Hello Chestermere-Strathmore readers
Economic Development in Rural Alberta is a growth opportunity that looks at innovation, diversification, and sustainable, long-term economic development. The goal is to support initiatives already underway and promote rural Albertans and economic opportunities where we live.
Thank you to all rural Albertans and Indigenous community members who informed us about their successes, challenges, and opportunities for rural economic development. This share of data leads to resilient, innovative, and prosperous ideas, providing sustainable economic opportunities.
Minister Toews said, “In Budget 2023, Travel Alberta will receive $10 million over two years to develop environmentally sustainable year-round experiences in regions outside of Alberta’s most popular destinations. Funding will be used to increase awareness of and visitation to lesser-known tourism destinations across Alberta that have a high potential for growth.”
Did you know that 30 percent of tourism spending already occurs outside the Canadian Rockies, Edmonton, and Calgary regions? Imagine what that could mean for our area! The idea is to grow the tourism industry to a $20-billion opportunity over the next ten years, and developing rural tourism is a key contributor to realizing that goal. It means employment, but even more, it is the pride in showing our amazing areas to the world. I’ve spoken to so many of you about local tourism, seed-to-table, agri-food and industry tours, weddings, events, and many other great ideas from our community to share our contributions to this great province.
- The Government of Alberta increased funding to Travel Alberta in Budget 2023 by 14 percent.
- Travel Alberta’s Tourism Investment Program provides $15 million in annual funding to support tourism operators.
- In 2022-23, Travel Alberta funded 166 projects across 73 communities – about 75 percent of the projects and 70 percent of the funding were in smaller urban and rural areas of the province.
- The Economic Development in Rural Alberta Plan was released in December 2022, with supporting initiatives demonstrating the government’s commitment to building healthy and prosperous communities across rural Alberta.
Finally, I would like to personally thank the board of directors, volunteers, families, participants, adjudicators, and accompanists at the Strathmore Performing Arts Festival. The talent in our community is literally bursting at the seams, and it was such an honour to be part of this year’s event. Congratulations to all of the scholarship winners, Provincial nominees, and a huge thank you to all the sponsors who make this festival possible and bring the dreams of our artistic youth to the forefront. As always, we love to hear from you.
Have a wonderful day!