Two Central Alberta municipalities have cast a wide net in their search for prospective investors.
The Town of Sylvan Lake and Mountain View County paid for profiles in the summer issue of Trade & Commerce, a business-to-business magazine with an estimated readership of 25,000 executives at more than 10,000 Canadian firms.
Sylvan Lake’s eight-page section includes a description of the town’s rapid growth, youthful population, educational and health-care facilities, low business costs, recreational amenities, and festivals and attractions. It also details Sylvan Lake’s waterfront area redevelopment plan.
Mountain View County’s spread, which covers four pages, emphasizes the rural municipality’s prime location on the Hwy 2 corridor, diversified economy, educational institutions, urban areas within its boundaries, and services and facilities that enhance the lifestyle of residents there.
Sylvan Lake Mayor Susan Samson said she’s “thrilled” with the result. With Trade & Commerce distributed across the country, it should raise her town’s profile with investment decision-makers, she said.
“The magazine is touted as a leading site selector guide, which I think is important for us, so that planners who are looking to expand in different areas get current information so they can make their choices.”
In the case of Sylvan Lake, said Samson, town officials are hoping private and public investors will help “fill gaps in key sectors.” She listed a major hotel and/or conference centre, light industrial businesses, urgent care centre, and arts and culture facilities as examples.
“We know we’re fast-growing, we know we’re centrally located — we just need to connect with the right people in the right business and draw them in.”
Jonathan Koch, Mountain View County’s communications co-ordinator, was also pleased with the opportunity to get some outside exposure for his municipality.
“We want people to think of us when they’re looking to locate in Alberta.”
The county is not targeting specific businesses or industries, he said, but would like to raise awareness of the new Netook Crossing Business Park east of Olds.
In addition to their inclusion in Trade & Commerce, Sylvan Lake and Mountain View County each get copies of their profiles for direct distribution.
“It’s something that’s first class that will be used as people go out and talk about our town,” said Samson.
She listed Travel Alberta’s fall tourism investment symposium as an example, adding that organizations like the local chamber of commerce, downtown business group and real estate firms could also utilize copies.
Koch agreed that the promotional materials will be useful when pursuing economic development, or just responding to inquiries at the county office.
Sylvan Lake paid approximately $12,000 for its section and 2,000 distribution copies, while the bill for Mountain View County was about $8,500.
If this attracts just one investor, said Koch, the money will be well spent.
In addition to Sylvan Lake and Mountain View County, the summer issue of Trade & Commerce contains profiles of High River, Lac Cardinal Country, Vermilion and Cranbrook, B.C. It also has an article discussing the potential of rural Western Canada, and reports on the investment climate in Alberta and British Columbia.
Trade & Commerce is published quarterly by Sun Media Corp., which is part of Quebecor Inc.