Annual Report Year Ending March 31_ 2010

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					                Annual Report
                 Year Ending
                March 31, 2010

          Presented to the Board of Directors

                     June 29, 2010

                    OUR MISSION

          ‘To facilitate and promote activities

 that enhance and diversify the economic environment

of our communities through entrepreneurial development

        and innovative small business initiatives’

   To the Board of Directors Community Futures Lac La Biche

It is one of my great pleasures as Acting General Manager to work with the
talented, energetic and innovative staff at
Community Futures Lac La Biche. Our professionals
in developmental lending, economic development,
tourism and administration work tirelessly to maintain
Community Futures Lac La Biche’s reputation as a
leader in entrepreneurial advancement and
economic development…and they are a wonderfully
fun group of people on top of all of that! It’s my
pleasure to introduce them.

Delores Courtepatte Senior Business Officer, Vivian
LeGassie, Office Manager/Project Assistant, David
Paul, Community Economic Development Officer
and Frank Ponto, Marketing and Promotions Officer.

The experience and guidance provided by the Board
of Directors during these times of renewed accountability and transparency is
important in maintaining a positive working relationship with Western Economic
Diversification, municipal partners, organizations and the business community.

Community Futures Lac La Biche would like to thank our outgoing board
members for their years of service and extend a warm welcome to our new

A special thank you to David Keast who has contributed many volunteer hours as
Board Chair for the past number of years. Among the many important duties was
overseeing the management changes in the organization during the past three

The work and dedication of our Investment Review Committee Members, Shirley
Michaud, Bill Abougoush and Carl Beniuk is appreciated. Their business
acumen and sound judgment embraces the essence of what Community Futures
is and contributes to a strong, vibrant loan portfolio. It is a pleasure working with
them. Shortly after the fiscal year end we were pleased to welcome Shirley
Klyne as our newest committee member.

Our partnerships with Travel Alberta are positive and productive. Their support
and funding augments the numerous tourism partnerships we initiate annually. It

is with pleasure that we co-host Travel Alberta workshops in our community on a
regular basis.

Our strong partnership with Portage College on several committees and projects
includes the President’s Aboriginal and Resource Based Industry Advisory
Committee and the Native Cultural Arts Advisory Committee.

The continued support of Western Economic Diversification, Lac La Biche
County, and partnerships with adjacent municipalities, local businesses and
organizations allow us to carry out a strong program in the community. We
appreciate their support.


Kal Polturak,
Acting General Manager
On behalf of K. Polturak Management & Consulting Inc.

The responsibility for Financial Reporting

The financial statements of Lac La Biche Regional Community Development
Corporation operating as Community Futures Lac La Biche and all other
information contained in the annual report, including management’s discussion
and analysis of the organization’s result, were prepared and presented by
management which is responsible for their accuracy, objectivity and
completeness. This responsibility includes presenting the statements in
accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The preparation of
the statements necessarily involves the use of estimates and approximations,
which are made using careful judgment.

Management is responsible for maintaining a system of internal controls
designed to provide reasonable assurances as to the reliability of financial
information and to ensure the corporate assets are safeguarded and liabilities
recognized. Internal controls are reviewed and evaluated by the manger and
external auditor.

The Board of Directors has ultimate responsibility for these financial statements.
The Board oversees the management’s responsibility for financial reporting.

Corporate Background

Community Futures Lac La Biche (CFLLB) is one of 27 Community Futures
organizations in Alberta under contract with Western Economic Diversification –
Canada. The purpose of the Community Futures program is to assist rural
communities to expand and diversify local economies by looking at new
approaches to business development and providing access to business
resources and financial assistance through the program.

The program delivery is centered on four primary areas: ‘business financing’,
‘entrepreneurial training’, ‘community economic development & tourism
promotion’ and ‘organizational support & project assistance’.

The business development centre provides commercial loans, loan guarantees,
and lines of credit to entrepreneurs unable to obtain financing from conventional
sources on reasonable terms and conditions.

The library and multi-media centre offers business resources via hardcopy and
internet access. To expand on our own resources we collaborate with The
Business Link office in Edmonton to provide library, research, entrepreneurial
training and professional development opportunities via a province wide
videoconferencing network.

In the area of community economic development CFLLB continues to deliver on
the municipal contract to provide economic development and tourism services.
These services are ancillary to assisting tourism promotion efforts with Kikino
and Buffalo Lake Metis Settlements.

For increased marketing exposure approximately 46 businesses and
organizations have participated with CFLLB in both tourism and economic
development related co-op marketing projects to heighten the regional
community’s profile.

CFLLB provides organizational support & project assistance to local and regional
organizations whose initiatives have a direct bearing on business and economic
development both locally and provincially.

Corporate Structure

Lac La Biche Regional Community Development Corporation, operating under
the registered trade name Community Futures Lac La Biche, is a private not-for-
profit company incorporated under Part 9 of the Companies Act of the Province
of Alberta.

Geographic Service Area

The CFLLB service area includes the following communities:

   •   Lac La Biche County
   •   County of Athabasca in the Wandering River – Atmore - Caslan areas
   •   Kikino Métis Settlement
   •   Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement
   •   Beaver Lake Cree Nation
   •   Heart Lake 1St Nation

Board of Directors

To have a broad regional representation the Board of Directors include appointed
community leaders representing local municipal and community organizations.
Vacancies for the five ‘Members at Large’ positions are publically advertised and
are appointed by the sitting Board members.

   •   David Keast,       Chair – Dean of Career Programs, Portage
   •   Don McGladdery Vice Chair - Director at Large, Athabasca County
   •   Doug Stewart       Secretary/Treasurer – Director at Large, Lac La Biche
   •   Horace Patenaude Councilor, Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement
   •   Ernie Hawke        Director at Large, Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement
   •   Peter Kirylchuk    Mayor, Lac La Biche County & Chair, Lac La
                            Biche Region Industry Consultation
   •   Heather Stromquist Councilor, Lac La Biche County
   •   Shirley Klyne      Executive Director, Lac La Biche & District Chamber
                          of Commerce & Chair, Investment Review Committee
   •   Ken Staples        Heart Lake First Nation
   •   Trent Keough       Director at Large, Lac La Biche County
   •   Brenda Bourque-Stratichuk
                          Vice President, Metis Nation of Alberta – Zone 1
   •   Mardere Birkill    Director at Large, Lac La Biche County

Executive Committee

The committee, including the Chair, Vice-chair and the Secretary/Treasurer of
the Board of Directors, deal with policy issues and provide specific direction to
management. The committee also serves as the ‘Appeal Committee’ in the
event that a declined loan applicant requests a reconsideration of their financing

Investment Review Committee

The committee reviews the due diligence and management recommendations
regarding the approval of loans and other financial services. Members of the
committee are experienced business people from the community and are
appointed by the board of directors. Members have been selected on the basis
of their knowledge and understanding of the community, their integrity and ability
to be fair in judging applications for financial assistance.

Lac La Biche Region Industry Consultation Committee (LLBRICC)

The committee was established to assess socio-economic issues and benefits
which may accrue to the regional community as a result of oil sands development
north of Lac La Biche County and Heart Lake First Nation along highway 881.
Much of the industrial development is situated in Regional Municipality of Wood
Buffalo in the vicinity of Conklin and is therefore outside of Community Futures
Lac La Biche’s service area.

However, the developments have had, and will continue to have both positive
and negative outcomes for our residents and businesses. The committee meets
with industry representatives on a regular basis to share information and have
collaborated on a major socio-economic study. The study was distributed to
various public bodies including several provincial ministerial departments.

Committee membership includes CFLLB Board, Lac La Biche County, Portage
College, Lac La Biche & District Chamber of Commerce, Northern Alberta
Development Council, Northern Lights School Division #69, Métis Nation of
Alberta Region Zone 1, EnCana Corporation, Statoil, ConocoPhillips, Petrobank
Energy, Devon Canada Corporation, MEG Energy Corporation, Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd., Enerplus Resources and Enbridge Pipeline.

Management and Staff

The General Manager or designate reports through the Chair to the Board of
Directors of Community Futures Lac La Biche. The staff members report to the
General Manager

Annual Overview of Operations

Administration and Governance

General Operations

The five year operational funding contract with Western Economic Diversification
was renewable annually to March 31, 2010, however, the contract was extended
for one year, ending March 31, 2011. Negotiations through Community Futures
Pan West with the federal Treasury Board are on-going to secure future funding
through 2011 – 2015/16 for all western Canadian based community futures

The funding agreement with Lac La Biche County for tourism and economic
development services ends on December 31, 2010.


During the fiscal year three staff resigned due to relocation and other

•   Holly Thiessen                 Senior Business Officer
•   Therese Kulczycki              Administrative Assistant
•   Shaleen Cardinal               Administrative Assistant

The office is now fully staffed with the following staff complement

•   Jane Palmer (inactive)         General Manager - seconded to Lac La Biche
                                   County till November 30, 2010
•   David Paul                     Community Economic Development
•   Frank Ponto                    Marketing and Promotions Coordinator

•   Deloris Courtepatte            Senior Business Officer

•   Vivian LeGassie                Office Manager/Project Assistant – hired
                                   immediately after year end
•   Kal Polturak                   Acting General Manager

Board of Directors

During the year three new Board members joined the organization. Brenda
Bourque-Stratichuk representing Metis Nation of Alberta Zone One; Mardere
Birkill joined the Board as ‘member at large’ and, Heather Stromquist, replacing
Terry Colosimo as Lac La Biche County representative.

Shortly after fiscal year end Bill Abougoush representing Lac La Biche & District
Chamber of Commerce was replaced by Shirley Klyne, who was also appointed
Chair, Investment Review Committee.

Business Services

       Business Advisory Services

A core service of community futures is ‘business information’ and ‘business
counseling’. This service is available to any individual or business entity requiring
assistance to start, expand, finance, sell or buy a business.

Business counseling services include but are not limited to:

   •   General business counseling
   •   Business plan and financial proposal preparation that can be used to
       support an application at other financial institutions
   •   Market research and analysis
   •   Marketing and advertising strategies
   •   Entrepreneurial training programs, workshops and seminars
   •   Business library and resource centre. CFLLB provides a good selection of
       research material in the form of books, periodicals, video and audio
       cassettes, CD’s, and internet access to on-line information databases.
   •   Web based entrepreneurial training

       Multimedia Centre

           Community Access Program

CFLLB continues to provide services associated with the Community Access
Program. The goals of this Industry Canada funded program are to improve
community access to the Internet, and address education and training needs of
the public. Computers for public use are located in the office library. The website designed to promote the regional community was
originally developed as a Community Access Project.

 Capacity West – Video Conferencing

For the benefit of all video conference host sites Community Futures Pan West
negotiated a contract with Telemerge Canada for technical support for the video
conference broadcasts for a five year period.

In partnership with The Business Link (TBL) noon hour and evening business
sessions are broadcast throughout the year. These sessions cover a broad range
of contemporary business topics. The schedule is promoted on our website and
through the Lac La Biche & District Chamber of Commerce, Lac La Biche
Interagency and others. Interested persons have participated in both the noon
hour and evening presentations.

Other training sessions have been hosted on a fee basis for the Alberta
Approved Farmers’ Market Association, CF Abbotsford and Travel Alberta
sponsored events.

Entrepreneurial Services

      Third Annual Northern Alberta Youth Entrepreneur Camp

Community Futures Lac La Biche partnered with
twelve other Community Futures offices to host the
third annual Northern Alberta Youth
Entrepreneurship Camp (NAYEC) Aug. 16-22, 2009.
The camp leads youth ages 13-15 through some of
the steps of how to run your own business, including
planning and research, loans, managing money,
manufacturing products and marketing, while also
giving them plenty of time to enjoy recreational activities such as canoeing,
archery and sitting around the campfire. On the last day of camp, the kids sell
their products to parents and invited guests as part of Marketplace Day.

                                                  Community Economic
                                                  Development Officer David
                                                  Paul and Portage College
                                                  student Ian Hall (hired for the
                                                  week) represented Community
                                                  Futures at the week-long
                                                  camp, with Paul serving as a
                                                  Business Team Leader and
                                                  Hall as a Recreation Team
                                                  Leader. Four students from the

Lac La Biche Region (and two from nearby Goodfish Lake) participated in the
camp, held at the Moose Lake Gospel Camp near Bonnyville.

A total of 48 students, nine youth leaders (ages 16-17) and 25 staff from
Community Futures offices across Northern Alberta attended NAYEC.

It should be noted that CF staff sit on committees throughout the year, leading up
to the camp, working on everything from policies and procedures to sponsorship
and marketing.

       Travel Alberta Workshops

Our office worked closely with Travel Alberta to offer three workshops during the
course of the year. Two were delivered face-to-face by Travel Alberta staff,
addressing the basics of social media and the various services that the agency
offers to tourism operators and municipalities, and one via video conference at
the Community Futures office, allowing Lac La Biche business people and public
relations department staff from Portage College listen to a well-known marketing
expert from New York City.

       New Entrepreneurial Initiatives

Three new programs were researched and /or promoted in the previous year.

   -   Venture Program

       Two Grade 12 students from J.A. Williams High School have taken the
       plunge and are going all the way with the Ventures Program, an
       entrepreneurship program being offered across northern Alberta by
       Community Futures offices and their local high schools.

       Ventures is designed for students in Grades 10-12 and gives them a
       chance to run a business while gaining school credits at the same time.
       They take various CTS courses, enroll in a Special Projects course and
       take out a loan from Community Futures (maximum loan portfolio per
       school year is $10,000 for each CF office). Once they graduate from
       Grade 12, the principal portion of the loan is paid off for them by the
       Northern Alberta Development Council (NADC).

       Our office is one of the first to participate in the program, which started out
       as a pilot project in the Grande Prairie region. The two participating
       students are undertaking two different Ventures –esthetics services (nails)

    and jewelry manufacturing. Community Economic Development Officer
    David Paul and Senior Business Officer Deloris Courtepatte have been
    working closely with the students and both JAWS and Ecole Plamondon
    School (where some students expressed an interest but in the end
    decided not to proceed with the program) to make sure everything runs as
    smoothly as possible. The hope is that if these aspiring entrepreneurs
    enjoy the program they will then spread the word to their fellow students,
    helping to generate more interest in the program in the future. Northern
    Alberta Development Council has committed to funding Ventures for three

    The Venture Program attracted active participants in the final weeks of the
    fiscal period and therefore will have outcomes to report as of the new
    fiscal year.

-   Technopreneurship Program

    Five Community Futures offices – St. Paul/Smoky Lake, Lloydminster,
    Lakeland, Elk Island and Lac La Biche – and the Northeast Alberta Hub
    teamed up with Alberta Advanced Education and Technology (AAET) to
    promote and administer a contest for aspiring young entrepreneurs with
    an eye for science and technology. The ministry-sponsored Youth
    Technopreneurship contest is aimed at recent high school graduates who
    are looking to kickstart an information-technology or science-based
    business or product but need a little cash and support to get started.

    Students who have completed Grade 12 within the past couple of years
    are eligible to submit a detailed business plan to a panel of judges who
    select up to five finalists. Those who make it past the first round are then
    mentored by business leaders and technology experts who help them
    tweak and re-submit their plans before the winner is selected. The young
    technopreneur who emerges victorious receives $10,000 and up to a
    year’s worth of incubator space in the region where they live.

    The five northeastern CF offices and Hub submitted a proposal to AAET
    to administer the contest in their region in December 2009 and were
    approved to go ahead in late January. The ministry provided $10,000
    prize as well as $5,000 to help market the program. Hub and the CF
    offices also contributed up to $1,500 each to help market the program,
    while providing staff to work on marketing and administering the contest.
    During the course of the campaign, our office created a press release,
    organized a HUB-wide radio campaign, took out a few print ads, and
    fanned out information through the Lac La Biche Chamber of Commerce.

       The CF offices will also be expected to provide up to a year’s worth of free
       office space to the winner, depending on where he or she is from. For
       example, if the contest winner is from Lac La Biche, our office will have to
       provide the space but if the winner is from Glendon then CF Lakeland will
       have to make arrangements to accommodate the victorious
       technopreneur. There will only be one winner for the entire Hub region,
       slated to be announced at the end of June.

   -   Go-Forth Institute

       This is a brand new web based entrepreneurial training program covering
       business topics determined to be important through an extensive survey of
       Canadian entrepreneurs. The ten module program delivers best-practices,
       instant traction classroom and on-going support for people who are
       thinking or starting, ready to start or wanting to grow a small business. The
       program can now be accessed through

       The Go-Forth project was officially launched after the fiscal year end.

All three programs will have outcomes to report as the awareness of the
programs increases.

Financial Services

Community Futures Lac La Biche offers commercial loans, loan guarantees and
equity financing up to $150,000 to qualified applicants unable to secure adequate
financing on reasonable terms and conditions from conventional sources.

Applications are assessed based on the merits of each individual proposal.
Factors include credit rating of the applicant, applicant equity, age and condition
of proposed collateral, to name a few. The loan approval criteria are focused on
commercial viability, employment generated and overall benefit to the

CFLLB financing can be used for business start up, business purchase, debt
consolidation, expansion or modernization.

To maximize our clientele’s access to capital we work closely with other lenders,
oftentimes financing different components of the same business deal. In special
cases the Board of Directors may approve loans over the $150,000 limit.

Another way to assist with loans over the pre stated limit is to syndicate the loan
with two or more community futures offices.

Loans advanced to our clientele make a significant contribution to the
establishment of new businesses, and the retention and expansion of existing
businesses in the regional economy.

Industry sectors financed include transportation, heavy equipment, oilfield
construction & related service sector, manufacturing, forestry, retail, mobile
medical services, tourism/hospitality and commercial real estate.


INDUSTRY                           2008                 2009                 2010

Oilfield                      $136,668               867,486              875,921
Forestry                        388,338              189,569              376,984
Medical Services                 95,896               80,771               25,040
Manufacturing                    11,469               62,257              110,000
0il/gas                         121,077              453,525              387,859
Business services               175,672               85,736              290,187
Real estate                     125,440
Retail                           79,847              182,778               20,040
Tourism/hospitality              59,323               61,196
Transportation                  597,399              812,419               92,975
Other                                                    440                8,816
Total                         1,782,235            2,796,178            2,188,822

Repayment terms range from one to 5 years, although amortization periods are
usually for 5 years to keep repayment terms at reasonable levels. Amortization
periods may be extended up to 15 years for real estate secured loans. Loan
interest rates charged to CFLLB clients are at a minimum of Prime +2%.

Community Futures Lac La Biche has disbursed close to thirty one million
dollars ($30,978,963) in loans and guarantees to the regional business
community since the office opened for business in 1986.

Available loan funds are internally generated through the repayment of current

loans. We have an approved line of credit with Community Futures Lending &
Investment Pool to meet unexpected demand.

Bad Debt Expense

Loan Write-Off

One loan in the amount of $36,935.93 was approved for write-off by the Board of
Directors. This brings total write – offs, net of recoveries, over the past 23
years to $671,235 or (2.17%) of total business written.

Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

The ‘allowance for doubtful accounts’ is a non-cash expense based on 4% of
outstanding loans. The ‘allowance for doubtful accounts’ recognizes that not all
credit losses can be specifically identified on a loan-by-loan basis. It takes into
consideration that some loans may be non-performing now or in future while
some may never be in a non performing state at all. Based on the loan portfolio
outstanding at year end the allowance for doubtful accounts is $215,000.

Summing the loan write-off amount and the allowance for doubtful accounts the
total bad debt expense over the life of the corporation is $886,235 or

This approach provides for an adequate level of conservatism in loan portfolio
valuation based upon historical bad debt experience


                                             FYE           FYE           FYE
                                          March 2008    March 2009    March 2010
Regular Loans                                 37            38            30
Regular Loan Fund Advances                $1,738,155     $2,757,957   $2,173,458
Disabled Loan Fund                             3              2           1
Disabled Loan Fund Advances                $44,080        $38,221       $15,364
New Loans & Guarantees                        40             40           31
Total Loan Advances/Guarantees            $1,782,235     $2,796,178   $2,188,822
Amt Approved, Not Disbursed at FYE            Nil          $76,000     $50,000
Loans Paid Out During Year                   35             35           32
Interest Payments Received                $ 362,229     $ 366,077      $349,215
Principal Repayments Received             2,318,582      1,707,193    2,178,879
   Total Cash Payments Received           2,680,811      2,073,270    2,528,094
Annual Increase/Decrease                    -0.67%        -22.66%      +21.94%
Active Loans At FYE                           102           107          106

Loan Portfolio w/ accr interest at FYE    $4,437,365     $5,487,402   $5,449,886
Less: Loan Write Off                           39,495        50,000        36,936
Loans Under Administration                 4,397,870      5,437,402    5,412,950
Doubtful Loans Allowance                      215,000       215,000      215,000
Loans at Fiscal Year End                   4,182,870      5,222,402    5,197,950
Annual Increase/Decrease                    -11.80%        24.85%        -0.5%
Cash On Hand                              $1,057,568      $803,428     $659,063
As % of Loans Under Administration           24.05%         14.78%       12.18%

Bank Line of Credit approved                275,000           N/A        N/A
CFLIP Line of Credit approved                 N/A         1,000,000   1,000,000
Line of Credit available                    275,000         510,286   1,000,000
Funds Available at Start of New
   Fiscal Year                            $ 1,332,526    $1,313,671   $1,659,063

CFLIP Loans or Lines of Credit O/S
@ FYE                                    (1)@$41,409      $489,714        0

Community Economic Development Services

The Lac La Biche Region Marketing Plan and Economic Development services
are contracted to Lac La Biche County in two parts: $74,300 tourism contract
contribution which includes funding for one part time staff and $22,000 for
economic development services.

Lac La Biche Region Marketing Plan

Travel Alberta along with 46 businesses and local organizations further support
the plan with additional funding plus promotional products to support contest
prizes on the web and offering promotional items for use at tradeshows.

All of the promotional activities initiated by CFLLB have a ‘call to action’ feature
to contact our office either by toll free number or logging onto the website.
Statistical data is generated to measure the effectiveness of the tourism and
economic development marketing campaign.

Lac La Biche County – Economic Development

Community Futures Lac La Biche is contracted with Lac La Biche County to
deliver economic development services specifically for communication and
promotional strategies to highlight the community as an ideal location for
investment. Specific projects over the last year have included:

   •   Updating the municipal profile on and on websites. is an Alberta
       Finance and Enterprise website showcasing Alberta municipalities with
       narrative and statistical information. Unfortunately, funding for has terminated resulting in the loss of a very
       comprehensive community profile.

   •   Promoting Lac
       La Biche County
       in        various
       industry related
       such as the
       Heavy Oil &
       Guidebook       &

       Several local businesses participated in this promotional campaign.

   •   Replacing the business directory with a modern on-line version. The
       business directory can be viewed on the

   •   Representing Lac La Biche County on regionally based economic
       development agencies such as Alberta Northeast Information HUB Ltd.
       and Also actively participate on Alberta HUB’s
       Investment Attraction Committee, which initiated four different projects in
       the last fiscal year, addressing investment attraction opportunities in the
       region in six economic sectors (transportation, tourism, manufacturing,
       agriculture, defense and energy) and creating community profiles and a
       regional toolkit for potential investors.

   •   Following up with Lac La Biche County’s meeting with Town and County
       of Athabasca and MD of Opportunity #17, economic development staff of
       the four communities have met on a bi-monthly basis to establish joint
       initiatives for economic development collaboration.

   •   Showcasing Lac La Biche County at the Oil Sands Trade Show in

   •   Developing and distributing ‘developer and investor’ packages to realtors,
       developers and investors.

   •   Hosting out of town business delegations, providing tours, introductions,
       and comprehensive community information to these potential investors.

   •   Researching prospective franchises and promote Lac La Biche County as
       an ideal business location

   •   Facilitating the implementation of Service Alberta ‘BizPal’ website on both and websites.

Lac La Biche Region Industry Consultation Committee (LLBRICC)

The primary objective of this CFLLB committee is to promote and plan for
community economic development opportunities in the greater Lac La Biche
region in line with oil sands companies’ growth projections.

Following several submissions to the Government of Alberta Oil Sands Multi-
Stakeholder Committee Consultation Panel the Board of Directors in April 2008,

through the committee released the ‘Social Baseline and Potential Cumulative
Development Scenario’ study for Lac La Biche County, intended to be the first
step in understanding the future oil sands development repercussions on the
region. The report was distributed to 13 provincial ministries with favourable
feedback received from several Ministers.

The mail out campaign helped to precipitate a meeting between Lac La Biche
County officials and representatives of Alberta Oil Sands Sustainable
Development Secretariat.

Last year, the committee assessed the feasibility of updating the original report
but given the economic slowdown decided to wait until autumn 2009 before

Rural Diversification Initiative (RDI)

The RDI initiative provides funding (minimum $100,000) to Community Futures
offices for larger rural economic diversification projects with clear measurable
outcomes and strong private sector support, however RDI is not a grant to

RDI was promoted to local groups but there was no project to take forward as of
the fiscal year end.

Tourism Services

Locally tourism promotion is a shared responsibility between Community Futures
Lac La Biche and Lac La Biche & District Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber
operates the Visitor Information Centre located at McArthur Place while
Community Futures is responsible for the promotional literature, trade show
exhibiting and marketing campaigns.

Lac La Biche is a designated member of Alberta Central Tourism Destination
Region. While the ‘mental image’ and ‘flavour’ of the region often aligns us with
the north, the community is not a member of Alberta North Tourism Destination
Region. We do, however, participate in Alberta North marketing literature when
the opportunity is mutually beneficial.

Community Futures Lac La Biche contracts with Lac La Biche County certain
tourism related promotional activities on an annual basis. These activities are
detailed below.

Lac La Biche Region Community Marketing Plan

This plan implemented annually is a comprehensive marketing plan designed to
promote tourism development in the region. It is funded in partnership with Lac
La Biche County, Travel Alberta, and 46 businesses and local organizations.

Marketing focus is on outdoor adventure and family vacations emphasizing
camping, trails, beaches, water activities, fishing and event promotion.

To reach our audience primarily in northeastern Alberta, the Edmonton
metropolitan area and other defined markets, the following promotional activities
were undertaken.

   •   Showcased the region at seven tourism related
       tradeshows including the Edmonton RV Show,
       Edmonton Boat & Sportsman Show, Campers
       Village & Fishing Hole Show, Saskatoon
       Outdoors Show, the Calgary RV Show, the Fort
       McMurray Spring Trade Show and the Kiyanaw
       Trade Show during Capital Ex in Edmonton.

   •   Continued to distribute 50,000 Lac La Biche Region maps (produced last
       year), showcasing the Hamlets of Lac La Biche and Plamondon and the
       surrounding county. Maps are typically updated every couple of years so
       the next printing will not be until 2010-11 at the earliest. The map is
       distributed locally and throughout Alberta at numerous hotels,
       campgrounds and visitor information centres.

                                           •   Building on previous years
                                               success produced and distributed
                                               23,500 copies of the Lac La Biche
                                               Region Vacation Guide. As with
                                               the map, the visitor guide project
                                               is funded by local businesses and
                                               tourism operators within the Lac
                                               La Biche region.

                                           •   Radio commercials promoting the
                                               outdoors and key local events
                                               such as ‘Winter Festival of Speed’
                                               and ‘Lac La Biche Pow Wow

       Days’ were aired on Big Dog radio in 2009 and 2010 promo season.

   •   Advertised in 26 separate publications ranging from the Edmonton
       Journal, the Edmonton Sun, Family Focus, Vue Weekly and the Alberta
       Outdoorsmen to the Alberta Fishing Guide and Alberta Campground

       An area of specific interest to the Alberta Campground Guide is that while
       the general Lac La Biche region is promoted, local campgrounds may not
       be listed as this is a fee for service (similar to our advertising) which the
       campground operator must pay to the publisher.

   •   Some print, radio and TV promotions were purchased in partnership with
       Alberta’s Lakeland Destination Marketing Organization, Alberta Beach
       Bum and others. Additional information is presented under promotional
       partnerships below.

   •   Billboard Promotions

Five billboards were purchased and displayed during the peak summer months
along major arterial roadways and highways in northeastern and central Alberta –
three on the outskirts of Edmonton, one in Boyle on Highway 63 and one in Fort
McMurray on the southern border of the city. The colourful signs reinforced the
message that it would be a good idea to explore the Lac La Biche Region this

Promotional Partnerships

   •   Travel Alberta

Partnerships with Travel Alberta continue to be strong for the Lac La Biche
Region. Travel Alberta affords us free website visibility, media contacts (with
resulting free promotions) and reduced tradeshow booth costs. This fiscal year
Travel Alberta contributed $38,013.21 towards the region’s marketing campaign
(including the Alberta Beach Bum campaign). Local business and municipalities
matched the dollars contributed.

It should be noted that in addition to providing some funding towards the various
initiatives, our office also manages the projects, which includes writing proposals
and final reports, booking ads, proofing scripts, keeping statistics and managing
all of the incoming and outgoing paperwork.

Travel Alberta also worked with our office to stage two workshops and a special
video conference with a marketing guru from New York in Lac La Biche during
the fiscal year.

   •   Alberta Beach Bum

The Alberta Beach Bum consortium is a partnership between the M.D. of
Bonnyville, the Town of Bonnyville and the Lac La Biche Region, formed to
market Northeastern Alberta’s numerous lakes and white sandy beaches. The
consortium, with help from Travel Alberta, once again undertook an extensive
spring and summer marketing campaign, running radio spots on 630 CHED and
790 CFCW, producing and airing a TV commercial on CTV Edmonton,
advertising on the back of 13 Edmonton Transit buses, and maintaining a
website, which recorded 6,809 unique visits and 7,439 hits between April 1, 2009
and March 31, 2010. That’s triple the numbers that visited the site during the
previous fiscal year (2,462 unique visits and 2,779 hits).

   •   Alberta Angling Adventures

The Alberta Sport Fishing Marketing Consortium has continued to grow over the
last 4 years. Showcasing fishing lodges, camps, guide services, tackle shops and
destinations across Alberta. Lac La Biche has partnered in this promotion since
its inception.

   •   Aboriginal Tourism

The La Biche Mission, Portage College and Lac La Biche Region have partnered
with Travel Alberta in the promotion of traditional and authentic cultural
experiences. Thirty products in Central Alberta are highlighted in a brochure and
web based marketing. Kikino Silver Birch

Resort, Portage College and the Lac La Biche Region also partnered together to
work the Kiyanaw Trade Show at Capital Ex during July 2009.

   •   Golf Northern Alberta

The office partnered with the La Biche Inn and the Lac La Biche Golf & Country
Club to place an ad in the Golf Northern Alberta Magazine, distributed across the
province by Travel Alberta In-Province.

   •   Event Consortia

Radio and print promotions for both winter and summer activities ran on radio
stations and in newspapers. Two consortia were created, one for four summer
events (Lakeland Country Fair, Pow Wow Days, Kikino Silver Birch Rodeo and
Plamondon Mud Bogs) and the other a winter event (Winter Festival of Speed).
The CF office was the lead partner. This partnership allowed the events to
access Travel Alberta funding, media bulk buy opportunities and reduced paper
work for volunteers. Many of the events reported record attendance, with some
reporting as much as an 89 per cent jump over the previous year. The only
exception was Pow Wow Days, which experienced a 17 per cent drop in the
turnstile count, mainly due to bad weather during the August long weekend.

      Alberta’s Lakeland Destination Marketing Organization (DMO)

Under the ‘Alberta Lakeland’ banner we partner with numerous other
communities in the northeast including the MD of Bonnyville, Town of Bonnyville,
Town of St. Paul, County of St. Paul, the Town of Elk Point, the Town of
Vegreville and other northeastern municipalities. Through these partnerships,
joint promotional activities are pursued to market the tourism opportunities of
Northeastern Alberta.

The Lac La Biche Region along with local
tourism operators and event organizers
took advantage of various print promotions
that Alberta’s Lakeland offered as a
leveraging project through Travel Alberta
Central for tradeshows and TV & radio
promotions. Advertising was purchased in
the Alberta Fishing Regulations, Alberta
Outdoorsmen, Vue Weekly, See
Magazine, Barry Mitchell Fishing and the
Edmonton Journal.

The Lac La Biche Region is represented
on Alberta’s Lakeland DMO Board and the
boards Marketing Committee.           This
representation has been useful in that our
region’s     promotional    interests  are
effectively brought forward and recognized
at a regional level.

The popularity of, the region’s tourism and
economic development website, continued to remain strong in 2009/10 despite a
few technical glitches last June when the entire site was overhauled. Traffic at
the site, updated and maintained by Community Futures staff, was down a little
bit compared to 2008/09, in part due to some down time at the end of June 2009.
Over the course of the year 37,520 unique (unique being defined as different IP
addresses) visitors logged onto the site. Total number of ‘hits’ on the website for
the year was 47,086.

Staff also spent several months working on a re-design of the site, including new
banners, new pictures, a new French section, an interactive business directory
and other new features. The redesigned site is now fully functional and attracting
big numbers of people every month.

Web statistics for (using Google Analytics):

The most active month was May 2009 showing 7,201 visits and the most active
day May 11, 2009 with 390 visits. Each visitor stayed on the site on average
three minutes 20 seconds and viewed 5.4 pages per visit. Seventy-eight percent
of these visitors were new visitors to the site.

Below you will find a listing of words keyed into the various search engines that
brought people to
The most common phrases used (after deleting the search phrase “Lac La
Biche”) are:

   •   ‘Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park’ at 589 times,
   •   ‘Lac La Biche County’ at 230 times.
   •   ‘Lac La Biche camping’ at 145 times.
   •   ‘Lac La Biche map’ 137 times.

Search engines drive the most traffic to the website,
most notably Google. Other sites also refer to the regional site with the largest
volume coming from ‘Lac La Biche County’ with ‘Travel Alberta’ being a close
second. Others of note are ‘Alberta Beach Bum’ and ‘Portage College’.

(*NB The following is for the period of July 10, 2009 to March 31, 2010) The web
page downloaded most frequently after visitors land on the home page is the
‘tourism’ page at 11,140 downloads. ‘Campgrounds’ is at 7,541 and ‘Living’ is at

The rest of the top 10 downloaded pages are:

   •   ‘Downloads’ (6,958 page views),
   •   ‘Maps’ (6,353),
   •   ‘Cabin Rentals’ (5,975),
   •   ‘Business’ (4,903),
   •   ‘Hotels and Motels’ (3,742), and
   •   ‘Beaches’ (2,323).

Traffic on Community Futures Lac La Biche’s office website,,
nearly doubled this past fiscal year. Between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010,

the site recorded 1,202 hits and welcomed 657 unique visitors. During the same
time frame in 2008-09, the site recorded 686 hits and 544 unique visitors.

The busiest traffic month was October 2009, with 235 visits while the busiest day
was Oct. 5, 2009, with 29 visits. Users spent an average of two minutes and four
seconds on the site per visit, while clicking on an average of 2.96 pages per visit.

Search engines accounted for 51 per cent of the website traffic, with Google
leading the way at 45 per cent. The number one referring site was Key search phrases included “Community Futures Lac La Biche”
and “cfllb.”

Besides the home page (1,276 visits), the most popular pages on the site were
(in descending order):

   •   About CF (767 visits)
   •   Entrepreneurship (428 visits)
   •   Contact CF (421 visits)
   •   Resources (340 visits) and
   •   Rural Development (321 visits)

Community Participation – Organizational Support and Project Assistance

To facilitate and participate in positive community change Community Futures
Lac La Biche management and staff are members of, or actively involved in,
numerous local and regional organizations and their related sub committees. We
participate in an operational and advisory role or serve on the Board of Directors
depending on the specific project.

These organizations undertake projects and activities that have a direct bearing
on business and economic development both locally and regionally. Their work
and community involvement overlap our interests and it is important for us to be
involved for information sharing and professional development.

       •   Alberta’s Lakeland Destination Marketing Organization
       •   Alberta Central Tourism Destination Region
       •   Northeast Alberta Information Hub Ltd.
       •   Town and County of Athabasca and MD of Opportunity #17
       •   Lac La Biche & District Chamber of Commerce

•   Portage College ‘Community Planning Committee’
•   Portage College ‘Native Arts and Culture Advisory Committee’
•   Portage College ‘President’s Resource Based Industry Advisory
•   Portage College Fundraising Events Committee
•   Economic Developers of Alberta
•   Economic Developers Association of Canada
•   Community Futures Alberta
•   Lac La Biche Region Industry Consultation Committee
•   Fort McMurray Tourism
•   Welcoming Community Group
•   Lac La Biche Inter-agency


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