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Guelph receives gold award from IEDC for holiday wish book

2021 Guelph Shops Wish Book. GuelphShops.ca

The City of Guelph is being recognized by the International Economic Development Council.

The council on Tuesday awarded the city a Gold Award of Excellence at its annual conference in Oklahoma City for its Guelph Shops Holiday Wish Book.

The wish book was part of a 2021 Christmas holiday campaign conducted by the city along with the Guelph Chamber of Commerce as a way to promote Guelph as a top visitor and business destination during the festive season.

“This year’s awardees exemplify the ingenuity, leadership, and determination needed to meet the challenges of today and the future,” said Nathan Ohle, president and CEO of the IEDC. “The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and demonstrate the level of leadership that our profession strives for every day.”

Guelph’s economic development officer Kurtis Wells called the project “an excellent collaboration between economic development and tourism, and the Guelph Chamber of Commerce.”

Read more: Conference Board of Canada report paints a rosy picture of Guelph economy

The first edition of the wish book in 2021 featured more than 40 local businesses from a variety of categories. The economic development department and the chamber of commerce got together with local graphic designer Ellyn Lusis to create what economic development manager Christine Chapman calls the first of its kind in the community.

“We wanted to do something outside the box,” said Wells. “We got together with our working team and did a little brainstorming. We used the Sears wish book as inspiration, then put a Guelph spin on it to feature local business products and services.”

The wish book was made available in print and online. According to the city, 12,000 read the online brochure and there were more than 1,000 clicks on various business links.

Plans are underway for the 2022 wish book and it is expected to be released in the fall.

“We set the bar high with our initial wish book,” said Wells. “But with their partners at the chamber of commerce and the local business community, they will be brainstorming some new ideas. Everyone should look out for the new wish book as I think it will be exciting to see.”

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