What an amazing summer for the Greater Regina Area! We have showcased our city and its attractions to literally hundreds of thousands of people. The Queen City Ex set new daily and full show attendance records thanks to welcoming everyone from a Rider game to the ex with their game ticket. The Regina Folk Festival celebrated fifty years of bringing the best folk and roots artists to play here with another outstanding weekend in Victoria Park. And some guy named Brooks filled Mosaic Stadium for two unforgettable nights of music. Everyone associated with all these activities and all the other great summer events and festivals in our city deserves congratulations and thanks for their hard work and for inviting these many visitors to Regina. I believe when someone has experienced our hospitality and our facilities, they are forever a walking endorsement of our community.
Let’s keep dreaming of staging world-class events, and let’s start by Thinking BIG!
BROOKS GENERATES A BIG IMPACT
Regina’s Praxis Consulting has analyzed the economic impact of the Garth Brooks shows in Regina. Among other things they found:
- $19.2M to $21.8M in gross economic activity to the provincial economy
- $13.0M to $14.9M to the local economy
- $7.3M to $8.7M in provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
- $4.6M to $5.6M in local GDP
- The events support 334 jobs locally
REGINA ECONOMY BACK INTO GROWTH MODE
Greater Regina Area’s business executives are continuing to see a positive trend. The Q2/2019 edition of the Regina Executive Leadership Outlook (RELO) shows a month-to-month and year-to-date increase in employment numbers, as well as a decrease in the unemployment rate.
RELO is a quarterly publication aimed at capturing the thoughtful leadership of senior business leaders in the Greater Regina Area. The Executive Confidence Index is currently 2.21, an increase from 2.16 in the previous quarter.
DELOITTE LEADER SAYS: TO KNOW REGINA IS TO LOVE REGINA
By Bruce Johnstone
Regina wasn’t really on Cathy Warner’s radar screen when she was growing up in Melfort, a city of about 6,000 located 280 km north of Regina.
“We didn’t come to Regina very often as kids. We would go to Saskatoon,’’ said Warner, marketplace leader for Deloitte’s Saskatchewan head office, located in the Bank of Montreal Building in downtown Regina.
She attended the University of Saskatchewan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree, then articled at the Deloitte office in Saskatoon, where she got her professional accounting designation. Then she worked for Deloitte in Vancouver from 1992 to 1997 before returning to Saskatoon.
“We moved to Regina in 2001 when we acquired the EY (Ernst & Young) practice in Saskatchewan,’’ Warner said in a recent interview for Think Big Regina. “I think I’d been in Regina three or four times before I moved here.’’
However, since she moved here, she’s become a big fan of the city. “Once you’re here, you see the attractiveness of it. If you’re from away, it’s hard sometimes to see that.’’
So when she was approached by Economic Development Regina CEO John Lee to participate in EDR’s Investment Partnership Program, she knew it was the right thing to do – for Deloitte and for Regina.
The program aims to raise more than $1 million from local businesses and community organizations to provide financial support to EDR initiatives, such as the Regina Advantage campaign, which shows why Regina is a great place to live, work and invest.
“We live here, we do business here. We need good economic development here.’’
She noted that, over the years, Regina has lost jobs as large companies have pulled their head offices out of the city. “We think we need more of those great jobs to have a strong community in Regina. Economic development clearly is the way to do that.’’
Specifically, the city needs to nurture and develop young entrepreneurial firms to replace those head offices that have left the city. “There are great innovative organizations in this city. As they scale (up) and grow, they’re going to be the big corporations of tomorrow.’’
Warner said economic development can be achieved a number of ways, either by sustaining and growing existing companies, encouraging and nourishing start-ups, and attracting firms and their employees to relocate here.
“There are lots of levers that impact economic development and EDR seems to have their hands on lots of them.”
Warner said one of those levers, the Regina Advantage campaign, is needed to overcome the negative image or lack of image many people have of Regina.
“There’s a view that it’s a public sector town. It’s a government town. And that’s all that happens here. And it’s so far from the truth,’’ she said.
“There are great companies here.’’
Even people who are familiar with the city have a hard time convincing others who haven’t been here that it’s a great place to live, work and invest.
“I sat on the plane the other day with a guy from Ontario. He’s been coming here for work for five years. He loves it here. He would move here in a second. But he cannot get his spouse to move because she has not been here.’’
“I said, ‘Well, bring her in the summertime’,’’ Warner said with a laugh.
Warner believes companies that have roots here are more likely to be good corporate citizens than companies that are headquartered elsewhere.
“We just want to see growth and those decision-makers that help make us a better community. If you look at sponsors of events, we’re starting to see some real diversity in those names.’’
As one of Canada’s leading professional services firms, Deloitte is making a positive impact on Regina and wants to do even more.
“We have invested here. We continue to invest here as Deloitte,” she said.
“We have 55 people who live here, but we have a number of assignments that cause people to come in. And so people (from other Deloitte offices) are flying in all the time to do work.’’
“So our contribution to the economy in hotel (rooms), (restaurant) meals, and all of that in Saskatchewan, and Regina, in particular, is higher than that. Our hope is that some of these people choose to stay here.”
“We’d like to build some centres of excellence in some of our service lines and that would allow us to grow too. That’s because there are lots of exciting things that are going on here.’’
GLOBAL BIOTECH WEEK
EDR is pleased to be working alongside Ag-West Bio and committee partners to offer a number of events in celebration of Global Biotech Week from September 23 to 29. The bioscience industry is an integral piece of our economy, heavily influencing the global competitiveness of major industrial areas like crop production and agriculture, and non-food uses of crops and other products. Be sure to explore events in Regina, including a film screening of Before the Plate at the Kramer IMAX Theatre, a workshop to learn about Biotech Tools at the Science Centre, and a Science Café focused on genetically modified foods at The Cure.
30 SECONDS ON…
Reminding ourselves why plant protein is a generational opportunity for the GRA.
INDIGENOUS OWNED AND OPERATED COMPANIES ARE A GROWING PART OF THE REGINA ECONOMY
In June we celebrated National Indigenous Peoples Day, recognizing and celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada. Regina is home to a diverse variety of indigenous-owned business.
Here are just a few to celebrate.