Recent History – 2002-2003
May 15, 2002
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
Federal Industry Minister Allan Rock announced Tuesday that the Kiwanis Enterprise Centre has received $36,000 for its Branding the Peace project.
The cash, which comes through the Western Economic Diversification fund, is being used to develop a business and marketing plan for the project.
Enterprise Centre manager Doris Brocke said the plan is in progress and that the federal money will bring the project to a more advanced level.
“That’s major funding for us,” she said.
Branding the Peace is a plan to market products grown and produced in the Peace.
“Primarily, we’ll start with agricultural products, whether it be malt barley or peas or canola,” she said. “Other industries are involved as well such as tourism because there is economic spin-off.
“When one commodity group succeeds, others follow.”
Among other things, developing the plan entails putting together a vision of how to create the brand, what commodities to move forward, defining the region.
“We’ve just got to research and get our facts together and prove there is the ability to increase the economic prosperity for the region by using the concept of branding,” she said.
It will also help bring to fruition a concept that was first proposed in 1999. Since then, there have been meetings, phone calls, e-mails plus the Branding the Peace conference and a rural leadership conference.
“Numerous partnerships and communications between different agencies have been established,” Brocke said. “And producers have played a major role in it and I think that’s the exciting part of the project — that producers are the driving force behind it.”
Indeed, she said that it was money from producers that got the project going before the levels of government stepped in to help. Along with the federal money, support has also come from both B.C. and Alberta.
“There’s incredible support for this project,” Brocke said.
The plan is currently before a consultant and should be completed by this fall, but the momentum is already starting to build.
“There’s already been lots of excitement building as they realize the potential that’s there,” Brocke said. “The prospects for deals are coming to light already.”