The Pathfinder for Pathfinders

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					The Pathfinder for Pathfinders

                                                                     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                             March 4, 2010


Saskatoon – The Saskatchewan Economic Development Association(SEDA) was pleased to
present the 2010 Economic Development Awards of Excellence on March 3, 2010 at the Delta
Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon. Attended by over 120 community leaders, government officials
and economic development practitioners from across the province, the Awards Banquet and
Presentations provided recognition for the following outstanding contributions to community
economic development in Saskatchewan:

Business Retention & Expansion
North Central Saskatchewan Regional Business Retention and Expansion Program
implemented by PREPARE

The North Central Saskatchewan Regional Business Retention and Expansion Program was
conceived in the fall of 2007 when a number of economic development stakeholders within the
Prince Albert Region came together to form a new working group called PREPARE - an acronym
for Pursuing Regional Economies through Prince Albert Region Engagement. Through a series of
discussions, development of a Business Retention and Expansion Program for the Prince Albert
Region was selected as a key strategic priority for the group. Business Retention and Expansion
(BR and E) is an economic development approach that emphasizes the importance of existing
businesses to the local economy.

The following needs were highlighted as priorities by the PREPARE Task Force members:
     Need to address growing workforce issues.
     Need to improve communication, collaboration, and engagement across businesses,
        agencies and sectors.
     Need to support local businesses and focus on the creation of a “Business-Friendly”
        Environment within the Region.

These needs were identified as Strategic Priorities for Action within the North Central Business
Retention and Expansion Program.

           Box 113 Saskatoon Saskatchewan S7K 3K1 Tel: 306-384-5817 Fax 306-384-5818
      1 email:
The Pathfinder for Pathfinders

Currently, the North Central Enterprise Region, with support from Advanced Education
Employment and Labour, and assistance from PREPARE partners is undertaking a labour market
strategy as the first step in moving forward on addressing workforce issues. All aforementioned
priorities are now being moved forward by task teams and PREPARE as a whole.

Regionalism and Cross Jurisdiction Collaboration Award
Recipient: PREPARE (Pursuing Regional Economies through Prince Albert Region Engagement)
PREPARE (Pursuing Regional Economies through Prince Albert Region Engagement) is an
inter-agency economic development working group that evolved from the desire of its
members to more effectively deliver on their economic development visions and mandates.

This innovative collaborative initiative began in fall of 2007 with the concept of developing a
partnership that did not rely on only one partner to be the leader with the others taking a
passive role.    After reflecting on projects and plans of the past - it appeared that many of
them would stall or fail because often only one organization would be left to implement. Often
the one left to implement did not have the resources to do this effectively or the organization
would experience internal change which would mean a change in direction and another
expensive report or project left half done on the shelf.

PREPARE developed organically as an outcome from The 2008 North Unleashed Economic
Summit which brought a number of partners together as co-organizers. PREPARE was launched
at the summit and has since gone on to lead other important initiatives including a labour
market strategy, a business retention and expansion program, a business incubator project and
an agrimarketing conference.

Some of the major organizations involved on a regular basis include:

• Saskatchewan Ministry of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour
• Enterprise Saskatchewan
• The City of Prince Albert
• The Prince Albert and District Community Futures
• The Prince Albert and District Chamber of Commerce
• Prince Albert and District Tourism
• The Prince Albert Grand Council
• The Prince Albert Downtown Improvement District Association
• RiverBank Development Corporation
• North Central Enterprise Region

           Box 113 Saskatoon Saskatchewan S7K 3K1 Tel: 306-384-5817 Fax 306-384-5818
      2 email:
The Pathfinder for Pathfinders

Community Development Award
Recipient: City of Melfort Residential Redevelopment Initiative
Initiated in 2007, the redevelopment program was conceived to fulfill the desire of Melfort City
Council to effectively utilize vacant residential properties and serviced lots in older subdivisions
that were not selling. A multi-faceted tax incentive policy was subsequently developed and
implemented based on good zoning principles. This program – which started off as a fairly small
initiative with a focused return on investment - subsequently generated several spin off
initiatives creating substantial residential growth and new investment to the community.

The program spurred the growth of over 120 new units that were developed during the period
of 2007 through 2009 – most of these being single family units and condominiums. This
energized housing activity attracted an Ontario based company that builds and operates mobile
homes in Ontario and Florida. With assistance of tax incentives, they purchased land from the
city and are now selling new mobile units as well as having a supply of mobile units for rent.

The aforementioned residential development also attracted an Alberta investor and his
consortium purchased and redeveloped the abandoned Parkland Care Home which was
originally built in the early 1950s as a hospital. The building is being developing into a seniors
55+ living center with 24 suites in phase one and 24 more to come in phase 2. With the
assistance of 5 year tax incentives, the Parkland redevelopment will turn into a $12 million
residential asset when completed.

Overall residential growth during in the 2007 to 2009 period has added incremental tax revenue
of over $200,000 per year – compared to the previous record tax growth of $8000 per year. This
residential growth helped lead the development of the Stonegate Commercial Centre - a $40
million, 400 job project when fully completed. An integrated and assertive tax and zoning
program has been a catalyst for growth in Melfort.

General Purpose Marketing
Recipient: South Central Saskatchewan Day Trip Guide
This tourism marketing vehicle was developed by the communities of Assiniboia, Coronach,
Gravelbourg and Mossbank as they came together in a regional partnership to create a tourism
guide of the south central Saskatchewan region. The primary target audience for this piece is
visitors from outside the region – with a focus on reaching potential tourists traveling the Trans
Canada highway and enticing them to detour south. The secondary market for this initiative is
residents within the region – to encourage them to travel locally.

The day trip brochure focuses on the diversity of this market area – with its rich history and
heritage, strong multicultural influences and variety of recreational and outdoor adventure

           Box 113 Saskatoon Saskatchewan S7K 3K1 Tel: 306-384-5817 Fax 306-384-5818
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The Pathfinder for Pathfinders

This project took several years to develop, coordinate and fund. There was a tremendous
amount of data and information that had to be condensed down to a concise and appealing
promotional vehicle. It is now a successful and innovative regional marketing tool aimed at
sustaining and enhancing tourism in an area that is characterized by hidden gems and diverse
experiential opportunities.

Community Economic Developer of the Year
Recipient: Perry Trusty, City of Melfort
This recognition is awarded to an individual who has assumed a leadership role and made
significant contributions to a community, region and/or the province as a whole. This year’s
recipient made significant strides quickly and effectively in his three year tenure with the City of
Melfort. In his first few weeks as Community Development Manager, Perry Trusty undertook
an extensive analysis of community infrastructure as well as past and current development
opportunities. This revealed that Melfort was being inhibited by a lack of appropriately zoned
and city owned highway commercial land.

Identification of this barrier to development led rapidly to the conception of the Stonegate
Commercial Center with Perry providing management from the concept and market research
stage through to attracting developers, negotiating and purchasing land and navigating the
engineering and regulatory benchmarks that had to be tackled.

This 30 acre development will be the largest single commercial initiative in the history of
northeast Saskatchewan with over $1.2 million in property tax revenue and 440 full time
equivalent jobs from the 250,000 square feet of building space.

Please join us in acknowledging and celebrating this leadership and community success from
across the province.


For More Information Contact:

Kim Wondrasek, President Saskatchewan Economic Development Association
(306) 728-2740


SEDA Backgrounder

           Box 113 Saskatoon Saskatchewan S7K 3K1 Tel: 306-384-5817 Fax 306-384-5818
      4 email: