Fundamentals of Community ​Economic Development Year 1 - Edmonton

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Date Location       Registration fees Value
June 10-14, 2024



Accommodations fees

(Fee structure outlined below)

Start Time  9:30am  Monday, June 10, 2024
End Time 4:30 pm  Friday, June 14, 2024

Why take Year 1?

Year 1 is about two things: building a strong foundation of knowledge in economic development, and building connections with your peers. 

This course helps economic development professionals learn the basics of the field, from what an EDO really does, to measuring success. Generalists will learn strategies for handling the many and diverse tasks they're expected to do.  Specialists will learn about the spectrum of economic development activities and become more insightful team members.

Professionals of all types and experience levels will appreciate the peer-learning and networking opportunities. Participants come from across Canada and are eager to share their successes, challenges, and lessons. On a personal level, spending a week learning, eating, and relaxing together builds a bond that leaves each cohort looking forward to reuniting at conferences and other industry events.

For those considering a profession in economic development, I highly recommend participating in the EDAC Year 1 program. It is a great way to expand your professional toolkit, build community and establish a network of colleagues that you can turn to for experiences and knowledge. Read more...

2023 Waterloo Schedule*

*2024 Edmonton Schedule Forthcoming

Sunday, May 7

3 pm: Registration

4 - 5:45 pm: Economic Trends Shaping the Playing Field

Trevin Stratton, Deloitte

7:15 – 9:30 pm: Changing Models of Economic Development

Brock Dickinson, University of Waterloo

Monday, May 8

9 am - 12:00 pm: Regional Economic Development:  The Politics of Inclusion

Brock Dickinson, University of Waterloo

1:30 - 5:00pm: The Canadian Economy:  The Context for Economic Development   

Larry Smith, University of Waterloo

Tuesday, May 9

9 am – 12:00 pm: Community Marketing

Kadie Ward, Build Strong Cities 

1:30 – 3:00 pm:  Planning Tools and Terms

Dr. Katherine Perrott, School of Planning, University of Waterloo

3:30 – 5:00 pm:  Strategic Economic Planning      

Cory Bluhm, City of Kitchener

Wednesday, May 10

9:00 – 11:00 am: Analytic Techniques for Local Economic Development: Data, Measurement, Understanding

Paul Knafelc, Community Benchmarks

11:15 - 12:30 pm: Labour and Human Capital Development 

Aileen Murray, Mellor Murray Consulting & Kate Burns Gallagher, Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus  

1:30 - 5:00 pm: Analytic Techniques for Local Economic Development: Data, Measurement, Understanding

Paul Knafelc, Community Benchmarks

Thursday, May 11

9:00 am – 4:30 pm: Business Development Projects - Small Group Field Work & Workshops

4:30 - 5:00 pm: Presentations

Friday, May 12

9:00 am - 12:00 pm: Community Investment Readiness

Ian Duff, McSweeney & Associates

Having worked in this field for 20 years, it was an excellent base in my field. Well designed. Well executed.

2023 Waterloo Speakers*

*2024 Edmonton Schedule Forthcoming

Trevin Stratton

Trevin Stratton

Trevin Stratton is the Chief Economist with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. As Chief Economist at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, he helps develop national policy positions aimed at improving Canada’s economic performance and the competitiveness of Canadian business. Trevin is also an award-winning business economist, specializing in global and technological change. He helps organizations identify and manage opportunities arising from the trends that are reshaping industry and international business. 

Brock Dickinson

Brock Dickinson

Brock is an Assistant Director of the Economic Development Program, and has worked in local economic development for 25 years. He is currently the Entrepreneur in Residence and an Adjunct Professor with the University of Waterloo. He was previously CEO of MDB Insight, Canada’s largest specialist economic development consultancy, where he worked with hundreds of communities across North America. Before this private sector role, Brock headed a number of provincial and municipal economic development agencies in both Ontario and Nova Scotia, and spent six years as a consultant with the United Nations, leading sustainable development projects in 30 countries.

Cory Bluhm

Cory Bluhm

Cory began his career as a professional planner at the City of Kitchener working on urban infill projects, brownfield projects, and, worked on the city’s downtown implementation plan. In 2009 Cory became the City’s Manager of Downtown Development and was responsible for introducing a broad range of cultural activities, streetscape redesign, and new economic development strategy focused on attracting talent to the core. In 2016, Cory became the Executive Director of Economic Development where he leads a diverse team focused on active city-building by supporting business and industry growth while injecting grassroots vitality into the community.

Kadie Ward

Kadie Ward image

Kadie Ward is a seasoned executive whose career to date has been characterized by successful collaboration across public, private and civil society organizations.  She has worked with over 100 cities from 30 countries to design and deliver inclusive economic growth strategies that provide equal opportunities for all to participate in the labour market and economy.  

Ward has an MA in Communications and Media Studies as well as an MBA with a focus on international finance, economics, and equity.  

Ward founded Build Strong Cities in 2012 to empower communities, local and state governments as well as economic developers, planners to effect sustainable growth.  Kadie has created award-winning multi-media campaigns and community development programs that prove that traditional rules to economic development were meant to be broken.  She is a Queens’s Diamond Jubilee Medalist, recognized for her work contributing to significant economic improvement in various Canadian cities.  In 2022 she was recognized by Toronto City Life Magazine as one of Toronto’s Top 50 Influential Persons. She currently serves as the Commissioner and CAO of Ontario’s Pay Equity Commission.  

Paul Knafelc

Paul Knafelc

Paul Knafelc is an economic researcher as well as founder and President of Community Benchmarks Inc. He has established a reputation for innovative data products and for rigorous research approaches which have been used by private and public sector organizations to direct strategic initiatives and make evidence-based decisions. A distinct advantage of Paul’s practice is his deep knowledge of, and expertise with, Statistics Canada data sources, methodologies and custom data tabulations procedures. Paul also teaches a graduate course, ERS 619 Regional Economic Analysis, with the Economic Development program at the University of Waterloo

Ian Duff

ian duff image

Ian Duff is the President of McSweeney & Associates. As a leading Canadian industry expert focusing on community investment readiness, a passion that drives Ian is helping communities understand what it takes to be better prepared to thrive in the future. McSweeney & Associates is dedicated to being a thought leader in community and economic development, driving us to be Canada’s most respected consulting firm in the field. This value inspires our clients – and is one of the reasons we have such a high repeat customer base. As we have been helping communities thrive for over 20 years, we take pride in being trusted by our clients to provide each of them with customized economic and community development solutions that are not only unique to their situation, but that are realistically anchored by industry-leading research, statistical analysis, and strategic thinking.

Aileen Murray

Aileen Murray, founder of Mellor Murray Consulting, is passionate about developing achievable, actionable strategic plans based on sound evidence, inclusive stakeholder engagement and thorough analysis.  Aileen applies a rigorous process to strategic planning including research, analysis and stakeholder engagement to develop effective and practical solutions to complex challenges.

Kate Burns Gallagher

Kate Burns Gallagher is the Executive Director of Economic Development for the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus.  Kate is currently on secondment to the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus from Elgin County.  Prior to her work in the municipal sector, Kate served as an Executive Assistant to a Member of Parliament. Kate has her BA in Communications from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Post Graduate in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Fanshawe College. Kate has been part of the Economic Development profession for over ten years helping to successfully develop and launch an award-winning culinary program as well as a Community Improvement Plan.  Kate believes the key to success in Economic Development is building relationships; with council, staff, the business community and other economic development professionals.

I tremendously enjoyed this course, and found virtually all the content interesting and relevant to my work.

Registration & Accommodation fees*

  EDAC members in good standing* Non-EDAC members
Early bird $1250 + HST $1550 + GST

After May 13

$1395 + HST $1695 + GST
  Accommodation Fees
Sunday - Friday

$435 + $21.75 GST (for 5 nights total)

*EDAC member discount is for those who have paid their annual membership fee. Should your EDAC membership not be paid in full by the date of course/seminar registration, you will be responsible for paying the full (non-member) registration fee