EDAC’S annual conference in Whitehorse: be different

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Canadian Design and Construction Report staff writer

The Economic Developer’s Association of Canada’s (EDAC) 47th Annual Conference Sept. 19 through 22 at the Yukon Convention Centre focused on the importance of being different and doing things differently, from embracing cultural and historic uniqueness to varying approaches to economic development.
The event kicked off Saturday with registration and activities ranging from the annual golf tournament to boreal biking or a fourhour Yukon tour. The evening’s opening reception at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre included addresses from EDAC president
John Watson; Chief Kristina Kane, Ta’an Kwach’an First Nation; and Jessie Dawson, elder, Kwanlin Dün First Nation.
Guests were invited to try traditional Dene games, observe carvers at work, and watch the Dakwakada Dancers’ impressive display.
On Sunday a welcome breakfast preceded the EDAC annual general meeting, followed by an opening presentation by Twist Marketing’s senior brand strategist, Chris Fields titled Dare to be Different. Later presentations included Community Asset Mapping and Using Nature and Heritage as a Community Builder and Economic Engine.
Monday gave participants a free day away from conference activities. Delegates participated in one of several themed tours including Destination Dawson – How Dawson Does Different, and Destination Haines Junction – First Nations-led Economic Development.
Several other tours offered participants a look at different  aspects of Whitehorse.
On Tuesday, regular activities resumed with presentations including building stronger municipal and First Nations relations and Growing with your Community, with special focus on managing diverse views through public engagement.
The conference is also the setting for the association’s EDAC professional certification exams. Awards ceremonies recognized members for their economic development contributions and marketing achievements.
Throughout the year, EDAC promotes and advocates to government and other regional groups to enhance understanding of professional economic development practices. The association also works with universities to develop programming and skills to support
members’ professional development.
The association, which represents officials in municipal, regional, provincial and federal economic development offices (and associated suppliers and services), reflects the interests of government officials who spend much of their time connecting with both elected officials and private sector businesses to facilitate community economic growth.
The conference is hosted in a different Canadian city each year.

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