Working together in 2018.
Peterborough & the Kawarthas is a region with a diverse economy and opportunities around every corner. But what makes this place truly unique is its people. Our region is a place where the word “community” is more than just a neighbourhood to call home. Community is at the heart of what drives people, encourages them to reach out and forge connections, dares them to have the gumption to tap into their true potential. At Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, we have touchpoints with movers and shakers in communities throughout our region. By working together with our municipal partners, First Nations communities, fellow business support organizations, entrepreneurs, experience-makers and everyday people from throughout our region we have made great strides.
Here are our Top Achievements from 2018:
1. Helping Businesses Become Homegrown Success Stories
Supporting businesses that are already here to thrive and grow in the region is critical to success in Peterborough & the Kawarthas and forms an important foundation of the work done by the team at PKED. In 2018, we engaged with over 100 local businesses in our region. This engagement resulted in 70 projects being identified with over 26 successful project wins.
2. We Continue to Grow the Visitor Economy
In Peterborough & the Kawarthas, our tourism sector is big business. In fact, each year we welcome approximately 3 million visitors, who spend over $300M in our local economy, and become ambassadors who rave about their experiences and return year after year.
In 2018, we had a robust visitor services plan, including enhancements to our suite of visitor service which included a new live chat function on thekawarthas.ca as well as an expanded Mobile Visitor Services program which included over 30 locations throughout the City & County of Peterborough.
As the Official Destination Marketing Organization, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism (PKT) engaged actively with our 468 registered tourism partners – businesses that service our region’s visitors as accommodations, attractions, galleries, restaurants, breweries, theatres, shops, spas and more.
3. Curating Unique Visitor Experiences
It is a competitive global tourism market, and today’s savvy travelers aren’t looking for canned experiences that they could have anywhere – they are looking for authentic, local, impactful visitor experiences – things that they can’t do anywhere else. Over the past few years, with the support of Kawarthas Northumberland, we have seen a number of our PKT partners attend the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism (GMIST) and bring home knowledge to enhance what is uniquely, and authentically Peterborough & the Kawarthas. In 2018 some of these highlights included:
We curated our paddling routes to tie into our Canada’s Treasured Waterway campaign, connecting our region’s canoe culture to the Trent-Severn Waterway in our region.
We continued to promote our local Craft Beer Industry through the Brews, Bites and Barns Brewery Discovery Routes – a hand-picked itinerary of our region’s unique experiences and assets, paired with craft beer and great local dining experiences.
We continued to offer the exclusive and one of a kind Under Water Dining at Lock 21 Experience – An exclusive dining experience that welcomes only 75 people each year for a chef created meal beneath the Peterborough Lift Lock. Throughout the tour, you can expect to hear stories of the voyageur life and learn the basic paddling strokes as you work together on this one-of-a-kind tour to paddle a 36’ voyageur canoe along the canal and into the world’s highest hydraulic lift lock chamber.
Showcasing Experiences to a Newly Targeted Captive Audience: Local Ambassadors
We also showcased the region to attract more Visiting Friends & Relatives – 1.2 million of the approximately 3 million people who visit our region annually are visiting friends and family – we partnered with local media to encourage local residents to be ambassadors for the region and showcase attractions, restaurants and experiences to get their visitors off the docks and decks and out the door to explore our region.
More to Come in 2019
We have plenty more to come in 2019 – including Pedal, Paddle, Pint an experience we have been developing in collaboration with some of our local tourism operators – and we can’t wait to share more with you as we move into the year.
4. Cleantech Commons at Trent University
In December 2017, the Research and Innovation Park at Trent University was rebranded as “Cleantech Commons at Trent University”. In 2018 we rolled out that new brand and marketed the Park for investment. This included attending WEFTEC and Globe to promote opportunities at Canada’s Premier Destination for Cleantech companies, and adding additional investment attraction initiatives to our toolkit, including this powerful video, which encourages potential investors to “Grow With Us”:
We have built a strong foundation for this opportunity and are excited to welcome the new Executive Director of Cleantech Commons and to continue to work collaboratively to position our region for investment to cleantech companies.
5. We Led with Facilitation and Collaboration
We cannot say it enough: Economic development is a team sport, and our collaborative community allows us to stand out from the rest. Collaborations are part of our everyday as the lead regional economic development agency for the City & County of Peterborough, some highlights from 2018 include:
- The Rural Business Summit
A two-day event held in two locations (Burleigh Falls and Fraserville) hosted in collaboration with Community Futures Peterborough. This event brought together business owners, professionals and community leaders to discuss the challenges that are facing rural business owners in our region.
- Peterborough & the Kawarthas Funding Forum
We once again partnered with the Innovation Cluster on the Funding Forum in November – this event brought in different funding organizations, as well as speakers to talk about a variety of key funding topics.
- Community Economic Development Initiative – A First Nation-Municipal Collaboration
In a project supported by the Federation for Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO) we continue to play an active role in a regional economic development partnership that takes a regional approach to First Nation-Municipal Collaboration, bringing together Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations, two townships, the County of Peterborough and our economic development organization together. This partnership is currently in Stage B: Vision of the Stronger Together process, beginning to identify and prioritize their areas of collaboration. Their areas of interest for the coming year, include: Establishing an Economic Development collaboration committee; Co-organizing an educational event about the 200th anniversary of Treaty 20; Establishing a Treaty 20 area planning group, to explore collaborative planning/consultation processes; Continued government-to-government relationship building
- TD Economic Outlook Luncheon
We partnered with TD and the Kawartha Manufacturers’ Association to present the TD Economic Outlook Luncheon which brings together Peterborough & the Kawarthas Business community and decision makers to learn from TD Bank Group Economist, Derek Burleton on what to expect in the year ahead.
We continue to work collaboratively with the Peterborough Airport as part of the Business Enablement Team.
This year we attended Ontario Aerospace Council, Canadian Business Aviation Association and the Canadian Aerospace Summit as sponsors which provided exposure of the Peterborough Airport to both national and international audiences. We created a new investment attraction marketing piece to take along to these key events. We launched a new whYPQ campaign – this encouraged industry professionals to learn more about the Peterborough Airport and tied in our strong media relations work with Wings Magazine and blended the PKED and the City of Peterborough brands letting people know that “An investment in Peterborough & the Kawarthas is a departure from the ordinary.”
7. Supporting Startups & Entrepreneurship
In 2018, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Business Advisory Centre recently became one of fifteen GrowthWheel Certified Small Business Enterprise Centres in the Province of Ontario. GrowthWheel is an international certification that allows for the facilitation of a structured process to explore opportunities for growth and job creation through long-term relationship building with local businesses. We also had a great year supporting entrepreneurs of every age at every stage of business growth, some highlights include:
- We supported 68 new business startups
- We hosted a series of professional development workshops for entrepreneurs with a total of 273 small business owners in attendance
- Clients of the Business Advisory Centre secured $965,000 in funding and financing from financial institutions and Community Futures Peterborough.
- We continued to provide significant support to Bears Lair Entrepreneurial Competition, Win This Space and Startup Peterborough.
- We also continued with the very successful Starter Company Plus Program in 2018 and saw a significant number of client success stories with both startups and expansions
8. Making Our Region a Destination for Meetings, Conferences & Sporting Events
Our organization has heard from this Community that there is a need for us to dedicate resources into Meetings, Conferences and Sporting Events. In 2017, we created a portfolio for one of our Economic Development Officers to look after Meetings/Conferences/Sports Travel and Downtown.
This yielded great results for us in 2018 we welcomed a number of events to the area including:
- 2018 National Cyclocross Championships which saw more than 700 athletes – including Olympic Athletes – from 7 provinces and 3 states and ran for over 3 days, accounting for 800 room nights for our local accommodators. PKED worked with the host committee
- We attended IncentiveWorks, a tradeshow for event planners who organize groups, meetings & conferences. Subsequently PKED hosted a group of meetings and event planners and have so-far secured a large 2019 event.
We also partnered with Ignite Magazine, a media leader for professional event planners to launch the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Meetings & Conferences Hub as well as to create the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Planners Guide.
9. We Made Headlines & Put our Region on the Map
In 2018, we continued to leverage our strong Media Relations work to keep Peterborough & the Kawarthas top of mind with consumers and investors, particularly in niche markets. This resulted in 30 Earned Media Results have Resulted in Our Community Making Headlines Including: Luxury Canada; WestJet Magazine, Sun Media, ScoreGolf, Travel & Leisure, Escapism, Food Network, Culture Magazine and Kanu Magazine.
We also focused on continuing to enhance our suite of owned media assets with developments including a revamped PKED Website and continued roll-out of the Business Toolkit.