Alberta SouthWest is pursuing several exciting and unique projects. These projects are inspired and fuelled by our communities, our commitment to one another, and the valued partners that support our aims.
Broadband for Economic and Community Development (March 2014- Present)
Building on our SouthWest Connect Free Wi-Fi project, our communities recognized the role connectivity is increasingly playing in our private and personal lives. We also reflected on our stagnant populations, aging demographics, and public institutions with unused capacity and opted to research the benefits of high speed broadband networks and the role it plays in helping attract younger professionals to our region. Other questions we wanted to answer were:
How do we reduce the digital divide between urban and rural and rural and the very rural
How can we maximize the agricultural opportunities with precision agriculture?
Should high speed broadband be viewed as an utility by municipalities?
What is the best solution for any given community? Private business? 3P Partnerships? Or a cooperative model?
How to define high speed broadband?
And many more questions. We commissioned a report that focussed on our Current State, Desired State, and possible strategies that we could adopt to accomplish better service throughout our region. To date, Waterton Lakes has built out their own fibre network in their business district and will soon be building out to the residential neighbourhoods. Nanton has partnered with Axia Fibrenet and expects to 'light' their network in early 2016. Other communities are in various stages of contemplation as to which solution may be best for their community. To learn more about this Alberta SouthWest project, please contact Project Lead Bob Dyrda at 403.627.3373 or firstname.lastname@example.org
13 Ways Community Evaluations- May 2014- May 2015
Based on the book by former MLA, Doug Griffiths, our region participated in a pilot project to put the principles of the 13 Ways to Kill Your Community to work. The process took a communities through an innovative way of evaluation of various compenents of community development. A wrap-up event brought community leaders together to review their results and next steps for prioritizing the findings.
SouthWest Connect Free Wi-Fi
The 15 partner communities of Alberta SouthWest strive to position the region as forward thinking and this Connections Initiative is evident of that. Dispersed among the partner communities are 19 hot spot wi-fi kiosks offering free access to residents and visitors alike. The locations of the hot spots are as varied as the communities themselves and range from public parks, to local arenas, campgrounds, and even private businesses. For more information about this connectivy story, please click follow this link albertasouthwest.com/sw_connect
. To date, we believe we are the only region in the province who have launched such a project.
GyPSy Self Drive Tour Guide of Waterton and Southwest Alberta!
With over 90% of visitors to our region being self guided tourists, there was a need identified to enhance the experience of our guests. The dramatic landscape combined with diverse historic communities there was no lack of content for this project. Alberta SouthWest partnered with GPS Tour Guide Inc. to create the first self drive tour of Southwestern Alberta and Waterton including the Cowboy Trail.
For more information about this exciting project please visit:
http://www.albertasouthwest.com/gypsytourguideapp or www.gypsyguide.com/canada/tourroutes/WatertonCowboyTrail.php.
Movie Map - An Award Winning Partnership!
The 2009 Tourism Partnership Initiative Award was presented to Alberta SouthWest and Partnering organizations at the Chinook Country Tourist Associations 40th Anniversary and Annual General Meeting in March 2009.
The 2009 EDA Marketing Alberta Award was presented to Alberta SouthWest and partners for its "Reel Adventures Alberta Movie Maps" partnership promotional tool at the EDA Conference in Jasper, AB April 2009.
Our region boasts some of the most diverse and breathtaking scenery in the world. This stunning landscape, along with long hours of sunlight, makes this area one of the most sought-after locations for film production. Our communities have been involved in award-nominated feature movies, television productions, documentaries, music videos and commercials.
The "Reel Adventures" Movie Map project
will offer three different driving tours that take you right into the heart of the filming location, allowing you to discover for yourself the places and stories that have been transformed on to the "Silver Screen".
For more information and movie industry links visit www.albertamoviemaps.com
National Geographic - Crown of the Continent Map Guide
The Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council is a regional network of communities, tourism bureaus, conservation groups, businesses, educators, First Nations, government agencies and others working together in the region that includes and surrounds Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park in southwestern Alberta, southeastern British Columbia, and northwestern Montana.
Established in 2007, this partnership's focus to date has been collaboration with National Geographic Society on the Crown of the Continent Map Guide.This Map Guide
is a unique source of information for visitors and residents to understand, appreciate, and help preserve its geographic character, history, culture and environmental heritage.
Looking forward, the Crown of the Continent Council intends to pursue cooperative projects that promote regional understanding and appreciation, encourage sustainable businesses, support community well-being, advance landscape stewardship, and provide outstanding visitor experiences.
The Crown of the Continent Council was the recipient of the Montana Tourism and Recreation Industry 2009 Tourism Partnership of the Year Award!
Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership
The main objective of this partnership
is to nurture and facilitate our region's growth as an alternative energy provider, while at the same time introducing methods that will allow individuals and organizations who live here to become more self-sufficient energy users.
Alberta SouthWest, along with Economic Development Lethbridge and the SouthGrow Regional Initiative have agreed to work collaboratively on this initiative. Together, this group represents 37 municipalities in the south central region of the province. Based on our available natural resources, existing expertise and established developments, the initiative will focus on 3 streams of alternative energy:
Bio-Energy (including ethanol, bio-diesel and bio-mass)