Washington, DC – Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) and partners Tourism Kelowna and Accelerate Okanagan won two International Economic Development Council (IEDC) awards for its OKGo Marketing Campaign, including a Gold Rank in the category of Magazine and Newsletter and a Silver Rank in the category of Special Purpose Website. The honor was presented on October 6th, 2021, at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference.
“Entrepreneurs in the OKGo campaign’s five industry sectors – Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Agriculture, Viticulture and Digital Tech – are innovating to create jobs, solve big problems and drive economic recovery across the region,” says Krista Mallory, COEDC Manager, “The OKGo Partnership is about working together to leverage the strengths of Tourism Kelowna, Accelerate Okanagan and the COEDC to tell the story of the vibrant and diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Central Okanagan to national and global audiences”
IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. Award categories honour organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from 4 countries.
The OKGo marketing campaign is a partnership between the COEDC, Tourism Kelowna and Accelerate Okanagan and tells the story of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Central Okanagan through stories of local entrepreneurs. While each partner organization has a unique mandate and individual goals, the project provides the region and all partners with a cohesive regional story that can be shared and leveraged through each partner’s individual networks to further the impact and reach of the campaign.
The OKGo campaign supports the attraction of new talent, entrepreneurs, business investment and events to the region, ultimately driving recovery across all economic sectors.
The multi-year marketing campaign includes targeted digital campaigns in major Canadian cities and the US Pacific Northwest and distribution through partner networks including Destination Canada, Trade and Invest BC and Global Affairs Canada to audiences internationally. Central Okanagan residents, businesses and organizations also act as ambassadors by sharing the OKGo stories through their local, national and international networks.
“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and exemplify the leadership that our profession strives for every day,” said 2021 IEDC Board Chair and Invest Buffalo Niagara, President, and CEO Tom Kucharski. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing submissions, projects, and partnerships have improved regional quality of life.”
We’re incredibly honored to recognize the outstanding organizations that received this year’s Excellence Awards. This year, more than ever, has presented opportunities to innovate, impact, and progress the cities, neighborhoods, and communities around us. Each of this year’s recipients represents the best of the economic development profession and exemplifies the ingenuity for fellow economic developers to aspire to in the years to come.
More information about the OKGo campaign, including a promotional video of the region, a digital copy of a high-end magazine that showcases the stories of some of the region’s local companies and a media kit, can be found on the campaign’s website ok-go.ca.
About the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission
The COEDC is a service of the Regional District of Central Okanagan with a mandate to work in partnership with regional stakeholders to facilitate and encourage the development of a healthy and sustainable economy by supporting existing businesses and encouraging new investment within the Regional District of Central Okanagan. The region includes the communities of Lake Country, Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, West Kelowna, Peachland, and the East and West Electoral Areas.
About Tourism Kelowna
As the lead destination marketing organization (DMO) for the Central Okanagan, Tourism Kelowna works on behalf of over 400 local businesses and the larger tourism and hospitality community to generate overnight visitor demand that economically benefits Kelowna and its surrounding areas. Meetings, conferences, and event tourism play a major role in Tourism Kelowna’s four-season development strategy, helping to round-out hotel occupancies and local spending during traditionally slower tourism months.
About Accelerate Okanagan
Accelerate Okanagan (AO) is a not-for-profit organization that gives entrepreneurs the mentorship, connections, and community they need to build technology driven ventures. At Accelerate Okanagan we work with everyone from students to well established companies. Aspiring entrepreneurs, startups, job seekers, career-changers, companies looking to expand and grow, and companies with proven track records come to Accelerate Okanagan to learn and foster their success. Our programs are designed to meet the ever-changing needs of our community. To find out more, visit: www.accelerateokanagan.com or www.okgntech.com.
About the International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members engage in the full range of economic development experiences. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in various settings, including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities, and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at iedconline.org.
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