REDI at a Glance
- Member Communities 6
- Area 82,001 km2
- Population 21,811
- Major Projects Value $154.9 million
- Number of Businesses 889
- Key Industries Agriculture, Energy, Forestry, Tourism, Transportation
- Website REDIRegion.ca
Source: Government of Alberta, REDI
The pandemic has affected multiple industries in the Regional Economic Developers Initiative for Northwest Alberta (REDI) region. However, businesses, organizations and institutions throughout the region have demonstrated a great capacity to adapt to rapidly changing industry and consumer needs and behaviours.
Due to border closures, including the essential road link to the Northwest Territories via Alberta, the region’s travel industry stalled. Logging and agricultural industries saw delays in transportation of crucial machinery and parts.
The retail and hospitality sectors faced their own obstacles as traditional models of indoor dining and in-person shopping radically changed.
Like many post-secondary educational institutions, Northern Lakes College has adapted to online learning and also sought opportunities to reconfigure its use of physical space to better deliver programming in the future. Andrew O’Rourke, manager with REDI, notes, “Restaurants and retailers in our region have adapted by developing new long-term business models.” With these shifts from physical and stationary to virtual and mobile environments, brick-and-mortar spaces are also being re-imagined alongside the activities they once housed.
So while the pandemic has transformed REDI’s economic landscape, it has also created opportunities to become more dynamic.