesale

Tourism and 4.3% Consumer Services

5.7% Transportation and Utilities

Finance and 13.5% Real Estate

Invest in Alberta

• In 2013, Alberta’s business sector had the highest labour productivity level in the country. The total value added per hour worked in Alberta exceeded the Canadian average by about 44 per cent. • On average, Alberta’s 4.2 million people are the youngest of all the Canadian provinces, with a median age of 36.2 years.

Public 4.3% Administration


• Alberta’s increase in exports in 2014 can be attributed mostly to higher crude oil volumes and a jump in natural gas prices.


10.2% Business and

Commercial Services

• Aside from energy, other sectors have shown considerable growth over the past two decades. From 1985 to 2014, the following sectors grew considerably: construction (from 6.7 per cent share of GDP in 1985 to 10.8 per cent in 2014), finance and real estate (from 11 per cent to 13.5 per cent) and business and commercial services (5.5 per cent to 10.2 per cent) • Alberta is home to more than 200 life sciences companies, employing more than 3,500 workers.





















Newfoundland & Labrador





British Columbia



British Columbia





Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

New Brunswick

Newfoundland & Labrador $10000





2009-2013 and 2014










$20000 $25000 20092013







Sources: Statistics Canada, Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education

#EDA2016 @edaalberta

2016 ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE & AGM Resilience, Renewal and Reinvention April 6-8, 2016

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Invest in Alberta




Invest in Alberta



Alberta’s tourism industry thrives on a strong reputation



OLLING FROM FOREST TO SPRAWLing prairie, set against stunning mountain backdrops and weaving throughout city streets, the three-year-old Tour of Alberta has taken itself from upstart cycling race to one of the province’s highest-profile sporting events. The Tour of Alberta is Canada’s highest-ranking professional cycling road race, garnering international attention from cycling enthusiasts who come from around the world to participate and watch. And it has also attracted audiences worldwide, who have been able to follow the race in real time on television and the Internet. In 2014, the Tour was broadcast live to over 160 countries worldwide, reaching an audience of over 45 million viewers. It also generated over $9.2 million in net economic impact, with this number expected to grow in 2015 and 2016. With these incredible numbers, the Tour has the potential to boost the local economies of the towns it travels through, as well as the province’s economy as a whole – with visitors who extended their stay to enjoy attractions in Grande Prairie, Jasper, Edson, Spruce Grove, Grande Cache and Edmonton. “The Tour of Alberta has been a great activity; it has gotten us significant international exposure,” says Wynn McLean, vice-president of community relations at Travel Alberta. Alberta has developed a good reputation for hosting international events, whether they are cultural or sporting in nature. “We really have world-renowned backdrops for hosting major events and a volunteer base that doesn’t quit,” says David Eggen, Alberta’s minister of culture and tourism. “People in communities across this province roll up their sleeves and get to work on ensuring events like the Tour of Alberta go off without a hitch.” OVER TIME, TOURISM HAS BECOME ONE OF THE province’s most solid, trusted industries. Tourism provides constant returns on investment for stakeholders, and attracts visitors from across the globe, encouraging expanded operations in North America, Europe and Asia. For decades, Alberta’s tourism industry has been a failsafe option for investors, and recent

developments ensure it will be well in to the future. In 2015, PEDAL POWER: The Tour of the province’s tourism industry flourished, thanks in part to a Alberta road race draws an internastrong American dollar and strategic, proactive marketing tional audience and a net economic activities that have attracted visitors. “Tourism works. Alberta’s impact of $9.2 million. visitor economy has demonstrated resilience and growth even during tough economic times. We’ve got ample opportunity in all areas of the province, and it’s busy,” says McLean. In 2013, the industry provided jobs to over 127,000 Albertans and over $8 billion in revenue. Indicators for 2015 show a record-breaking year in many of the province’s busiest regions. “Our intention is to be very aggressive in investing in tourism, because it helps to create jobs in the short term and diversifies the economy in the long term,” says Eggen. “We’ve had record years in the mountain parks, so we know that a dollar invested in the tourism market in Alberta will pay exponential growth in the future.”

Tourism provides constant returns on investment for stakeholders, and attracts visitors from across the globe, encouraging expanded operations in North America, Europe and Asia. Canada’s Rocky Mountain national parks and tourist destinations have thrived in the last year, but exciting international sporting and cultural events have also helped to draw visitors from around the world. In 2015, the province hosted a number of notable events, like the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Tour of Alberta, the Calgary Stampede and a number of international arts and cultural festivals. These events create a symbiotic effect with other tourism hotspots, encouraging visitors in town for one event to extend their stay for another. “The most established symbiotic relationship is between the Calgary Stampede and the Rockies. So you have people who want to see the Rockies and they go to the Stampede as well,” says Eggen. “If you can break that out into other festivals – music festivals or world-class sporting events – then you create a whole series of reasons for people to come to Alberta and to stay longer.”

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Invest in Alberta




TO TOP OFF A STRONG YEAR, A NUMBER of exciting developments were announced in 2015 – in September, the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum opened just outside of Grande Prairie. The state-ofthe-art $34-million museum has garnered attention worldwide, as the museum site is within easy access of actual bone beds. It offers travellers in the Grande Prairie region a door into a new region, encouraging longer stays and increased tourism in that slice of northern Alberta.

“The tourism industry seems to have a level of flexibility, even in a tough economy, to survive. We’ve got ample opportunity in all areas of the province, and it’s busy.” – Wynn McLean, Travel Alberta

“The Currie Museum is a way by which people in the area, and also people in B.C. and Americans travelling to the Alaska highway, may choose to stay a day or a couple of days in that region. It has created a place where people start to linger, and the supporting industries will follow,” says Eggen. A number of other major developments were also announced in 2015, including a $26-million redevelopment of Banff’s Brewster Gondola and a $26-million renovation of the Delta Lodge in Kananaskis by Alberta’s Pomeroy Lodging LP. Both of these major projects plan to go ahead in 2016, boosting the local and provincial economies.


Invest in Alberta


KICK START: In 2015, the Women's World Cup was held across Canada, including in Edmonton. The Canadian Soccer Association predicted a national economic impact of over $300 million.

In the past, Alberta’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has co-ordinated a Tourism Investment Forum to bring together travel operators and investors from across the province and beyond to support the development of tourism-related activities. In September 2015, the ministry announced a shift in its efforts towards a more widespread approach. In order to promote smaller rural centres, as well as already well-developed major tourist destinations, a tourism entrepreneurship program was unveiled, structured in part as a series of workshops to be held across the province. The program was launched in October 2015 in Lloydminster, with additional workshops in Canmore, Calgary, Strathmore, Nanton and Drumheller. “The entrepreneurship program is a way for us to redirect some of the resources in the ministry to set up an interaction between people with aspiring ideas for tourism in the regions and business capital, so that people who might have an idea for a business might be able to find the capital and get a business plan together that would work,” says Eggen. “It’s a way by which innovative and creative ideas for tourism can bear fruit, create jobs and build the economy.” The government plans to continue these workshops across the province and, coupled with already existing events like the Growing Rural Tourism conference held in Camrose each year, aims to position tourism operators and investors across the province for success.

DINO DRAW: The brand new Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum attracts visitors to remote dino-country.

“There’s a great opportunity for the tourism industry to develop into a major diversification activity for the Alberta economy. Tourism not only helps build a diversified economy but also supports many halo effects from attracting new residents and investment once people are able to experience our culture and activities,” says McLean. “The government is certainly recognizing the need to diversify, and the tourism industry is very well-positioned to do that.”

Ready for Take Off The Government of Alberta’s Tourism Entrepreneurship Program provides tools and services to entrepreneurs that want to start, expand or refresh their offerings in Alberta. This includes everything from advisory support to workshops and newsletters. For more information, visit:



Alberta is a hub, linked to the rest of the world through strong infrastructure that supports imports and exports


N A BRIGHT OFFICE SPACE IN DOWNTOWN Calgary, a new business incubator promises to strengthen Alberta’s ties to the rest of the world – in particular, China. Announced in September, the new Chinese Incubation Centre is set to open within Calgary Economic Development’s Global Business Centre. The Global Business Centre, which has been operating for five years, is what CED president and CEO Mary Moran calls a “launching pad” towards increasing international trade and business activity in the province. In the announcement, Moran said that, even in times of low growth, China remains a key investor in the province: “The investment that’s coming here is now shifting from state-owned energy companies to private equity,” she explains. The Incubation Centre will assist new Chinese enterprises in the community, and is a partnership with the Canada China Business Council. In the past five years, CED has visited China seven times – the incubator will provide mentoring opportunities

and transition assistance for business owners that make their way to Alberta to set up shop. The Global Business Centre is just one example of the links between Alberta and the rest of the world. Between 2000 and 2013, Alberta attracted $31.4 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) from China, according to the Asia Pacific Foundation. Of the country’s top three national oil companies, all have their Canadian head offices in Calgary – and that’s not to mention the 200 Chinese businesses that are already established in the city.


INAUGURAL LAUNCH: Air China Cargo is just one example of strong investment activities between China and Alberta.

The Incubation Centre will assist new Chinese enterprises in the community, and is a partnership with the Canada China Business Council. This has led Rachel Yin, a business development manager at Calgary Economic Development, to note that Alberta provides a favourable investment environment in terms of attracting

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Invest in Alberta



ROOM TO GROW: Edmonton's new Energy and Technology Park is a home for industrial development.

more business from Asia – the province has one of the most competitive business and personal tax environments in North America and a strong financial sector, making those links intuitive. You can see this

“In the last five months, Edmonton has gained access to four continents through three hubs – Amsterdam, Dallas and Shanghai. That amount is unprecedented.” – Glen Vanstone, Enterprise Edmonton in the work that CED does – between May and October 2015, it received eight incoming delegations from China. This development is not only happening in Calgary. Edmonton’s airport was recently designated a Single Window Access Point and a Canadian Foreign Trade Zone – this makes it easier to ship products between the city and China thanks to developments like the brand new Air China Cargo freight service. “This is huge news, what’s happening to Edmonton in terms of market access,” says Glen Vanstone, vice-president of Enterprise Edmonton. “In the last five months, the Edmonton market has gained access to four continents through three hubs – Amsterdam, Dallas and Shanghai, via two new air carriers. That access is unprecedented.” Edmonton International Airport estimates the new Air China Cargo route alone will represent $31 million in GDP for the Edmonton area.


Invest in Alberta


STILL, CHINA DOESN’T TOP THE UNITED States as Alberta’s number one importer. The U.S. averages $18 million worth of imports to Canada per year. Most of the imports we receive from the United States include light oils, natural gas, aircraft and truck tractors. The United States accounts for 65 per cent of the value of imported products in 2012. The remaining countries were China, Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom, rounding out the top five sources of imports to Alberta that year. Between 2011 and 2012, the federal government’s data shows imports grew by almost 10 per cent in Alberta. The value of the province’s imports has consistently increased by eight per cent year on year, compared to just over two per cent for Canada as a whole. Within that, the value of the province’s merchandise imports as a proportion of the country’s GDP was slightly over 25 per cent. Manufactured goods represented 90 per cent of the value of Alberta’s imports, and the remaining balance was carried by resource-based goods. The highest-value imports were refined oil, natural gases and taps, valves and similar devices. In 2012, Alberta’s main imports from China totalled just over $2 billion and included machinery, computer components, iron pipes and a variety of consumer products. Japan mostly sent vehicles our way that year, and Mexico’s imports consisted of light oil, television receivers, communications equipment and motor vehicle parts. Under NAFTA, Mexico has become one of Alberta’s fastest growing trade partners. Calgary Economic Development has noted its priority regions as the United States, China, Japan and Mexico – these are countries with the highest trade and keenest opportunities heading into the future.

ENTICING INVESTMENT IS SOMETHING that Kent McMullin knows lots about. He’s a senior business strategist with the City of Edmonton, and he outlines the way that Edmonton has been courting investments from abroad: “We are very specific on the types of companies we want to invest. We work heavily with Canadian embassies and the hugely supportive Alberta trade offices in Tokyo, Taipei and London. In advance of our outbound missions we hold video and teleconferences with the foreign offices to let them know our key messages.” The group has held investment seminars that draw upwards of 200 people in places like Taipei and Tokyo. He says what’s so enticing is a favourable investment climate, abundant natural gas as a low cost feedstock and the Edmonton region’s status as Canada’s petrochemical hub. Right now, Edmonton’s focus is on industrial investment, particularly in hydrocarbon processing. McMullin cites the Edmonton Energy and Technology Park – which spans 4,800 hectares in northeast section of the city – a greenfield development project to house petrochemical manufacturing, logistics, warehousing and research. “So we will go over to Japan, Taiwan or China and put on an investment seminar to companies who are interested in using those feedstocks to make propylene, ethylene and other chemical products.” But it’s developments like the Foreign Trade Zone and trade missions that show how powerful Alberta’s relationship with the rest of the world is – and can be. “In terms of this level of access, it’s a seismic shift for the business community,” says Vanstone. “Too many companies here are oriented to serve domestic markets, and that creates volatility when one industry, like oil and gas, experiences a dip.” Vanstone goes on to note that he thinks there are three universal consumer demands, no matter where you are in the world – food, health technology and energy technology. “It’s universal needs that drives so much potential,” he says. “We have the base for all three [in Alberta].”

Oil & Gas

Business as Unusual With their industry in flux, Alberta’s oil and gas companies are still committed to innovation and advancement


HERE’S NO POINT DENYING IT: the times they are a-changin’ for anyone wanting to invest in Alberta. Last year was a challenge for the oil and gas industry, as it watched global crude prices fall well into winter. And while it was reeling from the sharp drop in the price of oil, the industry’s ground rules changed in the spring, when the province elected its first NDP government. Alberta has the third-largest oil reserves in the world, but 168 billion barrels – or 95 per cent of that – is tied up in the oil sands. It has gone largely undeveloped because of technological challenges, but according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), oil sands production was at its highest in 2014 at 2.16 million barrels per day. Now, cost and environmental challenges – the most pressing of which is


controlling greenhouse gas emissions – have put the brakes on development. “We really need to look at this as a phenomenal asset that Canada has,” says Tim McMillan, president and chief executive officer of CAPP. “We want to be the supplier of choice around the world.”

“We really need to look at this as a phenomenal asset that Canada has. We want to be the supplier of choice around the world.” – Tim McMillan, CAPP To do that, the industry will continue to innovate, just as it did when it turned bitumen into a commercially viable resource. As McMillan notes, technological improvements brought the oil sands into production and technology is what will keep it going.

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Invest in Alberta


Oil & Gas

ONE IMPROVEMENT THAT LOOKS particularly promising is the use of solvents, which require less heat and steam to separate the oil and sand. “There are several companies that are looking at solvents,” McMillan says. In 1994, Alberta was attracting 36 per cent of oil and gas investment in North America and now it’s half of that. “The shale revolution hadn’t begun and we weren’t competing against as many plays,” McMillan says.

“The companies are still competitors, but when it comes to environmental performance, collaboration is a better model. COSIA is breaking down barriers so companies can learn from each other and share technologies.” – Dan Wicklum, COSIA

Because such a large percentage of Alberta’s oil reserves are bitumen, that’s where most of the opportunities are. But, in addition to facing cost pressures, the industry also faces environmental challenges as it seeks what some call a “social licence.”


Invest in Alberta


EXTRACTION IMPROVEMENTS: Imperial Oil's Kearl mine uses paraffinic froth treatment technology.

Todd Hirsch, chief economist for ATB Financial, says there’s a legitimate role for environmental groups that put pressure on industry to improve their performance. “Without that tension, that constant call for improvement, I think a lot of resource companies wouldn’t keep the environment a priority,” he says. In leading the charge to do better, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) takes a collaborative approach and focuses on four environmental priority areas that will benefit the most from innovation and collaboration: land, water, tailings and greenhouse gases (GHGs). “Environmental intellectual property was historically closely guarded by companies,” Dan Wicklum, the CEO of COSIA, says. COSIA was created by several energy companies to foster improvements in technology. “The companies are still competitors, but when it comes to environmental performance, collaboration is a better model. COSIA is breaking down barriers so companies can learn from each other and share technologies.” One company that has made improvements to the way it extracts oil from bitumen is Imperial Oil,

SOCIAL LICENCE: Syncrude has become a leader in reclamation advancements and technologies.

which is using paraffinic froth treatment at its Kearl mine. “All oil sands mines use a froth technology in the extraction process, but Kearl is the only mine that uses paraffinic froth treatment,” says Pius Rolheiser, a spokesman for Imperial Oil. “This is an ExxonMobil patented technology that removes asphaltenes. The ability to remove a larger percentage of these results in lighter bitumen that can be blended and shipped by pipeline without the need for on-site upgrading.”

THE ELEMENTS COSIA has four environmental priorities – here’s what they’re doing to improve performance in those areas:

LAND COSIA members have invested $127 million in technologies to reduce environmental footprint, accelerate reclamation and preserve biodiversity. Active projects include habitat restoration for caribou, whose numbers have dwindled because of industrial development and global warming.


Rolheiser says that its carbon footprint is reduced. “On a well-to-well basis, it is comparable to the average crude refined in North America.” As long as the cost of carbon is below $80 per tonne, it doesn’t make economic sense to sequester, so many companies are trying to find uses for it. Other pilot projects fostered through COSIA include Canadian Natural Resources Limited’s (CNRL) Algae Project, which tested algae’s ability to convert carbon dioxide into biofuel and biomass products.“ COSIA is a perfect example of a collective will on the part of industry to continuously improve and to learn from everyone else and what everyone else has done,” Rolheiser said. ANOTHER CHALLENGE FACING THE energy industry surfaced when the province’s new government instigated a royalty review. And the first major change came in June, when the new government announced it would force large emitters to cut GHG emissions by 20 per cent, while doubling a carbon levy from $15 per tonne to $30 per tonne. “We’ve made continuous improvements in the way we’re producing,” McMillan says, about greenhouse gas emissions. “On an intensity basis, we’ve reduced oil sands GHG emissions per barrel by about 30 per cent since 1990.” In this vein, Hirsch has encouraged businesses and investors to embrace the change. “The debate is over. The rest of the world has moved on,” he says. “People don’t have to be happy about it, but as an industry and a province, we have

GREEN OPPORTUNITY: CNRL's Algae Project tests algae's ability to convert carbon dioxide into biomass.

to find solutions to use less carbon.” Alberta’s new government has said it would like to move away from coal-fired electricity, and Hirsch thinks a great way to do that is to explore geothermal power generation. McMillan says CAPP supports Dave Mowat’s appointment to a royalty review panel, and sees it as an opportunity for Alberta to get more competitive with other jurisdictions and attract more investment. In early September, Hirsch attended a Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CANGEA) conference, noting actions the provincial government could take quickly and without any cost to give the fledgling geothermal industry a nudge. For instance, the province doesn’t recognize subsurface rights on heat, and doing so would allow companies to borrow against that asset and get the capital they need to fund new projects, Hirsch says. The oil and gas industry dovetails nicely with geothermal energy because the people who work in oil and gas have experience in energy generation, engineering and geology – all three of which are required for deep earth geothermal energy extraction. Finding a way to tap into abandoned oil and gas wells could kick-start geothermal, but the issue of environmental responsibility for these wells is a roadblock. Hirsch is optimistic the province will adapt, but also realizes that “hydrocarbons will still provide a strong base for the province’s economy for many years to come.”

Resilience Renewal Reinvention

Members are committed to reducing water use and increasing recycling rates without impacting land reclamation, GHG output or waste levels. To date, more than 145 technologies that cost $184 million have been shared among 32 active projects across the oil sands. Direct contact steam generation uses waste water mixed with oxygen and fuel to create a pressurized mix of steam and CO2 to replace conventional boiler steam generation. This process recycles 90 per cent of the water used.

TAILINGS Research on tailings has led to a reduction in the volume of fluid fine tailings (fine clay particles) that remain suspended in water following bitumen extraction, which has reduced the size and number of tailings ponds required.

GREENHOUSE GASES COSIA’s greenhouse gas reduction initiative has shared 120 technologies that cost $200 million. Active projects deal with waste-heat recovery, improvements in steam generation, and energy efficiency and alternative fuels. For example, the recently launched Algae Carbon Conversion Project uses algae to convert CO2 into biofuel and biomass products, which could help to reduce oil sands operations’ GHG emissions.


Invest in Alberta


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101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010 0101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001 1010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010 0101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000 0101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101 101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101 100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010 100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101001010101 0101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101 1001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101 010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010 01010101000010001001011000000100101010101010111100100001010001001000101100010000100100001000 010001001001001001010100001001010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000 10001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010 010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100 101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010 BY LISA CATTERALL 0101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001 1010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010 0101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000 Alberta’s entrepreneurial spirit propels a breeding 0101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101 ground for technological innovation 101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101 100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010 100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101001010101 0101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101 the economy, which in turn furthers the province’s technologITH FEWER THAN 10,000 1001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101 people, and renowned for its agricul- ical prowess. It’s a cycle that will keep this well-oiled machine running smoothly, regardless of the price of oil. tural college, the tiny town of Olds is 010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010 the last place you’d look for world-class 01010101000010001001011000000100101010101010111100100001010001001000101100010000100100001000 developments in technology. But if you ALBERTA IS A PROVINCE BUILT ON 101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001 stop by, you might be surprised at what innovation – entrepreneurs, inventors and passionate, 101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001 you find – the O-Net, a homegrown provider that offers hard-working minds call this province home. Whether by some of Canada’s fastest Internet speeds. developing oil and gas technologies to increase production 100010010010010010101000010010100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001 Designed to create the big-city Internet experience in a and decrease costs, advancing educational tools to increase 1010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010 small town, O-Net provides access to every citizen and busicollaboration in classrooms, or advancing health care to save 0101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000 ness in Olds through a state-of-the-art fibre optic network. It lives, the province’s economy thrives on new ideas. 0101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101 also helps support the town’s new Centre for Innovation, “The rural areas also have a ton of innovation. You just 101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101 which helps small- and medium-sized enterprises in agriculture to explore and develop innovative ideas. don’t hear the success stories coming out of those 100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010 “[Innovation is in] Edmonton and Calgary, but it’s outside regions as much as you might out of larger cities.” 100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101001010101 of big cities, too,” explains Rollie Dykstra, general manager of – Rollie Dykstra, Alberta Innovates Technology Futures 0101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101 commercialization for Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, 1001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101 an organization that offers services to businesses across all industries to assist with, manage and encourage growth. A “Alberta was built by entrepreneurs, and there is a very 010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010 recent fall in oil prices challenged many in the oil and gas strong entrepreneurial focus here,” says Randy Yatscoff, exec01010101000010001001011000000100101010101010111100100001010001001000101100010000100100001000 industry, particularly in terms of the costs associated with utive vice-president of business development at TEC Edmon101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001 extraction processes. But economic developments in 2015 ton, a technology accelerator that supports health innovation 101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001 have acted as a catalyst for technological innovation in the across the province. “We have great government support proprovince. Business incubators and accelerators, located across grams – the government just gets it.” 100010010010010010101000010010100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001 the province, are booming. “The rural areas also have a ton of The province is a leader in oil and gas research, particle 0101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001 innovation. You just don’t hear the success stories coming out coating technologies and health research in virology and 1010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010 of those regions as much as you might out of larger cities,” metabolomics. These already well-established research areas, 0101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000 says Dykstra. paired with a strong American dollar, make Alberta an ideal Alberta’s entrepreneurial drive has created an environment place for continued investment. 0101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101 “There’s a tendency for entrepreneurship to kick into high of constant development and improvement. Technological 101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101 advancements across the province have worked to strengthen gear during times like this. People are getting laid off … you 100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010 100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101001010101 2016 Invest in Alberta Resilience Renewal Reinvention 23 010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010 00100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001

Finding Connections


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We help them with commercializing their investment and market development at Innovate 10010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010 innovative projects in the clean energy space.” Calgary. “A lot of them are coming out with this 00100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001 technology idea that they’ve had in the background, This work highlights the need for a better process in 01010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000 dusting it off, bringing it forward and looking for connecting technological ventures across the province. 10101010100010010010010010100100110101010110001010101000110100010000101100101010100001000100 ment over the last century. “People in Alberta are risk capital. Where there’s innovation, and where there’s In order to meet this demand, the RIN designed an takers. Money can be raised here through the angel business ideas, capital follows that. We have an interactive online tool, with features similar to Linke00010000100101001010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100 capital route,” says Yatscoff. “If it wasn’t for these entrepreneurial culture, so our deal flow is much dIn’s networking functions. Launched in early 2015, 00101110101010101010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100 angel investors, the technology and innovation secbigger than our population size might suggest. Connectica puts innovators in contact with funding 010111010101010110010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101 programs, informative events and networking opportu- tors wouldn’t be where they’re at today.” 01001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101 “Where there’s innovation, nities. Users fill out a profile during the registration “We tend to be very excited about the fact that and where there’s business ideas, process, and are put in touch with customized prowe see deals here,” adds Kutarna in regards to angel 010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010 capital follows that. We have grams and contacts based on their needs. investors across the province. “There is a pool of 001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101 capital here. There’s real estate money, there’s oil “The really unique thing is that there’s a profile an entrepreneurial culture, so our 000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010 and gas money and there’s other pools of funds that match on there, so we allow SMEs to register and deal flow is much bigger than our 101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101 have been built up over the last 50 years. So I’m promote themselves. When you first sign up, you population size might suggest.” create a profile, and then any time somebody comes seeing a lot of deals, and a lot of entrepreneurial 01001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101 – Henry Kutarna, on after you’ve signed up and they have a similar pro- behaviour here.” 10010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010 Kutarna Capital Corp. file, or one that matches what you’re looking for, you 00100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001 get an email saying this entity has just signed up, and 01010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000 explains how you can connect with them if you are “A lot of these guys are brilliant but don’t have FINDING YOUR WAY interested,” says Dykstra. experience running a company. If we can give 10101010100010010010010010100100110101010110001010101000110100010000101100101010100001000100 Connectica bridges the gap for those who live outthem exposure to people that have that capability, Through their funding programs, Alberta 00010000100101001010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100 it just accelerates their development exponentially,” side major centres like Edmonton and Calgary. Innovates Technology Futures has guided 00101110101010101010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100 Through the website, users in both rural and urban he adds. a number of tech firms to success – take 010111010101010110010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101 Trusted Positioning, for one. The company Through organizations like TEC Edmonton and settings can easily connect with industry stakeholders from across the province. Traditionally, the province’s found funding that allowed it to expand its Innovate Calgary, burgeoning technology compa01010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000 major urban centres have been at the forefront of innoGPS system on a micro level: lost in the nies are able to access advice and programs from 01001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101 vation, but the website aims to support innovation mall? Can’t find the elevator? Trusted Posianywhere in the province. The accelerators are part 010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010 tioning guides you using mico-electro of Alberta Innovates’ Regional Innovation Network anywhere – even if it’s found outside of city limits. 001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101 Alberta’s technology sector is thriving in part due to mechanical systems sensors. The Cal(RIN), which was created with business growth and the ambitious spirit of citizens, but also due to the willgary-based firm found funding through the stability in mind. “In Alberta, there’s a tax on car000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010 ingness of investors to back ideas that might carry Alberta Innovates system. It now has more bon, which goes into a fund that is dispersed to 101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101 some risk. Locally driven angel investments have than 20 employees. companies for innovative green energy projects,” 01001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101 allowed for much of Alberta’s technological developsays Yatscoff. “But many of these companies and 1001001001010100001001000001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010010101000 01010101000100100100100101010000100101010101010010101010001011101010101010001001001001001010 Invest in Alberta 2016 24 11101010101010001001001001001010100001001010101010100101010100010111010101010100010010010010 00010111010101010100010010010010010101000010010101010101001010101000101110101010101000100100




A backbone in education helps prepare Alberta for a diverse future


O OFTEN, WHAT DRAWS PEOPLE to Alberta is the promise of opportunity. And while a strong and diverse economy almost guarantees that opportunity, there’s an unseen engine that helps make all that growth possible – a strong education sector. Rod Miller, associate vice-president of corporate training solutions for SAIT Polytechnic, believes that education is what boosts a strong economy – even in times of downturn.


“The consensus is that supporting employees during downturns, such as the one we’re experiencing in the oil and gas sector, has substantial economic returns and is tied inextricably to productivity,” he says. He believes that downturns are the most critical time to invest in education and training: “From a psychological perspective, it reassures workers you aren’t leaving them hanging, and it makes them better able to cope with hardship and remain as productive as possible,” he adds. “These benefits

Resilience Renewal Reinvention

PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE: Calgary's SAIT works closely with industry to develop and revamp its curricula.


Invest in Alberta




cannot be emphasized enough, considering so much of our workforce consists of 20-somethings who have never experienced downturns.” Alberta’s institutes of higher learning have taken up the call in a hard time, providing support in a variety of ways. For example, SAIT has a plethora of programs focused on the oil and gas and other resource sectors. Moreover, its technical training seminars are especially beneficial to technical personnel such as engineers, geologists and geophysicists, who are look-

“Supporting employees during downturns, such as the one we’re experiencing in the oil and gas sector, has substantial economic returns and is tied inextricably to productivity.” – Rod Miller, SAIT

ing to enter a new discipline and would like to understand the practical working application of topics such as fracturing, liquid pipeline hydraulics or even well integrity remediation. SAIT works closely with industry to develop its curriculums. “We get


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Additionally, part of Bow Valley’s mandate is to NORTHERN OPPORTUNITY: Keyano College collaborates with industry to provide focused, hands-on classes. work within its main region of Calgary to help First input from 75 advisory boards in total,” says Miller. In northern Alberta, collaborating with industry has led Keyano College to develop customized training for tradespeople and aboriginals in the Wood Buffalo region. A two-year process operations co-op, sponsored by Suncor with partners including Syncrude and Cenovus, was developed as a result of industry identifying the need for process operators with power engineering certification (the program prepares students for entry-level positions in mineral and hydrocarbon processing, primarily focused on the major oil sands companies.) At Bow Valley College, attention is paid to ensure that people in rural communities have access to programs one might normally find at larger institutes in urban centres. “The seven communities I preside over include Banff, Canmore, Cochrane, Okotoks, Airdrie, Strathmore and High River,” says Corinne Finnie, Bow Valley’s director of regional stewardship. “By working with stakeholders in rural municipalities, we hope to contribute positively to the diversification of economies by helping individuals pivot their skills, meaning transferable skills from one sector to another.”

Nations people with access to post-secondary education. This has long-term benefits for the resource sector and other industries, since continued workforce attrition will require recruitment solutions that heavily involve First Nations members. In conjunction with helping professionals pivot their skills, Bow Valley recently undertook a study to determine if communities are diversifying quickly enough, in what way, and what remaining skills their residents require. “We just wrapped up our work and are in the process of identifying partners in order to move our findings forward,” says Finnie, who notes that, “Community leaders and economic development officers have expressed a keen interest in lessening the effects of the boom or bust economy on their communities. That’s nothing new, but there’s a sense that real solutions are at hand, and in this regard we’re hoping to partner with the Calgary region REDA to pilot some projects early in the new year.” REAGH BURGESS, A SENIOR PARTner at BDLS International Group, points out that as proactive as educational institutions may be, their enthusiasm is often matched by government and


“The true entrepreneurial spirit em- gies-based in doing businesses within this region,” braces a certain degree of risk and he says. “While this is not linked directly to training initiatives, it helps foster the type of diversified innovation, but in terms of investeconomic climate that will benefit Alberta’s working hard-earned money in training force in the long run.” during economic downturns, it’s not Burgess notes government participation through a risk at all because the payoffs are the federal Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). “I’m currently so immediate and substantial.” involved with a SSHRC initiative that is studying, – Corinne Finnie, amongst other things, what new ways of learning in Bow Valley College higher education Canadians will need in order to thrive in an evolving labour market, as well as what knowledge we’ll need to thrive in an evolving global landscape,” he says. private initiatives: “For example, TEC Edmonton, Burgess started BDLS in 1984, and the compaa joint venture between the City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta, was recognized as Canada’s ny now acts as a liaison between government resources and the private sector. In this role, BDLS Incubator of the Year in 2014, by Startup Canada. not only enables its clients to develop their product TEC Edmonton launched a Latin American Program that is supported by Western Economic Diver- or technology, but also facilitates training, whether it’s for existing employees or new recruits. “This is sification, with the purpose of assisting Alberta’s especially helpful during challenging times,” small and medium companies that are technolosays Burgess. One example of BDLS helping Albertan compaCREATIVE MINDS: In 2014, the University of Alberta nies is through its relationship with Calgary-based was crowned Canada's Incubator of the Year.

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EDUCATION FOR ALL: Bow Valley College provides educational opportunities in both urban and rural communities.

RC Corp., which manufactures high-performance wall assembly systems. “Alberta’s economic development office brought RC Corp. to our attention because its products are leaders in energy efficiency, in addition to being incredibly mould and fire resistant,” says Burgess, who has been working with RC for the past six months. With BDLS’s assistance, RC has expanded its services into the U.S. and other parts of Canada. “It is currently building 12 structures using its special panelling in New York State alone, and with this expansion they need new staff quickly and are literally hiring daily and providing the new recruits with on-the-job training,” says Burgess. He adds that, “RC Corp. has the potential to become a huge international organization within five to 10 years. And it’s hardly the only example of an Alberta business that can expand significantly.” Investing in the future when times are tough is never an easy proposition, but if the efforts of Alberta’s post-secondary institutions and its partners are any indication, more and more business leaders are realizing the benefits of training and continuing education. “Instead of hearing the old argument `If you invest in your employees they will go elsewhere,’ the mentality is shifting to `You can’t not invest and expect them to stay,’ ” says Rod Miller. “This especially resonates with the generation Y workforce that actively seeks employers who invest in people.” Corinne Finnie agrees: “The true entrepreneurial spirit embraces a certain degree of risk and innovation, but in terms of investing hard-earned money in training during economic downturns, it’s not a risk at all because the payoffs are so immediate and substantial.” 2016

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Invest in Alberta


In 2013, a flood devastated large parts of southern Alberta. Afterwards, small businesses found support through the Economic Disaster Recovery Project



HEN THE BANKS OF BOTH the Bow and Elbow Rivers in Alberta overflowed in the spring of 2013, the province’s communities – both large and small – found themselves in an unprecedented situation. Whole swaths of Calgary and the surrounding area had been plunged under rising waters, and when those waters receded, they left behind damaged homes, crumbling municipal infrastructure and businesses in danger. At home in Calgary, Leann Hackman-Carty, CEO of Economic Developers Alberta, was watching images of the flood on television. With EDA’s member communities on her mind, she began calling flood-affected areas like Black Diamond and High River. “They were very scared, most of them, as to what was going to happen and quite stressed out,” she says. It’s a scene all-too-familiar in High River, a small town just south of Calgary that experienced massive damage. “When you have a disaster of that magnitude, the emergency response was such that there was a couple weeks before we could even decide what the next steps would be,” says Angela Groeneveld, a business renewal officer in High River. “We reached out to the business community through a town hall and there was a lot of emotion.” In Alberta, 95 per cent of businesses are small. For those businesses, the flood meant damaged inventory and instable real estate. It meant rising insurance costs and a loss of patronage because it became harder for shoppers and clients to reach their stores – many, in fact, just assumed that they had gone out of business altogether, whether or not that was the case. Enter the Economic Disaster Recovery Project. The EDRP was established through Hackman-Carty’s hard work and funded through a number of public and private entities, including Economic Developers Alberta, to help businesses bounce back from the flood. “I thought, if we don’t respond to our communities and our members and what they need right now,

we’re doing a disservice,” says Hackman-Carty. In particular, EDA worked with the Washington, D.C.based International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the British Columbia Economic Development Association to conduct thorough research and hit the ground running when it came to actively assessing damage and opportunities for renewal. “When you experience disaster, the businesses in those communities are victims as well,” says Lynn Knight, vice-president of knowledge management and development with IEDC. The council has worked with communities in harsh situations – after forest fires in Colorado, after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and along the American east coast after Hurricane Irene. “One of the things we’re doing right now is building up more resiliency training,” Knight says. “A lot of times, businesses have to fend for themselves. And that can really add to the impact of the disaster.”


AFTERMATH: The TransCanada highway heading west from Calgary had been washed out, leaving Canmore essentially "closed" until repairs could be made.

“Our members said the experience they got helping their colleagues will impact them the rest of their lives.” – Leann Hackman-Carty, EDA

Still, most communities aren’t fully prepared for a disaster until one strikes. And afterwards, projects like the EDRP can help ease the strain. The project’s components included member webinars, assessment teams, individual community reports and access to computer software that assists with gathering data on local businesses. “Now, if this were to happen again they’ve got better information on which businesses need water, electricity, those kinds of things,” explains Hackman-Carty. “When the EDRP came in, they were the first to contact the business owners one-on-one. That was huge,” says Groeneveld. “There was almost a component of mental health being taken care of. The business owners were talking, they were scared and there was someone standing in front of them saying ‘We’re here to help.’ ”

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EMERGENCY MEASURES: Flooded businesses were given temporary space in High River.


AFTER THE FLOOD, EDA GATHERED A team of volunteers – in Alberta, where they were visiting 10 communities, they had 22 volunteers from Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, which acted as an economic development assessment team. The team spent one to three days in each community, interviewing businesses, touring the towns and speaking with elected officials and chambers of commerce in order to develop a set of recommendations to take them forward. “The biggest thing with doing the business walks is that every business was affected a little bit differently, depending on how well-prepared they were to have any type of disaster happen,” says Kent Rupert, now the team leader at Airdrie Economic Development and one of the 22 volunteers. “Most of them weren’t because this was such a strange event for Alberta.”

“When you have a disaster of that magnitude, the emergency response was such that there was a couple weeks before we could even decide what the next steps would be. We reached out to the business community through a town hall and there was a lot of emotion.” – Angela Groeneveld, High River Along their walk, the volunteers noted similar concerns – where would businesses relocate to? What would they do for cash flow? High River built a temporary business park, and eventually grants were made available to them. The group provided mentoring from volunteers and also drafted a generic toolkit for dealing with disaster, which they posted online. The toolkit has since been downloaded by businesses across Canada and the United States, and is being used as a teaching tool at Mount Royal University in


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Calgary. Still, “I think the biggest thing we gave them was to listen – let them be heard and understood,” Rupert adds. “Once the disaster is done and over with, once everyone’s safe and secure, it’s in the aftermath when people forget about the businesses.” FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS, IT’S about more than just their work – it’s their life. “In the case of High River, it wasn’t just business impacted, it was a life,” says Hackman-Carty. “Many people had home-based businesses. You lose yourself and your livelihood. The mental health component is significant – many people are off on stress leave because they’ve seen how it’s impacted their lives. It’s a very difficult situation but if you can put things in place in advance, not duplicate resources, and know that there’s a plan in place, I think that’s very positive.” This is a point that Ange Sawh echoes. Sawh acted as director of flood operations with the Canadian Red Cross Society in Alberta, an EDRP funder. She came away from her experience with the EDRP a firm believer that economic development agencies should become more involved with disaster response. “They have a strong understanding of economy and what’s out there,” she says. “It’s always helpful to know your environment, whether that’s geography or the economy.” Natalie Gibson, president at InnoVisions and Associates and a business, trade and economic development specialist, says that while High River is the most prominent example of business damage after the southern Alberta floods, communities like Exshaw, Bragg Creek and the Stoney First Nation were also hard-hit. “In some cases, their entire economies have changed,” says Gibson. “In the First Nation, because a lot of those are home-based businesses, they lost their homes, their businesses and ultimately their identity.” She also noted that some of the biggest challenges surfaced in the marketing process – businesses were unsure how to best let their customers know they were up and running, and struggled in pinpointing the best way to communicate with suppliers and buyers. It’s addressing these problems that Gibson sees as a direct success of the project: the online toolkit has

gone on to provide a strong framework for other communities, and they have increased the number of entrepreneur training courses they provide. They have coached businesses in adapting to a new economy. “We address weaknesses and point out opportunities that can help them,” she says. Rupert walked away from the experience with a solid understanding of what economic development organizations can bring to communities, especially when it comes to bridging divides in communication. He notes that this was especially apparent in High River, where even the businesses on dry, high ground have been affected. “They saw their insurance increase drastically, even if they didn’t put in claims,” he says. “It affects the entire community as life gets back to normal and you don’t know where to find information, where to buy goods. It really does shake up the economy.” The project was also a significant milestone for EDA. “Our members said the experience they got helping their colleagues will impact them the rest of their lives,” says Hackman-Carty. “It was a moment that changed the organization. There is a connection now that’s more than just professional – it’s personal, too. And that’s very rewarding.” Two years later, High River is still in the recovery process. Businesses there are still concerned with enticing customers to their stores despite heavy construction and a lack of disposable income as the town recovers. “But what the EDRP gave us was a manual to recover,” says Groeneveld. “Before, our capacity was too full. They were a breath of hope for me.”

A FLOOD OF DAMAGE • Approximately 5.1 million hours of work were lost due to the 2013 flood, amounting to $485 million of lost economic output. • Soon after the flood, the province announced $1 billion in economic recovery, meant to help start rebuilding infrastructure and to assist Albertans displaced from their homes. • The Red Cross has committed $7.2 million to small businesses in the form of community grants to support community partnerships, workshops, projects and events that contribute to recovery. • The Small Business Rebuilding Program assisted businesses with between 21 and 50 employees in their recovery efforts. • The Hand-up Plan provided immediate financial assistance for more than 1,500 businesses that experienced flood damage.


Battle River



Ribstone Creek Brewery found the right ingredients in the Battle River Region

T BEGAN AS A CONVERSATION BETWEEN four friends at a golf tournament back in 2008. Fast forward to today, and those friends have launched their dream business: Ribstone Creek Brewery, an award-winning craft brewery that produces five different products. And all this from an unlikely place – the tiny east-central Alberta village of Edgerton in the Battle River Region. “The brewery’s founders and staff have done a tremendous job establishing themselves in a region poised for growth,” says Shay Barker, executive director of the Battle River Alliance for Economic Development (BRAED). “They’ve created products that help to tell the story of the area and of a revitalized rural Alberta.” The company offers five different products, all named and branded to highlight the distinctiveness of the region, “which


is really a selling feature,” says Al Gordon, one of Ribstone Creek’s co-founders. Community support has been the brewery’s foundation since the team had their first golf course discussion over seven years ago. They all grew up in the region and saw value in starting a business in the area they loved. Their journey into entrepreneurship, however, was unconventional, as they started with a building and asked themselves: what would be a good business to operate out of it? “Al [Gordon] owned a historic building in Edgerton that used to be a tractor dealership,” says Don Paré, co-founder of Ribstone. “At first, our conversation almost started as a little joke, but then it progressed into the idea of a craft brewery, similar to the ones that you might find in B.C.” Paré, a farmer, and Gordon, a village administrator in

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CHEERS: An upstart brewery found success in the rural Battle River Region.

“BRAED has given us great exposure to all of the other members.” AL GORDON Ribstone Creek


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Battle River

BRAED continues to grow and strive to become the go-to economic development organization in the Region, building strong mutually beneficial relationships with others in the Region, and passionately striving for a vibrant, innovative East Central Alberta.

“The brewery’s founders and staff have done a tremendous job establishing themselves in a region poised for growth. They’ve created products that help to tell the story of the area and of a revitalized rural Alberta.” SHAY BARKER Battle River Alliance for Economic Development

BATTLE RIVER AT A GLANCE • Alliance membership population: 55,000 • Communities: 29 • Affiliate members: 5 • Associate members: 16


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HOMETOWN SUPPORT: Local support and connections via BRAED helped Ribstone Brewery grow.

Edgerton, joined lawyer Chris Fraser and mechanic Cal Hawkes for these preliminary discussions. Despite their diverse backgrounds, none of the men had experience in the brewing industry, which meant an intense amount of legwork and research. Gordon acknowledges the importance of local support in helping the company to grow. “We’ve been really fortunate to have so many people and communities that support what we’re doing,” he says. Ribstone became a member of BRAED in 2013, providing it with connections to businesses from all 28 communities in the Battle River Region. “This has given us great exposure to all of the other members,” says Gordon. “And BRAED has been very supportive of our business.” “We realized we’d need investors, so we started approaching people,” adds Paré. The group spent several years both recruiting investors and learning about the brewing industry. During a phone call to an American manufacturer, the founders were directed to David Beardsell, who is “a very experienced brew master that used to work for Big Rock,” Paré explains. “Contacting him was a major game changer for us.” The advice they received from Beardsell complemented the help they received from BRAED. “I liked the project a lot, and I thought the social aspect of them doing this in a very small town was a positive thing,” says Beardsell. “Plus, they seemed like such nice people that I decided to work with them.” The founders spent two years having weekly Skype meetings with Beardsell, who lives in British Columbia. He

became a vital part of the organization and eventually a partner in the venture. After years of preparation work and a complete renovation of the one-time tractor dealership, Ribstone Creek Brewery produced its first product, Ribstone Creek Lager, in late 2012. Daily production at the facility is now led by brewer Aaron Holgarth and assistant brewer Ryan Moncrief, who are “doing good work and taking things in the direction they need to go,” Beardsell says. When it comes to distributing the beer, Edgerton’s remote location was not a problem, thanks to Alberta’s centralized distribution system. “Connect Logistics, near Edmonton, distributes alcohol to anywhere in Alberta,” Gordon explains. Ribstone has a refrigerator truck and hauls product to the distribution centre each week, meaning that its products are now on tap in more than 50 locations and can be purchased at dozens of retailers province-wide. Throughout all aspects of planning and production, the sense of community remains the hallmark of the brewery. “When they started, it was a huge risk but they’ve gained support from the community tenfold,” Barker says. “It’s proof that a business can’t just succeed, it can thrive in rural Alberta.”


Flagstaff County



HE FLAGSTAFF REGION IS WITHIN EASY DRIVING distance from major centres such as Edmonton and Calgary, connecting Alberta’s natural resources to all other major markets. The region seeks agricultural processors and oil and gas service entrepreneurs who are resilient, proud, and innovative. WHAT FLAGSTAFF OFFERS: The region has water, and lots of it – including plenty of underground aquifers. With one million acres of Alberta’s finest farmland, Flagstaff produces wheat, canola, barley, peas and specialty crops. Livestock is an important secondary activity to this industry, and the supply chain is well established, including Viterra, Great Northern Grain and Paterson Grain, set to open in late-2016. Oil and gas is a major part of the region’s labour force, and rewards entrepreneurial initiative. Flagstaff offers a strong, growing oil storage capacity at the Hardisty Energy Hub. The region’s low business costs are substantially lower compared to the many other parts of Alberta, including electricity rates, land prices, cost of living and low housing prices. These competitive advantages support thriving freight trucking, management consulting, machinery and equipment repair, and metal fabrication enterprises. The Flagstaff region is serviced by road, rail and a regional airport, with Highway’s 13 and 36 and direct access to Highway 2. “Stop at Nothing” Flagstaff ’s mantra for relentless pursuit of entrepreneurial spirit, call the number below to explore your next business idea and great life adventure.


FIND FLAGSTAFF • 75 km east of Camrose • 325 km northeast of Calgary • 115 km west of Wainwright • 140 km from the Saskatchewan Border • 150 km southeast of Edmonton • 420 km north of the United States Border • 200 km northeast of Red Deer • 550 km south of Fort McMurray

Remember the simple, invincible days of your youth...when any imagined horizon was achievable...when obstacles were easy to leapfrog? Stop at nothing in your quest for entrepreneurial greatness... dare we say immortality. For more information contact: Flagstaff Region 780-384-4150

Contact us to explore your next business idea and great life adventure.

City of Camrose




AMROSE IS CONSIDERED ONE of the most beautiful cities on the prairies – boasting an exceptional quality of life for both citizens and visitors. There are lots of reasons to live and raise your family in Camrose – great recreation, a wonderful quality of life, friendly neighbours, great friendships and a good education. The city has the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus and the Canadian Lutheran Bible College. Camrose also has a quality of life that is second to none. It boasts the best of both worlds – big-city amenities and small-town friendliness. The stage is set for a great quality of life in Camrose: the city’s quality of life attracts businesses, attracts and retains employees, attracts new residents and visitors. The city also boasts great culture – the arts and culture scene includes the Bailey Theatre,


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Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Camrose Performing Arts Centre and Chuck McLean Arts Centre. As well as arts and culture, it also has agriculture, horticulture, human culture, business culture, multiculturalism and youth and cultural activities. Camrose is an excellent place to start a business. The city is surrounded by a great trading area, various land and buildings for businesses. In a recent citizen satisfaction survey, 97 per cent of Camrose’s residents rated the overall quality of life in the City of Camrose as “good” or “very good” – 46 per cent of citizens rated Camrose as “very good” and 51 per cent as “good.” The residents stated that the quality of life has improved because of amenities and service, growth and development, established businesses, a variety of new businesses, lots of parks and green spaces, various activities, the

economy, health care and they feel it is a very family-oriented community. Camrose has a population of over 18,000 and a trading area of over 100,000. The city’s population has been growing steadily at approximately 2.3 per cent per year which is a very sustainable and manageable rate.


The stage is set For more information contact: Ray Telford, Economic Development Officer 780-678-3025





The Calgary Region is a logistics hub in the heart of the Prairies, helping keep people and goods flowing MAJOR HUB: The Calgary Region has become a hub for transporting goods across Western Canada

“Companies have seen the opportunities this presents for manufacturing operations across Western Canada, using inland ports like this to get their products efficiently to new and expanding international markets.” BOB MILLER Calgary Regional Partnership

OME TO OVER 1.4 MILLION PEOPLE, THE Calgary Region is one that has thrived with the growth of Alberta’s energy industry. But, despite its energy hub reputation, businesses operating in the Calgary Region have become increasingly diversified over the last decade. Construction, manufacturing and real estate all thrive in Calgary, and it’s also home to one of Canada’s most important logistics and transportation hubs, connecting much of Western Canada by road, rail and air transportation. While other industries were being built up across the province, the logistics industry in Calgary was naturally evolving. With access to eight seaports, an international airport and numerous land routes, the region seemed a natural choice for a logistics hub. In 2014, the Calgary Regional Partnership and


its strategic partners began a collaborative effort to brand the region as an inland port – an economic focus that integrates rail, trucking and air logistics to serve an even larger region. “Calgary is the geographic centre of Western Canada, so if you bring your inventory here and you’re delivering to stores all over Western Canada, you reduce your outbound shipping costs and total landed cost just by operating out of Calgary,” says Reg Johnston, the transportation and logistics consultant for the Calgary Regional Partnership. In 2015, the Calgary Region was also established as a Foreign Trade Zones by the federal government, officially identifying it as a strategic location providing tax and duty deferral benefits. It is hoped that this designation will encourage more multinational corporations to operate in the Calgary Region,

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CALGARY AT A GLANCE • Alliance membership population: 1,400,000 • Communities: 14


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The Calgary Regional Partnership was created in a spirit of cooperation and with the knowledge that we can achieve more by working together as partners. With the challenges of growth and expansion, cooperation and collaboration are essential to preserving those things we value most.

“Calgary is the geographic centre of Western Canada, so if you bring your inventory here and you’re delivering to stores all over Western Canada, you reduce your outbound shipping costs and total landed cost just by operating out of Calgary.” REG JOHNSTON Calgary Regional Partnership


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ON THE ROAD: Major retail companies like Walmart and Costco now operate large distribution centres out of the Calgary Region.

bolstering growth in the already-thriving logistics industry. Many retail and consumer-based companies, including Walmart, Canadian Tire and Home Depot have begun operating large distribution centres in of the region. Between 1990 and 2014, warehouse space in the area increased 63 per cent—a number that is unparalleled in Western Canada. “Since 2008, when the Costco distribution centre came in to Airdrie, we’ve seen a real increase in the transportation and logistics sector in the north Calgary region,” says Kent Rupert, team leader at Airdrie Economic Development. “We’ve seen a number of companies move in because of the advantage of being close to the Calgary International Airport, the two-minute access to Highway 2, and now with the Stoney Trail ring road, easy access to the east-west route on Highway 1.”

Due to its proximity to the CANAMEX trade corridor, as well other major trade arteries, goods transported by trucks can reach a market of over 50 million within one day. The region easily connects to the rest of Canada, as well as destinations across North America. The development of the Calgary Region Inland Port over the last decade has put the region in a competitive position for the development and growth of other industries: “Efficient freight and goods movement networks are one of the foundational systems for strengthening North America’s competitiveness with the rest of the world in the area of manufacturing. The Calgary Region has extensive, world-class freight movement facilities in place for containers, trucks and airplanes, connecting our region to other parts of North America and the world,” says Bob Miller, regional prosperity lead at the Calgary Regional Partnership. “Companies have seen the opportunities this presents for manufacturing operations across Western Canada, using inland ports like this to get their products efficiently to new and expanding international markets.”





"So why is Rocky View County such a great place to invest? To start, Rocky View has no business tax. The county has no business tax, no small business levy and no business license."

VER THE YEARS, ROCKY VIEW COUNTY has attracted an unprecedented number of world-class investments to the Calgary region. Building on the strengths that Alberta is so well known for, Rocky View has become a magnet for large retail developments like the CrossIron Mills regional shopping center, large warehousing facilities like Walmart, Sobey’s and Gordon Food Service, as well as inlandport transportation hubs like CN’s Calgary Logistics Park in Conrich. So why is Rocky View County such a great place to invest? To start, Rocky View has no business tax. The county has no business tax, no small business levy and no business license. Many communities claim to have no business tax but they have an onerous business license that bothers and burdens local businesses. (If you don’t think that’s true, ask them.) Rocky View County truly and sincerely has no business tax. Couple this with some of the lowest property tax rates in the entire province and the overall taxes in Rocky View are significantly lower. Investors understand and appreciate this. Rocky View offers an impressive selection of land options, all with excellent proximity to metropolitan Calgary. The business parks and industrial hubs are so prominent and plentiful in Rocky View that we can only describe the land options as a “full-service menu” of corporate real estate that will suit any investor’s needs. It is also worth noting that these are all private sector land developments – Rocky View does not have a corporate land development bias. There are commercial and industrial properties in Balzac (Wagon Wheel Business Park, High Plains Business Park, Nose Creek Business Park to mention a few) and Conrich (CN’s Calgary Logistics Park), airport-serviced properties in Springbank, business parks along 84th Street and in Indus (Fulton Industrial for example), or hamlet locations in Bragg Creek and Langdon. The list goes on and on. The menu of corporate

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real estate options in Rocky View County is among the best in the Western Canada. High quality real estate options are a major consideration for investors. Rocky View is perfectly positioned to accommodate the industries of the future. The corporate real estate in Rocky View is as sophisticated and diverse as the companies that they attract. In the future, there will be continued growth in large warehouse facilities that supply Western Canada and the trucking and logistics companies that serve those mammoth facilities. There will also be continued investment in major retail and entertainment attractions - north, west and east of Calgary. There will also be opportunities developed in agrifood processing and hi-tech manufacturing as the industry consolidates, closing old plants in the cities and investing in expanded facilities that offer new products, produced in the most advanced and safe facilities in the world. For example, Rocky View is home to Harmony Beef, the largest EU-approved beef processing plant in Canada. This is significant. Investors know this. None of the world-class developments that have taken place in Rocky View County would have been possible without the people that set the vision and planned these investments. These people include current and past councils that had the foresight to plan and build critical infrastructure. There were also engineers, architects and planners that worked tirelessly to prepare for large land developments. And finally, Rocky View’s commercial and industrial successes would not have been possible without the endless flow of world-class projects from visionary land owners, developers and real estate brokers. These people are the foundation of Rocky View’s bright future. Investors deeply value this. Don’t get left behind. Invest in Rocky View County.

For more information contact: David Kalinchuk, Economic Development Manager Rocky View County 403-520-8195


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City of Chestermere


ALBERTA’S OASIS There’s plenty of room to grow in Chestermere

A "Chestermere offers the best of both worlds: unparalleled access to all the major transportation routes and hubs in Alberta, without the congestion of a major centre."


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LBERTA'S NEWEST CITY HAS GROWN over 250 per cent in the last decade, and is the fastest-growing city in Alberta. Almost 20,000 residents call Chestermere home, with a population of 50,000 projected in the next 20 years. One of the best places to grow your business in Chestermere is the planned brand new, city-owned commercial and light industrial development. The city’s 101 acres are just south of Highway 1 and are available for custom development so that your space and location are exactly what you need to be successful. If something in the 101 acres doesn’t suit your needs, there’s also 2,200 acres of land available for commercial, light industrial and residential development. The city’s Economic Development Department can help create a custom solution for your company. Chestermere offers the best of both worlds: unparalleled access to all the major transportation routes and hubs in Alberta, without the congestion or outrageous parking fees of a major centre. An independent third-party logistics consultant has estimated that a warehousing and distribution company could save millions of dollars in Chestermere due to a combination of no business license tax, excellent transportation access, a mill rate that is one of the lowest in Alberta, an available workforce and lower serviced land costs. With the transportation industry increasingly relying on rail, and sales forces increasingly needing to travel abroad,

there are huge cost savings inherent in having the Calgary International Airport and CN Intermodal Logistics Park all within 15 minutes of Chestermere. Not to mention what it’s like to actually live here: relax, be active and breathe. That’s the lifestyle you and your employees could have every day in Chestermere. Chestermere is the epitome of high quality living. Here you will find a high median household income of $118,000 (58 per cent higher than the Canadian median), youthful energy (94.7 per cent of the population is 64 years and younger compared to 85.2 per cent nationally) a well-educated population (56 per cent hold a trade, college, bachelor degree or higher, compared to 51 per cent nationally), beautiful recreation amenities and friendly new neighbourhoods. Don’t forget the stunning Chestermere Lake – the gem that truly makes Chestermere “Alberta’s oasis.” At the heart of our community, you’ll find endless opportunities to enjoy the extraordinary combination of energy and tranquility that comes with lakeside living.

For more information contact: Economic Development Department 403-207-7093

Town of Okotoks




HE WHY: PERFECT LOCATION TO DO BUSINESS • Favourable tax environment; strong economy and affordable cost of living; • Competitive option for head office relocations, branch offices and new facilities; • Non-residential tax rates are among the lowest in the Calgary region; • No business tax for the majority of businesses; • Highest educated and skilled population in the region; • Regional trade area: 250,000 people including communities and the region south of Calgary and the southeast region including BC WANTED: technology businesses, innovators, professional services, creative industries, boutique retailers and specialty restaurants

TOWN OF OKOTOKS FACTS: • 15 minutes south of Calgary and under 40 minutes to international airport; • Population: over 28,000 people; Annexation in process - expected growth approx. 80,000; • Second youngest mid-sized urban center in Canada, average age 34 years; • Safe and sustainable community; clean air & water; • Comprehensive education system including post-secondary offerings; • Various health facilities “THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THINGS TO DO IN OKOTOKS” (The tag line that garnered national attention) • 79 kilometre pathway system; field house for indoor sports; golf courses and mini golf; pool, curling rink, indoor hockey arenas, indoor & outdoor baseball;

There IS time to smell the flowers

• Art Galleries, Performing Arts Centre; Museum; Public Library; specialty shops and unique restaurants OKOTOKS: the best place in Alberta to find entrepreneurial and innovative success, in a family friendly, active, warm, inviting and vibrant environment. CONTACT OKOTOKS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TODAY!


Ranked #4 in Canada for Entrepreneurs to Start and Grow Business!¹

WANTED: Professional Services Creative Industries Innovators Boutique-Unique Retailers Technology Businesses

Contact us today to find out how you can be part of our success story!

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Canadian Federation of Independent Business 2016

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City of Airdrie


EMBRACING INNOVATION IN AIRDRIE ZyTech Building Systems sets up state-of-the-art facility

Glenn German, President of ZyTech Building Systems, is embracing leading edge technology and innovation in his Airdrie facility.

W “The City of Airdrie embraces business and embraces growth and building a community. It’s a breath of fresh air to come into a community with business ideas and have them accepted, and they work with you to find ways to make it happen.”


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HEN IT COMES TO FINDING EXAMPLES of manufacturing innovation in Alberta, you don’t need to go far – just travel a few minutes north of Calgary to the City of Airdrie. In October 2014, ZyTech Building Systems LP bought 10 acres of land in Airdrie, where it has established a stateof-the-art manufacturing facility dedicated to developing ZyTech’s “fast frame” systems. Using equipment originating in Sweden, ZyTech prefabricates floors, walls and trusses—most of the major lumber components related to building construction—and then ships them out to building sites. Glenn German, who established ZyTech in 1997 and has since expanded into Saskatchewan and Arizona, says innovation is the way forward in order to keep up with the demands of the construction industry. “The world is changing and we’re changing with it,” he says, citing how the leading-edge automation ZyTech is using can shave months off a builder’s construction timelines. The Airdrie plant is seen as the flagship for ZyTech’s fastframe product line, explains German. The company, with just under 500 employees continent-wide, has plans to start replicating the format in its facilities in Edmonton, Red Deer, Saskatchewan and the U.S. German says the location of the new Airdrie plant was chosen due to its proximity to the Queen Elizabeth II highway, Alberta’s major transportation route. “This plant serves Calgary and Edmonton with fast-frame product,

and a huge advantage to being in Airdrie is we can service those markets very easily,” he says. “When you do the comparison with northeast Calgary, it’s not as easy to get out and get around [there]. Transportation is a big part of our business…we need good access to highways.” ZyTech is just one of a number of manufacturers that have brought their brand of innovation to Airdrie. For example, the city’s eastern edge is dominated by Propak Systems, which next year marks 40 years of being based in Airdrie, making the city a hub for engineering, fabrication and construction services. Alta Injection Molding doubles as both a manufacturer and an ideas-incubator, working with composite and engineered resins and helping companies get their products to market. Mirolin Industries manufactures acrylic tubs and showers, and TransCanada Turbines is considered a world leader in repairing and overhauling industrial and marine gas turbines – it moved to Airdrie from Calgary in 2011. For power-management solutions, many companies turn to Eaton Canada, which has been in Airdrie since the 1990s. Mayor Peter Brown says these companies, along with ZyTech, provide diversity and opportunity to the city of 60,000 residents. “When you bring in this kind of innovation, it requires a high level of expertise. Economic development-wise, I’m thrilled to have ZyTech in the community.” Airdrie is well-situated for serving innovative companies like ZyTech, adds Airdrie Economic Development team leader Kent Rupert. “We understand the importance of innovation in today’s ever-changing world,” he says. “When a company like ZyTech comes in using leading-edge technology it encourages other businesses to embrace innovation. We work hard to support those companies.” Adds German: “The City of Airdrie embraces business and embraces growth and building a community. It’s a breath of fresh air to come into a community with business ideas and have them accepted, and they work with you to find ways to make it happen.”

For more information contact: Kent Rupert, Team Leader Airdrie Economic Development 403-948-8844 or 1-888-AIRDRIE (247-3743)





A new aerotropolis brings opportunity to the Capital Region

OCATED IN THE HEART OF THE EDMONTON metro region, one of Alberta’s greatest investment opportunities continues to grow. In June 2015, Port Alberta (a joint venture between Edmonton International Airport and Edmonton Economic Development) was designated a Single Window Access Point to the country’s Foreign Trade Zone program. The designation reduces trade barriers to the rest of the world, with the aim of helping the local manufacturing sector and boosting investment in the region by providing a strategic location where access to all government agencies is readily available. That means Canada Border Services Agency, Canada Revenue Agency, Transport Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development are easily accessible through Port Alberta, an organization that works to make trade


flow smoothly to and from the Capital Region. “Port Alberta’s goal is to be a platform to support trade in the Edmonton Metro region,” says Daylin Breen, Port Alberta’s project manager. “We help connect the transportation infrastructure, from roads, rails and runways, and extending to ports in Prince Rupert and Vancouver.” Until now, designating Edmonton as a Single Window Access Point to the rest of Canada was a missing piece to the puzzle. The Access Point includes the airport, the surrounding land and logistical services. “This is a window onto what the Canadian landscape offers,” says Glen Vanstone, vice-president of Edmonton Economic Development, of the Foreign Trade Zone designation. In September, following the trade zone announcement, Air China Cargo announced its plans to start servicing the region.

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WINDOW TO THE WORLD: The Single Window Access Point designation presents a huge investment opportunity for the Capital Region.

“This is a window onto what the Canadian landscape offers.” GLEN VANSTONE Edmonton Economic Development


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The Capital Region is a family of diverse, interdependent communities whose energy, talent and resources are combined with insightful planning processes, sound fiscal and regulatory practices, environmental sensitivity and empathy for the underprivileged.

“We have a huge strategic advantage. We’re open for business. We have developers here; we can do a deal on a new building and have the building open in less than a year.”

SET TO THRIVE: Retail opportunities will thrive alongside the new aerotropolis – including a new outlet mall set to open in 2017.

MYRON KEEHN Edmonton Airports

CAPITAL AT A GLANCE • Consists of 24 municipalities surrounding the province’s capital city, Edmonton. • Accounts for 31.8 per cent of Alberta’s population. • Sixth-largest metropolitan area in Canada.


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“This is a time when many businesses are looking at their supply chain model, and Port Alberta is working hard to help businesses figure out where they can save time or money by looking at different shipping routes,” says Breen. He also notes that, with the Foreign Trade Zone designation, Edmonton metro region businesses can more easily access the duty deferral program – a huge appeal to businesses in the region. “If you’re manufacturing something and you import parts from other countries, and you plan on exporting the product once you’re done manufacturing, then you may not have to pay the duties or taxes upfront,” he explains. “It helps with cash flow.” Norm Richard, director of air service development for Edmonton Airports, says the Foreign Trade Zone designation was a “game changer.” “When we’re talking about investment into Alberta, at times I think air carriers are left out of that understanding,” he says. With the introduction of Air China Cargo, Richard notes that, “These are multimillion-dollar investments that these air carriers place in the markets they choose to begin service in.” Developing air service and economic activity around the airport is a huge opportunity that the city felt was key to fulfilling the potential of the entire region. With new airlines like the Netherlands’ KLM adding Edmonton to their stops, Edmonton Airports expects other industries in the region to thrive – including tourism and retail opportunities, like a new outlet mall that will open in 2017. The goal is to establish a bustling “aerotropolis” that ties in strong business connections with local opportunity.

DIRECT CONNECTIONS: Edmonton International Airport has welcomed new international airlines to its gates.

“We’re committed to connecting both the passenger and cargo side, to drive demand,” says Myron Keehn, vice-president of commercial developments for Edmonton Airports. “Edmonton has a large airport, from a landmass perspective, and we have a lot of land to develop – over 3,000 acres is available on top of what we need for airport purposes ... we’re blessed to have the land that we do. We can master plan our vision.” But that doesn’t mean focusing only on the sky: “On the ground side, we want to expand that multimodal hub. We have trucking, a rail yard, and busing is really important,” says Keehn. The airport recently completed a deal that makes it easier for Albertans from all over the province to take the Red Arrow bus directly to the airport. “It’s all intertwined,” says Keehn, of the seven-year aerotropolis project. “We’re looking at things not just on their own, but putting all the puzzle pieces together.” The final vision is one of Edmonton acting as a strong Western Canadian distribution centre. “We have a huge strategic advantage,” says Keehn. “We’re open for business. We have developers here; we can do a deal on a new building and have the building open in less than a year.”

Town of Stony Plain




HE PLACE TO BE... Stony Plain is strategically positioned to become one of the Capital Region’s leaders in industrial and commercial development. Conveniently located 20 minutes west of Edmonton and adjacent to major transportation corridors, the town is home to a diverse economic base, a trade area of more than 300,000 and a competitive labour force. Stony Plain also boasts one of the lowest property tax rates within the region. Its expanding business parks play a crucial role in the town’s current and future success. CULTURE AND ECONOMY We are committed to building a place where people not only want to make a living, but to live. The town combines the cultural, social and environmental aspects of community to

enhance its economic impact. With an average annual population growth rate of 2.8 per cent, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and easy access to Edmonton’s services, suppliers and infrastructure, Stony Plain is an attractive choice for business start-ups that are looking for a community that can fuel their creativity. "We continue to invest in the development of Stony Plain’s commercial sector because we see results. Market activity has risen consistently and the town’s planning team is proactive and cooperative. We feel welcome and appreciated in the community." – Murray Kulak, Owner Decker Properties Management Ltd

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COME JOIN US IN STONY PLAIN The Town is committed to the growth and expansion of its business community. This commitment is evident in work and implementation of the Town’s Economic Development Strategy & Action Plan. We want your business to be part of our growing community.

For more information contact: Town of Stony Plain Economic Development 780-963-8653


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City of St. Albert


IMAGINE POSSIBLE contain 1,500 new multi-family residential units, 15,000 square feet of commercial development including retail shopping and dining areas, and open spaces available for residents and visitors. Expected full build-out is between seven to 10 years.


EVOLUTIONARY NON-RESIDENTIAL growth in St. Albert -- the highest in 30 years — makes this an ideal time for investors to get involved and help direct the development of this innovative city.

A SMART CITY St. Albert is becoming one of Canada’s leading “Smart Cities.” A Smart City embraces innovation such as real-time applications, advanced connectivity, and open data and analytics to generate sustainable local and economic benefits. A Smart City Master Plan is now available, and there are over 80 projects in development. In 2014, St. Albert founded the “Alberta Smart City Alliance” with partners including the University of Alberta, IBM Canada, Cisco Canada and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Now with nearly 250 members, several large events hosted, and a recent successful European business development mission conducted, the Alliance is a thriving collaboration. There are still opportunities for new partnerships within this innovative movement.

Selected as the “Best Place to Live in Canada” by MoneySense in 2014, St. Albert was also recognized as a Top 5 Alberta Investment Town. CREATING OUTSTANDING DOWNTOWNS

Implementation of the city’s Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan (DARP) has also begun. The first phase, a major street realignment, will be completed this year to aid future development. This initiative will provide a vibrant downtown that includes a mixture of employment opportunities, commercial, public and residential land uses with a focus on high-quality design. Expected benefits include increased tourism, business attraction and retention, and residential attraction with reduced leakage. The 10-acre site, which formerly contained a shopping mall, is being redeveloped into an urban village. It is proposed to


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IMPOSSIBLE? NOT WHEN YOU CAN “IMAGINE POSSIBLE” Over six hundred acres of “Employment Lands” have been designated for non-residential development, offering high quality employment opportunities for residents and spin-off economic benefits for local businesses and the city. Residents and investors have conveyed their desired vision for these lands. Popular concepts include a knowledge region anchored around an academic institution, a light industrial/ commercial centre and a family-friendly entertainment district. The Employment Lands present an excellent and readily-available opportunity for developers with a clear vision and long-term focus. THE CITY OF ST. ALBERT Selected as the “Best Place to Live in Canada” by MoneySense in 2014 (and Readers’ Choice in 2015), St. Albert was also recognized as a Top 5 Alberta Investment Town (REIN, 2012-13) and “One of the Best Communities for Business in Alberta” (Alberta Venture, 2013). Located on the scenic Sturgeon River adjacent to the capital region, St. Albert is known for its abundant green spaces, high numbers of maintained trees per capita, and a paved trail system spanning 85 kilometres. The City of St. Albert Economic Development Division has many resources for investors, including: • St. Albert investment profile • Retail market analysis • Entertainment demand study • Future industrial land study And several other reports available.

For more information contact: Guy Boston Executive Director, Economic Development 780-459-1631

Economic Developers Alberta

EDA is Alberta’s only organization dedicated to advancing the economic development profession. By joining EDA you have access to professional development, information and networking opportunities to enhance your expertise, which in turn strengthens the economic viability of your community.


Economic Disaster Recovery Project (EDRP) Toolkit: The only resource of its kind in Canada to help community leaders prepare for and recover from economic disasters. Investment Readiness Toolkit: An important instrument to help you meet the high expectations required to attract, retain and grow businesses. AlbertaBusinessCounts Program: Software that provides a consistent province-wide method for gathering the data needed to identify and analyze business needs at the local, regional and provincial levels.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Community Economic Development Training Program (CEDTP):

In-person and online courses designed to deliver information on best practices and established tools you can use to help your region thrive. Ongoing webinars: We have partnered with various economic development and community development experts to deliver relevant information and best practices that will enhance your economic development practice.

NETWORKING AND EVENTS EDA Annual Professional Conference and AGM: Approximately 350 delegates from across North America gather to network and share ideas and best practices. The next conference will take place from April 6-8, 2016. We also organize an annual Ministry Dinner to give our members the opportunity to network with key provincial and federal ministry representatives. This year it takes place in Edmonton on October 27, 2016.

EDA also promotes other events throughout the year, which benefit our membership. Members have access to the online EDA member directory. We honour best practices in economic development through our annual Awards of Excellence program. Members have the ability to share career opportunities and requests for proposals.

Visit for more information.

2016 ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE AND AGM Our theme: “Resilience, Renewal and Reinvention” April 6-8, 2016 Kananaskis, Alberta

• EDA’s annual conference attracts approximately 350 local, national and international experts in the field of economic development as well as elected officials from across the province of Alberta • Delegates are provided with information on economic development issues, trends, best practices and inspiring keynote addresses along with valuable networking opportunities • The 2016 conference includes special sessions and receptions for elected officials Register today by visiting our website at: @edaalberta #EDA2016

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ITH SERVICED INDUSTRIAL land at half of the market price of the adjacent capital region, the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) region is becoming the next expansion area for oil and gas and industrial manufacturing. Growth of the region’s industrial land and its access to business operational needs are what makes it so attractive. The region is 30 kilometres south of the Leduc-Nisku Industrial Park, the largest petroleum manufacturing park in Canada, and 40 kilometres south of the City of Edmonton. JEDI is located along three major logistical highways that are part of key North American transport channels. It is accessible to a labour force of 70,000, with a focus and availability of skilled trades and a fully

developed city and rural residential area with complete commercial, recreational and health amenities. JEDI is a one-stop resource for companies looking to build facilities in the region, as well as foreign investment and land development companies looking for development opportunities. JEDI is the economic development partnership between the City of Wetaskiwin, the County of Wetaskiwin and the Town of Millet, and has built success on its award-winning industrial land development revenue sharing agreement with its municipal partners. The region’s strength is evident in its existing regional companies: Manluk Global manufacturing petroleum and mining products with global exports, Supreme International manufacturing agricultural

feed processors with a 250,000 square foot facility and global dealers and Home Hardware’s western Canada distribution center of 760,000 square feet. Discover the JEDI industrial region.

For more information contact: Rod Valdes, Director of Economic Development 780-361-6232

Serviced industrial land at 1/2 the market price of the capital region.* L o c a t e d i n C e n t r a l A l b e r t a ’s Oil & Gas manufacturing h u b. On 3 major logistical highways for Nor th American transpor t. Access to a labour force of 70,000 focused on skilled trades. 30km south of Edmonton International Airport and L e d u c - N i s k u I n d u s t r i a l Pa r k . *Market price as of Q1 2016

Find out why this Central Alberta Region is the best place for your business at


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Parkland County




ITUATED WEST OF EDMONTON, Parkland County is a rural municipality that offers the business opportunities of a major urban centre in a country residential lifestyle. Central to Parkland County’s economic landscape is the Acheson Industrial Area, an economic development hub that covers nearly 11,000 acres, is home to more than 250 local businesses and serves as a major employer within the Capital Region. As one of the largest industrial areas in all of Western Canada, hosting leading organizations in sectors including agriculture and power generation and transmission, the Acheson Industrial Area holds significate expansion capacity. Described as the “jack of all trades” area of Parkland County, the Acheson Industrial Area offers exceptional industrial opportunities, from agriculture to transportation distribution and logistics, to a host of small- to medium-sized

advanced manufacturing and specialty chemical operations. Whereas other industrial areas within the province are more specialized, the Acheson Industrial Area offers it all. Exceptional economic opportunities are generated for Parkland County due to the fact it borders on Edmonton, a major urban centre with a metro population of more than 1.5 million. Separating Parkland County is its industrial lands, where operating costs are often half that of a major urban centre or the surrounding industrial areas within Alberta. Parkland County incubates small business by offering an attractive package of no business tax combined with a low industrial tax. It’s what continues to draw industry to Parkland County. Parkland County’s affordable land costs are even more appealing for larger industrial operators, where these costs savings are more truly realized.

With over $300 million in Industrial Building Permits in the last three years alone (adding 2.4 million square feet of buildings), The Acheson Industrial Area is leading the way for development in the Edmonton Region. Call to discover why so many businesses are choosing Parkland County to be their home.

For more information contact: Trevor Anderson, Economic Development Officer Business Development 780-968-8888 ext. 8259




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City of Wetaskawin



Wetaskiwin’s economy expands to welcome opportunity DISTRIBUTION OPPORTUNITIES The city is connected to a highly efficient roadway transportation hub, a fact which influenced the decision of the national hardware chain Home Hardware, which has over 1,000 stores, to locate their western Canadian distribution centre in Wetaskiwin. This 700,000 square foot (65,000 m²) facility employs over 400 workers. Also, both the Canadian Pacific main north-south railway line and the rail line to eastern Canada run through Wetaskiwin.


Wetaskiwin’s economy continues to grow, in spite of the downturn in global oil prices. For the first ten months of 2015, building permits are at an all-time high, with almost 50% in the industrial sector.

ETASKIWIN IS SITUATED IN CENTRAL Alberta, 70 kilometres (43 miles) south of Edmonton, the provincial capital. The Edmonton International Airport is only 30 minutes away. The city’s economy, originally based on agriculture, has expanded to include advanced manufacturing, distribution, oil and gas services, education and medical services. Wetaskiwin is the major city in the region, which has a primary trading area of 50,000 people. Wetaskiwin also owns the Wetaskiwin Regional Airport, which is the location of Skyport, one of the only airside land developments in Canada where titled land can be acquired, thereby facilitating the financing of new construction. MANUFACTURING IN WETASKIWIN Advanced manufacturing is a significant industry in Wetaskiwin. Manluk Global Manufacturing Solutions utilizes precision machining techniques to create specialized valves for the oil and gas industry. Supreme International manufactures feed mixers, which are purchased by dairy farms and cattle feed lots in countries as far afield as Saudi Arabia. A.C. Dandy Electrical Products manufactures electrical enclosures, controllers, lighting and portable power systems as well as high-voltage mobile electrical substations. Fisher & Ludlow manufactures steel platforms and staircase units destined for chemical plants and oilsands extraction operations. Masco Crane & Hoist manufactures overhead cranes, ranging in size from ½ ton to 100 ton. OIL AND GAS SERVICES The oil and gas sector is Wetaskiwin’s fastest growing industry. Annugas Compression manufactures a double-acting gas compressor that can improve conventional oil well production by up to 85 per cent. G & B Rubber Products has been manufacturing specialized rubber products for over 50 years. Speth Drilling is a world leader in low-impact seismic shot hole drilling, which allows drilling to occur in environmentally sensitive areas.


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DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES Western Canada’s largest industrial park is located 48 kilometers (30 miles) north of our city. Wetaskiwin is looking for an industrial park developer to create a project that would attract companies who cannot find affordable land for expansion in their current location. Because of the low cost of raw land, the final market price of industrial land in Wetaskiwin would be less than 50 per cent of the cost of similar land in other major centres across the province of Alberta. There are also development opportunities for both residential and retail projects. QUALITY OF LIFE The quality of life in Wetaskiwin is unparalleled when compared to other cities in Alberta. The city has a 17 acre (7 hectare) lake within the city, which is surrounded by a 2.5 kilometre (1.5 mile) hiking trail. The latest addition to the roster of recreational facilities is the Manluk Aquatic Centre which features two pools, two waterslides and one of the few indoor surfing attractions in western Canada. TOURIST ATTRACTIONS The world-class Reynolds-Alberta Transportation Museum has more than 1,100 cars, trucks, motorcycles, aircraft, tractors and industrial machinery in its collection. Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame showcases the achievements of its members. Over 200 aviation leaders have been inducted.

For more information contact: Ron Holland, Economic Development Manager 780-361-4404

Ec Dev - SCB - Jan 12 12 - DRAFT.pdf 1 1/17/2012 12:29:29 PM

Alberta’s City of Alberta’s

for manufacturers distributors Most underserved retail market in the & developers






province of Alberta lowest real estate cost highlighting of any city inretail Alberta Independent survey opportunities. Contact us for your copy located 30 minutes from the Edmonton No current retail speciality outlets for: International Airport Computers & Software Men’s fashion distribution centre for western Canada for Home Hardware national retailer shoes Men’s Women’s & Children’s Denham Landing, anchored by Walmart manufacturing centre for agricultural, seeking tenants for multi-tenant bulding electrical energy industries in secondand phase of bigbox development Wetaskiwin Mall still has space available site of Skyport, aviationprogram hub for during current general modernization the region




Wetaskiwin Regional Hospital & Care Centre is a modern, full service, 24-hour facility system comprisedScotiabank, of elementary, Joineducation Snap Fitness, Sportchek, secondary and college programs Warehouse One and many others To continue your quest for success, please call: Ron Holland, Economic Development Manager 780-361-4404






Central Alberta’s industries boast an international appeal

ENTRAL ALBERTA IS AN ATTRACTIVE location for business development, thanks in large part to its strong – and steadily growing – population base. Red Deer, the area’s largest city, tipped the population scales at just over 100,000 residents in its 2015 municipal census, and the region as a whole is now approaching the 300,000 mark. Add to this the fact that the area is nestled halfway between Calgary and Edmonton, in a corridor with a population of over 2.5 million, and it’s a locale well-suited for economic expansion. “Partnerships and relationships are essential pieces to help build a strong and prosperous region,” says Kimberley Worthington, executive director with Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP). As a regional entity, CAEP seeks out opportunities “to collaborate and pool resources, because this is one way to address barriers to growth,” Worthington explains. “This can build capacity in small rural communities, providing access to what they wouldn’t otherwise have.” As one example of improved capacity, CAEP is working on a project to bring site selectors and awareness about central Alberta to the worldwide stage, through a website called



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ZoomProspector. The website helps small businesses deterREFINED POWER: The Central mine the right location for their business to grow and succeed. Region’s Nova Chemicals has It’s an invaluable tool for investors looking to compare apples- the world’s largest ethylene to-apples when it comes to expansion locations. “[The softproduction factory. ware] will help get rural communities on the global map,” says Worthington. “Once this is complete, potential investors will be able to get a snapshot of the businesses and opportunities in our region – from anywhere in the world.” While CAEP looks to cultivate opportunities and improve “We provide netcapacity at a regional level, one of its closest partners, Central working, facilitation Alberta: Access Prosperity, brings an international perspective and collaboration to the picture. “Access Prosperity focuses on building connec- opportunities, tions between regional and international businesses and inves- ensuring internators,” says Pam Steckler, investment attraction officer with tional investors are Central Alberta: Access Prosperity. “We provide networking, connected with the facilitation and collaboration opportunities, ensuring internaright people in our tional investors are connected with the right people in our local communities.” local communities.” This approach helps to make the transition “as seamless as possible,” which is another way to promote success, Steckler explains. PAM STECKLER When it comes to promoting the Central Region internaCentral Alberta: Access Prosperity

CAEP is recognized as both an innovative way to facilitate rural economic development and serves as a vital partner in the continued diversification of Central Alberta’s economy. Our strategies build on our region’s existing efforts and successes, and provide a solid direction for future growth on the global market.

tionally, Access Prosperity represents over 40 local municipalities. It connects with partners, industry leaders, business experts and government representatives here at home, and then takes those messages to international contacts to help promote the region and encourage foreign direct investment (FDI). “We inform and educate investors about central Alberta,” Steckler says. “There are many opportunities for FDI to support both existing and up-and-coming businesses.” Local economic diversity is evident in what Access Prosperity calls “the Big Five” areas of manufacturing: agriculture and agri-foods, oil and gas, petrochemical, and transportation and logistics. In the petrochemical area, for example, the Central Region has approximately 36 chemical and petrochemical manufacturers, including Nova Chemicals, which has the world’s largest ethylene production factory. “Central Alberta has a diverse range of small and medium-sized enterprises, so there are a lot of attractive opportunities for foreign investors to provide different types of financial input,” says Steckler. Local representation at an international level is important for regional businesses and organizations, in terms of garnering attention that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. “CAEP serves a large contingent of rural communities, with the urban centre of Red Deer at its core,” says Worthington. In her role supporting central Albertans, Worthington works directly with municipal administration and with businesses. This includes connecting with 35 members from municipal regions, 11 associate members from the business sector and one local First Nation. Working within its three key strategies of community readiness, regional economic development and marketing and communications, CAEP looks for opportunities to serve its diverse member base. “Often, rural communities simply don’t have the

THE BIG FIVE: The Central Region's manufacturing industry is centred around agri-foods, oil and gas, petrochemical and transportation businesses.

capacity to work with investors without the support of regional groups,” Steckler says. While adding to the region’s promotional portfolio with tools such as ZoomProspector, both CAEP and Access Prosperity continue to focus on relationships and partnerships to enhance central Alberta’s opportunities moving forward. “Our organizations partner with each other and with other regional groups, such as post-secondary institutions, chambers of commerce and Community Futures, as well as other levels of government,” says Worthington. Steckler agrees these collaborations are positive at the international level. “Investors like to see partnerships and stability when they’re considering a region,” she says, “and we can clearly demonstrate the stability, diversity and opportunities here in central Alberta.”

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“Central Alberta has a diverse range of small and medium-sized enterprises, so there are a lot of attractive opportunities for foreign investors to provide different types of financial input.” PAM STECKLER Central Alberta: Access Prosperity

CENTRAL AT A GLANCE • Alliance membership population: 280,474 • Communities: 35 • Associate members: 11


OPPORTUNITIES Progressive Growth, Traditional Values

Red Deer County’s central location, fast-growing economy, and competitive advantage make it a great place to do business. We are located in the heart of one of Canada’s most prosperous regions, along the crossroads of major international air, rail, and ground transportation routes. Our thriving commercial and industrial parks offer location, convenience, a full range of utilities, and access to your markets. In Red Deer County, you will have access to a young, highly skilled labour market and one of the best tax environments in North America. Sandra Badry, Economic Development Coordinator • 1.403.357.2395


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Drayton Valley




Bio-Mile® opportunities encourage industry, government and academia to collaborate in supporting the bio-industrial developments in the Drayton Valley community.


Invest in Alberta


HE TOWN OF DRAYTON VALLEY'S Bio-Mile® is an industrial area dedicated to the development of the bio-tech industry. The Town of Drayton Valley established the Bio-Mile® in order to attract businesses from the rapidly emerging bio-economy. It is designed to provide a home to companies, organizations and research partnerships focused on creating new products from waste products including bio-mass from the forestry and agriculture industries. Bio-Mile® opportunities encourage industry, government and academia to collaborate in supporting the bio-industrial developments in the Drayton Valley community. There are several memorandums of understanding in place with industry and post-secondary institutions, and work with CLIB2021, a Europe-based research consortium, has assisted in developing a strong network of international players. Bio-Mile® are also working with Energy Academy Europe, based in Groningen, Netherlands, to pursue a joint research project with industry. The local industry has been supportive, and the area is ready to receive more input and ongoing needs assessments. Constructing the new Clean Energy Technology Centre (CETC) supports the Bio-Mile®, and works to attract business and assist new startups in setting down roots in Drayton Valley. The CETC, scheduled to open in 2016, is the first innovation centre of its kind in Alberta that will provide a focus of services for education and training, business development and incubation, and applied research and development. The CETC will be a central knowledge hub for

Drayton Valley welcomes innovative research to town industry to access skills and development training, post-secondary education, business incubation for entrepreneurs and resources for businesses to pursue alternative energy practices from their mainstream operations. The CETC is a 28,500 square foot facility with a large multi-event space able to seat 250 at tables, or 400 in theatre seating. An on-site teaching kitchen at CETC is able to provide catering and culinary classes for a variety of events including: conferences, trade shows, career fairs, lectures, workshops and community events. The CETC has classrooms, video conferencing suites, computer stations, a health care lab and modern learning spaces. The learning commons area provides students, researchers and instructors an innovative space to collaborate in small working groups along with a quiet study area. This space is designed as a central nucleus for the facility to inspire creative idea and knowledge sharing between NorQuest instructors and staff, CETC administration, researchers, business incubators, entrepreneurs and clients. The CETC engages industry to fill service gaps that currently exist in the region. Many employers’ needs for education and training will be met at the CETC in partnership with NorQuest College. And with a very active oil and gas industry next door to the CETC, there are a variety of courses from power engineering, trades programs, leadership and professional development programs, and continuing education courses that are in need. Furthermore, as the bio-industry advances, there’s a growing need for skills training required for bio-manufacturing and alternative energy equipment and processes.

For more information contact: Kristina Vallee, Bio-Mile Coordinator, 780-514-2562 or Eric Burton, Ec. D 587-578-8496


DRAYTON VALLEY The Bio-Mile® includes serviceable, industrial land adjacent to major facilities, the CETC and a full range of amenities in the heart of Drayton Valley.



Drayton Valley’s thriving forestry industry brings in raw material to the local sawmill for processing.



Bio-Technology Innovation


The Clean Energy Technology Centre (CETC) located within Drayton Valley’s Bio-Mile® district provides emerging businesses with access to industry focused training, business incubation as well as research and applied research opportunities.



Green Technologies


As the demand for green technology and products increases on a global scale, Drayton Valley will continue to focus on innovative concepts and encourage the development of green investment opportunities.


Wood waste generated from the sawmill provides feedstock which can be used to fuel other locally based industries and also provide the raw materials necessary in the production of green products.

INVESTMENT Increased demand for industry-based, green technology and innovation, coupled with access to land and business support means unlimited opportunity for entrepreneurs and business developers.

BUSINESS Growing up in the oil and gas industry, Drayton Valley has developed a robust and diverse service and retail sectors to serve the needs of your business and your employees.

COMMUNITY Drayton Valley is a young, active and family orientated community. Proximity to the mountains and major centres make Drayton Valley an attractive location for growing and busy families looking to live in a small, vibrant community.


Drayton Valley’s Bio-Mile is located close to major cities and transportation routes Edmonton

Drayton Valley Calgary TOWN OF DRAYTON VALLEY


to Highway 16

& Railway





to International

to Highway 2

130KM to Edmonton

Box 6837, 5120-52 Street, Drayton Valley, AB T7A 1A1




to Calgary


Mountain View County




OUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY IS A rural municipality perfectly situated: straddling the Queen Elizabeth II Highway corridor between Calgary and Red Deer, it provides an ideal opportunity for prosperity. With a land base of over one million acres (380,767 ha), Mountain View County has room to grow – whether it’s your industry or business, your agricultural operation or your family. This land base is serviced by top-notch infrastructure, including 2,900 kilometres of county roadways that allow companies within existing business parks located along major transportation corridors (including the QEII Highway, Highway 2A, Highway 22 and Highway 27) to get their products and services to market in a safe, timely and efficient manner. The county also features a

wide array of companies that provide services to businesses and industry, along with two county-owned airports that provide additional investment and transportation potential. Mountain View County continues to explore opportunities for development in a tactical and sustainable fashion, all while meeting the goal of preserving agricultural land for current and future generations. The county’s focus on creating a vibrant and diverse local economy is supported by strong relationships with partner municipalities: the towns of Olds, Sundre, Didsbury and Carstairs, and the village of Cremona. Another key partner is Olds College, an innovative education and research institution focused on providing a diverse workforce for rural Alberta and beyond.

When deciding on your company's future, contact Mountain View County and see why they provide the best place to grow.

For more information contact: Adena Cheverie, Economic & Community Development Officer, Mountain View County 403-556-3311 ext 161

A Place To Grow...

Adena Cheverie, Economic & Community Development Officer Toll Free: 1-877-264-9753 ext 161,


Invest in Alberta


Town of Sylvan Lake




HE TOWN OF SYLVAN LAKE, a rapidly growing community in the heart of central Alberta, is strategically situated just west of the Queen Elizabeth II highway, Canada’s busiest trade corridor. Ideally located in the middle of Canada’s most economically vibrant region, with both Calgary and Edmonton less than 150 kilometres away, Sylvan Lake is positioned to access a market of over 2.7 million people. Sylvan Lake is home to an active and growing professional, scientific, and technical services (PSTS) sector, a pivotal part of its thriving industrial base. Primarily composed of management, environmental and architectural consulting services, the sector is also represented by a concentrated presence in engineering services, testing laboratories and health and safety. Small business and independent entrepreneurs are the backbone of this sector, with people

choosing to locate in the waterfront community of Sylvan Lake because of its appealing quality of life. Education and training for the PSTS industry is supported by two area institutions. Both Red Deer College and Olds Institute offer programming in the fields of science, engineering, math and computer sciences, and more technical programming in a range of industrial trades are available. Sylvan Lake appeals to young professionals, entrepreneurs and young families because of its beautiful waterfront parks, spring-fed lake, progressive school network and access to quality health care services. With a population of 14,310, Sylvan Lake has grown, on average, 4.5 per cent per year since 2001. Opportunities for niche commercial and industrial pursuits, a collegial business attitude and its prime location in central Alberta makes Sylvan

Make your move; catch the lake effect.

Attain the work-life balance you professionals, and entrepreneurs.

Lake’s business community highly attractive. Add to that the ample recreational amenities and health and fitness activities, well-enjoyed in all four seasons by this active community, and a variety of entertaining festivals and events, and it’s clear that quality of life, an active lifestyle and work-life balance are high priorities, and easily obtained, in Sylvan Lake.

For more information contact: Sylvan Lake Economic Development 403-887-1185

have yearned for- a lifestyle community that appeals to young

Enjoy new workspaces, and spend less money & time commuting; this is all about you, your family, and the recreational opportunities that Sylvan Lake offers. Resilience Renewal Reinvention


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Town of Rocky Mountain House




OCALS DESCRIBE ROCKY Mountain House as family-oriented, fun, financially stable and flourishing: these are truly the four pillars of a great community in which to live, work and play. Along with a strong community spirit and a small-town feel, Rocky offers a wide spectrum of services to its trading area of 21,000 people and to thousands more tourists during the summer months. Rocky Mountain House is a major centre for timber, agriculture and oil and gas enterprises, as well as a gateway to the Rocky Mountains. It offers full amenities for tourism, health care, recreation, education, banking, shopping and dining. The local arts and culture scene is flourishing. The summer of 2015 proved to be another great year for events like Marketplace on Main, which was enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

Today, the future looks bright for the thriving community of 7,300. With exploration in the Duvernay Shale region that surrounds Rocky Mountain House, and expected future growth in the tourism industry, the community welcomes new companies and residents in the future. Development and local construction is strong and active in the community. In 2014, there have been many significant developments around town, which resulted in a record year for building permit construction value. This includes $12 million in Main Street redevelopment, $13.5 million in recreation centre expansion and expansions to three local hotels. The town seeks developers for residential and commercial development within the community to accommodate the expected future growth from Duvernay exploration and tourism development that will happen in the area. It is eager and willing to

assist developers through the development process. The Town of Rocky Mountain House is a great place to live. New projects and on-going development in the region means that Rocky Mountain House is poised for a strong economic future.

For more information contact: Dean Schweder, Economic Development Officer Town of Rocky Mountain House Phone:403-847-5260

A Strong Community with a Promising Future Building Permit Value ($) Residential







$25 $20






62 Permits issued as of October 2015.

(81) (100)













$5 2006

Locals and visitors enjoy Marketplace on Main every Thursday evening during the summer.




(Building permits in millions of dollars)


(Total number of building permits issued in brackets)

Recreation Centre Concept Plan depicts the modern new structure adjoining Rocky’s twin arenas and curling club.

New sidewalks with benches and planters are part of Main Street redevelopment.

Check out our website

Construction of the Recreation Centre progresses in 2015.


Invest in Alberta


Town of Ponoka




HE TOWN OF PONOKA, AND Ponoka County, is home to 15,000 urban and rural residents serviced by fast, convenient links to markets and suppliers; whether they are located along the north-south Highway 2 or 2A, or on the east-west Highway 53 corridor. The broader trading area for many commercial and industrial enterprises based in Ponoka encompasses an estimated 70,000 people. Ponoka, like Edmonton to the north and Calgary to the south, lies at the crossroads of the province's primary economic corridor, linking the major metropolitan areas and running right alongside Ponoka's recently expanded town limits. Of the top five employer groups in the area, approximately 23 per cent of the labour force is found in agriculture and agricultural-related operations. The health and social services sector accounts for approximately 11 per cent, while

education and other services accounts for approximately seven per cent each. PONOKA IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS! WHATEVER YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS, PONOKA CAN HELP: • Begin your search for land and business opportunities • Look at what makes Ponoka an attractive market to do business • Find resources for starting or growing your business • Utilize planning tools such as maps and community plans • Find answers to your questions about licensing, permits, and fees • Or connect with our Economic Development Board comprised of local business people

Ponoka is also home to the world-class Ponoka Stampede, boasting seven days of entertainment and raw professional rodeo since 1936.

For more information contact: Town of Ponoka 5004 54 Street Ponoka, AB T4J 1N8 Tel: 403-783-4431 Fax: 403-783-6745


5004 54 Street Ponoka, AB T4J 1N8

Resilience Renewal Reinvention



Invest in Alberta


Town of Penhold




ENHOLD IS A YOUNG, DYNAMIC community with a progressive Council focused on community and growing central Alberta. The town is located 10 kilometres south of the City of Red Deer on Highway 2A and west of the Queen Elizabeth II Highway (QE2) on the CANAMEX Corridor. Penhold is the perfect place to raise a family. The town fosters a unique relationship with local K-12 schools in working together for our families. It is only a 10 minute drive to Red Deer College, which offers a wide range of technical and academic programs. Penhold, as a community, boasts a variety of open green spaces, playgrounds and affordable housing options. There are numerous active community groups that provide countless opportunities for community involvement. The town’s thriving commercial development

sector, along with the recent development of the Penhold Regional Multiplex, paired with our geographic location along the Highway 2 corridor, provides access to various commercial and recreational activities and facilities that support a young, active community. The Red Deer Regional Airport is only four kilometres northwest of Penhold and offers passenger flights with international flight connectors, free parking and cargo capacity. Dream about flying? Red Deer Regional Airport gives you the unique opportunity to learn how to fly a variety of single engine aircraft and commercial twin engine planes. The regional airport also boasts a variety of employment opportunities in the aviation field. Need prime rail access? Penhold’s industrial land is located next to the main line for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Penhold is a vibrant, young town within the central Alberta corridor that demonstrates innovation and partnerships with significant community growth. The town’s vision ensures a vibrant, thriving, welcoming community working together, supporting positive growth, and creating a safe and healthy environment.

For more information contact: Town of Penhold 403-886-4567

PENHOLD Let us transform your future together!

Penhold boasts small town living with big cities right in our backyard! Penhold is a young, dynamic community with a progressive Council focused on community and growing Central Alberta. Located 10km south of the City of Red Deer on Highway 2A and west of the Queen Elizabeth II Highway (QE2) on the CANAMEX Corridor.  Red Deer Regional Airport is 4km NW with cargo access and passenger


 Prime industrial lands adjacent to the main line for the Canadian Pacific

Railway. Invest in Alberta

Edmonton Red Deer Penhold Calgary

 Commercial parcels available for unique service opportunities.




Town of Sundre




OCATED 118 KILOMETRES from the city of Calgary, and nestled on the banks of the Red Deer River in the foothills of central Alberta, the town of Sundre provides an excellent backdrop for those industries that sustain it. Home to tourism, oil and gas, forestry, gravel, agriculture, the public sector, retail and knowledge workers, Sundre has developed into a regional trading centre. Sundre is home to almost 3,000 fulltime residents, with a trading area population of about 10,000. Sundre’s strong economy is supported by a desirable quality of living that is strengthened by natural amenities and cultural facilities, which have also contributed to record tourism numbers. The town has high-quality infrastructure expected by modern businesses –

with direct access to a high-load transportation corridor – and a quality workforce that has seen businesses expand in the face of low oil prices. Combined with its low cost of development, Sundre maintains an environment conducive to investment that is second-to-none compared to communities of its size. Sundre’s downtown vacancy rate has also been halved since the summer of 2014, decreasing from about 11 per cent to five per cent by end of summer of 2015. This is a result of record tourism, residential growth, special partnerships with local institutions like Olds College and a bustling highway corridor. The development of a new lightindustrial and commercial subdivision is also underway, supported with access to a

Visit. Live. Explore.

high-load highway corridor and a fibre-optic conduit.

alberta Visit.Live.Explore. For more information contact: Jon Allan, Economic Development Officer 403-638-3551 ext 111

alberta canada Visit.Live.Explore.

· 75 minutes from Calgary and Red Deer. · Located on the banks of the Red Deer River near the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. · The best quality of living, with kilometers of trails and pathways; a new industrial park development in the Southwest Industrial Area of town; and access to a quality labour force as a result of partnerships with local colleges. · Sustained downtown commercial vacancy rate of 5% or less. · New health care, seniors care, and residential developments.

403-638-3551 •

Named One of Alberta’s Best Communities for Business by Alberta Venture Magazine (Nov 2015) Resilience Renewal Reinvention


Invest in Alberta






The Mackenzie Region adopts hemp farming as a succession-planning tool

T TURNS OUT THE CONDITIONS IN ALBERTA, especially in its northern regions, are ideal for growing hemp. This is good news for the folks in the Mackenzie Region, located 800 kilometres from Edmonton, where the Regional Economic Development Initiative for Northwest Alberta has undertaken a pilot project that considers hemp production as a viable tool in farming succession planning. “There have been studies done in the northern regions showing oilseeds grown in the north have higher omega contents than [those grown in] regions further south, so there is that potential to have a superior product if we grow it and market it here,” says Byron Peters, Mackenzie County’s director of planning and development. “Currently, nobody has done anything to capitalize on that value. That’s kind of where the hemp project started.” The project began in the summer of 2013, following a series of open houses with farmers who helped create small trial-sized hemp plots of a few metres squared in Fort Vermilion. Last summer marked the first growing season, with results on which plant varieties grew best expected this year. “The reason why we have taken on this project is our econ-



Invest in Alberta


Invest in Alberta_2015–P064-P065.indd 64

omy is very resource-based and there is very little value-added processing or the refinement of products,” Peters says. “That’s why we took on the approach of the biomaterial potential of hemp, or the fibre side.” Dan Fletcher was REDA manager when the project was in its planning stages, and he helped spearhead the project. He now sits on the board. “We are very excited about looking into this area, for two reasons,” he says. “One, because of the type of soil we have here and the number of sunlight hours in the summer months, these crops tend to do much better in our type of climate than they will in other areas. So we have a potential competitive advantage. These crops have a strong value-add in further processing.” To fund the test plots and research, the REDA teamed up with the Mackenzie Applied Research Association (MARA) as well as Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education and Alberta Agriculture. The REDA invested $15,000 and the province matched it. “We’re fairly confident that there’s going to be a competitive advantage in these crops. My hope is that they’ll continue to look at what’s going to be the most feasible business model

“The reason why we have taken on this project is our economy is very resource-based and there is very little value-added processing or the refinement of products.” BYRON PETERS Mackenzie County

2015-11-24 12:35 PM

Like the northern lights that dance overhead, the Regional Economic Development Initiative for the Northwest Alberta region is vibrant and alive. The region is filled with unique commercial, residential and industrial investment opportunities. This, together with a high regard for family and lifestyle, make the region an amazing place to work and live.

These crops have a strong value-add in further processing. DAN FLETCHER REDA project manager

ALTERNATIVE CROPS: The Regional Economic Development Initiative for Northwest Alberta studies hemp production as a tool in farm succession planning.

from this type of crop in our area, be it stripping down the fibres or extracting the oils for nutraceutical applications,” explains Fletcher. “I met with Alberta’s trade representatives to Germany who discussed the possibility of using those fibres in the production of luxury car dashboards among other applications. A proven superior product is something they’re looking seriously at.” But growing hemp and finding a market for its fibres comes with certain challenges. While there was a time when seeds were freely given out to immigrants to Canada, its confusion with cannabis plants prompted a hemp ban in the late 1930s. “Right now there’s a very tight grip on the market but there’s a lot of opportunity and a lot of potential. It’s a growing market,” says Peters. “The growth rates are absolutely crazy. Manitoba Harvest sold to a U.S. company and it had a 500 per cent growth rate in the past five years.” In addition to distribution, another challenge is finding farmers willing to take a chance on something that’s not yet proven. “We have some, but not enough, and that is why MARA’s research is so important,” says Peters. “You’re not going to convince 100 farmers to grow 10,000 acres of hemp until

they know for certain someone is going to buy it. And the buyers are saying, ‘Unless you can grow all of this, we’re not buying.’ That is the catch in the worldwide hemp market.” The test plots and research results they yield are important to Mackenzie County, which hopes to sell its edge in the hemp farming market in the coming years. “Once we have the harvesting done and the information from MARA that shows that we do have a competitive advantage … we would then be looking at the heavy capital investment of how we are going to produce this. Whatever way seems to be the most profitable at that time, we would look at and look for specific investors who can do that type of work.”

Resilience Renewal Reinvention

HEMP AT A GLANCE Seeds are commonly used for: • Food • Industrial applications • Therapeutic and personal care • Pet food and livestock feed • Value-added nutrients extraction Hemp straw is commonly used for: • Pulp and paper • Animal bedding • Geotextiles and textiles • Oil and gas • Bio-energy and bio-composite products (including automobile and homebuilding products)


Invest in Alberta


Town of High Level




IGH LEVEL IS ALBERTA'S MOST northerly town. Located along the Mackenzie Highway, it’s the halfway point between Yellowknife and Edmonton, and the retail and service hub for the Mackenzie Region. Considered one of Alberta’s most promising regions for growth, and despite its young age (High Level celebrated 50 years in 2015), the region has developed both renewable and non-renewable resources ranging from agriculture, forestry, and oil and gas. As the transportation and service centre for northern Alberta, High Level serves an area in excess of 22,000 people within a 200 kilometre radius. This makes it an excellent strategic location to start and grow businesses that meet the needs of the local and regional customers. High Level also provides an extensive range of community services, including gov-

ernment service branches, retail shopping, industry services, schools, a new hospital, indoor swimming pool, arena, curling rink and many other facilities. In addition, there is a long list of active community and service groups that fulfill a number of important roles within the community. The active and involved residents make High Level an excellent place to live, work, and play with facilities and opportunities for everyone from youth to families to seniors. The town of High Level is open for new business, and fosters an environment of business development by maintaining and upholding land-use by-laws that direct new businesses to agglomerate in the downtown core and in specific industrial areas within town limits. High Level has conceptualized a Downtown Redevelopment Plan that focuses on reinvigo-

rating, beautifying and enhancing the Downtown to make it the central social and shopping hub of the community. Town staff is always open and available to assist with any new development proposals.

For more information contact: Town of High Level 10511-103 Street High Level, AB, T0H 1Z0 780-926-2201


Putting “YOU” in the middle of Opportunity in High Level AB 66

Invest in Alberta



North Central



How investing in regional data helped the North Central Region expand its economic opportunities

OR A REGION THE SIZE OF NORTH CENTRAL in Alberta, gathering reliable statistics is crucial in order to identify economic opportunities and help residents determine their own future. Stretching across 13,780 sq. km, North Central’s economy encompasses industries from forestry to tourism, and the region is thriving. “A lot of positive things are happening at once,” says Chad Merrifield, board chair of the Grizzly Regional Economic Alliance (GROWTH Alberta). “Businesses want to locate here, families want to settle here, industry is diversifying – and our goal is to ensure that all this activity is managed so that we enhance our reputation for being one of the most desirable regions in the province.” Agriculture is North Central’s largest industry in terms of employment, followed by retail, oil and gas, construction, education and health care. Its sizable manufacturing base is concentrated in the forest product and food sectors. Overall,


employment opportunities abound for newcomers who join the 46,000 people already living in the region. But any smooth-functioning machine requires maintenance, and Natalie Gibson, an Airdrie-based economic and business development specialist with InnoVisions and Associates, points out that data is what enables “elected officials and other policy-makers to make informed decisions.” Early on, community leaders knew that determining the exact makeup of North Central and its needs would result in effective development. GROWTH Alberta was established by the Grizzly Regional Economic Alliance Society so that municipalities, school divisions and support agencies could work collectively to address regional issues – and foster sustainable growth. Much of GROWTH Alberta’s focus has been on information gathering. Last year, it teamed with Environics Analytics to gather statistics on 13 different municipalities – they

Resilience Renewal Reinvention

STABLE GROWTH: Agriculture is the region's largest industry in terms of employment.

Early on, community leaders knew that determining the exact makeup of North Central and its needs would result in effective development.


Invest in Alberta



North Central

The Grizzly Regional Economic Alliance Society (GROWTH Alberta) was established in 2001 and incorporated as a not for profit society in September of 2002 to provide economic development support and promotion for its member communities.

“For example, thanks to gaining a better understanding of our residents and their interests, as well as what attracts visitors to our region, a new ski hill has been built in the Whitecourt area and will open this winter.” CHAD MERRIFIELD GROWTH Alberta

NORTH CENTRAL AT A GLANCE • Alliance membership population: 45,000 • Municipalities: 11 • Other members: 2


Invest in Alberta


ALL IN THE NUMBERS: GROWTH Alberta's data led to the opening of a new ski hill in the Whitecourt area.

dubbed it the GROWTH Alberta Economic Indicators Project. “The numbers and data are enormously helpful to these municipalities when they engage companies or individuals seeking to do business in our region,” says Merrifield. GROWTH Alberta involved all REDA members collaborating on cost-sharing – which is noteworthy, because for many Canadian municipalities, engaging a major analytics firm to determine the makeup of any community is an extremely expensive proposition. It’s already paying off: this year, Northern Air decided to schedule flights four times a week between Whitecourt and Calgary, starting in the fall of 2015. “Our numbers assisted in that company’s decision,” says Merrifield. Additionally, Woodlands County, which is located in the geographical centre of Alberta and includes Whitecourt, is using the data to attract oil and gas business from Calgary. What does the data reveal about North Central overall? “For one thing, it demonstrates that we have a fairly young demographic, with lots of disposable income and an enthusiasm for outdoor recreation,” says Merrifield. Reliable numbers also spur recreational development that is well-patronized. “For example, thanks to gaining a better understanding of our residents and their interests, as well as what attracts visitors to our region, a new ski hill has been built in the Whitecourt area and will open this winter,” says Merrifield. “We anticipate a lot of traffic with this one venue alone.”

Another project involving Merrifield and his colleagues is a partnership with the Lesser Slave Lake REDA to expand the region’s tourism website. “Local recreationists already use our existing website, but of late it’s been attracting users from places such as Spruce Grove and Edmonton who want to attend festivals or are planning daytrips,” he says. “This compelled us to broaden the geographical boundaries that the website represents.” The revamped website will be online next spring. The cumulative effect of the initiatives undertaken by GROWTH Alberta is North Central’s growing status as a multipurpose destination. “It’s very much been a domino effect,” says Merrifield. “Good data determines the feasibility of increased air flights into the region, which in turn brings more people. The more people come, the more they want to stay; and the more outside companies do business here, the more inclined they are to invest in the community, with the Calgary oil and gas sector sponsoring part of the Whitecourt ski facility being a good case in point.”

Town of Westlock




ON'T GET LOST IN THE HUSTLE and bustle of a city – have a voice and make a difference in a community that welcomes your business and that you can call home. Located at the crossroads of highway 18 and highway 44, with the junction of highways 18 and 2 within 11 kilometres, Westlock has a lot to offer. A community experiencing steady growth, and with a population of 5,147, Westlock offers an affordable cost of living, fantastic recreational opportunities, friendly people, a quiet rural lifestyle and a community with spirit. In Westlock, there are excellent opportunities for business growth and expansion. Located just 85 kilometres north of Edmonton, the town offers quick and easy access to major markets and transportation routes. Industrial, commercial and residential lots are available to suit your

needs and prime locations with ample parking are available downtown. Westlock has exceptional services and amenities, such as a fully-serviced hospital with 12 doctors, two orthopaedic surgeons and one anaesthesiologist. Recreation opportunities are also plentiful, including the Westlock Rotary Spirit Centre, which houses a standard NHL size arena, fieldhouse and fitness centre. The Westlock Aquatic Centre offers fitness programs and a full indoor six lane pool, a steam room and hot tub. Westlock Servus Curling Centre has four ice surfaces and with nine kilometres on the Westlock Rotary Trail, a state of the art skateboard park, Mountie Park campground, the Westlock Golf and Country Club and the Tawatinaw Ski Hill, there’s something for everyone. Westlock has a diverse economy, excellent

transportation connections and Telus Fibre technological infrastructure. The Canadian National Railway runs a secondary main through the community and has spur tracks available. The Westlock Municipal Airport is located six kilometres east and one kilometre south of Westlock, with a runway of 1036.58m. 2016 marks a milestone year for the Town of Westlock, celebrating 100 years since the incorporation of the municipality.

For more information contact: Economic Development Department 780-350-2109

LIFE IS GOOD HERE 780-349-4444

A Community with Spirit! Resilience Renewal Reinvention


Invest in Alberta


Town of Mayerthorpe




HE TOWN OF MAYERTHORPE IS a strategically connected, cost effective location located 130 kilometres (80 miles) northwest of Edmonton on Highway 43. The town is an ideally located community serving a trading area in excess of 46,000 people and a large skilled labour force. The Mayerthorpe area offers great longterm potential with incentives, including an affordable suitable land base, access to sources of manpower, direct access to CN Rail (with secondary access to CP nearby), secondary access to Highway 43 and Highway 22, highway commercial and a light industrial land base to support secondary industry growth, land base to facilitate residential development for employees and their families, and connections with businesses to support regular planned minor and major maintenance.

INTERESTED IN INVESTING IN MAYERTHORPE? LOTS FOR SALE: Mayerthorpe Oasis Business Park 1-46 Acres Industrial & Commercial build to suit opportunities. Prime location for truck stop, hotel, restaurants, car wash, recreational sales/ service, industrial & professional services. Visit for more information. “With great enthusiasm, we look forward to discussing these opportunities with prospective companies to visit and tour suitable locations. - Mayor Kate Patrick

Town of Wainwright

For information on business investment and attraction, visit: doing-business-in-mayerthorpe/businessattraction-information

For more information contact: Town of Mayerthorpe Box 420 Mayerthorpe, Alberta T0E 1N0 780-786-2416




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Invest in Alberta



North East



Colleges in the North East are generating innovative research and a skilled workforce to help grow regional industry

OT ONLY IS THE NORTH EAST REGION the fastest growing oil and gas development region in Alberta – it’s also home to the some of the province’s most innovative post-secondary institutions. According to Bob Bezpalko, executive director of the Northeast Alberta Information Hub, post-secondary colleges and technical institutes in the North East region are one the province’s best-kept secrets. “Post-secondary education is critical to economic development growth,” he says. “Lakeland College, Portage College and Blue Quills First Nation College are all doing a phenomenal job of working with communities, businesses and industry in the region.” Today post-secondary institutions in the region are undertaking cutting-edge applied research on sustainable energy innovation, pipeline technology and information


technology, all while supplying the region’s local industries with a skilled workforce. Lakeland College is a leading player in sustainable energy innovation research and technology in Alberta. In 2012, the college opened the Centre for Sustainable Innovation (CSI) near its campus in Vermilion, to advance the applied study of energy, environmental sciences and agriculture. “We pack a lot of expertise into a small space,” says Diane Harms, director of applied research and innovation at Lakeland College. “[The centre] encompasses the Renewable Energy Learning Centre, standard and novel crop trials, environmental monitoring and wetlands research, animal feeding trials and other applied research results that would be of interest to regional entrepreneurs.” The CSI is a net-zero building that uses energy-efficient

Resilience Renewal Reinvention

PROBLEM SOLVING: Portage College boasts a closed-loop pipeline that simulates oil spills using non-toxic materials.

In the North East, it’s all about linking industry and its residents with the support they need – placing well-trained employees at the right company. 2016

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North East



The Northeast Alberta Information Hub promotes and facilitate economic development that supports business and enhances the quality of life and environment of its member communities.

NORTH EAST AT A GLANCE • Alliance membership population: 133,000• • Members:41


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ENERGY LEADER: Lakeland College and its Centre for Sustainable Innovation is a leading player in sustainable energy research.

building technologies like solar, wind and geothermal. It serves as a “conference, classroom and lab” for researchers to integrate different renewable energy technologies and identify some of the most effective applications of those developments in Western Canada. Researchers are exploring energy generation (solar, wind, geothermal and cogeneration) and storage, all of which could provide significant economic development potential for the North East Region. Likewise, Portage College recently constructed a Pipeline Training Centre on 435,600 square feet of land near its campus in Boyle. The centre is a state-of-the-art training facility with patented simulation technologies – the first of its kind to be built not only in the province but also in Canada. At the centre, students are given the opportunity to learn about pipeline construction, operation, maintenance and regulatory policy in a hands-on environment. The goal is to train entry-level pipeline workers with advanced skills in pipe design, testing, controls, environmental issues, maintenance and response planning. According to Trent Keough, president of Portage College, both government and industry have enthusiastically supported and contributed to the centre. “Wajax Industries Edmonton seeded the centre with a $500,000 donation. Local Boyle resident Garry Smyrko donated the acres of land, and most recently Enbridge funded an entry-level pipeline program for aboriginal students,” says Keough. One of the centre’s innovations is a closed-loop pipeline

that simulates oil spills using non-toxic materials. This provides students and working professionals with the opportunity to develop spill response skills that are essential within the oil and gas industry. In the North East, it’s all about linking industry and its residents with the support they need – placing well-trained employees at the right company. Part of how that happens is through educational partnerships. Blue Quills First Nation College, one of Canada’s longest-operating “indigenous-controlled education centres,” is located on reserve land near St. Paul. Blue Quills is governed by seven appointed board members, with each member representing one of the seven First Nations communities in the region – a population that exceeds 18,000 people. “Blue Quills College is working closely with business and industry to provide hands-on training for their students,” says Bezpalko. Through its Information Technology Certificate Program, students are trained in productivity software, programming, databases and web design. Working with regional industry, Blue Quills links IT students and graduates directly to the workforce, with special eight-week placements that facilitate the “school-to-work transition.” “Today, Blue Quills is supplying local businesses and regional industry with the skilled workforce and labour force that they need to grow and prosper,” says Bezpalko. The knowledge-based economy offers a critical advantage to industry, business and community in the North East region of Alberta. As energy, agriculture and information sectors are rapidly developing, post-secondary institutions are proving that they’re two steps ahead, preparing the future workforce and producing innovative research to guide growth.


Town of Vegreville

Vegreville Economic Development & Tourism



OCATED IN THE HEART OF NORTHEAST ALBERTA, between two major centres on a four-lane highway, Vegreville is well-positioned as a regional service and shopping hub with a population of over 5,700 and trade area of over 100,000. Vegreville provides everything one could need to raise a thriving business and family. Enhance the value with a top-rated school system, lower housing prices and the convenience of having the City of Edmonton 90 kilometres away, and Vegreville offers the perfect balance for business investment success. INVEST: Vegreville and region is anchored by a thriving agriculture base, with diversified commercial and industrial sectors. The town’s commitment to investment includes non-residential and multi-unit housing incentive programs. Transportation amenities include access to the regional airport, with a 4,000-foot lighted runway and available lease lots, local rail and high load corridors. Services and infrastructure are also set to increase abundantly, without impact or compromise. INNOVATE: Vegreville can keep you connected with direct access to the TELUS Fibre Optic Network, and can even help maintain your core values with an award-winning municipal recycling program, a major environmental research facility and support for emerging technologies. These programs and services make Vegreville the perfect location for new or expanding innovative companies to call home. GROW: There’s room for opportunity, including a 91-acre industrial park with highway and rail access, and a new commercial park – both are ready for development. Several commercial buildings, lots and new residential subdivisions are also available for businesses, employees and their families to thrive. Vegreville is open for business, and ready for you.

Invest Innovate Grow Invest

Full Transportation Amenities Diversified Economy New Incentive Programs

Innovate Full Fibre Optic Network Emerging Technologies Progressive Recycling Programs


Abundant Opportunities Development Ready Land

For more information contact: Vegreville Economic Development & Tourism Department

Vegreville .com /TownofVegreville


Town of Vermilion




With new developments in industrial, highway commercial and residential areas, the Town of Vermilion is experiencing a large increase in business investment.


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HE TOWN OF VERMILION PLACES A high priority on economic development – but it’s not all business. Vermilion has a quality of life that is second to none. The town boasts the best of both worlds – big city amenities with small-town friendliness and security. Strategically located along the picturesque Vermilion River at the main intersection of Yellowhead Highway 16 and Buffalo Trail Highway 41, Vermilion is a hub within the Alberta Eastern Trade Corridor. Two hours east of Edmonton and the Edmonton International Airport, and only 30 minutes from Lloydminster, Vermilion is recognized as a strong and effective service centre. The town’s local economy is based primarily on two key sectors – agriculture and the oil and gas industry. Agriculture is the foundation on which the Vermilion region was built. The industry includes grain, oil seeds, beef, hogs, specialized livestock and dairy products, and the region plays host to numerous trade shows, seminars and sales related to the agriculture industry. On the crossroads of Highway 16 and 41, Vermilion is strategically located between the oil fields in Wainwright, Lloydminster, Elk Point and Cold Lake. Located within the Alberta HUB region, Vermilion benefits and has access to the Cold Lake oil sands area, as well as a major part of the Athabasca oil sands – Vermilion is experiencing economic growth. Vermilion offers quality parks including the Vermilion Provincial Park, recreational and cultural facilities and programs complimented by well-designed neighborhoods and crescents, along with a mix of commercial and industrial businesses. The town also offers outstanding medical services. Residents say that the quality of life in Vermilion is second to none, thanks to great amenities and services, growth and development, established businesses, a good variety of new

businesses, lots of parks and green spaces, various activities, a good economy, good health care and a very familyoriented community. Vermilion is a great place to purchase or build a home – the town has everything from mature neighbourhoods with majestic tree-lined boulevards to brand new subdivisions bustling with family activity. There are also single family dwellings, condominiums and seniors-focused housing complexes. Our newest residential subdivision will feature housing for various markets, great builders and wonderful communities. Whether you move to raise a family or to retire in a beautiful, safe and friendly community, Vermilion is a great place to find your dream home. Its residents are outstanding citizens donating their time, talents and finances to local boards, cultural groups, committees and sports teams. Vermilion is so active it is hard not to get involved. There are plenty of opportunities to shop locally in Vermilion, where familiar faces greet customers within an array of businesses including pharmacies, clothing, furniture, hardware and lumber, agricultural dealerships, oilfield companies, boutiques and restaurants. With new developments in industrial, highway commercial and residential areas, the Town of Vermilion is experiencing a large increase in business investment.

For more information contact: Mary Lee Prior, Economic Development 5021 – 49 Avenue, Vermilion, AB T9X 1X1 Phone: 780-581-2419 Fax: 780-853-4910 Email: Twitter: @NewIdeas4Living Facebook: /TownofVermilion





The Palliser Region welcomes federal investment at the Port of Wild Horse border crossing

T MIGHT LOOK LIKE JUST ANOTHER prairie border crossing, but a planned major upgrade to facilities at the Port of Wild Horse promises to improve cross-border trade and ease of travel in the Palliser Region. Jay Slemp, chairman of the Palliser Economic Partnership (PEP), says the renovations were once a long-term goal that is now coming to fruition. “We want to see the border crossing elevated in terms of hours of service, degree of services offered to commercial goods, and the facilities,” Slemp says. “We are thankful to the federal government as it recognizes that this border crossing has some long-term value for the movement of goods in and out of Alberta.” Construction work is planned to begin as early as 2017. The southeastern portion of Alberta has a lot of things going for it – not the least of which is its prime location, with market access to the rest of the province and the United States



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via Montana. Business costs in Palliser are the lowest in the province, and Medicine Hat is an inexpensive city for the natural gas industry to operate from, thanks to its location atop one of the largest natural gas fields in North America. Medicine Hat has attracted global companies, like CF Industries, Methanex, Goodyear Canada and Cancarb – Methanex is the world’s largest producer of methanol, and Palliser is now home to the only Goodyear plant outside the United States. Here, industry can operate commercial buildings at lower costs compared to Calgary and Saskatoon, and Medicine Hat has taken advantage of low gas prices to attract industries that thrive on cheap energy. Slemp says the key to PEP’s future is to forge strong relationships with other regional organizations, like the Ports to Plains Alliance and the Eastern Alberta Trade Corridor (EATC). And with a recent change in government, the region’s businesses need to establish a working relationship

EASE OF TRAVEL: The updated Port of Wild Horse border crossing encourages the flow of goods in and out of Alberta.

“We are not an island unto ourselves. We can’t do it alone.” JAY SLEMP Palliser Economic Partnership

The Palliser Economic Partnership’s vision is one of creative and diverse communities growing together in southeast Alberta.

URBAN ASPIRATIONS: Medicine Hat's mayor hopes investment in natural gas will entice value-added manufacturing investment to the region.

BUILDING ON ENERGY: Natural gas acts as the foundation of Medicine Hat's economy.

with the new NDP government. “All these relationships are critical to future success,” Slemp said. “We are not an island unto ourselves. We can’t do it alone.” Medicine Hat has built its own energy infrastructure, including a natural gas company, an oil-production company and gas and electricity distributors. “In some ways, Medicine Hat is similar to the province, in that it depends on oil and gas revenue to subsidize property taxes,” Mayor Ted Clugston says. “That has been a struggle with the low price of oil and gas, but historically our acquisition costs have been remarkably low.” In July, the city announced an expansion to its power-generating capacity with a plant on the north side of town. TransCanada Pipelines is also looking to build a new compressor station north of the city. The new station would regulate gas flow into Medicine Hat and supply fuel to the new electric station. TransCanada hopes to put the project before the National Energy Board this fall and, if it gets a green light, it could be operational by 2017.

The area also boasts the perfect setting for solar power, and is home to Canada’s first concentrated solar thermal plant. With 2,500 hours of sunlight a year, all of southeast Alberta is one of the sunniest places in Canada. Still, natural gas will be the foundation of Medicine Hat’s economy for a while, and Clugston hopes that even with lower prices, it could provide new investment opportunities. “My biggest hope is that the low price of gas will attract the value-added manufacturing – expansions at existing plants or anybody that is energy intensive and needs a stable source of gas,” he says.

PALLISER AT A GLANCE • The Palliser Region in south eastern Alberta covers an area of 43,515 sq. km, larger in size than the Netherlands. • Third-largest region in Alberta on a farm receipts basis with $1.05 billion in receipts in 2010, accounting for 9.2 per cent of Alberta’s farm receipts. • Associate membership population: 97,293 • Communities: 18

Are you looking for a partner for your next initiative? WE MAY BE A GOOD FIT. Collaborating with other organizations helps us better serve students and the region. Medicine Hat College plays a major role in our region. $168.9 MILLION INCOME ADDED TO THE REGIONAL ECONOMY 11.9% AVERAGE ANNUAL INTERNAL RATE OF RETURN FOR TAXPAYERS


Resilience Renewal Reinvention 2016

403-529-3984 Invest in Alberta



Peace Country




The Peace Region is diversifying their economy while welcoming industrial investment

IKE EVERYTHING ELSE IN ALBERTA, THE scale of Peace Country is impressive: it’s famous for spanning across boreal forest, the Rocky Mountains and the Peace River, one of the longest river systems in Canada. Its landscape makes it a lot of things to a lot of people, and so does its industry. According to Statistics Canada, the Peace’s largest industries are forestry and oil and gas, followed by retail trade and construction – with each sector accounting for as much as 13 per cent of the province’s total employment. Dan Dibbelt, executive director of the Peace Region Economic Development Alliance (PREDA), notes that industry here is served by favourable infrastructure: “We have plenty of road access and more communities up north, and therefore are less isolated



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compared to other northern regions of Canada,” he says. In the spirit of growing a vibrant economy even further, Dibbelt and his organization (a partnership of 37 municipalities, educational institutions, business groups and “Community Futures,” a national program launched as part of the Canada Jobs Strategy) are busy promoting the region and presiding over census-taking to facilitate effective and responsible growth initiatives. “This is further proof that the Peace is thriving. People appreciate that it’s an absolutely fantastic place to live,” he says. PREDA’s efforts are supported by government-funded bodies like Community Futures, whose small business specialists connect entrepreneurs with skills, financing and resources. The many companies that have grown under the

THE BIG DIG: The new Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum is located in the region's rich fossil beds, and attracted 7,000 tourists in its first two days.

“We deliberately diversify, in order to become resilient.” CHRIS KING County of Grande Prairie

The Peace Region Economic Development Alliance’s mission is to continue to grow a vibrant economy that explores, promotes and facilitates new emerging opportunities, competitiveness and innovation.

“We have plenty of road access and more communities up north, and therefore are less isolated compared to other northern regions of Canada. DAN DIBBELT Executive Director of the Peace Region Economic Development Alliance

EXPANSION PLANS: The region's Clairmont community is expanding at a rate of about 1,000 new residents per year.

tion’s guidance include Alliance Disposal Ltd., the bike and board business Fourword and Peace Windows Ltd. Chris King, the County of Grande Prairie’s economic development officer, notes that the Grande Prairie region experienced a 46 per cent growth rate between 2007 and 2013, which he attributes to the diversity of its economy. “We deliberately diversify in order to become resilient,” he says. One of King’s focuses is the ongoing development of Clairmont, a community adjacent to Grande Prairie. “About 1,000 new residents are moving into this community yearly, making it a substantial neighbour-

hood for people involved in our economic drivers of construction and manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, and the service industry – in addition to agriculture, forestry, mining, and oil and gas.” King says that since these industries are either firing on all cylinders or preparing for market upswings, more space for housing is being set aside: “And as more houses are built, our goal now is to develop more retail and commercial infrastructure.” Tourism is thriving, as King saw for himself during the September 2015 opening of the new Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum. “Over 7,000 tourists visited in the first two days, which demonstrates just how world-class this museum is – not to mention the Peace being internationally renowned for having one of the biggest dinosaur bone fields in the world.” Just as King is looking at bringing in more retail to support people working in industry, PREDA is currently undertaking a retail analysis to determine new opportunities in the sector. It’s also studying new tourism strategies in the wake of the Netherlands’ KLM Airlines being granted direct access to Edmonton. “Tourism especially is an exciting field for us,” says Dibbelt.

Resilience Renewal Reinvention

PEACE COUNTRY AT A GLANCE • Alliance community membership: 80,114 • Communites: 28 • Industry and associate members: 14


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County of Grande Prairie

LIFE IS GOOD IN THE MIDDLE Grande Prairie offers one of Canada’s strongest economies Shorts Film Festival, Street Performer's Festival, Swan Festival and annual Christmas Festival of Trees, all help make the region a year-round cultural hub. Currently under construction, the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum will be the number one educational tourism attraction in northern Alberta. Once built, this 41,000 square foot facility will host a world-class museum, research facility and community space, and the project is already opening up the palaeontological riches of the north. The County of Grande Prairie is the major sponsor of this state-of-the-art facility.

A south view of Clairmont industrial corridor, brand new residential development in the far right and a view of the city along the top. Lots of space to come and grow in the Middle of Everywhere.

I “The County of Grande Prairie is strategically located in Alberta’s vibrant Peace Region, and serves the industrial, commercial and residential needs of northwestern Alberta and B.C.”


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N THE MIDDLE OF CANADA'S OIL PATCH, in a region known for energy, forestry, agriculture and commerce, lies one of Canada strongest regional economies. With easy access to transportation corridors, an affluent young demographic, one of Canada's most entrepreneurial cities and a quality of life that balances urban amenities with outdoor living, the County of Grande Prairie is an ideal home for business and family. Welcome to the middle of everywhere. THE COUNTY OF GRANDE PRAIRIE The County of Grande Prairie is strategically located in Alberta’s vibrant Peace Region, and serves the industrial, commercial and residential needs of northwestern Alberta and B.C. While many choose the region for economic opportunity, most people who call it home fall in love with its lifestyle opportunities. The County of Grande Prairie offers easy access to all of the amenities available in other major urban centers, including vibrant arts and culture, modern health care facilities, community services, multiple K-12 schools, post-secondary education, sports and recreation facilities, restaurants and shopping. Events like the Grande Prairie Stompede, Reel

ROOM TO GROW The County of Grande Prairie is located in a resourcerich part of Alberta and serves four key sectors: agriculture, energy, forestry and commerce. The county has over 3,900 acres of serviced and unserviced land available for industrial and commercial development, including heavy industrial. Our modern transportation networks include major highway access, as well as extensive pipeline networks and rail connections to deep water ports in Vancouver and Prince Rupert. Air service completes the picture, with daily flights and connections to North America's biggest cities. COMMERCE The Peace Region is home to a uniquely young and affluent workforce. Thanks to a strong resource-based economy, approximately 260,000 regional residents spent a total of $2.8 billion in 2013. The total trade area in the Peace Region is on track to reach nearly 285,000 in the next 10 years. The region’s average household income is $102,000, a figure higher than both the national and provincial averages. Thanks to its status as a regional shopping hub, the Grande Prairie area is home to a number of large retailers that do not frequently do business in similar-sized cities, including Best Buy, Future Shop, Old Navy, Target, Urban Barn, Wal-Mart and Costco. Independent businesses also make up a significant share of Grande Prairie’s retail sector and the connected local business community is thriving. In 2012, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business named Grande Prairie the Most Entrepreneurial City in Canada for the third straight year, and it continues to rank high in terms of business outlook and business owners per capita.


The exciting new world class museum had its grand opening in September 2015 and has had 35,000 visitors to date.

In fact, despite being only the seventh largest city in the province, the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce is the second-largest chamber in the province, with 1,200 members. ENERGY As a central hub of Alberta and northern B.C.’s traditional oil and gas industry, the County of Grande Prairie is primed to meet the needs of additional heavy industry and large-scale projects. The county is committed to infrastructure and service support, including modern divided highways, rail access, flexible zoning bylaws and robust telecommunications networks, even out in the field. Alberta boasts the third-largest petroleum reserves in the world, following Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. In 2011, energy exports from the province totaled $65.8 billion – approximately 71 per cent of Alberta’s total economic exports. Within this context, the Peace Region is the province’s largest producer of natural gas and conventional crude oil. It’s estimated that over 150,000 Albertans work directly in the oil and gas industry, or in related sectors. Of those, approximately 132,000 work in oil and gas extraction, 10,000 work in electricity and 2,000

in both the coal and pipeline industries. By 2011, Alberta was ranked one of the top three investment opportunities compared to similar jurisdictions based on the combined tax and royalty rates for natural gas and conventional oil, thanks in part to the thriving Peace Region. FORESTRY The Peace Region is one of the top two Alberta regions for the production of forest products, first for employment in the forestry sector and is the leading producer of pulp, paper and panelboard. The region is host to two major Forestry Management Agreements (FMAs): Weyerhaeuser Grande Prairie FMA, and Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor) FMA. These two FMAs cover nearly two million hectares of land, with over 1.3 million hectares of harvesting land. AGRICULTURE The Peace Region is home to the northernmost agricultural industry in the world, and boasts a unique combination of northern climate, fertile soil and a watershed fed by glacial runoff. The Peace Region has a reputation for high-quality agricultural products.

Resilience Renewal Reinvention

Because the region is so export dependent, excellent road and rail networks are a major benefit for agricultural producers in the region. The Peace Region exported all of its canola in 2006, and 97 per cent was shipped through Port Metro Vancouver. Over 70 per cent of wheat from the region was shipped through the Port of Prince Rupert, under direction from the Canadian Wheat Board. The Peace Region’s food grains are commonly pooled with products from the rest of Canada, and are branded as “Canadian” grain. This practice has been important in securing key trade agreements with importers who require large, predictable supply.

For more information contact: Economic Development Department 780-513-3956


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County of Northern Lights and Northern Sunrise County


BRIGHTER FUTURES START HERE The County of Northern Lights and Northern Sunrise County both offer up strong communities An economic development network supports this development. New owners and workers can leverage existing networks, both public and private, to help them create their own mark with the minimum of barriers. While Peace Country continues to look at new directions (including wind and solar power production), opportunities exist in all areas.


ORTHERN CANADA HAS ALWAYS been a place of innovation and industrial prowess. Built on the extraction and transportation of natural resources, new opportunities are now powering new forms of growth. Just five hours from Edmonton, Northern Sunrise County and the County of Northern Lights form the northwestern heart of Peace Country. Straddling the picturesque Mighty Peace River, the region houses rich developments in oil, gas, forestry and agriculture.

Built on the extraction and transportation of natural resources, new opportunities are now powering new forms of growth.

INNOVATION AND GROWTH The area’s original settlers faced long, harsh winters with minimal supplies. Nature forced them to rely on their creativity and perseverance, and the area’s entrepreneurs have inherited that spirit, earning a considerable reputation for their appetite for difficult logistical problems. Heavily populated by young families making an average income of $90,000, the County of Northern Lights has long-attracted ambitious newcomers from across the country. Offering affordable real estate, strong community engagement and endless outdoor recreational opportunities, there's no better place to create the foundation for a wealthy life – in all the ways that matter. Current average home sells for $283,000. MORE THAN OIL Oil plays a big part in the region’s history, but is only one part of its future. Peace Country has become one of the best markets in Canada for secondary and value-added businesses. There are tremendous opportunities for new service companies, manufacturing outfits, consulting firms and even home-based businesses.


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ALBERTA’S BREAD BASKET The north’s long summer days allow for generous crop yields. With a surprising diversity of soil types, Peace Country has the perfect substrates for consistent bumper crops – including oats, timothy and canola. Local conditions have also supported some of the largest honey and bison operations in the country. As the provincial government acts on its mandate to increase value-added agriculture, the region is well-placed to continue that growth. FAST MEETS SLOW Local businesses are well-supported by a modern and innovative infrastructure, including access to main CN Rail lines connecting to both Edmonton and the Northwest Territories. But don't be fooled: not everything moves fast in this part of the world. Nature and community will always define life in the north. Every homeowner in the region has bountiful access to the best the outdoors can offer, and can look forward to connecting with open, warm communities of like-minded peers dedicated to working together to create something beautiful. For more information contact: Eleanor Miclette, Manager Economic Development County of Northern Lights 780-836-3348 Mathieu Bergeron, Director of Planning & Community Development Northern Sunrise County 780-625-3280





Slave Lake




The new High Prairie Health Complex opens up a medical industry in the Lesser Slave Lake Region

NEW $228.3 MILLION HOSPITAL IS CURRENTly under construction in the town of High Prairie, opening up services and opportunity for residents of the Lesser Slave Lake Region. The High Prairie Health Complex promises to stimulate local and regional economic development – an exciting shift towards building economic resilience in this northern Alberta region, parts of which were severely damaged by the 2011 Slave Lake fire. In May 2011, the town of Slave Lake and surrounding municipal districts were devastated by a large forest fire that spread rapidly into the community, fuelled by 100 km/hr winds. Seven thousand residents were forced out of their homes, and insured damage was estimated at $700 million, making it one of Canada’s costliest disasters in recorded history. As the region makes strides in infrastructure recovery, the



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BRINGING CARE: The new Health Complex – located only an hour away from the communities that were hit hardest by the fire – is scheduled to open health centre supports a thriving AERIAL VIEW in September 2016. “We serve an area of 22,000 people in the health services industry. High Prairie region, which includes the town of High Prairie, Big Lakes County and many First Nations and Métis communities,” says Barry Sharkawi, chair of the Lesser Slave Lake Economic Alliance (LSLEA) and representative for the High Prairie Chamber of Commerce. Over the past 10 years, LSLEA and local governments have been lobbying the provincial government for improved services to meet the health needs of the Lesser Slave Lake region. According to Sharkawi, a series of cutbacks to the existing health facility has resulted in residents having to travel anywhere from two to four hours to seek medical services in Grande Prairie, Peace River and Edmonton. The new hospital will house 30 acute care beds and 67 beds for continuing care, and provide residents with a range of

The Lesser Slave Lake Economic Alliance’s vision is to become the “next place.” Whether it’s the next place you visit, live, work or play, the Alliance works towards making the region your “next place.”

vices, including emergency services, obstetrics, diagnostic scanning, primary and continuing care, and community health programs. The hospital has also budgeted space for future services, like renal dialysis and chemotherapy. “We hope with continued government lobbying and support we’ll have a full-service hospital in High Prairie, and that’s where you’ll really see value-added for the region,” says councillor Debbie Rose, representing the Town of High Prairie. Rose says she’s already seeing the positive impact the hospital will bring to the region. The new hospital will allow the region’s residents to seek medical attention closer to home, and that’s a good thing, says Rose, not only for health reasons but also economic ones. “If we’re able to succeed in further lobby efforts, we’ll have the most enhanced services in the area. With dialysis, chemo services and a second operating theatre, we’ll receive people from [across the] region. “Instead of travelling to Grande Prairie or Edmonton for health services, [patients] will come to High Prairie and spend their money right here in the area – on hotels, shopping, restaurants and entertainment. We’ll no longer be losing those dollars [to communities outside the region],” says Rose. LSLEA is continuing its lobbying efforts, especially for a second operating theatre, which will attract surgeons to work and live in the area. The communities are also fundraising to build a helipad at the hospital, which will allow for increased air ambulance and evacuation services for High Prairie and the surrounding region. Over the last two years, participation in the Tolko Charity Golf Tournament through sponsorship and donations has raised $70,000 for the helipad and $35,000 for the STARS program. In terms of local investment, the Peavine Métis Settlement, a neighbouring community, is already anticipating development in its large subdivision, located adjacent to the new hospital in High Prairie.

“Instead of travelling to Grande Prairie or Edmonton for health services, BRINGING OPPORTUNITY: The new hospital complex also opens up [patients] will come opportunities for retail, recreation, and lodging businesses to thrive. to High Prairie and “There’s potential for a strip mall, restaurants or other medical services, spend their money including a dental office or a second medical clinic,” says Linda Cox, right here in the area – administrator for the LSLEA. on hotels, shopping, According to LSLEA, yet another area for potential economic development and growth is the old hospital, which will be decommis- restaurants and sioned upon the new hospital’s opening. “Going forward, there’s been entertainment.” discussion as to what we’re going to do with the old hospital site,” explains Cox. “Working together with the town, county, school divisions and Northern Lakes College, we’ve proposed that an integrated college be built on that site.” As a further benefit to health services and training in the region, Cox says that if the college is successful in its lobbying efforts, Northern Lakes College could potentially consolidate the professional health services curriculum in a new building, offering related diploma programs for students from Wabasca, Slave Lake, Red Earth and other communities of the LSLEA region. “Community stakeholders have really come together to rally their support for the new hospital and the economic development it will bring about,” says Cox. “There’s a synergy there that will truly make a big difference in the Lesser Slave Lake Region.”

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DEBBIE ROSE Town of High Prairie

LESSER SLAVE LAKE AT A GLANCE • Alliance membership population: 17,090 • Communities: 7 • Associate members: 4 2016

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South Central



Agriculture provides a strong foundation for growing industry in the South Central Region

URELY ON A FARM CASH RECEIPTS BASIS, ALBERTA’S South Central Region is the largest in the province: a multibillion-dollar generator accounting for over 21 per cent of all sales. All that agricultural production has also created a number of spinoff opportunities, mostly thanks to organic waste in the form of manure, excess crops, crop residues and animal remains. All that waste is the material required for the region’s burgeoning biogas industry. Lethbridge Biogas is an example of the impressive numbers that can be generated by a single company in the biogas industry. Its $30-million processing facility on the outskirts of Lethbridge (South Central’s biggest city at 95,000 people) has the capacity to convert over 100,000 tonnes of organic waste into 2.8 megawatts of electricity: that’s enough to power 2,800 homes yearly. Plus, it’s estimated that the plant, which opened at the end of 2013, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 224,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2020.



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The education sector is mindful of agriculture’s crucial role in South Central’s economy, which is why this fall Lethbridge College launched its new Agriculture Business Risk Management Program, specifically designed by professionals for those working in the livestock, grain and oilseed industry. Having identified a need for increased knowledge and skills in the area of business risk management, the college developed the program to create opportunities for learners in advanced agribusiness practices, increasing their awareness of global markets and gaining a greater understanding of market influences. Pete Lovering, manager for the SouthGrow Regional Initiative, says South Central is well-positioned to take advantage of alternative energy development: “We enjoy some of the longest periods of sunshine in North America, so we’re determining ways for solar power to expand,” he says. Representing over 54,000 people, SouthGrow is an economic development alliance of 22 South Central communities committed to working together to achieve prosperity. Its

The SouthGrow Regional Initiative’s goal is to accelerate and enhance economic development and sustainability for the communities in the province’s South Central region.

“Diversity is desirable to any economy, and we’re doing a good job building on our opportunities and creating spinoffs that lead to new areas of growth.” OFFSHOOTS: South Central's Region’s strong agricultural economy has led to burgeoning biogas industry.

CROP KNOWLEDGE: The city of Lethbridge's educational institutions boast innovative agricultural reserch programs.

goal is to accelerate and enhance economic development and sustainability, and on that score it has racked up an impressive portfolio of success stories. “Diversity is desirable to any economy, and we’re doing a good job building on our opportunities and creating spinoffs that lead to new areas of growth,” says Lovering. That includes commissioning a study on targeted investment opportunities for the region, developing a renewable energy toolkit for Alberta communities and embarking on an aggressive business attraction and investment project for its members. SouthGrow’s initiatives are far-reaching, and represent the needs of South Central residents. Case in point: “We’re currently working with several organizations to improve our broadband capabilities, as many communities

here aren’t adequately covered,” says Lovering. Meanwhile, SouthGrow recently completed long form profiles of each community under its jurisdiction, which Lovering explains can be useful to business leaders in more effectively processing inquiries when they occur. “Marketing ourselves as best as possible has paid off in so many ways, and this is just another tool at our disposal,” he says. If there’s a common theme to the way SouthGrow and other South Central organizations plan for the future, it’s that working together produces the best results. “In short, everyone listens to what everyone else has to say in South Central,” Lovering explains. “There’s a real sense that we’re guiding our future, and we’re very excited by what lies ahead.”

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PETE LOVERING SouthGrow Regional Initiative

SOUTH CENTRAL AT A GLANCE • Alliance membership population: 54,164 • Communities: 22


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Lethbridge Economic Development


STRONG FOUNDATIONS Choose Lethbridge: a Smart21 Intelligent Community feel that entrepreneurship is a good career choice, we recognize the importance of growing an environment that can support the vision and innovation of an entrepreneurial community.


ITH TWO POST-SECONDARY institutions creating the foundation for an intelligent workforce and more than 5,500 businesses adding to a diverse industry base, Lethbridge maintains a relatively stable economic climate within the Alberta landscape. Agriculture. Manufacturing. Logistics. Information Technology – these diverse industries create a successful business environment today, with potential for continued development in the future. While existing sectors continue to thrive and grow, new and emerging industry adds vitality to the business landscape. Since studies have shown that 80 per cent of economic growth comes from technology innovation, Lethbridge is paying attention to the changing nature of a technology-dependent global economy and working together to plan a future that ensures it remains a great choice for years to come. Lethbridge has recently been recognized as a Smart21 Intelligent Community by the Intelligent Community Forum, joining 146 communities from around the world who are taking conscious steps to create an economy capable of prospering in the 21st Century.

With an impressive line-up of major development projects totaling close to $1-billion over the next five years, we are building a vibrant community for businesses, citizens and SUPPORTING INNOVATION visitors. Within the entrepreneurial eco-system Economic Develop-

ment Lethbridge owns and operates a business incubator for emerging tech start-ups. tecconnect, a centre for entrepreneurship and innovation, has had five graduating companies and six active start-ups who are demonstrating that Lethbridge has the right environment for entrepreneurial success. In fact, Alberta Venture magazine recently named a tecconnect alumni company, Ventus Geospatial, as one of Alberta’s most innovative organizations. Since 60 per cent of Alberta’s population


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LEADING INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT Agriculture, which represents over 20 per cent of economic output with a value of over $1 billion, is one of the key pillars of the region’s economy, and there is significant opportunity to further enhance the business, education and research opportunities in this field. With a visionary $5 million philanthropic gift, the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College are working collectively to advance learning and research opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness. Recognizing this potential, the Government of Alberta also invested $5-million towards this new program, which is designed to develop graduates who reflect the dynamic careers in agriculture, possess an entrepreneurial spirit as well as the necessary skill set to realize leadership roles within the industry and the community. BUILDING A VIBRANT COMMUNITY With an impressive line-up of major development projects totaling close to $1-billion over the next five years, we are building a vibrant community for businesses, citizens and visitors. With significant investment in education (secondary and post-secondary), recreation and leisure, there is clear commitment towards enhancing an environment where quality learning and family-based activities are accessible and abundant. Art galleries, museums, theatres and shopping mean you’ll never stop discovering something new. Lethbridge also offers a modest cost of living, temperate climate, short commute times and an eclectic mix of historic and new neighborhoods all housed within a caring community. Lethbridge is an Intelligent Community and an Intelligent Choice.

For more information contact: Trevor Lewington, CEO Economic Development Lethbridge 403-331-0022


Manufacturing. Transportation. Agri-Business. The area economy benefits from the strength of these anchor industries and economic diversity despite a downturn in most other Alberta cities. In fact, in 2014, the Agriculture sector had a GDP increase of 4.4% and employment growth at 42.6%.


Satellite Imaging. Geospatial Expertise. Award-Winning Start Ups. The opportunity to excel in the knowledge economy is supported by a vibrant innovation ecosystem. With two post-secondary institutions, a technology incubator (tecconnect) and a network of services to help you succeed, Lethbridge is an intelligent community with a talented workforce fostering the development of new ideas.


Arts & Culture. Outdoor Spaces. Mild Winters. Visitors and residents alike are often surpirsed by the quality and quantity of arts and cultural festivals in Lethbridge each year! With a state-of-the art leisure complex (currently under construction), over 200 kilometers of walking and running trails and 320 days of sunshine a year, Lethbridge is a great choice for a vibrant lifestyle. Connect with us today! 403.331.0022 @chooseleth

Lethbridge County




ETHBRIDGE COUNTY IS A rural municipality in southern Alberta, located a two hours’ drive south of Calgary and forty minutes north of the 24-hour Coutts/Sweetgrass Canada-US border crossing. Located around the City of Lethbridge, Lethbridge County was originally agriculture-based, but over time has diversified its economic portfolio to include agrifood processing, commercial and industrial parks, road/rail/air transportation services, alternative energy and an emerging bioindustrial sector. Many businesses have found Lethbridge County to be an ideal location for establishing themselves, expanding their operations and prospering. Readily available land, a young, educated and diverse regional workforce, and strong partnerships with local


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post-secondary and research institutions combine to provide county businesses with the elements they need for continued, sustainable success. Lethbridge County’s highly developed transportation network, particularly the highway connections and rail service, allow products to arrive and depart quickly and efficiently to all points of the compass. A high quality of life, reasonable cost of living and strong local communities help provide for stability and a true sense of place for both employers and employees. Maybe it’s time to look at a new possibility for growing your business, one with many advantages and lower costs. Contact Lethbridge County to see if it could be your company’s next home, and perhaps one of the best decisions you make.

For more information contact: Martin Ebel Economic Development Officer Lethbridge County Toll-free NA: 855-728-5525 E-mail:


South West




Cross-border collaboration brings geotourism development to the SouthWest Region

PARKLING LAKES, WIDE BLUE SKIES and rugged mountaintops are emblematic images of southwest Alberta. This is where the prairies meet the Rocky Mountains – the region’s dynamic landscapes inspire local and international tourists to celebrate the natural beauty of the area. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, combined with the surrounding area in Alberta, British Columbia and Montana, is known as the Crown of the Continent. This transboundary region is one of the most ecologically diverse, untouched landscapes in North America. As such, it has received special attention from National Geographic as a significant “geotourism” region. Geotourism highlights and celebrates the history, culture and environment of a place. The principles of geotourism develop-


ment align well with other key industries in Alberta SouthWest – such as energy, renewable energy, farming and ranching – and the tourism economy is diversifying into specialty food products, ranch experiences and signature events. Natalie Gibson, an economic development specialist with InnoVisions and Associates, has worked extensively in the region and says that, “Alberta SouthWest is a region that offers collective and welcoming support to new business and entrepreneurs. It is an important economic engine in the province that is poised for development, in terms of opportunities for collaborative marketing agreements, experiences and product offerings. We have a lot of potential there.” Each year, Glacier Park in Montana draws over two million visitors. Its shared border with Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta offers cross-border business opportunities to benefit

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CONNECTING COUNTRIES: Waterton Lakes National Park connects Canada with the United States' Glacier National Park.


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South West

What defines the Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance is commitment to rural communities and pride in quality of life and opportunity. The SouthWest region knows that when one community thrives, there is the potential for every community to benefit.

NATALIE GIBSON, InnoVisions and Associates

SOUTHWEST AT A GLANCE • Alliance membership population: 35,000 • Communities: 16


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both the United States and Canada, while providing breathtaking experiences and “goosebump moments” for visitors. “Developing a geotourism industry that is harmonious with the beauty of the landscape is a ‘green’ approach,” says Bev Thornton, executive director of the Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance. “In addition to sustaining, celebrating and enhancing our natural attributes, we have also learned that our authentic and special experiences are in demand and put ‘green’ in the pockets of tourism businesses.” The Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council formed in 2007 with representatives from Alberta, British Columbia and Montana coming together to create a collaborative transboundary initiative. Strategic goals include creating awareness of the principles of geotourism, engaging communities and businesses to capitalize on collective assets, identifying new business opportunities and promoting the region. The Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council also continues to partner with the National Geographic Society, and is part of a worldwide network of geotourism locations. “Our tourism industry opens the door to new investment,” says Thornton. “Any investor first needs to be aware of an area and see it for him or herself. Living and working in a friendly community with clean water, fresh air, sunny days and starry nights is very attractive.” She goes on to note that this is a growing phenomenon. “Economists have identified the ‘travel-stimulated entrepreneurial migrant’ (TSEM) as the tourist who stayed and became an important community employer, attracted to living and working near the ski hill, favourite hiking trails or fishing spots. ‘They came, they stayed, they hired’ is an increasingly frequent story in the Crown of the Continent. “We are gaining capacity to develop our tourism industry, and our energy and agriculture industries in tune with what we understand to be the needs of local residents, visitors and

AROUND EVERY BEND: Through their 'geotourism' initiatives, the SouthWest Region aims to bring "goosebump moments" to tourists.


“Alberta SouthWest is a region that offers collective and welcoming support to new business and entrepreneurs. It is an important economic engine in the province that is poised for development, in terms of opportunities for collaborative marketing agreements, experiences and product offerings.

TSEM: Many business owners in the SouthWest Region came as tourists and decided to stay.

the landscape, and keep them all in balance,” adds Thornton. “We are seizing the opportunity to be leaders in integrating landscape, culture, community and business across borders. Together, we can do things that no one community could do on its own. And, we have learned that success for one of us is really success for all of us.”



THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIPS Alberta’s regional economic development alliances demonstrate success in working together Number of Municipalities


Key Opportunity Sectors




• Energy/Bio-Energy • Forestry • Agriculture • Tourism/Agri-Tourism




• Tourism/Geo-Tourism • Agriculture • Alternative Energy




• Agri-Food • Oil & Gas • Alternative Energy • Industrial Equipment




• Petro Chemical • Agriculture/Food Processing • Manufacturing • Tourism




• Manufacturing • Logistics • Tourism • Agri-business • Energy




• Oil & Gas • Agriculture • Tourism • Alternative Energy • Forestry




• Forestry • Tourism/Commercial Recreation • Agriculture




• Agriculture • Aerospace/Defence • Transportation/Logistics




• Conventional/Unconventional Oil & Gas • Agriculture • Forestry




• Bio-Energy • Tourism • Agriculture • Forestry • Oil & Gas




• Alternative Energy • Manufacturing • Agriculture/Food Processing


Established in 1998, today there are 11 REDAs representing well over 200 communities.

OME TO ICONIC MOUNTAIN SETTINGS, broad plains, lush forests, bustling towns and cities – and not to mention a richness of natural resources, leading edge innovation and technology – Alberta is the setting for entrepreneurial opportunity. Alberta has developed a highly collaborative approach to sharing industry information and developing diverse opportunities in all regions of the province. A network of regional economic development alliances (REDAs) brings together Alberta’s municipalities, government departments and agencies, educational institutions, communities, businesses and workforce partners to leverage regional opportunities for shared success. Established in 1998, today there are 11 REDAs representing well over 200 communities. The REDAs are governed by boards made up of municipally elected officials, associate member organizations, First Nations and Métis settlements. In each case, the region leads and supports a shared vision of growth and prosperity. REDAs have demonstrated success as important information conduits, linking economic development resources. To a potential investor, REDAs offer an invaluable mechanism to quickly connect with information and people at all levels in the regions. The province-wide collaboration and

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sharing of ideas and resources makes Alberta one of the strongest, most advantageous places in the world to do business. REDAs effectively gather and disseminate information, building the capacity of member communities and leaders to respond to opportunities and challenges within the region. They also collaborate with each other to develop multi-regional initiatives, capitalizing on shared natural advantages. These “partnerships of partnerships” support innovative initiatives, such as: • Regional broadband and Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP): The province’s regions understand that digital connectivity is a key to future growth, diversification and sustainability. This information-gathering and collaboration is informing a strategy of urban and rural success for the future. • Transportation and logistics: The importance of moving goods and services creates a shared focus on promoting the value of international trade corridors. Where there are military facilities, REDAs have taken a creative approach to capitalizing on procurement opportunities offered by the defense industry. • Tourism development and marketing: Alberta is home to iconic tourism destinations, and the effective promotion of the province as a destination also builds awareness and opens the front door to investment - not to mention the added benefit of doing business in spectacular settings. Alberta’s stunning landscapes and historic towns appear on the silver screen, inspiring projects like a REDA collaboration to create movie maps and themed driving routes highlighting many of the famous film projects in the regions. • Energy and alternative energy: Oil and gas, though cyclical, remains an important economic engine for all of Canada, and continues to offer many opportunities for value-added products as Alberta diversifies its manufacturing base. Much of the province receives more sunshine than anywhere else in Canada, offering great potential for solar enterprise. Alberta is also the site of the first commercial wind farm in Canada. • Agriculture offers a richness of value-added opportunities for the food industry and also for bio-products. The REDAs are the “go-to” resource for anyone interested in learning more about opportunities in each region of the province. This uniquely collaborative economic development network has demonstrated the success of working together. Success for one is success for all.


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Regional Economic Development Alliances in Alberta

Regional Economic Development Alliances (REDAs) represent a collaborative network of economic development resources in Alberta.

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REDAs are a province-wide “partnership of partnerships� directly engaged with the people, places and organizations that support economic development. Each REDA is the go-to resource for contacts, information and ideas to assist anyone visiting, living and investing in Alberta!

Regional Economic Development Initiative Association for Northwest Alberta REDI: Peace Region Economic Development Alliance PREDA: Lesser Slave Lake Economic Alliance LSLEA: Northeast Alberta Information Hub Alberta HUB: Grizzly Regional Economic Alliance Society GROWTH: Battle River Alliance for Economic Development BRAED: Central Alberta Economic Partnership CAEP: Calgary Regional Partnership CRP: Palliser Economic Partnership PEP: SouthGrow Regional Initiative SouthGrow: Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance AlbertaSW:


West Yellowhead




A new survey helps businesses pinpoint where they fit in the West Yellowhead Region

N JASPER NATIONAL PARK, SOME OF THE world’s most stunning views attract legions of tourists each year. And when it comes time to rest their heads, they stay in some of the nicest hotels and resorts in Canada. So why is the opening of a brand new hostel in Jasper significant to the West Yellowhead region? Because it comes in the wake of a sustained effort by local residents, businesses and government to chart their future responsibly. Although West Yellowhead’s largest industry, on an employment basis, is oil and gas (accounting for nearly 16 per cent of total employment), it also has a sizable forestry sector (both softwood and hardwood), a thriving manufacturing


industry (concentrated in the forestry sector), a healthy mining sector, and growing retail, accommodation and food service opportunities. West Yellowhead is Alberta’s top producer of forest products, accounting for about one-third of total production in the province, and it’s the leading producer of lumber. The region is the province’s third largest natural gas producer, and thanks to Jasper being one of its municipalities, it’s one of the province’s top three tourism destinations. It’s that strong tourism industry that contributed to one of Jasper’s most recent new businesses – the Jasper Downtown Hostel. The hostel is the first such accommodation to be located centrally in the mountain resort community.

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MILLION DOLLAR VIEW: The Glacier Skywalk is an experience like no other: a perfect balance of breathtaking views, interpretive story-telling and adrenaline-pumping excitement.


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West Yellowhead

“There has been a deliberate push towards economic diversification to make West Yellowhead an incredible place to live, and today we’re maintaining that push as well as further developing tourism and other sectors.” STEVE BETHGE Town of Edson

EYE ON THE REGION: View of the town of Jasper from Whistler's Mountain.

WEST YELLOWHEAD AT A GLANCE • West Yellowhead is Alberta’s top producer of forest prod ucts, accounting for about one-third of total production in the province. • On average, West Yellow head’s population is slightly younger than that of the rest of the province, with 28 per cent of the population between the ages of 25 and 44.


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RECENT ADDITION: The new Jasper Downtown Hostel brings affordable accommodation to travellers without a vehicle.

HIGH PEAKS: Sixty-six per cent of the businesses in Jasper National Park are considering renovations or expanding.

Guy Boisvert, co-developer of Jasper Downtown, says he and his partners were responding to a specific business need: “Here in Jasper you have to go seven or eight kilometres [to get to a hostel] and you need a car, and we thought it would be awesome to have something like that in town, where people can get off the train and just walk to the hostel,” he says. Creative expansion like the hostel comes on the heels of the 2015 Jasper Visitation Study, commissioned by Community Futures West Yellowhead. The study was undertaken to determine factors that are impacting rural business, address business issues and act as a business attraction strategy. The study goes into forensic detail on topics such as regional interest factors, barriers to growth and what Jasper should do to help businesses prosper. Amongst other things, it found that 66 per cent of Jasper businesses have local ownership, and the same percentage of businesses in Jasper National Park are considering renovating or expanding. The

data produced by such studies enables entrepreneurs to identify business opportunities. Steve Bethge, communications and economic development officer for the Town of Edson, says, “There has been a deliberate push towards economic diversification to make West Yellowhead an incredible place to live, and today we’re maintaining that push as well as further developing tourism and other sectors.” Bethge, whose township is currently opening a new residential subdivision and planning for further home construction, summarizes the can-do spirit of West Yellowhead when he says, “Thanks to careful planning, we have a nice mix of everything, and the economy no longer has huge declines. There are lots of work opportunities, and the work is steady. “In short, this is a great place to live. What more could one ask for?”

Town of Hinton




OR MANY ORGANIZATIONS, providing quality work/life balance has become an expectation of their employees. Imagine trading in an hour-long daily commute for a 15 minute bike ride; envision cross-country skiing on lunch breaks, or walking on an extensive maintained trail system; picture living and working in a welcoming, opportunity-rich town bordering the Alberta Rockies. And truly, work/life balance sums up the Hinton advantage. The combination of employment and business opportunity, with outdoor recreational assets, as well as regional services for education, health care, and retail, make Hinton an appealing choice for staff and businesses looking to relocate or expand. “Employers who value a high quality of life for their staff are considering Hinton,” explains

Regional Services Hub

Mayor and local business owner, Rob Mackin. “Our community is vibrant with breathtaking scenery and endless opportunities, and the Town of Hinton’s planning and development office is there every step of the way to assist in relocating or expanding your business.” Hinton offers many amenities, including shopping, schools and health care; as well as indoor and outdoor recreation, arts and cultural events. The climate is a little friendlier on the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies, with winter Chinooks and cool summer breezes keeping Hintonites comfortable year-round. In the West Yellowhead region, Hinton is the hub of activity and opportunity: the community offers a diverse and stable economy, location on major transportation routes, and a supportive community. Businesses are positioned to operate locally and compete globally

Business Development

Connected to the World

by having access to the best technology available, including the fastest internet speeds that has to offer through the installation of fibre optics, connecting 98% of residents and businesses. “Our versatile and expansive economic base, above-average household income, competitive tax rate, skilled workforce, as well as available land and office space ensures businesses can thrive here—and did I mention the view?”

For more information contact: Emily Olsen 780-865-6087

Unparalleled Quality of Life

Diversified Economy

Get your business started in the hub of the West Yellowhead and take advantage of our competitive taxrate, skilled workforce, available land and office space. Minutes from National and Provincial parks, Hinton has a friendly mountain community feel, with the lifestyle and views to impress.

Visit or email for more information, or to plan your next trip to Hinton. Resilience Renewal Reinvention


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Woodlands County




HITECOURT AIRPORT, OPERATED by Woodlands County, is quickly becoming an industrial airport hub, with numerous commercial tenants and big plans for the future. The facility is significant, catering to over 25,000 aircraft movements a year, which makes it the ninth-busiest airport in Alberta. Now, with Northern Air’s scheduled flights, the airport expects to see traffic increase exponentially. Having completed a Master Plan for Airport Development, bringing in Northern Air is just the beginning – plans for future commercial and industrial development are exciting, and you won’t want to miss out. Northern Air joins the following tenants: • Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (16.55 acres)

• Taiga Helicopters • Highland Helicopters • Airborne/Nabors JV • Rotorworks • Northwest Helicopter Services • Pipistrel Aircraft If your business complements existing Woodlands County businesses, or could benefit from Northern Air’s four weekly flights, contact us soon. "As mayor, I am so excited to announce four flights per week to Calgary. It allows us to continue to develop as the centre of industry between Edmonton and Grande Prairie" – Jim Rennie Mayor of Woodlands County

For more information contact: William Stewart 780-779-9972

WOODLANDS COUNTY is excited to announce… 4 Flights per week from Calgary to Whitecourt with Northern Air beginning Nov 5th!

And… This is just the beginning of what is happening at Woodlands, The opportunity for the Whitecourt Airport is vast. With 15 acres of serviced light industrial lots and 20 acres of airside lots now available for sale, as well as the 14 acres of highway commercial being developed next year, the opportunity for our business community is significant. Make Whitecourt Airport your future…


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Phone: 780-779-9972 Visit us at


Wood Buffalo



In the face of a downturn, Wood Buffalo Region considers opportunities for the future

HE WOOD BUFFALO REGION’S REPUTATION precedes it – covering more than 97,000 sq. km, it includes the largest single known oil deposit in the world – the Athabasca oil sands. An estimated 1.7 to 2.5 trillion barrels of oil lie beneath the boreal forest in this part of northeastern Alberta. That also means that the region’s economy is particularly reliant on the state of the oil and gas industry – 2015’s drop in prices and unstable market left it reeling. But that doesn’t mean you should count it out just yet. “If you’re an investor looking for opportunities to get involved with the dynamic Region of Wood Buffalo, now is the time,” says Jeff Penney, director of economic development for Wood Buffalo. “We are dedicated to connecting financiers with entrepreneurs, and innovators with ambitious investors who recognize the amazing potential of our region.” Even with a decline in oil prices, there’s still economic activity in the region, as existing production continues to operate.


The community of Fort McMurray, which is home to 61,000 HEART OF THE REGION: The of the region’s 67,000 citizens, is the obvious place to invest if region's largest community, Fort you’re looking at opportunities that don’t directly involve oil. McMurray, is home to a diverse Todd Pruden, president and CEO of Dreamline Promorange of investment opportunities. tions Inc., as well as a board member at the Northeastern “We are dedicated Alberta Aboriginal Business Association (NAABA), says if investors are looking for alternatives to new oil sands projects, to connecting financiers with there are many other economic ventures to consider. “For investors looking to put their money into Fort entrepreneurs, and McMurray, I would suggest they look at both commercial and innovators with residential properties as well as land for development,” Pruden ambitious investors says. “Also, during this time, many companies are nervous and who recognize the not willing to put money into their companies to grow, so amazing potential of there may be opportunities to purchase existing companies at our region.” better prices. If a company were to consider moving to Fort McMurray, I would think that now would be an ideal time. Companies may be interested in joint ventures or other forms JEFF PENNEY, Economic Developers Alberta of partnerships.”

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Wood Buffalo

“For investors looking to put their money into Fort McMurray, I would suggest they look at both commercial and residential properties as well as land for development.” TODD PRUDEN Dreamline Promotions

WOOD BUFFALO AT A GLANCE • Wood Buffalo’s total population is just over 80,000 people, with 78,000 of those living in Fort McMurray. • The region’s fastest growing industries are retail, oil and gas, construction, accommodation and food services.

WORK & PLAY: Wood Buffalo's increasing population is also drawn to the region for outdoor pursuits.

Because of the drop in crude prices, some companies have been laying people off to reduce overhead costs. “I haven’t laid off employees,” Pruden says. “Instead, we found ways to be more efficient. Companies such as mine are actually completely transforming themselves.” Pruden says he purchased a new building and added two new lines of products – safety products and safety workwear. He’s also hired a sales director and five sales executives to cover the province. “We have purchased new equipment and are able to turn around orders much faster than before. We’re also looking at equipment that will produce products that normally would be imported.” Pruden said purchasing equipment, especially if you can get it at a discount, is a great way to add value to your company. “We looked at this time as an opportunity to evaluate our company and assess how we can meet our clients’ needs better,” he says. “We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, but we expect a great return as well.” There’s no doubt that economic development has slowed down considerably, but Pruden says investors and businesses should look at this as an opportunity, rather than an obstacle. “I have noticed that the large oil producers are now looking for more inexpensive and efficient ways to perform the work

YOUNG & GROWING: Two-thirds of Fort McMurray's h holds earn more than double the national average income.

marks in entrepreneurship by the Canadian Federation Independent Business. The city has added many new c mercial and residential developments as it strives to be livable community for families. It’s invested in recreatio infrastructure, including a new mixed-housing develop called Parsons Creek Town Centre, which will become to 24,000 people. That’s not to mention a new business park to suppo expansion at the airport as well as new hotels, restauran other service industry related companies. With two-thi Fort McMurray households earning more than double national average income, the desire for innovative busin keeps growing.


n of coma more on pment e home

ort nts and irds of e the nesses

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo



"New residents are drawn to Wood Buffalo by a combination of high-income jobs, an enviable outdoor lifestyle and a community that embraces newcomers."

HE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF WOOD Buffalo is big in every way – it’s the home of the world’s largest industrial development and one of the world’s single largest oil reserves, ranking it among the most exciting jurisdictions in Canada for investment and growth. Wood Buffalo is a place that embraces the bold and innovative, and those who can bring such ventures into the community are guaranteed to find not only a warm welcome, but financial success. Raw statistics truly cannot capture the fresh, optimistic and uplifting spirit of Wood Buffalo, or fully describe our important and expanding role on the global stage. They do offer a sense of the extraordinary and sustainable investment opportunity, one that promises a certain future in an uncertain world. Wood Buffalo is a municipality faced with growing and diverse demands. Meeting them presents a big potential for new members of the investment and business community. New residents are drawn to Wood Buffalo by a combination of high-income jobs, an enviable outdoor lifestyle and a community that embraces newcomers. Bold and innovative investors face a “build it and they will

Members JON ALLAN Economic Development Officer Town of Sundre 717 Main Avenue West, Box 420, Sundre, AB, Canada T0M 1X0 p: 403-638-3551 ext. 111 f: 403-638-2100 e: SUZANNE ALLAN Manager of Community Development Big Lakes County 5305-56 St., Box 239, High Prairie, AB, Canada T0G 1E0 p: 780-523-5955 f: 780-523-4227 e: DAWNA ALLARD Regional Manager, South Central Alberta Economic Development and Trade 2nd fl, 4920 - 51 St., Red Deer, AB, Canada T4N 6K8 p: 403-340-5302 f: 403-340-5231 e: VOTHAM ANASTASIADIS Economic Development Officer MD of Opportunity No. 17 2077 Mistassiniy Road North, Box 60, Wabasca, AB, Canada T0G 2K0 p:780-891-3778 e: JOHN ANDERSEN Senior Project Officer, Strategic Initiatives Alberta Economic Development and Trade 5th fl Commerce Place, 10155-102 St., Edmonton, AB, Canada T5J 4L6 p: 780-644-1868 e: HEATHER ANDERSON Economic Development Officer Woodlands County Box 60, Whitecourt, AB, Canada T7S 1N3 p: 780-778-8400 f: 780-778-8402 HEATHER ANDERSON Economic Development Officer Woodlands County, Box 60, Whitecourt, AB, Canada T7S 1N3 p: 780-778-8400 f: 780-778-8402 e: TREVOR ANDERSON Economic Development Officer Business Development Parkland County 53109A Hwy 779, Parkland County, AB, Canada T7Z 1R1 p: 780-968-8888 ext. 8259 f: 780-968-8413 e: MAGGIE ARMSTRONG Director, Marketing and Business Development Empowered Employee Education 54 Thorndale Close, Airdrie, AB, Canada T4A 2C1 p: 403-948-4471 e: MILAD ASDAGHI Director of Community and Economic Development Town of Devon

1 Columbia Avenue, Devon, AB, Canada T9G 1A1 p: 780-987-8330 e: MYLES AUGER Business Development Officer Bigstone Cree Nation Box 960, Wabasca, AB, Canada T0G 2K0 p: 780-891 -3836 f: 780-891-3942 e: SANDRA BADRY Economic Development Coordinator Red Deer County 38106 Rge Rd 275, Red Deer County, AB, Canada T4S 2L9 p: 403-350-2170 ext. 284 f: 403-350-2164 e: LAURA BARFOOT Tourism/Economic Development Officer Athabasca County 3602 - 48 Ave, Athabasca, AB, Canada T9S 1M8 p: 780-675-2273 f: 780-675-5512 e: SHAY BARKER Economic Development Officer Airdrie Economic Development 400 Main Street SE, Airdrie, AB, Canada T4B 3C3 p: 403-948-8800 e: RENAE BARLOW Director, Business Development and Marketing Economic Development Lethbridge 308 Stafford Drive South, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1J 2L1 p: 403-331-0022 f: 403-331-0202 e: JIM BARR President and Founder Seekers Media Inc 7302-158 St. NW, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5R 2B3 p: 780-983-9913 e:

p: 204-229-8190 e:

AB, Canada T9E 4C4 e:

BOB BEZPALKO Executive Director Northeast Alberta Information HUB 5015 - 49 Ave., St. Paul, AB, Canada T0A 3A4 p: 780-645-1155 e:

ERIC BURTON, EC.D President and CEO Factor 5 Group 7630 Farrell Rd. SE, Calgary, AB, Canada T2H 0T8 p: 587-578-8496 e: www.

AUDREY BJORKLUND Community Development Manager Clear Hills County Box 240, Worsley, AB, Canada T0H 3W0 p: 780-685-3925 f: 780-685-3960 e:

ROXANNE CARR Mayor Strathcona County 2001 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada T8A 3W7 p: 780-464-8002 f: 780-464-8114

PAUL BLAIS Executive Vice-President MDB Insight 993 Princess Street, Suite 201, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 1H3 p: 855-367-3535 ext. 241 f: 416-367-2932 e:

RHONDA CARTER Economic Development Officer Town of Whitecourt 5004-52 Ave., Box 509, Whitecourt, AB, Canada T7S 1N6 p: 780-778-2273 e:

SEAN BLEWETT Manager Community Futures Chinook 5324-48 Ave, Taber, AB, Canada T1G1S2 p: 403-388-2923 e: HUGH BODMER Realtor CIR Realty 6102-46 St., Olds, AB, Canada T4H 1M5 f: 403-556-3664 e: GUY BOSTON Executive Director City of St. Albert 29 Sir Winston Churchill Avenue, St. Albert AB, Canada T8N 0G3 p: 780-459-1631 e: SHERI BREEN Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region 104, 9817-101 Ave., Grande Prairie, AB T8V 0X6 p: 780-814-5340 e:

DALE BARR VP Business Development and External Affairs Aspen Air Corp 1460, 10655 Southport Road SW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2W 4Y1 p: 403-720-3602 e:

GEORGE BROSSEAU Sr. Director, Strategic Initiatives Alberta Economic Development and Trade 5th Fl 10155-102 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5J 4L6 p: 780-427-0802 f: 780-422-5804 e:

RICK BASTOW Manager, North East Region Alberta Economic Development and Trade 5025 49 Avenue, St. Paul, AB, Canada T0A 3A4 p: 780-427-8116 f: 780-645-6460 e.

AUBREY BROWN Executive Director Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Community Development 6606 50 Avenue, Stettler, AB, Canada T0C 2L2 p: 403-742-3181 e:

MARK BAXTER President Outlook Market Research and Consulting Ltd. 1455 Toshack Road, West St. Paul, MB, Canada R4A 8A6

KENN BUR Consultant City of Leduc #1 Alexandra Park, Leduc,

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SARA CHAMBERLAIN Economic Development Officer Airdrie Economic Development 401 Main Street SE, Airdrie, AB, Canada T4B 3C3 p: 403-948-8800 f: 403-948-6567 e: NATALIE CHARLTON Executive Director Hinton and District Chamber of Commerce 309 Gregg Ave, Hinton, AB, Canada T7V 2A7 p: 780-865-2777 f: 780-8651062 e: ADENA CHEVERIE Economic and Community Development Officer Mountain View County Postal Bag 100, Didsbury, AB, Canada T0M 0W0 p: 403-335-3311 ext f: 403-335-9207 e: NATASHA CHISHOLM Coordinator, Business Development Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo 9909 Franklin Avenue, Fort McMurray, AB, Canada T9H 2K4 p: 780-788-4329 e: TRISTAN DAIHYUN CHOI EDO - Investment Attraction City of Airdrie 400 Main Street SE, Airdrie, AB, Canada T4B 3C3 p: 403-948-8800 ext. 8433 e: DEAN CLARK Managing Director Canadian Ventures Inc. Suite 300, 5 Richard Way SW, Calgary, AB, Canada T3E 7M8 p: 403-269-1114 f: 403-269-1128 e:

WANDA COMPTON Manager of Economic Development and Communications Brazeau County Box 77, 7401 Twp. Rd.494, Drayton Valley, AB, Canada T7A 1R1 p:780-542-77 77 f: 780-542-7770 e: DAVINA COMSTOCK Marketing and Communications Town of Nanton Box 609, Nanton, AB, Canada T0L 1R0 p: 403-646-2029 e: CYRIL COOPER Director of Business Development Kingston Economic Development Corporation Kingston, ON, Canada p: 613-544-2725 e: JULIE CORMIER Project Coordinator Central Alberta : Access Prosperity Box 5005, Red Deer, AB, Canada T4N 5H5 p: 403-356-4862 e: MATTHEW CORNALL Technology Development Advisor Alberta Innovates Technology Futures Room 2915-100, 100 College Blvd., Red Deer, AB, Canada T4N 5H5 p: 403-342-3475 e: GEOF CORNELSEN Mental Health Therapist Alberta Health Services Box 756, Valleyview, AB, Canada T0H 3N0 p: 780-524-5096 f: 780-524-3153 e: RON COX General Manager Community Futures Wild Rose Box 2159, 101- 331-3 Ave., Strathmore, AB, Canada T1P 1K2 p: 403-934-6488 f: 403-934-6492 e: MOSES DADA Student Athabasca University 121 Sherwood Circle, Calgary, AB, Canada T3R 1R7 p: 403-275-7190 e: LINDSAY DANILLER Director, Community Initiatives and Development REACH Edmonton Edmonton, AB, Canada e: RAY DARWENT Knowledge Exchange Coordinator Canadian Forest Service 5320-122 St. NW, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6H 3S5 p: 780-435-7279 e:


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Members KATLIN DUCHERER Economic Development Officer Lloydminster Economic Development Corp 5420-50 Ave., Lloydminster, AB, Canada T9V 0X1 e:

LARRY DAVIDSON CAO Town of Picture Butte Box 670 120-4 St North, Picture Butte, AB, T0K 1V0 p: 403-732-4555 e:

GARY DUFFETT Economic Development Officer Town of Provost Box 449, Provost, AB, Canada T0B 3S0 p: 780-753-2261 f: 780-753-6889 e:

TREVOR DAVISON Managing Principal O2 Planning + Design 510 255 17 Ave. SW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2S 2T8 p: 403-228-1336 f: 403-228-1320 e:

BOB DYRDA Business Development Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance Box 3041, Pincher Creek, AB, Canada T0K 1W0 p: 403-432-0342 e:

ANNE DERBY Business Development Manager, Alberta Miller Thomson LLP 700-9 Ave SW, Suite 3000, Calgary, AB, Canada T2P 3V4 p: 403-206-6380 f: 403-262-0007 e:

PATRICK EARL Economic Development Officer Kneehill County Box 400, 232 Main Street, Three Hills, AB, Canada T0M 2A0 p: 403-443-5541 e:

TERRY ANN DIACK Councillor Town of Three Hills 135-2nd Avenue SE, Three Hills, AB, Canada T0M 2A0 p: 403-443-5822 f: 403-443-2616 e:

MAUREEN EASTON Economic Development Officer Vegreville Economic Development and Tourism Box 640, 4925 50 Avenue Suite #106, Vegreville, AB, Canada T9C 1R7 p: 780-632-3891 f: 780-632-3892 e:

WANDA DIAKOW EDO Special Area #4 Box 220, Consort, AB, Canada T0C1B0 p: 403-577-3523 f: 403-577-2446 e: DAN DIBBELT Executive Director Peace Region Economic Development Alliance 10128 95 Avenue, Grande Prairie, AB, Canada T8V 0L4 p: 780-527-6232 f: 780-628-0771 e: CHERYL DICK Managing Director Ferrari Westwood Babits Architects Lethbridge, AB, Canada p: 403-327-3113 e: DAYNA DICKENS Business and Tourism Development Coordinator Town of High River 309B Macleod Trail SW, High River, AB, Canada T1V 1Z5 p: 403-603-3536 e: HELEN DIETZ CAO Town of Innisfail 4943-53 Street, Innisfail, AB, Canada T4G 1A1 p: 403-227-3376 f: 403-227-4045 e:


Invest in Alberta

MARTIN EBEL Economic Development Officer Lethbridge County #100, 905-4th Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1J 4E4 p: 403-317-6052 f: 403-328-5602 e: JODIE ECKERT CED Coordinator Community Futures Centre West 3209 2nd Floor, Building B, 101 Sunset Drive, Cochrane, AB, Canada T4C 0B4 p: 403-932-5220 ext. 321 f: 403-932-6824 e: COURT ELLINGSON Vice President Strategy, Research and Advocacy Calgary Economic Development 731-1 St. SE, Calgary, AB, Canada T2G 2G9 p: 403-221-7892 f: 403-221-7828 e: cellingson@ JENNIFER ERASMUS Senior Project Officer, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development Alberta Economic Development and Trade #201, 4920 - 51st Street, Red Deer, AB, Canada T4N 6K8 p: 403-877-4739 e:


MIKE ERICKSON Economic Development Officer City of Fort Saskatchewan 10005 - 102 Street, Fort Saskatchewan, AB, Canada T8L 2C5 p: 780-992-6278 e:

BRAD GARA General Manager Community Futures Elk Island Region #4, 5002 Diefenbaker Avenue, Box 547, Two Hills, AB, Canada T0B 4K0 p: 780-657-3512 e:

LINDA ERICKSON Regional Manager Alberta Economic Development and Trade 105, 200 - 5th Ave S, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1J 4L1 p: 403-393-2614 f: 403-381-5741 e:

PENNY GARDINER CEO EDAC 7 Innovation Dr., Flamborough, ON, Canada L9H 7H9 p: 905-689-8771 f: 905-689-5925 e:

LEONA ESAU Intergovernmental Liaison City of Airdrie 400 Main Street SE, Airdrie, AB, Canada T4B 3C3 p: 403-948-8800 ext. 8769 f: 403-948-6567 e:

DAVIN GEGOLICK Planning and Development Officer County of Minburn No. 27 Box 550, Vegreville,AB, Canada T9C 1R6 p: 780-632-2082 f: 780-632-6096 e:

LAURIE EVANS Community Services Director Town Of Vegreville 4849-50 St., Box 640, Vegreville, AB, Canada T9C 1R7 p: 780-632-3891 e:

WENDY GERBRANDT Community Economic Development Coordinator Community Futures Wild Rose 101, 331-3 Ave., Strathmore, AB, Canada T1P 1K2 p: 403-934-8888 e:

BRAD FERGUSON President and CEO Edmonton Economic Development Corporation 3rd Floor, 9990 Jasper Ave., Edmonton, AB, Canada p: 780-424-9191 e:

NATALIE GIBSON President InnoVisions and Associates #115, 203-304 Main Str., Airdrie, AB, Canada T4B 3C3 p: 403-948-2110 e:

JEFF FINKLE President and CEO IEDC Suite 900, 735-15 St. NW, Washington, DC, Canada, 20005 p: 202-223-7800 f: 292-223-4745 e:

MICHELLE GIETZ Manager of Economic Development Newell Regional Economic Development Initiative 183037 RR 145 Box 130, Brooks, AB, Canada T1R 1C6 p: 403-794-2329 e:

JENNIFER FOSSEN Economic Development Officer Flagstaff County Box 358, Sedgewick, AB, Canada T0B 4C0 p: 780-384-4121 e:

KAREN GINGRAS Executive Director REDI Enterprises Society 860 Allowance Ave SE, Medicine Hat, AB, Canada T1A 7S6 p: 403-526-5742 f: 403-529-0462 e:

GERRY GABINET Director Strathcona County 2001 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada T8A 3W7 p: 780-464-8257 f: 780-464-8444 e:

PETER GINGRICH Managing Director eSolutions Group Ltd. 179 Colonnade Road, Suite 400, Ottawa, ON, Canada K2E 7J4 p: 519-884-3552 e:

ED GADES Community Development Coordinator Saddle Hills County RR#1, Spirit River, AB, Canada T0H3G0 p: 780-864-3760 f: 780-864-3904 e:

BRIAN GLAVIN Economic Development Officer City of Grande Prairie 10205 98 St, Grande Prairie, AB, Canada T8V 6V3 p: 780-538-0475 e:

CODY GLYDON Economic Development and Communications Town of Drumheller 224 Centre St., Drumheller, AB, Canada, T0J 0Y4 p: 403-823-1320 e: JOAN GOLDHAWK Senior Advisor Shell Canada Ltd. Calgary, AB, Canada e: SCHAUN GOODEVE Economic Development Coordinator Town of Morinville 10125 - 100 Avenue, Morinville, AB, Canada T8R 1L6 p: 780-939-7622 e: CATHY GOULET President Killick Leadership Group Ltd 5528-43 St., PO Box 405, Lamont, AB, Canada T0B 2R0 p: 780-618-4967 e: LORI-JO GRAHAM Senior Development Officer Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development 5030-50 Street, Olds, AB, Canada T4H 1B3 p: 403-556-4244 f: 403-556-7545 e: SHAUN GREEN EDO Town of Smoky Lake 4612 - McDougall Drive, Box 310, Smoky Lake, AB, Canada T0A3C0 p: 780-656-3730 e: ANGELA GROENEVELD Business Renewal Officer Town of High River RR#2, Blackie, AB, Canada T0L 0J0 p: 403-652-6213 e: CAROLYN GUICHON e: LEANN HACKMAN-CARTY Chief Executive Officer Economic Developers Alberta #127, 406 917-85 St. SW, Calgary, AB, Canada T3H 5Z9 p: 403-214-0224 f: 403-214-0224 e: DEBBIE HAGMAN Community Development Officer Alberta Culture and Community Spirit Box 1209, Mayerthorpe, AB, Canada T0E 1N0 p: 780-968-3212 f: 780-968-7009 e: AMANDA HAITAS Business Development Officer Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo 9909 Franklin Avenue, Fort McMurray, AB Canada T9H 2K4 p: 780-793-1033 e:

Members ANDREA HALEY Business Development Officer Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo 9909 Franklin Avenue, Fort McMurray, AB Canada T9H 2K4 p: 780-799-5820 e: ARNOLD HANSON Reeve Beaver County PO Box 140, Ryley, AB, Canada p: 780-663-3730 f: 780-663-3602 e: GENNINE HARDER Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region 104, 9817-101 Ave., Grande Prairie, AB T8V 0X6 p: 780-814-5340 e: JENNIFER HARTIGH Economic Development and Communications Officer Town of Blackfalds Box 220, 5018 Waghorn St., Blackfalds, AB, Canada T0M 0J0 p: 403-885-6246 f: 403-885-4610 e: MALCOLM HARVEY Consultant M.E. Harvey and Associates Abbotsford, BC, Canada e: VANESSA HEITT Economic Development Officer Parkland County Parkland, Parkland County, AB, Canada T7Z 1R1 p: 780-968-8888 ext. 8218 e: CARLEY HERBERT Economic Development Officer Town of Wainwright 1018-2 Avenue, Wainwright, AB, Canada T9W 1R1 p: 780-842-3381 f: 780-842-2898 e: JENNIFER HILLMER Business Development Manager Jandel Homes 124A, 26230 Twp Rd 531A, Acheson, AB, Canada T7X 5A4 p: 780-960-4232 f: 780-960-2842 e: DANIEL HOBSON Economic Development Officer Lloydminster Economic Development Corporation 5420-50 Ave., Lloydminster, AB/SK, Canada T9V 0X1 p: 780-875-8881 e: KAREN HOLDITCH Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Town of High Level 10511-103 Street, High Level, AB, Canada T0H 1Z0 p: 780-821-4007

f: 780-926-2899 e: RONALD HOLLAND Economic Development Manager City of Wetaskiwin P.O. Box 6210, 4705-50th Avenue, Wetaskiwin, AB, Canada T9A2E9 p: 780-361-4404 f: 780-361-4402 e: LEAH HOLLER Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region 104, 9817-101 Ave., Grande Prairie, AB T8V 0X6 p: 780-814-5340 e: LARRY HORNCASTLE, EC.D. Strategy Builder Keystone Strategies Inc. 109 Keystone Cres, Leduc, AB, Canada T9E 0J4 p: 780-217-5995 e: RICHARD HORNCASTLE, EC.D. Strategy Builder Keystone Strategies Inc. 109 Keystone Crescent, Leduc, AB, Canada T9E 0J4 p: 780-974-4208 e: KATTRYN HOTTE Small Business Advisor Rural Alberta Business Centre 4009 50 St, Cold Lake, AB, Canada T9M1P1 p: 780-594-1090 e: LISA HOULE Economic Development Specialist Alberta Economic Development and Trade Box 20, 3rd fl Provincial Building, 10320 - 99 Street, Grande Prairie, AB, Canada T8V 6J4 p: 780-538-5636 f: 780 538-5332 e: HETTI HULS Economic Development Coordinator County of Grande Prairie 11101 84th Avenue, Clairmont, AB, Canada T0H 0W0 f: 780-539-9880 e: LORNA HUNT Executive Director Airdrie Chamber of Commerce Suite 102, 150 Edwards Way NW, Airdrie, AB, Canada T4B 4B9 p: 403-948-4412 f: 403-948-3141 e: RON HYMERS Principle Community Infrastructure Finance Fund LP 212 Canter Place SW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2W 3Z2 p: 403-870-7288 e:

EVELYNA JAMBROSIC Economic Development Officer Brazeau County Box 77, 7401 Twp. Rd.494, Drayton Valley, AB, Canada T7A 1R1 p: 780-542-7777 e: BUD JAMES Mayor Town of Killam PO Box 189, Killam, AB, Canada T0H 0C0 p: 780-385-3977 f: 780-385-2120 e: DIANE JENKINSON Marketing and Communications Manager Municipal District of Bonnyville 4905-50 Ave, Bag 1010, Bonnyville, AB, Canada T9N 2J7 p: 780-826-3171 f: 780-826-3775 e: DAVID KALINCHUK Economic Development Manager Rocky View County 911 - 32nd Avenue NE, Calgary, AB, Canada T2E 6X6 p: 403-520-8195 f: 403-277-5977 e: ROBERT KALINOVICH Economic Development Officer Town of Cochrane 101 RancheHouse Rd, Cochrane, AB, Canada T4C 2K8 p: 403-851-2285 e: MARK KAMACHI Creative Director AdMaki Creative Unit 1 - 27 Balsam Avenue, Bragg Creek, AB, Canada T0L 0K0 p: 403-949-3343 e:

P.O. Box 455, Vegreville, AB, Canada T9C 1R6 p: 780-632-6191 f: 780-632-3504 e: PAT KLAK President Pat Klak Consulting Leduc, AB, Canada e: TOM KOEP Economic Development and Tourism Manager Parkland County 53109A HWY 779, Parkland County, AB, Canada T7Z 1R1 p: 780-968-8406 f: 780-968-8413 e: SCOTT KOVATCH Economic Development Officer Rural Development Parkland County 53109A Hwy 779, Parkland County, AB, Canada T7Z 1R1 p: 780-968-8888 ext. 8246 f: 780-968-8444 e: DEAN KRAUSE CAO Town of Westlock 10003-106 St., Westlock, AB, Canada T7P 2K3 p: 780-349-4444 e: GARRY KRAUSE Economic Development Officer Lac Ste. Anne County Box 219, Sangudo, AB, Canada T0E 2A0 p: 780-785-3411 f: 780-785-2985 e:

LLOYD KEARL Councillor Cardston County Cardston County, AB, Canada p: 403-448-0262 e:

LORNA KURIO Econ Dev Liaison City of Lethbridge 2nd flr 910-4 Ave S, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1K 6G9 p: 403-320-3005 f: 403-320-4259 e:

TIM KEATING President Keating Business Strategies Ltd. 17, 7727-50th Avenue, Red Deer, AB, Canada T4P 1M7 p: 403-314-9223 ext. 3 f: 403-347-6006 e:

VICKI KURZ Economic Development Officer Town of Sylvan Lake 5012 48 Ave, Sylvan Lake, AB, Canada T4S 1G6 p: 403-887-1185 ext. 226 f: 403-887-3660 e:

CHRISTOPHER KING Economic Development Manager County of Grande Prairie 10001-84 Avenue, Clairmont, AB, Canada T0H 0W0 p: 780-532-9722 ext. 1156 e:

JEAN-MARC LACASSE Manager, Economic Development City of Chestermere 105 Marina Rd, Chestermere, AB, Canada T1X 1V7 p: 403-207-7093 e:

KEVIN KISILEVICH Tourism Marketing and Development Manager GO EAST of Edmonton Regional Tourism Solutions

Resilience Renewal Reinvention

HEATHER LALONDE CEO EDCO Box 8030, 6505 Marlene Ave, Cornwall, ON, Canada K6H 7H9

p: 613-931-9827 f: 613-931-9827 e: CORINNE LALONDE Chairperson Ryley Economic Development Society Box 211, Ryley, AB, Canada T0B 4A0 p: 780-663-7000 e: MICHAEL LAM Vice President Sino Energy Corporation Edmonton, AB, Canada p: 780-616-4966 e: GUY LAPOINTE Community and Economic Development Manager City of Lacombe 5432 56 Avenue, Lacombe, AB, Canada T4L 1E9 p: 403-782-1263 e: SHAR LAZZAROTTO Manager Community Futures Crowsnest Pass PO Box 818, Blairmore, AB, Canada T0K 0E0 p: 403-562-8858 f: 403-562-7252 MONIQUE LEBLANC Assistant CAO Town of Turner Valley Box 330, 514 Windsor Avenue, Turner Valley, AB, Canada T0L 2A0 p: 403-933-6206 e: EDWARD LEBLANC Community Economic Development Officer Thorhild County P.O. Box 10, Thorhild, AB, Canada T0A 3J0 p: 780-398-2820 f: 780-398-3748 e: www.thorhildcounty JERRY LEMMON Team Lead - Centre of Excellence, Stakeholder Relations Talisman Energy Inc., A Repsol Company Suite 2000, 888-3 St. Sw, Calgary, AB, Canada T2P 5C5 e: MICHELLE LEVASSEUR Stakeholder and Community Relations Advisor Leduc Nisku Economic Development Association #5911 50 Street, Leduc, AB, Canada T9E 6S7 p: 780-986-9538 f: 780-986-1121 e: SARAH LEWIS Senior Development Analyst MDB Insight Suite 340 - 600 Crowfoot Crescent NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T3G 0B4 p: 416-367-3535 ext. 262 f: 416-367-2932 e: 2016

Invest in Alberta


Members GISELLE LIBERMAN Economist; Project Consultant Keating Business Strategies 312-25 Howarth Street, Red Deer, AB, Canada T4N 6J6 p: 778-389-5045 e: MICHAEL LIU Corporate Communications Professional Strathcona County Economic Development 2001 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada T8A 3W7 p: 780-464-8257 f: 780-464-8444 e: KELLY LLOYD Coordinator of Strategic Affairs Town of Olds Olds, AB, Canada p: 403-556-6981 e:

GARRET MATTEOTTI Business Development Manager Alberta's Industrial Heartland Association Suite 300, 9940-99 Ave., Fort Saskatchewan, AB, Canada T8L 4G8 p: 780-998-7453 e:

PETER LOVERING Manager SouthGrow Regional Initiative P.O. Box 27068, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1K 6Z8 p: 403-394-0615 e: ANGIE LUCAS Director of Planning and Operational Services Town of Sundre 717 Main Avenue West, P.O. Box 420, Sundre, AB, Canada T0M 1X0 p: 403-638-3551 e:

MARILYN MACARTHUR, ECD Manager, Business Development Vulcan Business Development Society PO Box 1205, Vulcan, AB, Canada T0L2B0 p: 403-485-3148 f: 403-485-3143 e: RICHARD MACDONALD Strathcona County 2001 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park, AB T8A 3W7 p: 780-416-6737 e: GORDON MACIVOR Consultant Fort Macleod, AB, Canada e: PHYLLIS MAKI General Manager


Invest in Alberta

SHASHI MALIK Partner Miller Thomson LLP 3000, 700-9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2P 3V4 p: 403-298-2443 e: NICOLE MARTEL Senior Director, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Alberta Economic Development and Trade 5th fl Commerce Place, 10155 - 102 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada p: 780-643-9467 f: 780-422-5804 e:

BERNADETTE LOGOZAR Economic Development Coordinator Flagstaff County Box 358, Sedgewick, AB, Canada T0B 4C0 p: 780-384-4152 f: 780-384-3635 e:

DENISE LUSSIER Research Officer Alberta Economic Development and Trade Box 326, 205-1 St. E, McLennan, AB, Canada T0H 2L0 p: 780-324-3209 e:

Community Futures Lakeland and Lloydminster and Region 5010-50 Ave., Box 8114, Bonnyville, AB, Canada T9N 2J4 p: 780-826-3858 f: 780-826-7330 e:

LARRY MAYELL Director, Infrastructure Allnorth Consultants Ltd. 300-8 Manning Close NE, Calgary, AB, Canada T2E 7N5 p: 403-717-2370 e: ROSS MAYER Senior Economic Development Officer Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo 9913 Franklin Ave., Fort McMurray, AB, Canada T9H 2K8 p: 780-788-1626 f: 780-788-4399 e: LEANNE MCBEAN Economic Development Coordinator Sturgeon County 9613-100th St., Morinville, AB, Canada T8R 1L9 p: 780-939-2076 e: BRUCE MCDONALD Life Member ED Management Consulting 10711 Mapleglen Cres SE, Calgary, AB, Canada T2J 1X1 p: 403-278-5384 e: CORINNE MCGIRR EDO County of Vermilion River Box 69, Kitscoty, AB, Canada T0B 2P0 p: 780-846-2244 f: 780-846-2716 e: JOHN MCGOWAN Chief Executive Officer Alberta Urban Municipalities Association #300, 8616-51 Ave., Edmonton, AB, Canada T6E 6E6


p: 780-433-4431 f: 780-433-4454 e: BARBARA MCKENZIE Executive Director Leduc-Nisku Economic Development Association 5911 50 Street, Leduc, AB, Canada T9E 6S7 p: 780-986-9538 f: 780-986-1121 e: WYNN MCLEAN Vice President Travel Alberta 1900, 8215-112 St., Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2C8 f: 780-679-6770 e: SELENA MCLEAN-MOORE Economic Development Specialist, Southest Alberta Alberta Economic Development and Trade Medicine Hat Regional Office, 1st Floor Provincial Bldg, 346-3 St. SE, Medicine Hat, AB, Canada T1A 0G7 p: 403-529-3113 e: JUDY MCMILLAN-EVANS Consultant McMillan-Evans Consulting 723-5 Ave SW, High River, AB, Canada T1V 1B9 p: 403-652-9664 e:

BENJAMIN MISENER Planning and Development Manager Brazeau County Box 5 Site 18 R.R.#1, Didsbury, AB, Canada T0M 0W0 p: 780-514-2253 e: CHRIS MONTGOMERY Communications, Member Relations and Community Outreach Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers #2100, 350-7 Ave. SW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2P 3N9 p: 403-267-1162 e: MARY MORAN President and CEO Calgary Economic Development 731-1 St. SE, Calgary, AB, Canada T2G 2G9 p: 403-221-7831 e: mmoran MARK MORRISSEY Director of Economic Development City of Fort Saskatchewan 10005 - 102 Street, Fort Saskatchewan, AB, Canada T8L 2S5 p: 780-992-6231 e: AMBER MURPHY Economic Development Specialist The City of Red Deer P.O. Box 5008, Red Deer, AB, Canada T4N 3T4 p: 403-342-8106 f: 403-342-8260 e:

KENT MCMULLIN Senior Business StrategistIndustrial Development City of Edmonton Edmonton, AB, Canada T5J 1P7 p: 780-442-7150 f: 780-426-0535 e: ELEANOR MICLETTE Manager, Economic Development and Community Services County of Northern Lights Box 10, Manning, AB, Canada T0H 2M0 p: 780-836-3348 ext. 229 f: 780-836-3663 e: ALEXIS MILINUSIC Stakeholder Engagement Lead Economic Development and Trade Government of Alberta 5th fl Commerce Place, 10155 - 102 Street, Edmonton, AB Canada T5J 4L6 p: 780-422-9312 f: 780-422-5804 e: BOB MILLER Economic Prosperity Lead Calgary Regional Partnership Box 2093, Cochrane, AB, Canada T4C 1B8 p: 403-851-2509 e: KRISTEN MILNE Economic Development / Land Officer The Town of Fox Creek P.O. Box 149, Fox Creek, AB, Canada T0H 1P0 p: 780-622-3896 f: 780-622-4247 e:

DARCY MYKYTYSHYN Dean, Donald School of Busines Donald School of Business Red Deer College Box 5005, Red Deer, AB, Canada T4N 5H5 p: 403-342-3555 f: 403-346-4801 e: NESEN NAIDOO Manager Economic Development Town of Drayton Valley 5120-52 Street Box 6837, Drayton Valley, AB, Canada T7A 1A1 p: 780-514-2230 f: 780-542-5753 e: SABINE NASSE Chief Administrative Officer Town of Bassano PO Box 299, Bassano, AB, Canada T0M 1R0 p: 403-641-3788 f: 403-641-2585 e:

5303-50 Ave, Lamont, AB, Canada T0B 2R0 p: 780-895-2233 f: 780-895-7404 e: PATRICIA NICOL Economic Development Officer Town of Redwater PO Box 397, Redwater, AB, Canada T0A 2W0 p: 780-942-3519 ext. 33 f: 780-942-4321 e: MARIA NOORANI Senior Economic Development Officer Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo 9909 Franklin Avenue, Fort McMurray, AB, Canada T9H 2K4 e: STEPHEN NOVAK Economic Development Officer Town of Ponoka 5102 48th Avenue, Ponoka, AB, Canada T4J 1P7 p: 403-783-0116 e: LISA NOVOTNY Development Manager City of Wetaskiwin P.O. Box 6210, 4705-50th Avenue, Wetaskiwin, AB, Canada T9A 2E9 p: 780-361-4405 f: 780-352-0101 e: ASHLEY OLSEN Economic Development Assistant Town of Mayerthorpe Box 420, Mayerthorpe, AB, Canada T0E 1N0 p: 780-786-2416 f: 780-786-4590 e: SHANE OLSON Economic Development Manager Town of Okotoks C/O Economic Development PO Box 20, Station Main, 5 Elizabeth Street, Okotoks, AB, Canada T1S 1K1 p: 403-938-8907 f: 403-938-7387 e: ANDREW O'ROURKE Economic Development Officer Mackenzie County P.O. Box 640, Fort Vermilion, AB, Canada T0H 1N0 p: 780-928-3983 f: 780-928-3636 e:

RICK NEUMANN Development Officer County of Barrhead No. 11 5306-49 St, Barrhead, AB, Canada T7N 1N5 p: 780-674-3331 f: 780-674-2777 e:

BRENDA OTTO Economic Development Officer Town of Stony Plain 4905-51 Avenue, Stony Plain, AB, Canada T7X 1Y1 p: 780-963-8653 f: 780-963-2197 e:

JIM NEWMAN Manager, Economic Development Lamont County

JANE PALMER Aboriginal Affairs Advisor Devon Canada

Members REG RADKE Manager, Brooks Campus Medicine Hat College 200 Horticultural Station Rd E, Brooks, AB, Canada T1R 1E5 p: 403-362-1684 f: 403-362-1474 e:

60 Meadowview Point, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada T8H 2E8 p: 403-592-8668 e:

City of Edmonton 1401-7339 South Terwillegar Dr, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6R0E1 e:

JULIE PANKOW Marketing / Communications Economic Developers Alberta Suite 127 #406, 917-85 Street SW, Calgary, AB, Canada T3H 5Z9 p: 1-866-671-8182 e:

TARA POLINSKI Small Business & Tourism Specialist Strathcona County 2001 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park, AB T8A 3W7 p: 780-416-6737 e:

LUKE PANTIN Economic Development Manager City of Leduc 1 Alexandra Park, Leduc, AB, Canada T9E 4C4 p: 780-980-8438 e:

KAL POLTURAK, EC.D., ICD.D President K. Polturak Management and Consulting Inc. Box 2336, Lac La Biche, AB, Canada T0A 2C0 p: 780-984-2060 f: 1-877-526-3185 e:

WARD READ Chief Executive Officer Lloydminster Economic Development Corporation 5420 - 50 Avenue, Lloydminster, AB, Canada T9V 0X1 p: 780-875-8881 f: 780-875-8882 e:

MARIE-LAURE POLYDORE Community Economic Development Consultant Consultant 111 Bulyea Road NW, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6R 2M9 p: 789-996-4488 e:

MICHAEL REEVES President Ports to Plains Alliance 5401 N MLK Blvd., Unit 395, Lubbock, TX, USA 79403 p: 806-775-2338 f: 806-775-3981 e:

MICHAEL POWELL Industrial Development Enterprise Edmonton c/o Edmonton Economic Development Corporation World Trade Centre, 9990 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5J 1P7 p: 780-917-7659 e:

CLIFF REILING Consultant Cliff Reiling and Associates Box 1435, Blairmore, AB, Canada T0K 0E0 p: 403-563-5572 f: 403-563-0576 e:

DAVID PATTISON Senior Land Use Planner Alberta Infrastructure 3rd Floor, 6950-113 St., Edmonton, AB, Canada p: 780-422-1136 e: RICHARD PAULS Principal EcDev Solutions Ltd. 528, 3553 - 31 Street NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2L 2K7 p: 403-874-4943 e: DAN PEARCY CEO Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce #127 Centre 2000, 11330-106 Street, Grande Prairie, AB, Canada T8V 7X9 p: 780-532-5340 e: www.grande SHAUN PEDDIE Regional Development Project Officer Alberta Economic Development and Trade 5th Flr, Commerce Place, 10155-102 St., Edmonton, AB, Canada T5J 4L6 p: 780-427-6450 f: 780-422-5804 e: JEFF PENNEY Manager of External Relations Shell Albian Sands Fort McMurray, AB, Canada p: 780-881-9622 e: BYRON PETERS Director of Planning and Development Mackenzie County PO Box 640, Fort Vermilion, AB, Canada T0H 1N0 p: 780-928-3983 e: DAVID PETROVICH Economic Development Officer City of Chestermere 105 Marina Road, Chestermere, AB, Canada T1X 1V7 p: 403-207-7065 f: 403-569-0512 e: JAMES PHILLIPS Student

TAMMY POWELL Regional Director Alberta Economic Development and Trade 111, 111-54 St, Edson, AB, Canada T7E 1T2 p: 780-723-8229 f: 780-723-8240 e: JADE PREFONTAINE Development Officer Town of Bowden Box 338, Bowden, AB, Canada T0M 0K0 p: 403-224-3395 f: 403-224-2244 e; ALYSHIA PRETULAC Stakeholder Relations Specialist Plains Midstream Canada 1400, 607-8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2P 0A7 p: 587-233-5805 e: MARY LEE PRIOR Community Economic Development Coordinator Town of Vermilion 5021-49 Ave, Vermilion, AB, Canada T9X 1X1 p: 780-581-2419 f: 780-853-4910 e: CATHERINE PROULX VP Destination Marketing Twist Marketing 215, 1235 - 26 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB, Canada T2G 1R7 p: 403-242-4600 f: 403-242-4609 e:

RANDY RICHARDS Manager, Commercial Development Strathcona County 2001 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada T8A 3W7 p: 780-464-8259 f: 780-464-8444 e: www, BONNIE RIDDELL Councillor, Ward 7 Strathcona County 2001 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada T8A 3W7 p: 780-464-8134 f: 780-464-8114 e: JUSTIN RIEMER Assistant Deputy Minister Alberta Economic Development and Trade 5th Fl, 10155-102 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5J 4L6 p: 780-427-6302 f: 780-427-5924 e: BERT ROACH Economic Development Officer Town of Beaumont 5600 49th St., Beaumont, AB, Canada T4X 1A1 p: 780-929-1364 f: 780-929-8729 e: WAYNE ROBERT Consultant Urban Systems Ltd. 304-1353 Ellis Street, Kelowna, BC, Canada V1X1Z9 p: 250-762-2517 e:

Resilience Renewal Reinvention

ALEXANDRA ROSS Economic Development Specialist Town of Okotoks 5 Elizabeth Street, PO Box 20, Stn. M, Okotoks, AB, Canada T1S 1K1 p: 403-995-2769 e: JORDAN RUMOHR Manager Sturgeon County 9613-100th St., Morinville, AB, Canada T8R 1L9 e: KENT RUPERT Team Lead Airdrie Economic Development 400 Main Street SE, Airdrie, AB, Canada T4B 2Z6 p: 403-948-8800 f: 403-948-6567 e: MELISSA SCAMAN Economic and Community Development Specialist Ingenuity Consulting Services Edmonton, AB, Canada p: 403-601-5648 e: TRACEY SCARLETT CEO Alberta Women Entrepreneurs 2540 Kensington Road NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 3S3 p: 1-800-713-3558 e: BRUCE SCHOLLIE President Schollie Research and Consulting 4603 - 50 Street, Red Deer, AB, Canada T4R 2G8 p: 403-346-9849 e: CHERYL SCHULTZ Economic Development Specialist - Commercial City of Spruce Grove 315 Jespersen Avenue, Spruce Grove, AB, Canada T7X 3E8 f: 780-962-0149 e: DEAN SCHWEDER Economic Development Officer Town Rocky Mtn. House Box 1509, Rocky Mountain House, AB, Canada T4T 1B2 p: 403-847-5260 f: 403-845-1835 e: BARB SCULLY Community Facilitator Green Hectares 26 Westview Cres, Spruce Grove, AB, Canada T7X 1L1 p: 780-289-4424 e: JISELLE SEARS Marketing Consultant Consultant Edmonton, AB, Canada e:

MICHAEL SELCI SVP, Fin and Cons - Prairies, PVP, Fin et Cons - Prairies Business Development Bank of Canada Edmonton, AB, Canada p: 403-292-6935 f: 780-495-5087 e: JOHN SENNEMA Manager, Land and Economic Development City of Red Deer PO Box 5008, Red Deer, AB, Canada T4N 3T4 p: 403-342-8106 f: 403-342-8260 e: TRISHA SEWELL Economic Development Officer Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation P.O. Box 1255, Hanna, AB, Canada T0J 1P0 p: 403-854-2099 ext. 215 e: JEFF SHAW CAO Town of Cardston Box 280, Cardston, AB, Canada T0K 0K0 p: 403-653-3366 f: 403-653-2499 e: RICK SIDDLE Consultant Siddle and Associates 24 Morgan Cres, St Albert, AB, Canada T8N 2E2 p: 780-458-5572 e: JANIS SIMPKINS Executive Director NADC 9621-96 Ave, Postal Bag 900, Peace River, AB, Canada T8AS 1T4 e: TRACY SIMPSON Community Services Coordinator Town of Strathmore 680 Westchester Road, Strathmore, AB, Canada T1P 1J1 p: 403-934-3133 f: 403-934-9942 e: DARLENE SINCLAIR General Manager Community Futures Lethbridge Region 2626 South Parkside Drive, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1K 0C4 p: 403-320-6044 f: 403-327-8476 e: JULIE SKREPNEK Advisor to the Executive Director Alberta Economic Development and Trade 5th Floor, Commerce Place, 10155-102 St. NW, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5J 4l6 p: 780-415-2231 f: 780-422-5804 e: GARY SLIPP President Network Global Inc. 1435 - 22nd Ave. N.W., Calgary, AB, Canada T2M 1P9 p: 403-714-2467 e:


Invest in Alberta


Members SHILPA STOCKER President Westwinds Management Solutions (Alberta) Inc. 79 Heritage Pt W, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1K7K9 p: 403-330-7869 e:

ELVIRA SMID Executive Director Alberta Economic Development and Trade 300, 639 5th Ave SW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2P 0M9 p: 403-866.6367 e: KRISTEN SMITH Community Development Coordinator Saddle Hills County RR#1, Spirit River, AB, Canada T0H3G0 p: 780-864-3760 f: 780-864-3904 e:

JERRY SUCHARYNA Economic Development Consultant Consultant Merritt, BC, Canada e:

BRENDEN SMITH Student 904 23 Avenue NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2M 1T4 p: 587-700-2728 e: HOLLY SORGEN Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region 104, 9817-101 Ave., Grande Prairie, AB T8V 0X6 p: 780-814-5340 e: EDIE SPAGRUD Economic Development Consultant Consultant Wetaskiwin, AB, Canada p: 780-361-6232 e: TALAYNA SPARGO Administration Sturgeon County 9613-100th St., Morinville, AB, Canada T8R 1L9 p: 780-939-8367 e: ANGIE SPENCE Assistant to the Director of Economic Development Brazeau County Box 77, 7401 Twp. Rd.494, Drayton Valley, AB, Canada T7A 1R1 p: 780-542-7777 f: 780-542-7770 e: PAMELA STECKLER Investment Attraction Officer Central Alberta : Access Prosperity Box 5005, Red Deer, AB, Canada T4N 5H5 p: 403-342-3103 e: DANIEL STEINER Special Projects Manager MD of Big Lakes PO Box 239, 5305-56 Street, High Prairie, AB, Canada T0G 1E0 f: 780-523-4227 e: CYNTHIA STEWART Director, Community Relations International Council of Shopping Centers 555-12 St. NW, Ste. 660, Washington, DC 20004 p: 1-864-968-9324 f: 1-732-694-1734 e:

CINDY SUTER Economic Development Lac Ste Anne County PO Box 219, Sangudo, AB, Canada T0E 2AO p: 780-785-3411 f: 780-785-2985 e: RAY TELFORD Economic Development Officer City of Camrose 5204-50 Ave, Camrose, AB, Canada T4V0S8 p: 780-678-3025 f: 7820-672-2469 e: JAMES TESSIER Community Economic Development Coordinator Community Futures Alberta Southwest PO Box 1568, 659 Main Street, Pincher Creek, AB, Canada T0K 1W0 p: 403-627-3020 ext. 221 f: 403-627-3055 e: VERONA THIBAULT Executive Director Saskatchewan Economic Development Association Box 113, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7K 3K1 p: 306-384-5817 f: 306-384-5818 e: HOWARD THOMPSON Enterprise Business Applications Specialist City of Red Deer Box 5008, Red Deer, AB, Canada T4N 3T4 p: 403-314-5906 e: CAROL THOMSON Economic Development Officer Paintearth Economic Partnership Society Box 509, Castor, AB, Canada T0C 0X0 p: 403-882-3211 f: 403-882-3560 e: MITCH THOMSON Executive Director Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development 4512-46 St., Olds, AB, Canada T4H 1R5 p: 403-507-4849 f: 403-556-6537 e: BEV THORNTON Executive Director


Invest in Alberta


Alberta SouthWest REDA Box 1041, Pincher Creek, AB, Canada T0K 1W0 p: 403-627-3373 e: KAYLA THORSEN Marketing and Communications Manager Red Deer Airport PO Box 370, Penhold, AB, Canada T0M 1R0 p: 403-886-4388 e: HAL TIMAR Executive Director Nunavut Economic Developers Association PO Box 1990, Iqaluit, NU, Canada X0A 0H0 p: 867-979-4620 f: 867-979-4622 e: JANA TOLMIE-THOMPSON Economic Development Officer Alberta's Industrial Heartland Association #300, 9940 - 99 Ave., Fort Saskatchewan, AB, Canada T8L 2C3 p: 780-998-7453 f: 780-998-7453 e: NANCY TOOMBS Marketing / Communications Economic Developers Alberta Suite 127 #406, 917-85 Street SW, Calgary, AB, Canada T3H 5Z9 p: 1-866-671-8182 e: GERALD TOSTOWARYK Associate Broker Century 21 Urban Realty 100, 11220 119 St NW, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5G 2X3 p: 780-732-0977 f: 780-732-0968 e: CORY TRETIAK Sales and Marketing Manager Adventure Warehouse 230 2 Avenue NE, Calgary, AB, Canada T2E0E2 p: 587-352-0586 e: KEVIN TURNER Acting Regional Director Office of Small and Medium Enterprises 5th Floor, 10025 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5J 1S6 p: 587-783-9099 e: WALTER VALENTINI Executive Director Palliser Economic Partnership Box 1046, Medicine Hat, AB, Canada T1A 7H1 p: 403-526-7552 f: 403-529-3140 e: GLEN VANSTONE Vice President Edmonton Economic Development Corporation World Trade Centre, 9990 Jasper Ave., Edmonton, AB, Canada T5J 1P7 p: 780-904-6290 e:

GREG VARRICCHIO Economic Development Consultant IBI Group Suite 400, Kensington House, 1167 Kensingtion Crescent NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1X7 p: 403-483-7041 e:

CURTIS WHYTE President C. E. Whyte Consulting Inc. 8 Edforth Rd. N.W., Calgary, AB, Canada T3A 3V4 p: 403-991-1267 e:

TONY WALKER Manager Community Futures Alberta Southwest PO Box 1568, 659 Main Street, Pincher Creek, AB, Canada T0K 1W0 p: 403-627-3020 f: 403-627-3035 e:

SIMONE WILEY Director of Development Services Town of Westlock 10003 - 106 Street, Westlock, AB, Canada T7P 2K3 p: 780-349-4444 f: 780-349-4436 e:

DAVE WALKER Manager, Economic and Business Development City of Spruce Grove 315 Jespersen Avenue, Spruce Grove, AB, Canada T7X 3E8 p: 780-962-7608 f: 780-962-0149 e:

VIRGINIA WISHART Economic Development Manager Town of Fort Macleod PO Box 1420, Fort Macleod, AB, Canada T0L 0Z0 p: 403-553-4425 ext. 230 e:

LARRY WALL Executive Director River Valley Alliance 9825 - 103 st, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5K 2M3 p: 780-862-1200 e: SHANE WALLIS Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region 104, 9817-101 Ave., Grande Prairie, AB T8V 0X6 p: 780-814-5340 e: LESLIE WARREN Consultant Lethbridge College Tiffin Conference Coordinator Box 24, Champion, AB, Canada T0L 0R0 p: 403-485-5694 e: ANDY WEISS Chief Administrative Officer Town of Bowden PO Box 338, 2101-20 Ave., Bowden, AB, Canada T0M 0K0 p: 403-224-3395 f: 403-224-3395 e: TYLER WESTOVER Small Business and Tourism Specialist Strathcona County, Economic Development 2001 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada T8A 3W7 p: 780-410-8511 f: 780-464-8444 e: DALE WHEELDON President and CEO British Columbia Economic Development Association 102-9300 Nowell Street, Chilliwack, BC, Canada V2P 4V7 p: 604-795-7119 f: 604-795-7118 e:

KAREN WRONKO Executive Director, Industry Development Branch Alberta Economic Development and Trade 5th floor, 10155 - 102 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5J 4L6 p: 780-422-8420 f: 780-422-5804 e: MICHELLE ZEGGIL Land and Economic Development Officer The City of Red Deer P.O. Box 5008, Red Deer, AB, Canada T4N 3T4 p: 403-342-8105 f: 403-342-8260 e: VICKI ZINYK General Manager North Parkland Power Box 501, 600 - 2nd Avenue, Thorhild, AB, Canada T0A 3J0 p: 780-398-2001 e: VIVIAN ZITTLAW Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator Town of Westlock 10003 - 106 Street, Westlock, AB, Canada T7P 2K3 p: 780-349-4444 f: 780-349-4436 e:

ImaginePossible St. Albert

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Invest in Alberta Winter 2016  

Invest In Alberta is the official magazine of Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) and your essential guide to investment and business opportun...

Invest in Alberta Winter 2016  

Invest In Alberta is the official magazine of Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) and your essential guide to investment and business opportun...