The City of Wetaskiwin will share its economic development update at the Leduc Nisku Wetaskiwin Chamber of Commerce luncheon event Jan. 20. City of Wetaskiwin photo

The City of Wetaskiwin will share its economic development update at the Leduc Nisku Wetaskiwin Chamber of Commerce luncheon event Jan. 20. City of Wetaskiwin photo

In business or event planning, it takes a community … or communities!

Economic development in Wetaskiwin is on the calendar for several events this month

Good things happen when communities come together – true whether it’s hosting a large-scale event or building economic growth and resiliency.

It’s also a philosophy at the heart of the City of Wetaskiwin’s economic development approach.

The coming Sentinel Storage Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts is the perfect example. Major events like the Scotties couldn’t be hosted by one smaller Central Alberta community that might be challenged to provide enough hotel rooms or enough volunteers, explains Vern May, Manager of Economic Development for the City of Wetaskiwin.

However, include the Wetaskiwin’s neighbouring communities all within a 15-minute drive, and you suddenly have a hub that can provide everything that organizers and participants may need.

In turn, the region as a whole enjoys the economic benefits, whether it’s money spent in hotels, restaurants and stores, or through the long-term benefits of being in the national spotlight.

“It’s not just a win for Wetaskiwin; it’s a win for the whole region,” May says. “Rural communities can’t survive without taking a regional approach.”

It’s a message he’ll share more fully Jan. 20, when he joins the Leduc Nisku Wetaskiwin Chamber of Commerce for a City of Wetaskiwin Economic Development Update, a luncheon event at the Best Western Wayside Inn. Tickets are $35 + GST for members or $45 + GST for non-members.

While the City has connected with individuals at various events over the last year, this will be the first opportunity to really share Wetaskiwin’s economic development goals and plans to achieve them.

Coming back to that philosophy of pulling together, those goals will not be pursued in isolation, but as part of a comprehensive approach that includes investment attraction, workforce development, downtown vitality and tourism.

But just like hosting the Scotties, the City can’t do it alone, May notes. Success requires businesses, organizations and residents to work together for a common end: Economic diversity and resilience.

“We’ve certainly heard a lot from people that Wetaskiwin hasn’t grown, but it’s important from people to hear what we are doing, what we are planning and how they can contribute,” May says.

READ MORE: Why every week should be Small Business Week in Wetaskiwin!

Coming up in Wetaskiwin

• The City of Wetaskiwin is proud to sponsor the Sentinel Storage Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts, coming to the Wetaskiwin Civic Centre Jan. 18 to 22. Learn more at 2023womens.abcurlprovincials.ca

• The City of Wetaskiwin Economic Development Update is at the Best Western Wayside Inn Jan. 20. Tickets are $35 + GST for members or $45 + GST for non-members. Visit yourchamber.ca for details.

• As part of the Welcoming Workplace Series, the Leduc Nisku Wetaskiwin Chamber of Commerce hosts an Indigenous Awareness session Feb. 2 at the Wetaskiwin District Heritage Museum. Recognizing that municipalities and businesses want to connect with Indigenous individuals and communities in new and meaningful way, this session will explore the types of interactions that determine either success or failure, and highlight why the Indigenous economy is a key driving force for future growth.The session will explore ways to evolve corporate social responsibility, make positive change for reconciliation and empower Indigenous engagement and investment. Tickets are $25 + GST. Visit yourchamber.ca for details.

Wetaskiwin