WHAT WE DO
The Economic & Community Development Department facilitates, promotes and enhances economic development across the community. The team is responsible for the day-to-day management of the economic development function, which includes tourism, product development, and marketing. Economic Development involves significant contact with the local business community, industries and government agencies, as well as, responsibility for gathering data research and application. Coordination of local land use planning programs to attract and enable business retention and attraction as well as encourage industry investment.
In addition to The Official Community Plan and other District documents the Economic Development team is guided by two documents ;
- The five-year Tumbler Ridge Tourism Strategy 2020-2024 entitled “Land of Ancient Footprints, Land of New Discoveries”
- Investment Readiness and Economic Development Plan, a three-year plan 2018-2020.
Completed 2022 Priority Projects
Commercial and Residential Development
- Downtown Design Guidelines were adopted by Council in August 2022
- 46 acres purchased from the Crown and registered to the District.
- Archeological studies completed for the Saddle Club Rural Residential Development with the next steps including First Nations consultation by the Province.
- Successfully managed a new Residential Subdivision and Lot Expansion program (minor subdivisions) by developing a comprehensive checklist, town map, and workflow process to manage residential subdivision requests. The pilot program informed several reports with recommendations around efficiencies and improvements to the District’s Land Policy Bylaw based on the learnings from this project.
- Business and Investment enquiries totalled 24 enquiries for Lot Sales and 31 enquiries for Lot Expansions (minor subdivisions).
- Attended the virtual EDAC conference, the annual British Columbia Economic Development Association Summit, and several webinars on tourism, sustainability and business retention.
Destination Management/Outdoor Recreation
The ED&T team assumed a leadership and facilitation role in bringing together four prominent recreation user groups, to form a collective association entrusted with guiding the advocacy efforts and setting the strategic course for outdoor recreation in Tumbler Ridge. The association, Tumbler Ridge Outdoor Recreation Association, will play a critical role in developing an Outdoor Recreation Plan that will be instrumental in advancing innovative and sustainable tourism strategies for the region.
Digital and Website Development
- Led the District of Tumbler Ridge website redevelopment which launched in November 2022 and included a five-month process of updating content, and reorganizing the hierarchy.
- Case Study and Report to Northern BC Tourism Association on the Digital Marketing Strategy initiated in 2021.
Grants and Grant Writer
- The team applied for several grants and were successful with Grant Writer ($8,000), Economic Capacity ($50,000) and on behalf of TRORA ($165,000)
- In addition, the team manages the Grant writer program with the Community Grant Writer successfully applying for a total of $260,000 in funding for the District and community groups.
External support to the appointed Councillor and working with several stakeholders to find innovative and forward-thinking ways to ease the short-term crisis in Childcare and create pathways for medium and long-term strategies.
Marketing & Graphic Design:
- Designed and managed marketing campaigns on social media including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. Campaigns included newsletter signup (this was a new initiative in 2022), increasing likes and followers, advertising District RFPs and EOIs and promoting Tumbler Ridge’s attendance at tradeshows.
- Signed on with Crowdriff, an AI-powered visual content marketing platform purpose-built for the travel and tourism industry. CrowdRiff's platform combines UGC (user-generated content) image discovery, digital asset management and seamless content delivery so marketing teams can harness the power of visuals at scale. Crowdriff is featured on our websites, social media, photo walls and more.
- Worked on numerous graphics projects including banners for tradeshows, event posters and online advertising, signage for the Community Centre, Tumbler Ridge Triathlon graphics and the Peace Foothills sign.
- Produced and distributed business and consumers email newsletters throughout the year reaching approximately 2200 inboxes.
- Produced the 2022 Tumbler Ridge Business Directory which features 171 local businesses. Produced the 2022-2023 Tumbler Ridge Visitor and Relocation Guide, 10,000 copies are printed and distributed across the province.
- Administered the Love Tumbler Ridge program including managing the Facebook page and organizing the Plaid Friday Shop Local event.
- Designed and placed print advertisements in Bell’s Alaska Highway Mapbook, the Dawson Creek Visitor Guide and the TR Shop Local Magazine.
- Managed the inventory and ordering of Tumbler Ridge’s promotional items.
Together with other stakeholders in Tumbler Ridge, the team showcased Tumbler Ridge as a Snowmobile and ATV destination at the Alberta Snowmobile ATV & Off-Road Show in October 2022. Attendance was estimated at 15K over a 2-day show. Several local businesses donated to a prize giveaway which helped us boost our mailing list by over 400. In addition, attended the Vancouver and Calgary Outdoor Adventure Shows with Northern BC Tourism.
Networking and Industry Engagement:
- Hosted spring and fall networking events for the business community with over 25 people attending each one.
- Took part in celebrating several sectors including Tourism Week, Small Business Week and Economic Development Week.
- Participated in and contributed to the ongoing efforts of the Northeast BC Tourism Co-op. Also, participated in many Northern BC Tourism and Destination BC meetings and workshop
The Economic Development Team:
Jessie Olsen, Director of Economic & Community Development