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    Enticing residents to buy local

    Taste of Chestermere_1302

    Crowds of people make their way past the grill as the enter the inaugural Taste of Chestermere at John Peake Park during the Canada Day celebrations. Photo by Jeremy Broadfield

    Canada Day saw the first annual Taste of Chestermere showcase the culinary delights that can be found right here in the city.

    The event was held with the hope to encourage residents to dine out in Chestermere more often in the future.

    City of Chestermere Manager of Economic Development, Catherine Proulx said, “We’re doing [the Taste of Chestermere] as a way for restaurants in the municipality to connect with residents.

    “So many people aren’t familiar with the restaurants here, so this was an opportunity to get the restaurants in front of the people,” Proulx said.

    Proulx added, some residents who live in one part of Chestermere may never travel to another part, and this event is an opportunity to bring everyone together in one location, so they can see what their community has to offer.

    “We want more people to be aware of what’s in their community,” Proulx added, “all businesses are struggling throughout the region, particularly in Chestermere, that’s no secret.

    “Everyone is struggling, we’re a small community,” she said. “We’re in that awkward stage where you’re so close to doing great but you’re still stretching to get there.

    “These are the types of things that will hopefully support business and close the gap with people.”

    The Taste of Chestermere offered something for everyone enjoying Canada Day in the city.

    From lights and live music, to a fire-work-look-out-spot to the main attraction, the local food and drink.

    Proulx said Taste of Chestermere was a huge success.

    They sold 2675 tickets for the event, far surpassing their goal of 1000 tickets.

    Tickets were sold exclusively on Canada Day with sales starting at 5 p.m., at a cost $3 per ticket.

    Ticket could be redeemed at any of the 10 different vendors which included such local eateries as, Boston Pizza, Brown’s Socialhouse, Canadian Brewhouse, Corianne’s Custom Cookies, Pour Beer Market, Yume sushi and more.

    The Taste of Chestermere was also a huge success connecting the local restaurant scene with residents, Proulx said.

    “People kept coming up to us saying how much they enjoyed the event and the vendors were thrilled with it,” said Proulx.

    “From marketing point of view, it’s going to be great. From a cultural point of view, I think it’s always wondering having a new edition to a community like this,” Proulx said.

    “Everyone likes foodie events,” Proulx added, “I hope the concept expands beyond this, and encompasses all things that are food event related going forward.”

    Planning the Taste of Chestermere begun two months ago, ensuring businesses wanted to participate in the event, “10 stepped up to the plate,” Proulx said.

    The Taste of Chestermere planning was a team effort for both the city and the individual vendors, she added. I also wanted to recognize Nancie  Huneault for her part in this success. She organized Canada Day for the City and without her, TofC wouldn’t have happened.  She was responsible for all the logistics that made this event a success and we couldn’t have pulled it off without her.

    “From an economic development point of view, we wanted to create an opportunity for businesses to connect with residents, and say ‘Hey we’re here,'” said Proulx.