EDCO Northern Spring Symposium

May 16, 2017 – May 18, 2017 all-day
Vahalla Inn
1 Valhalla Inn Rd
Thunder Bay, ON P7E 6J1



Join us in Thunder Bay for EDCO’s 2nd Annual Spring Symposium May 16-18, 2017!

Learn about Thunder Bay’s approach to Cultural Tourism and take back their valuable information to your community to enhance your local program. Enjoy some of Thunder Bay’s historical landmarks such as its newly development waterfront and Fort William Historical Park. Then, it is time to enhance your skills on Economic Impact Tools and Building Business Diversification. The final morning will focus on how to improve your funding proposal writing to secure additional monies to complement economic development initiatives.

Improve your skills and build your network by attending this don’t miss event!

Earn 6 points towards EDAC’s Ec.D Designation for attending our Spring Symposium! You can also earn 1 point toward the CEcD designation. 

Early bird rates end April 26, 2017!


May 16, 2017
– 1:00 p.m. – Official Welcome
– 1:15 – 4:15 – Fort William Historical Park – Program
– 4:15 – 7:00 – Waterfront Thunder Bay Tour and Reception
– 7:00 – Return to Valhalla Inn

May 17, 2017
– 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast
– 9:00 a.m. – 11:45 –  Building Business Diversification within your Community: EDCO Town Hall
– 11:45 – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch
– 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Evidence-Based Decision Making: OMAFRA’s Analyst Tool for Economic Development Professionals
– 4:00 Formal Symposium Conclusion

May 18, 2017
– 8:30 – 11 am – Northern Funders Forum

Session Information

Building Business Diversification within your Community: EDCO Town Hall

This EDCO Town Hall meeting will provide you with an understanding of the importance of diversification of product types, markets, and geographies to the success of every business. What actions or programs can the EDO take to improve the success rates of local business, thereby creating more sustainable local economies?

The session will start with a review of findings of recently released study on the importance of business diversification.  We will then use the EDCO Town Hall format to;

  •  Validate applicability of study findings in your community;
  • Based on the study findings, brainstorm/crowd-source potential community-wide actions and or (existing or new) programs an EDO can undertake to help build diversity within all businesses.


  • Eric McSweeney, McSweeney & Associates


Evidence-Based Decision Making: OMAFRA’s Analyst Tool for Economic Development Professionals

During this session, Economic Development Specialists from the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will introduce participants to its Analyst program and many of its applications. The session will cover:

  • Learning what economic development information is available through Analyst
  • How to navigate Analyst to access the information your organization needs
  • Key Sources of economic development data
  • An overview of economic modelling and its connection to economic base theory
  • An introduction to Analyst’s newest feature: input-output modelling
  • Uses, considerations and limitations of input-output modelling
  • How to access Analyst
  • Myles Buck is an Economic Development Specialist within the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs Regional Economic Development Branch. As the lead for the Economic Development Analysis Resources (EDAR) program, Myles has led the deployment of the newest addition to the Ministry’s Analyst tool: an Input-Output model for economic impact assessment. Myles is an experienced economic development practitioner with data analysis and application experience both within the private and public sector at the municipal and provincial level.
  • Rian Omollo is an Economic Development Specialist within the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs Regional Economic Development Branch. Among his current portfolio of projects, Rian has been engaged in the development and delivery of training material relating to the new Input-Output module of the Ministry’s Analyst tool. Rian’s background in economic development is rooted in economic research and analysis, having previously worked in municipal and regional levels of government
Northern Funders Forum
Join us for an information sharing event where northern economic development professionals will meet and learn about new and existing programs from various branches of the provincial and federal governments – not just their values, funding priorities and various granting programs, but tips and tricks on what each is looking for in successful applications. 
These will be followed by a casual conversation café where you can openly participate with the presenters – ask questions, share stories, highlight challenges – along with your colleagues in small groups, facilitating open dialogue and looking for solutions and guidance that will help steer you in the right direction.

Hotel Information:
Rooms have been reserved at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay Ontario at a rate of $129.00 per night until May 1, 2017. Participants should call 1-800-964-1121 or 807-475-4723 or email at reservations@valhallainn.com. Please quote booking number 170517ECON.

Thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible!

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