39/20 Now and in the Future

Pipestone Flyer

39/20 Alliance took a big step towards establishing a comprehensive marketing plan when it hosted three delegates from Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation (ATPR) on a discovery tour on June 3, 2013. Four pro-active communities along Highways 39 and 20 make up the Alliance—Calmar, Thorsby, Warburg and Breton. 

    JoAnn Kirkland, Executive Director with Tourism Destination Competitiveness Branch (TDCB) of ATPR along with two Tourism Development Officers, Laura McGowan and Sheila Campbell, toured key attractions in all four communities with 39/20 Alliance Officers Chair Darren Aldous (Mayor of Breton), Co-Chair, Don Faulkner (Mayor of Calmar), and Secretary, Barry Rasch (Mayor of Thorsby); Deputy Mayor Janet Young (Breton), and Councillors Anne Power (Breton) and Ralph van Assen (Warburg); Temporary Alliance Administrator Christine Pankewitz (Warburg CAO), and Bob Payette (Thorsby Town Manager). 

    Enticed by the possibilities envisioned by Aldous and Faulkner, Council and Administration representatives from the four communities first met in 2007 to discuss working collectively to promote mutual cooperation in the delivery of cost-effective services to their respective residents and ratepayers.

    Although the communities are collaborating financially, each maintains its own direct marketing direction. 

Kirkland said Albertans do 86% of their travelling within Alberta, and most want to go to rural areas, “so it is important to find the experiences they are looking for.”  Kirkland and her associates were touring to exchange information and offer guidance and advise about the support that ATPR can provide. Two focus questions were: “Where does the village see itself in the 39/20 plan, (in progress), and what are the economic opportunities from tourism?” 

Rural Tourism  

    When it comes to Rural Tourism, “there are many niche markets out there,” Kirkland noted, such as “cultural tourism—featuring festivals and events, culinary, farm, Aboriginal, trail, and sport tours are becoming a big thing.”  Kirkland and her associates were looking to see how visitor friendly the community is, how easy it is for visitors to find their way around and if the signage is welcoming.

    At the June 11 Village of Thorsby Regular Council meeting, Mayor Rasch stated it is important to “submit the 39/20 Alliance Collaboration Grant Application with as much clout as possible.” The group is grateful for the letter of support from Honourable Diana McQueen, MLA for Drayton Valley-Devon and they are hoping for one from Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation, too. Consultant Randy Conrad has been preparing the Collaboration Grant Application.  Rasch said if the grant application is successful it could be used to hire a consultant/administration assistant to identify a way going forward to develop a Business Plan for the 39/20 Alliance. 

    Once the Business Plan is in place, the 39/20 Alliance will work on a Development Plan with AB Tourism, Parks and Rec-Tourism Destination Competitiveness Branch to find ways to tweak opportunities in order to drive more tourism.  ATPR-TDCB offers a Visitor Friendly Program, complete with manuals, workshops and seasoned advice. 

    Not just for 39/20 Alliance members, “(tour destination) operators need to be a part of this workshop too!” Kirkland emphasized, “This is a total buy-in!” 

 

Just Posted

file photo
UPDATE: Leduc RCMP, Millet Fire Department and more on scene at serious multi-vehicle collision

Traffic is expected to be diverted for several hours and alternative travel routes are recommended.

File photo
Leduc RCMP request assistance to identify armed robbery suspect

Leduc RCMP are searching for suspect involved in an armed robbery at the Leduc Giant Tiger.

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

Most Read