Hello and welcome to the RELO podcast, Economic Development Regina’s quarterly review of Regina’s business community and economic position. I’m your host Conrad Hewitt.
If you ask anyone in Regina, they’ll tell you this city has transformed itself over the last decade. In a lot of ways from an outside perspective it’s almost unrecognizable, and like a lot of things these days, Regina almost seems like it’s changing exponentially. So, with that in mind, I was curious how different people who have witnessed this change from different points in Regina’s evolution saw the city, now, then, and in the future.
To find my answer, I met with three local leaders who have lived in Regina for very different periods of time.
First I talked to Valarie Sluth, who moved to Regina in 1998. Since then, she’s founded Praxis consulting, a Regina-based management consultancy. Recently, Val was named the RBC Executive in Residence at the University of Regina. I asked Val about the biggest shift she’s seen in Regina during her time here. She tells me that it's the shift in mindset by which entrepreneurship is more tolerated compated to twenty years ago.
To say it’s “tolerated” is probably a bit of an understatement. New businesses have sprung up all over the place, particularly in Regina’s downtown core. I spoke to Judith Versuk, the executive director of the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District. She’s live in Regina for the last nine years. She tells me about the rise in restuaratns downtown and the newfound vibrance in Regina's downtown core.
One of the factors that has helped fuel all of these new downtown restaurants is a similar increase in the number of major events that have come to the city. Regina’s Evraz Place has even grown to become the largest interconnected eventplex in the country. Next, I spoke with Tim Reid, the President and CEO of the Regina Exhibition Association Limited, which operated Evraz Place. He moved to Regina to take the job just 10 months ago.
In Tim’s short time as a Reginan, Tim has become a passionate advocate for the city and the province. He speaks at length about all the things that make Regina a great place to live and visit before I even get a change to ask him about how Evraz Place has become the event powerhouse it is today.
So everyone agrees, no matter how long folks have called Regina home, beit 20 years or less than one, they’ve seen substantial change in the city. But I was curious, where do they think things are going? What will the future look like? What’s next for Regina? You'll have to listen to find out.
Thanks to Valarie, Judith and Tim for taking the time to talk to me, and thank you for listening. Be sure to tune in tune in next time.