The recently held 5th annual Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference ‘Destination Quinte Region’ tour was hit with delegates. There were six delicious stops on the tour, highlighting some of the region’s local food diversity and success stories, and providing a closer view of their operations.
The first stop included a tour and delicious sampling of product from La Cultura Salumi in Quinte West. Jane Aballe provided participants with an overview of the operation, and spoke about the care and attention every piece of meat receives as it’s cured in using old world traditions. Continue reading Local Food ‘Destination Quinte Region’ Tour a Hit→
Economic Development happens in a complex and highly competitive environment. When you’re competing for investment, labour, and other resources with literally every other municipality across the globe it can be hard to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Especially, if you’re a small rural community.
The 2015 Economic Development Association of Canada (EDAC) annual conference was hosted in Whitehorse, YT. For a change it focused on being different and presenters talked about how small communities can leverage their unique assets and regional partnerships to set themselves apart. Speakers such as former Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Joe Clark, marketing specialist Chris Fields, public engagement expert Stephanie Roy McCallum, slam poet Shane Koyczan, and a host of municipal and First Nations dignitaries and staff walked delegates through how to identify unique assets, opportunities, and partnerships to leverage and set a community apart from the competition. Continue reading 10 takeaways from EDAC 2015 in Whitehorse→
According to a recent factsheet prepared by the Rural Ontario Institute entitled “Change in non-metro population 2014” less than half of the rural counties in Ontario had population increases over the last three years. Over the same period, however, all urban counties experienced population increases.
Ray Bollman the author of the factsheet highlights the long term importance of population change to a community:
“Population growth or decline impacts housing demand, labour markets, consumer spending levels and the need for public services such as hospitals and schools. Population growth is considered by many as an indicator of economic vitality – i.e. jobs are being created and/or that it is a desirable place to live.”
The Ontario government is providing $6 million over three years to increase sales of local food by making it more widely available and building awareness of the variety of food grown and produced in Ontario.
As I stated in my last blog post “Effective Economic Development Requires Data”, data is critical to understanding the local and regional economy. Expanding on that point, there are three main areas where data supports economic development.
Use data to inform economic development strategies
Data can help identify a region’s most important economic assets and conditions. The ability to identify these is important for making informed decisions about what industries to focus on for retention, recruitment, or start-up. This can also help get diverse stakeholder groups onto the same page. As a result, strategies built on data are more likely to stand the test of time because they are designed based on a commonly held set of facts, rather than being based on perception. Continue reading 3 Ways Data can Support Economic Development→
Performance measurement is the collection and analysis of data and the reporting of the data results. Performance measurement helps organizations assess the progress their initiatives are making towards desired results. The results can include both outputs (what products or services an organization delivers) and outcomes (the resulting change that occurs as a result of a product or service being delivered).
Ontario is providing rural communities, businesses and organizations, with funding to help attract investment, create jobs, and boost tourism, through a renewed Rural Economic Development (RED) program. The renewed program will now have two streams for applications: a Community Development Stream and a Business Development Stream. For projects to qualify under either stream, applicants must demonstrate how their project benefits rural Ontario.
The RED program is now open and will accept applications on the following dates:
October 2, 2015 to January 15, 2016;
January 16, 2016 to April 15, 2016;
April 16, 2016 to July 15, 2016;
July 16, 2016 to October 15, 2016;
October 16, 2016 to January 15, 2017.
With support from the Rural Economic Development program, rural Ontario will be better positioned to:
Attract investment and create high-value jobs as well as train and sustain a highly-skilled, knowledge-based workforce capable of succeeding in today’s global economy
Promote innovative and creative local industries that can translate ideas into products and services for a global market.
A First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE) is a structured and cost-effective process that reveals the first impression a community conveys to potential visitors, investors and new residents. The results can serve as the basis for action plans to enhance or build on community strengths and address challenges. Continue reading Overview of the First Impression Community Exchange Program→