GROWTH Alberta at a Glance
- Member Communities 8
- Area 13,332 km2
- Population 30,400
- Major Projects Value $1.1 billion
- Number of Businesses 876
- Key Industries Agriculture, Energy, Forestry, Manufacturing, Tourism, Transportation
- Website GROWTHAlberta.com WildAlberta.com
Source: Government of Alberta, GROWTH Alberta
2021 was a year of change for Grizzly Regional Economic Alliance Society (GROWTH Alberta), and 2022 will see it rebrand and re-establish its mandate: “We are a committed bunch who see economic development and diversification as the lifeblood of rural Alberta,” says Janet Jabush, chair for GROWTH Alberta.
The northwest region of Alberta embraces its part in the myth of the Great White North. With snow and freezing temperatures for almost six months of the year, outdoor enthusiasts enjoy skiing, snowmobiling, hunting and a host of other chilly activities.
During the all-too-brief summer, time is spent soaking up the warmth: hiking, camping, sunning and swimming at the lakes. Attending rodeos, baseball games and basking in the sun create a song writer’s summer.
Tourism gained prominence during the pandemic. Campground operators and communities with outdoor activities enjoyed a busy year as they adapted to changed circumstances and made the best of everyone’s need for “normal.”
Last year, motor tourism roared to the forefront, with travelers embracing the open road during Rumble Alberta. And experiential travel, like farm-to-table events, encouraged new ways to explore the region.
The northern end of Highway 22 — the Cowboy Trail — is a nexus of agriculture, forestry and oil and gas, Growth Alberta’s most stable industries and the backbone of a solid economy. In 2022, diversification will be the focus.
Businesses learned during the pandemic that the digital economy is at least as important as their brick-and-mortar presence. “GROWTH Alberta has an important part to play in ensuring local businesses can compete on the global stage,” asserts Jabush.
Despite two stressful years, it’s clear that the region’s communities are stronger together. As stated by Jabush, “We’re more resilient when we join forces. Our future is brighter when we collaborate.”