Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) began operations on Jan. 1, 1993 as Economic Development Edmonton (EDE) to promote a strong, diversified economy and tourism base in Greater Edmonton. Born from an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation process, EEDC was designed to bring focus and cohesiveness to the region's economic growth priorities.
EEDC was formed by amalgamating four existing economic development organizations: Edmonton Economic Development Authority, Edmonton Research Park Authority, Edmonton Convention and Tourism Authority, and Edmonton Convention Centre Authority.
Merging these separate authorities brought leaderships and important new synergies to regional economic development in Edmonton. EEDC's establishment is one of the most important milestones in the region's economic development since economic development activities began in earnest in 1947 after the Leduc No. 1 oil discovery. EEDC has brought coherence to economic development and Edmonton Tourism activities and initiatives in the region.
EEDC Historical Highlights
- For the first time, Edmonton hosted the Canadian Tourism Commission's GoMedia Marketplace - wlcoming 300 select Canadian and international travel writers and tourism partners, and raising awareness of Canada's festival city and its diverse offerings.
- In partnership with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, EEDC organized a forum on the oil sands and its importance to Greater Edmonton's economy targeted at a non-energy industry audience.
- EEDC partnered with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce to lead a business mission to Ottawa to strengthen relations with the federal government and raise Edmonton's profile.
- Leaders representing diverse backgrounds and perspectives joined ONEdmonton Leaders Forum for common vision and direction. The Downtown Vibrancy Task Force was formed after participants ranked Edmonton's urban core as the top priority.
- EEDC was recognized as a leader and innovator by the Recycling Council of Alberta, Economic Developers Alberta, Intelegia Group's Canadian Cities Online Marketing 2010 Index and the International Economic Development Council.
- Edmonton's tourism industry jointly launched FRESH, an initiative that encourages socially and environmentally responsible meeting and event planning.
- Edmonton welcomed its first group of Chinese tourists following Canada's designation as an Approved Destination Status by China.
- EEDC supported the City of Edmonton's bid to host EXPO 2017 by engaging and raising awareness with the public and Alberta's corporate community.
- Led a mission to Toronto that advanced recognition of career and business opportunities in Edmonton's financial services sector.
- Received an international marketing award for Edmonton Tourism's winter promotional campaign.
- Ken Fiske, Vice-President of Tourism and Economic Development, was named Alto Ambassador for 2008 by the Alberta Tourism Awards (Alto) Committee.
- The Succeed Sooner Campaign promoted Edmonton to 300,000 students at 7 universities. 15,000 students reported an interest in moving to Edmonton, and the media coverage included 54 positive news stories.
- The Shaw Conference Centre was awarded a 2008 Human Rights Award for Excellence by Human Rights City Edmonton. This honour was a result of efforts to support non-profit organizations through 2 events, Everyone for Edmonton and Homeless Connect. Everyone for Edmonton brought together 200 non-profit agencies with 1,000 potential volunteers, while Homeless Connect provided a wide range of on-site services to about 1,800 homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless Edmontonians. Both events were initiated and supported by the SCC. For the 5th consecutive year (2004-2008) the Shaw Conference Centre achieved a record level of operating revenues, which have been redirected back into Edmonton's economy.
- Economic Development had an outstanding year connecting with national and international companies; as a result, 360 business leads generated 7 expansions or relocations thus creating 248 jobs and $9 million worth of investment.
- The Edmonton Research Park experienced significant expansion in 2007 with construction on the $10.5 million Biotechnology Business Development Building.
- Lionsgate Entertainment entered into a 2-year commitment with EEDC, the City of Edmonton, and the Province of Alberta to 2007 to produce 26 television episodes of Fear Itself.
- Formed Edmonton Workforce Connection to address and support regional labour shortages
- Launched the Edmonton Festival City in a Box program, with TransAlta as a corporate sponsor, to encourage festival-theming for Edmonton conferences.
- The Shaw Conference Centre's Hall D, "Room with a View," opened March 22 for EEDC's Annual Luncheon. Hall D attracted one-third more bookings than expected in its 1st year.
- Edmonton Tourism formed a partnership with the local hotel industry to implement a 1% cent Destination Marketing Fee (DMF) for tourism marketing and destination awareness initiatives.
- Warner Brothers' production The Assassination of Jesse James, starring Brad Pitt, filmed for 28 days and was the largest-budget film ever shot in Edmonton.
- EEDC secured $14 million in funding for a new Biotechnology Development Centre at the Edmonton Research Park so biotech companies have a "wet lab" research facility.
- EEDC attracted Dell Inc. to the Edmonton Research Park. Although the company left in 2008, EEDC calculated the wages paid to Dell employees and the construction of the facility produced a $226 million increase in Edmonton's GDP. Servus Credit Union moved its headquarters into the building further increasing Edmonton's profile as a financial services hub.
- Edmonton Tourism launched Edmonton Events International (EEI) to attract major events to the city. Some of the major accomplishments include hosting the 2007 CN Canadian Open Women's Golf Championships, 2007 FIFA U20 World Cup Canada, and the securing the 2012 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.
- Formed TEC Edmonton (Technology, Entrepreneurs and Company Development), a joint venture with the University of Alberta, to help early-stage technology companies grow, create jobs and stay in the region.
- EDE finalized a $24-million funding agreement between the City of Edmonton, the province of Alberta, and the government of Canada, to expand the Shaw Conference Centre.
- Edmonton.com, a new regional Web portal for Greater Edmonton, was launched.
- Deal Generator, an innovative program to connect start-up companies with angel investors was launched.
- VenturePrize, Alberta's first major business plan competition was launched.
- Economic Development Edmonton implemented a new organizational structure and strategic direction to meet the challenges and complexities of economic development in the 21st century.
- EDE helped promote the ITU Triathlon World Championship and the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
- EDE developed The Greater Edmonton Competitiveness Strategy, a partnership of public and private stakeholders from 22 neighbouring communities that engaged more than 1,200 regional stakeholders. The strategy emphasized the need to harness regional strengths to form, expand and attract new enterprise, as well as sustain and enhance existing industry.
- To prepare for the 2001 World Championships in Athletics, EDE collected new visuals of the city's key tourism attractions and industrial attributes using digital video. The initiative, funded by Edmonton City Council, was part of a multi-component international marketing package.
- CanWest Global provided EDE with $250,000 over 5 years to create an Edmonton film office as well as a position for a full-time film commissioner, to lure film and TV productions to Edmonton.
- The You're Welcome Edmonton program was launched to tourism industry partners. The program was designed to enhance the regional tourism sector by assisting organizers of conferences and major events, and by accentuating hospitality in the region.
- EDE entered into a partnership with the Calgary Convention and Visitors Bureau to form Travel Alberta International (TAI). TAI was awarded an $18 million, 3-year contract to market Alberta to tourists across Canada and around the world. The formation of the tourism-marketing structure marked the achievement of EDE's 1999 strategic goal of building effective partnerships with government and industry.
- EDE launched Edmonton Info, an official fact book containing up-to-date, accurate information and meaningful analysis for the local, regional, and global community. The guide was produced in 3 mediums - book, CD, and Web site.
- Model 7/25, a long-term plan to nurture a stronger knowledge-based economy in Edmonton, was launched.
- EDE leaders and the (former) Greater Edmonton Visitor and Convention Association (GEVCA) initiated and completed an agreement to create 1 unified and strong industry voice for tourism promotion in the Edmonton Alberta Capital region. Edmonton Tourism, a division of EDE, was restructured.
- EDE established its new Events Legacy Fund. The fund was created to provide financial support to local organizing committees to secure national and international events that will have a significant economic impact and promote the Edmonton Alberta Capital Region. EDE provided financial assistance to assist in the securing of the Edmonton 2001 World Championships in Athletics and the 2001 ITU World Triathlon Championships.
- The Edmonton Convention Centre was renamed the Shaw Conference Centre (SCC), part of a new corporate partnership between Economic Development Edmonton and Shaw Communications Inc. The renaming is part of a 20-year, $5.5 million agreement, which included $500,000 in facility upgrades. Shaw also provided a number of services to the facility that will benefit SCC cients, including the digital music system DMX, WAVE high-speed Internet, and Fiberlink, an access provider offering high-speed Internet, voice, data, and video services.
- EEDC led the successful campaign to keep the Edmonton Oilers in the city. EDE located local investors, The Edmonton Investors Group Ltd., and assisted the group in submitting an offer to Alberta Treasury Branches for the purchase of the hockey team. As part of their efforts to keep the Oilers in town, EDE administered the Edmonton Oilers Forever Fund, as well as the Stay Oilers Stay community campaign - which included the distribution of 40,000 posters, leaflets, and 5,000 buttons.
- EDE initiated and launched the Edmonton Ambassador Program. By the end of the fiscal year, 1,500 volunteer Edmonton Ambassadors were given promotional material to help them market Edmonton.
- EDE created the Edmonton Air Partnership Committee and coordinated the campaign to consolidate passenger flights at the Edmonton International Airport.
- EDE worked closely with the military to welcome army families moving from Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Calgary to CFB Edmonton. Orientation expositions promoted local business and community services to thousands of newcomers.
- EDE opened the Business Service Information Centre in conjunction with the federal and provincial government (Department of Western Diversification, and Alberta Economic Development & Tourism).
- EDE, in conjunction with Edmonton's 18 surrounding municipalities and the provincial government, developed an electronic business attraction information system (BAIS). The internet system promoted Greater Edmonton's economic strengths to attract potential investors to the region.
- Economic Development Edmonton began operations on Jan. 1, 1993