Hometown Advantage Webinar Series

Welcome to the Hometown Advantage webinar series! Each webinar in this series aims to create a space for economic development professionals to meet, share insights and challenges, and learn from their colleagues. The one-hour sessions each focus on a specific economic development challenge and are led by economic development professionals.

Besides hearing from leaders in the profession, participants have the opportunity to join breakout sessions to share their thoughts on the topic and hear from their peers. Register for one of the upcoming monthly webinars below.

Finding Win-Wins: the when, where, and why of partnerships

November 17th, 2021 12 – 1 CST

Featuring: Bev Thornton, Executive Director, Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance and Sandy Elzinga, Manager of Community Economic Development, Community Futures Boundary

Hosted by Heather Hallgrimson, Business Development Lead for Co-operatives First

Partnerships can bring overworked and short-staffed economic development offices and officers a lot of value and capacity. But not all partnerships are of the same quality, and some can bring more headaches than they’re worth. Join us for an insightful discussion about when to seek out partners, what to look out for in a partnership, and why you might choose one partner over another.

Register Now

Watch Past Webinars

Investment, funding and financing: Finding money for economic development

As economic developers, it may often feel like you have to beg, steal, or borrow to get the money you need to do economic development projects. In this webinar, we speak with a panel of economic development professionals who’ve been through it all. Watch it now to learn how they manage to finance projects and the strategies they used to find the money they needed to get projects funded.

Featuring: Lauren Johnson, Economic Development Officer for the Town of Shaunavon and Lana Cowling-Mason, General Manager for Community Futures West Interlake.

Hosted by Heather Hallgrimson, Business Development Lead for Co-operatives First

Arts, Culture, and Economic Development

Art and economic development may not seem like the most natural of strategic partners, but rural communities are turning to arts and culture to attract visitors and businesses alike. In this recorded webinar, Heather Hallgrimson, Business Development Lead for Co-operatives First, speaks with three experienced economic development professionals who have leveraged arts and culture in their communities to promote their hometown advantage.

Fostering Innovation in Rural Communities

Heather Hallgrimson, Business Development Lead for Co-operatives First, and two economic development professionals explore ways to foster innovation in a region through community economic development strategies.

Remote Workers and Covid-19 Trends Impacting Economic Developers

Heather Hallgrimson, Business Development Lead for Co-operatives First, and two economic development professionals dig into how trends set in motion by the pandemic are impacting economic development and discuss how to respond.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Good Governance Matters course offered by Co-operatives First. The course provided a solid background on governance generally and specific examples of good governance practices in co-operatives. It is uncommon to find governance training specific to co-operatives so this was refreshing.”

Janet Taylor (Corporate Secretary)

Libro Credit Union

“The Good Governance Matters Course was a valuable course. I shared it with the [Arctic Co-operatives Limited] Senior Leadership Team. If it ever comes up again, I highly recommend others to take it.”

Mary Nirlungayuk (Corporate Secretary and Vice-President, Corporate Services)

Arctic Co-operatives Limited

“The online course, Good Governance Matters was very informative, easy to navigate and discussed issues relevant to our needs as a Board of Directors. This course is a great tool for boards to build their knowledge to become strong, strategic boards.”

Lori Sanders (President)

Sherwood Co-op

“This course has greatly increased my understanding of what good governance could/should look like and how each part (boards, management, members) plays a vital role in the co-operative’s success.”


“This course was highly enjoyable, and relevant to working in not only the co-op space, but with any group that needs to make decisions.”