Imagining Who We Could Be: A Governance & Partnership Story

Overview
It is all downhill from here. And in this case, that’s a good thing. We’re standing atop the highest point of the community’s latest attraction, a wellness spa and adventure playground that’s open all year, complete with outdoor adventure pursuits. Having cut the grand opening ribbon, we’re about to discover the joy of downhill skiing in our own backyard.

As recently as 2011, this environmentally friendly spa was but a gleam in the eye of a few farsighted leaders. Boundless thinking coupled with partnerships made it real. Municipal and provincial governments rallied around, dismantling borders and giving the private sector confidence to invest in an expanding complex that already includes gold star condos, a guest ranch and chalets. All involved deserve to take a bow, and so they do on this opening day.
In a remarkable way, our community has become known for innovative partnerships as initiatives such as the spa prove what we can accomplish together. Rubbing shoulders, exchanging visions, partners find new reasons to respect each other. They readily share money, services and space and as a result, accomplish more with less. That’s synergy!

Partners have built a post-secondary campus, expanded our arts festivals and established a strong alternative energy section here. Partners are protecting our water resources, managing our trails and golf course, diversifying our economy.
Theme 3 Governance Partnerships
Benefits of Partnership
Partnerships also are behind a new one-stop shop for government services. Now we have one place to do much of our municipal, county, provincial and federal business. It’s a particular relief for county residents to have their municipal government administrative services located right in our community. Avenues for grassroots involvement have also expanded. Anyone unable to attend council, committee or school board meetings can participate live online. Virtual links make some civic services available 24 hours a day. Local authorities regularly hold open houses and dialogue with voters through a variety of media. Both public and private leaders actively recruit volunteers and collaborate to meet community needs.

By being a team player, the community emerged as the place to turn for leadership. Those at the helm know constituents well enough to identify what needs attention and are adept at working together to find solutions. In this new and improved governance landscape, silos are out and collaboration has proven its worth.

“Work creatively and create partnerships to address the challenges of living in rural Alberta.”
- Community Consultation Participant