Northeast Alberta – The #TakeItToTheLake multi-media collaboration across Alberta’s northeast is more than a successful content marketing campaign – it’s also winning provincial and national awards.
The success of the campaign shows the power of what can happen when communities come together to celebrate a common theme, says Jana Rowe, the collaboration’s lead as Economic Development and Tourism for Lac La Biche County. Local businesses report momentum created by the campaign has given them a boost.
#TakeItToTheLake earned two awards at last week’s Economic Development of Alberta conference: Best Medium Community-sized Economic Development campaign, and the #EDA2020 People’s Choice Award. In fall 2019, the campaign was awarded the Best in the Country collaborative marketing campaign by the Economic Developers Association of Canada.
“There is power in numbers,” says Rowe. “In our case it’s led to the ability for our local businesses to pivot or diversify into the visitor economy. We’ve seen seven businesses do that over the past two years. They can do that with confidence as our region – and community ¬– is built into a provincial destination.”
The Town of Vermilion saw 40 new business licences, mostly retail, activated within the community over the past two years as a result of #TakeItToTheLake momentum. “It’s tough out there, and so we take great pride in working with our neighbours, to use a similar tide to raise all our boats,” said Mary Lee Prior, head of Vermilion’s Economic Development and Tourism agency and President of the Economic Developers of Alberta Association.
The M.D. of Bonnyville experienced a 15 per cent year-over-year increase in campground reservations, thanks to #TakeItToTheLake. The Bonnyville and Cold Lake region has experienced an ever-increasing and stable base of revenue from the visitor economy. The M.D. operates 12 campgrounds and Kinosoo Ridge Snow Resort in the region.
The collaborative is already planning for the 2021 edition of the campaign, with expanded digital media training and engagement tactics for their small businesses.
“By building support in our communities, we can ignite newfound pride in our citizens, which encourages them to invite friends and family. This furthers our collective visitor attraction strategies,” said Lac La Biche County’s Rowe, who also manages Travel Alberta’s continued commitment to the project.
“The response we have seen within our community is truly transformative,” says Luke Pantin, Athabasca Regional Tourism (visitathabasca.ca). “This social media campaign has worked to change the conversation and promote visits to our region.”
“#TakeItToTheLake as a content production and content marketing campaign, includes working with our stakeholders to develop engaging content about their experiences,” said Jim Barr of Seekers Media. “Through social media, we work together to position that content in front of the right audience, producing engagements that generate new business for the region.”
For more on this award-winning partnership, please visit the collaboration’s hub at or watch the 2020 #EDA2020 Economic Development of Alberta conference presentation.