Town of Canmore

Background - Economic Development Office

Historically, economic development services for the Town of Canmore have been outsourced to an independent agency. From 2012 to 2016, the Town had a contract with Canmore Business and Tourism (CBT) to provide these services. In the fall of 2016, CBT ran into financial troubles and dissolved their operation. The Town has been without a provider of economic development services since this time.

Revenue from business licensing is collected annually and has historically been used to fund the economic development contract. For 2017, these funds were instead put in the Economic Development Reserve and used to support individual economic development related projects. This was in part to allow administration the opportunity to evaluate the best course forward for provision of economic development services and also to see if any community organizations might step in to fill the void with the absence of CBT.

Given that there is no clear replacement contractor for CBT, and diversification of the economy remains a strategic priority, in December 2017, Council approved the establishment of an in-house Economic Development Department beginning in 2018. 

The core functions will be to:

Facilitate Stakeholder Alignment

  • Work with industry leaders and partner organizations to align delivery of services and avoid duplication of efforts (TCK, CHLA, Downtown BRZ, BOWDA, Chamber of Commerce, Arts & Events etc.)

Support Business Retention and Expansion

  • Help to streamline processes and systems to make it easy to do business in Canmore
  • Provide mentoring and support for new start-ups and businesses wishing to grow

Support Business Innovation and Diversification

  • Understand local economic sectors and barriers to growth and expansion
  • Work with businesses in each sector to create sector specific development plans
  • Attract new businesses aligned with sector targets

Support the Arts & Events Department in their delivery of cultural and artistic programming

2018 Priorities:

Hire a Manager of Economic Development and Support Staff

Orient new staff to Town processes and systems

Connect with industry leaders and partner organizations, including but not limited to: 

  • Downtown BRZ
  • Tourism Canmore Kananaskis (TCK)
  • Canmore Hotel and Lodging Association (CHLA)
  • Bow Valley Builders and Developers (BOWDA)
  • Bow Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Tourism Alberta
  • 2026 Olympic Bid Corporation
  • Rocky Mountain Ventures (RMV)
  • Canmore Community Housing Corporation (CCHC)

Create an on-line presence for economic development on the Town’s website 

Develop and present a 1-3 year budget and business plan for the Economic Development Department 

Work with Olympic Bid Corporation to identify economic diversification opportunities for Canmore as part of a potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics

Lead a discussion with Council and community leaders regarding the role of growth in tourism and destination marketing in relation to economic development

Support the development of an updated Cultural Masterplan for the Town of Canmore