Thriving communities are a pillar for creating shared prosperity for all.

You can find out more about what people from across Canada are doing to create thriving, prosperous communities at EconoUs2017, a national multi-day conference taking place in Calgary in mid-September.

How to create a thriving community is one of the conference’s main themes, exploring what communities across Canada are doing to thrive through interactive workshops as well as several local economy tours.

What are thriving communities? And how can Canadians create a thriving community in the place where they live?

THRIVING COMMUNITIES are all about enhancing well-being and strengthening local economies by embracing diversity, encouraging social cohesion, protecting natural resources and developing accessible, human-scale built environments.

“We are excited to learn from other community leaders across Canada how they are innovating for shared prosperity through community-based approaches,” says Barb Davies, the Learning and Leadership coordinator for Thrive, a Calgary resource for neighbourhood champions, entrepreneurs and local economy leaders to build an inclusive and resilient economy.

Here are just three examples of what you can expect to learn about thriving communities at EconoUs2017:

Place-Based Community Economic Development: A Partnership Approach

At this workshop, City of Calgary Community Social Workers and Thrive will present a case study on their collaboration, with the goal of achieving greater economic participation and social inclusion using programs, services and policy changes.

Megan Solamillo. Community Social Worker, City of Calgary

Megan Solamillo. Community Social Worker, City of Calgary

“No one group can do this work on their own,” says co-presenter Megan Solamillo, a community social worker at the City of Calgary. “This is an opportunity to show the value of partnership. That partnership is not only with agencies, but also with neighborhood residents with lived experiences. When we increase economic participation and social inclusion, then we’re able to make neighborhoods so much stronger.”

Three Cities, Three Approaches to Community Economic Development

This session will compare three models of municipal support for Community Economic Development: Québec City Community Economic Development Corporation, Phase 2 of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side CED Strategy, and the Edmonton Community Development Corporation.

Wes Regan.  Community Economic Development Planner -City of Vancouver

Wes Regan. Community Economic Development Planner -City of Vancouver

“Municipal government is the key bridge between senior levels of government in implementing on-the-ground actions with communities and the range of organizations in them,” says workshop co-presenter Wes Regan, the City of Vancouver’s community economic development planner.

“We are seeing there is no one size fits all approach. Local governments come at this from different angles, and there is a lot to learn from these different approaches. Whether you are a policy maker, someone who is taking action in your community, or someone who is interested in systemic change, this would be a very insightful panel discussion.”

Local Economy Tour – Olds

You’ll also be able to sign up for a variety of local tours (Olds, Cochrane, co-ops, craft breweries, Beakerhead, Tech Stock). If you take the Olds tour, you’ll see how Olds is creating a thriving rural community. You’ll experience Western Canada’s Teaching Brewery at Olds College; the fastest internet in the country; and learn ‘how community power powers the community.’

“The Olds Institute has created a partnership where community organizations are moving from an egosystem to an ecosystem, where non-profits, businesses, and other community groups can succeed by being more entrepreneurial,” says Mitch Thomson, executive director at Olds Institute, an enterprising non-profit organization for community economic development.

To register, visit

* You can pay using 100 per cent Calgary Dollars;

*  You can apply to the Shared Prosperity Bursary Program if financial barriers are an issue. This bursary program is made possible thanks to Calgary Neighbourhoods, United Way and the Calgary Foundation;

*  Students receive reduced rates.

Powered by the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet), EconoUs2017 is hosted by Thrive and partners REAP, Calgary Economic Development, the Institute for Community Prosperity at Mount Royal University, Momentum, and Calgary Regional Partnership.

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