Tuesday, November 17, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 46 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“It makes us very proud. Hard and steady work is what it was.”
- Vern Pedersen  
- on the award won by the   
Crow Snow Riders   


It's no secret that the Crowsnest Pass has perhaps more than its fair share of economic issues, both roadblocks and opportunities heading into the future. On Tuesday, November 10, Community Futures worked together with the Chamber of Commerce, the municipality, and local residents to begin a process of working out a road map for the community's economic future.
The first part of this process is to gather ideas and observations about the local economy, through brainstorming sessions with groups of interested individuals. Three such sessions were held on November 10 at the provincial building, and a total of 36 people took part.
"Turnout was great," says Amy Boeckner, who is coordinating the project. "It was nice to see a real diversity of people who came. It was a lot of fun, and I think people enjoyed it."
The participants included business owners, municipal staff, people who just moved here, people who have lived here all their lives, and even people who were simply planning to move here in the near future.
Boeckner says that the brainstorming sessions were all about getting ideas and input, and not about evaluating those ideas. The information gathered at these sessions will be used to develop a community survey, which will be available to everyone both online and in paper form early in 2010. The results of that survey will be further used to develop an economic action plan for the community.
The participants in the three separate two-hour brainstorming sessions discussed many different aspects of the local economy.
They talked about what types of businesses are missing locally, and what sorts of business support structures are lacking in the community. They identified impediments to success, and how to turn those impediments into opportunities.
The participants identified youth as an important factor –– how to get younger people to either stay in the community or come back after they leave to get an education. They also identified the importance of of supporting local businesses and trying to keep shoppers in the Pass.
They looked at the community's best selling features, and what outside perceptions of the Pass are. "People have strong pride in this community," said Boeckner, "and are aware of the benefits there are."
When identifying the outside perceptions, people said that the Pass is seen as dirty in the midst of beauty, a community with a council in conflict, and a community that is dominated by Highway 3.
Boeckner says that she will organize more sessions in November if enough people express interest. She is also trying to organize brainstorming sessions with several local organizations, to gain their input as well. She says that so far the interest level is good, and it's looking likely that there may be another session.
She can be reached by phone at 403-563-6277, or by email at amy@communityfuturescnp.ca, for more information or to express interest in taking part in a brainstorming session.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 46 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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