Halifax Partnership Brings Home Gold and Silver at 2023 IEDC Awards

Posted: October 5, 2023

2023 International Economic Development Council Awards

Halifax Partnership is excited to announce that we recently won four awards, including three gold and one silver, from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The IEDC Awards of Excellence recognize the world's best economic development programs, partnerships, marketing materials, and influential leaders creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Wendy Luther, Halifax Partnership President and CEO, says, “these awards recognize the contributions of each and every person on the Halifax Partnership team and are confirmation of our global best-practice in economic development, led from right here in Halifax. They also recognize the power of the collaboration of our Halifax Partnership Board, Investors, and partners who contribute to our work to create a more vibrant, prosperous Halifax.”

Alison Gillan, Vice President of Marketing, PR, and Communications (left) and Wendy Luther, President and CEO point out Halifax Partnership’s multiple wins at this years IEDC awards in Dallas, Texas.

Gold Award - Economic Development Organization of the Year (pop. 200K-500K)

Halifax Partnership’s best-in-class economic development strategies and initiatives received a gold award for Economic Development Organization of the Year for cities with a population of 200,000 – 500,000.

This award recognizes a non-profit, public agency/authority, or economic development unit within a local government with a primary mission of economic development that has demonstrated long-term strategic planning, organizational development, and significant community impact and/or innovation.

Wendy Luther, President and CEO accepting the Partnership's IEDC awards.

For over 25 years, the Partnership has advanced and accelerated economic growth in Halifax by selling and marketing our city to the world, helping businesses reach their full potential, and tracking and reporting on Halifax’s economic progress.

Through our unique public-private economic development model, we work in collaboration with our network of nearly 100 Investors, all orders of government, and our many local, national and international partners to build an inclusive, sustainable, entrepreneurial, and prosperous Halifax for all. Together, we’re working toward a shared vision to grow Halifax’s GDP to $32 billion and population to 650,000 by 2037, while continuously increasing our residents’ well-being and greening our economy.

Gold Award - Resiliency, Recovery & Mitigation

Halifax’s COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Plan (ERRP) received a gold award in the category of Resiliency, Recovery & Mitigation which recognizes programs, activities, and projects that represent a successful response and recovery from natural and man-made disasters.

When COVID-19 hit Nova Scotia in March 2020, Halifax Partnership acted immediately to co-lead with the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) the development and implementation of Halifax’s COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Plan. The ERRP aimed to help businesses and residents weather the urgent health crisis, reopen and stabilize Halifax’s economy, and recapture pre-COVID economic momentum and growth.

Our SmartBusiness team directly supported over 500 businesses by connecting them to COVID-19 resources and creating and delivering programs with partners that helped businesses develop and expand their online customer base and pivot their operations. Initiatives included the ShopHERE Program powered by Google, the Access Local Program powered by vLife, and the Virtual Adviser Program. We also launched a comprehensive Business Continuity Toolkit on our website to help Halifax businesses recover and prepare for future disruptions and worked with partners on consumer confidence campaigns that encouraged residents and visitors to support local businesses and safely enjoy the city once again.

SmartBusiness Virtual Adviser Program Testimonial

The Halifax Regional Municipality helped ease the financial burden on businesses and residents through initiatives such as residential and commercial tax rate reductions, waiving business fees, and funding the creation of COVID-compliant outdoor venues to increase foot traffic and spending in the downtown core.

Although Halifax’s real GDP fell to 2.6% in 2020, this was the second-smallest drop among Canada’s 24 largest cities. In 2021, Halifax rebounded with growth of 6.9%, again second-best across Canada. Halifax’s real GDP grew by 3.3% in 2022 and positive growth is expected to continue through to 2027.

Gold Award - Digital Media for the Living in Halifax Toolkit

We are proud to take home a gold award for our online Living in Halifax Toolkit. A key factor in Halifax’s growth and success is our ability to attract and retain talent. To support these efforts, our team created the Living in Halifax Toolkit to raise awareness among global talent of Halifax’s unique lifestyle advantages and attractive career options and opportunities.

Photo: Discover Halifax

The Living in Halifax Toolkit includes:

The toolkit has become a valuable, ready-to-use resource for local businesses, government, and post- secondary institutions working to attract and retain employees and students and for people considering moving to Halifax.

We are creating a new and improved way to access the toolkit materials on our website. Stay tuned for the launch this fall.

Thank you to our partners who supported the development of the Living in Halifax Toolkit: Government of Canada, Province of Nova Scotia, and NATIONAL.

Silver Award - Digital Media, Halifax Index

The Partnership’s unique and user-friendly digital Halifax Index won a silver award in the Digital Media category. The Halifax Index is recognized as the scorecard for the city’s economic and community progress and serves as an annual call to action on challenges and opportunities. It’s used as a planning and decision-making tool by government, business, post-secondary institutions, community organizations, and talent considering a move to Halifax.

In 2020, we transitioned from producing a 60+ page printed Index report to developing a digital Index on our website. We wanted to increase awareness and reach, reduce our environmental footprint, and provide a richer user experience to a wider audience by making economic data and information more accessible.

Over the past three years, the digital Halifax Index has been released on the Partnership’s website and at a 200+ person launch event each spring, supported by promotion on our channels and with our partner Saltwire, gold sponsor of the Index, resulting in over 3.5 million impressions. Transitioning from a printed to a digital Index has resulted in reducing the Partnership’s carbon footprint by approximately 135K sheets of paper over the past three years. Thank you to our Investor and partner NATIONAL for supporting the development of the digital Halifax Index.

Winning these four IEDC awards is international recognition of the world-class work we do at Halifax Partnership. Thank you to our Investors and our many partners who work with us to build a prosperous, growing Halifax that puts the well-being of people and planet first.



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