Golden has one of the most beautiful backyards in the world, so why shouldn’t we let everyone know it?
At least that’s what Golden Area Initiatives thinks. And with their new campaign, Live Golden B.C., they are trying to get that message to as many people as possible.
“When you really think about what goes on in the backyards of this community. And how do you define your backyard? It opened up a lot of possibilities,” said Suzanne McCrimmon, manager at Golden Area Initiatives.
Live Golden BC, which is what came out of GAI’s migration and investment strategy, is being launched in the form of a website, highlighting all the things that make Golden special. The hope is that it will be the one-stop shop for people who are considering migrating to, or investing in Golden.
“When we were doing our research about what is driving investment, what’s making communities stand out from one another, it wasn’t coming down to what development cost charges were,” said Laura Archer, community economic development officer for GAI. “The driving factor for people or for site selectors for larger companies, is quality of life… The younger workforce is so mobile, they’re so willing to get up and go from one job to the next, that if you don’t offer them the right context to work in, you’re not going to get a stable workforce. So quality of life and lifestyle is something that Golden has. It’s something that we have to offer, that not every other community has.”
The project originally started as Home Seekers, an initiative that aimed at bringing new families to Golden.
“It was identified as a concern, because there were declining school enrollment rates… and some people were getting the sense that people are leaving the community for a variety of reasons,” said Archer.
“So we stepped back from that project and looked at it. It was a great idea, but we also had to look at the investment piece. We wanted to create something that would also attract investment, not just people,” said McCrimmon.
Live Golden BC is a more all encompassing project that targets individuals and families thinking of making Golden their home or part-time home, as well as businesses looking for a new site.
But investment comes in many different forms, and GAI has been careful not to alienate anyone who is not specifically in their target market.
“And we’re viewing it from the perspective that a lot of the investment that happens in this community already comes from the people who move here. So people who are living here part time up at the ski hill are investing in purchasing properties or businesses and running businesses in the community,” said Archer.
The website livegoldenbc.ca, which was put online in December, gives you everything you need to know about life in Golden, including nightlife, employment opportunities, arts and culture, how to meet people, stories from real people who live here, services, immigration information, and much more.
“There’s several campaigns that are built into the website. But the overall theme is the backyard, make Golden your backyard,” said Archer. The outdoor adventurer spirit is definitely evident in the site, but it also makes it clear that Golden offers more than just that.
In the just over a month that the site has been operational, Archer and McCrimmon are very happy with the reception it has received, both from GAI’s board, as well as the site’s visitors which they keep track of through Google Analytics and Facebook.
“What we are able to see through Google analytics… is how many hits we’ve had, who’s looking at it, where ther’re coming from, how old they are, what sex they are. It was all broken down, and that is such valuable information, for the entire community,” said McCrimmon. “We’re really excited about the success that we’ve already had. We’re really getting results.”
“What we’re doing here, not a lot of other communities are doing. And it is very progressive. We’re very excited about the possibilities of this,” said Archer.
The migration and investment strategy that Live Golden BC came out of was jointly funded through the Columbia Basin Trust, the Town of Golden, and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.