Fall 2009 KALYNA COUNTRY Tourism News & Upcoming…
Dear Tourism Partners,
After a very busy summer we are pleased to give you a recap of our summer activities- an update on our marketing, project work, news, and upcoming meetings and workshops.
Fall Meetings, Workshops and Deadlines: Mark your calendars
Developing Ag-Tourism and Heritage Workshop
Kalyna Country is pleased to announce this special Workshop during Small Business Week – 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
at the Andrew Village Office: 5021 – 50 St.
Morning Session: Developing AG-Tourism Cluster Attractions & Events with Rural Tourism update.
Afternoon Session: Developing Heritage Attractions & Events along with Museum Clusters
Building of the successes of many years of Ag-Tourism & Heritage Tourism development in Northeast Central Alberta; Kalyna Country is hosting this ONE day workshop to help create opportunities and exchange innovative ideas for agricultural and non-profit attractions and businesses from across the region.
Tourism operators have the option to attend for a ½ day or the full day workshop.
2009 Kalyna Country Year End General Meeting & Banquet
Friday, December 4, 2009 Red Feather Ridge, Mannville, AB
Come Celebrate our Success & Future Endeavours!
Tentative Schedule: 2:30 – 3:30 Registration Desk Open / View Displays while enjoying refreshments, appetizers and networking
(Subject to change) 3:30 – 5:00 General Meeting & Presentations
5:30 - 6:00 Cocktails & Networking
6:00 – 7:00 Dine Kalyna Banquet featuring local Agri-food and beverages
7:00 - 7:30 Door Prize Draws or Silent Auction wrap -up
7:30 – 8:00 Guest Speaker – TBA
8:00 - Announcements/ Networking and Fellowship
Now that you have time to admire those summer photos why not let the rest of us admire too.
Submit the best to the Kalyna Country Photo Contest in either category 1) Scenery, Wildlife, Gardens & Ag-Tourism or 2) Attractions (museums or roadside), Events, Outdoor Activities (golfing, camping etc)
Mail to: Kalyna Country Box 496 Vegreville, AB T9C 1R6 or go online www.kalynacountry.com/photo-contest. Deadline is November 30, 2009.
2010 Kalyna Country Advertising Deadline is December 15, 2009.
Fall Agriculture Info Sessions:
This fall the business link is offering these sessions available through video – conference at your local Community Futures Office at noon.
October 29th - How to sell to restaurants and institutions
November 26th- Ag -Tourism Clusters: Marketing Collaborative for success
December 17th - Discovering Alberta Local Markets
Travel Alberta Workshops:
Check out the Travel Alberta industry website for numerous events and workshops around the province.
October 7- Camrose, October 14- Wainwright, November 4- Lac la Biche, November 6 – Edmonton
Social Marketing basics:
October 8 – Camrose, October 15 – Wainwright, November 3- Westlock, November 25 - Edmonton
Travel Alberta Conference-October 25-27 in Banff
Over 400 people have already registered. Visit: www.industry.travelalberta.com
2009 Summer Marketing Activities
In general through the summer we saw an increase in demand for visitors looking for daytrips and weekend getaways for areas all over our region.
Visitor Guide – another great year
Print run of 75,000, went faster than ever, one of the busiest years ever for requests for the magazine, as we were running short much earlier than usual.
Amazing testimonials continue to come in from operators and visitors. Here is two of the many we received:
“Shane Hansen who does Jetboat tours on the North Sask. River says he has received many more bookings from the magazine, than from the internet! “
“A visitor commented that he made 8 trips through the area this summer because of the magazine!”
For 2010 we are looking at printing 5000 more copies to keep up to the incredible demand.
If anyone has a surplus of visitor guides, please let us know as we would like to continue circulating them through fall and winter. Please contact Sheila at our office at 1-888-452-5962 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kalyna Website is Exceeding ONE MILLION hits
The new website developed in late 2008 through TownLife is now a true interactive portal with google maps, listings, features, webpages on all member communities, attractions, events & businesses. (Travel AB site does not even have map & photo features like we have on our site.) Traffic was over 750,000 hits in 2008. Traffic has increased by over 50% in 2009. We no longer measure in hits, but if we did we would be well over ONE MILLION! We are receiving over 250,000 pageviews annually and we expect it to continue increasing exponentially. Results were many more inquiries by email and phone to our office. The new site is working well – highly effective, ranked higher than any other website in our region, according to Alexa worldwide website rankings!!
Summer Flyer & Prize Giveaways - another successful summer campaign
- 12 page full color high quality newspaper insert with over 50 advertisers.
- 235,000 copies printed, very timely, targeted & mailed in late May & early June.
- Intended as an update and enhanced promotion of major events and attractions.
- Unique product that is direct mailed through Edmonton Journal, across Edmonton area, Red Deer, Battlefords, Saskatoon, cities around Kalyna Country as well as distributed throughout our area in local newspapers.
- Very successful! Over 400 people responded in the survey/contest, with over 200 vacation packages mailed out.
- Over 90% of survey respondents said they would visit the area
- Over $2000 in prize giveaways were donated by businesses and given away through this campaign.
Download a copy online at www.kalynacountry.com
For 2010, look for a revised Summer Flyer Promotion in partnership with the Edmonton Journal and Travel Alberta.
2009 Surveys and impressive stats
Some of the impressive statistics from 2009 surveys include these Facts & Figures:
- Over 90% of people said Kalyna Country influenced their travel plans and will visit the area
- Over 80% of people are repeat readers of our Travel Guide
- On average 3-4 people read each Travel Guide annually
- Over 80% of people are eager to receive our next publication or promotion
- Over 85% of people said the magazine needs absolutely no improvements, “it is excellent, great,” etc.
- 60% of people stay or visit between 2-7 days
- 60% of visitor inquiries and surveys are from our #1 target market, the Edmonton area
Over 300 tourism partners are involved with Kalyna Country. The value of any business, club or community/county membership & partnership is actually three times the actual fees charged by Kalyna Country. It is an incredible value to the region to be able to offer such an impressive promotion for such a reasonable cost.
In 2009 memberships and marketing buy-in’s increased over the variety of our marketing opportunities, confirming confidence in our marketing expertise.
Significant Major media editorial exposure
Kalyna Country received a major boost in media exposure this year through a variety of over 30 full length features and short stories by travel writers from Vue Weekly Magazine, Flair Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Canadian Geographic, Calgary Herald, AMA Magazine, Central Mountain Air In-Flight magazine, many local newspapers, Alberta Grade 6 Social Studies Curriculum Textbook, travel writers who participated in a Travel Alberta Media Fam tour, CityTV Breakfast show, Travelalberta.com & other websites. Featured in the articles were historic churches, jamborees, The Victoria Trail, Iron Horse Trail, Metis Crossing, North Saskatchewan River Jetboat Safaris, Buffalo Adventures, and numerous Ag-Tourism attractions mostly along the North Saskatchewan River Valley and Hwy 16 & 14 corridors. In total this new media exposure was worth over $50,000.
Summer Print Media Campaigns increased our exposure
Annual campaigns included Alberta Vacation Guides, Yellowhead Highway Guide, Edmonton Tourism Visitor’s Guide, Visit the Edmonton Countryside, Edmonton Destination Planner with numerous free articles in these publications, plus many others. Additional major media purchases this summer included Edmonton Tourism Summer Campaign and Edmonton Journal, Vue Weekly, Discovering Antiques, City Palate, numerous local and regional newspapers, Partner in Travel Alberta Aboriginal Experience, Partner in Northeast Alberta Trail Map and Partner in Edmonton and Northern Alberta Historic Festival. Word of mouth about Kalyna Country is increasing dramatically from these media purchases and publicity, valued at over $ 20,000.
Call Centre traffic up 200% in 2009
Call volume was consistent with previous years, or up slightly, however email requests that came in this year is up over 200% over previous years with daily direct requests for events, booking campgrounds, receiving the visitor guide or general information. Most inquiries were for all types of events, attractions, accommodations/campgrounds, & trails.
Kalyna Kruiser busy at summer parades & displays
Once again our Kalyna Kruiser attended over 10 parades this summer, plus participation at other fairs and events with displays promoting the region, taking photos at events, farmers markets and visiting area attractions and businesses. We estimate over 50,000 people saw us this summer.
Over $10,000 in Radio Campaigns
This summer you may have heard our ads on, CFCW & Newcap Radio stations promoting Kalyna Country Summer Events & Getaways. Radio atations included Cold Lake, St. Paul, Bonnyville, Lac La Biche, Wainwright, Camrose and Lloydminster.
Kalyna Country Group and bus tours
Once again Jars Balan, Volunteer Curator with Kalyna Country organized a variety of Ag-Tourism, historic church, and special group and bus tours in partnership with Carson Tours and other agencies. One of the highlights was the Victoria Trail trip to Victoria Settlement and Metis Crossing where their zipline was a very popular attraction.
Tourism Projects and Product Development
Heritage Tourism & Museum Cluster Development
A very successful workshop held in January in conjunction with AB Museums & Edmonton Historical society bringing over 30 museums together to help form a museum cluster in the northern part of the region, Kalyna Country NORTH (Network of Rural Themed History). The next meeting & workshop to further the development of this takes place October 21. See below for more details, or visit www.kalynacountry.com
Other Clusters- Kalyna is assisting a newly developing North of Edmonton Museum cluster, working with 2 Ukrainian themed museum clusters (Edmonton’s Ukrainian Culture, & Kalyna’s Cultural Experience) who are working on new brochures this fall. On going marketing support is provided to the very successful CREAM museum cluster in the southern half of our Region.
Alberta Museums Conference, October 1-3 in Calgary. Kevin Kisilevich will be featured Guest speaker as part of a panel session about Museum Cluster development and marketing on Friday afternoon.
Partners in Preservation Grants
July 15th was our Summer BBQ and Grant presentation night. This year, seven groups, received grants of $500; Kikino Métis Settlement, Viking’s Museum, Tofield’s Museum, Holden Centennial Committee, Tofield’s Nature Marsh, Smoky Lake Historical Society, The Vegreville Cultural Association (Pysanka Festival) The remaining two grants were awarded to the Battle River Historical Society for $1000, and the Musee St. Paul Museum is receiving $2000 towards restoration of the Destrube house.
Unique events and itineraries
Riverland Challenge – canoe, bike & run near Elk Point & the North Saskatchewan River, once again Kalyna Country helped sponsor this successful event in its second year.
Kalyna Idol – A two day event this year in recognition of Alberta Arts Day, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village hosted Kalyna Idol 2009; with the competition Saturday afternoon and a winners concert Sunday afternoon. The enthusiastic crowd was entertained and guided through the competition by the fun-loving Nick Gulka of Nick@Night on CFCW. Junior’s winners of Stephanie Taylor from Lamont – 1st Place, Micki-Lee Smith from Fort Saskatchewan – 2nd Place and Carissa Fedoruk from Vegreville – 3rd Place. Followed by Intermediate winners of Nina Laderoute from Mundare – 1st Place, Ky Babyn from St.Paul – 2nd Place and Tanya Bombak from Vegreville – 3rd Place. Finally the Open category, Bob Ashmead from Vegreville – 1st Place and Tammy Farkes from Edmonton – 2nd Place. This brought the total prize winnings to over $1000 handed out.
Kalyna Country Antique Tour – all area antique shops participated in this successful marketing campaign.
Golf Kalyna Country-Area Golf courses and the Lakeland Golf Assn continued to receive Kalynas marketing assistance and 2 for 1 golf promotions in 2009.
Kalyna Country Relay for Life – June 13th was the first regional Relay for Life in Vegreville raising over $90,000 in support of cancer research. The committee is looking for more volunteers and more teams from around the region for their June 12th, 2010 event. If you have a friend/relative who has ever been touched by cancer, this is a great event to be a part of. For more information email: email@example.com
Alto Awards – Congratulations to Metis Crossing and Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village for their 2009 nominations.
Ag-Tourism and Agrifood/Culinary tourism
Alberta Agriculture is having a Cluster Muster meeting in November and has asked Kevin Kisilevich to be a Guest Speaker and present the success story of Dine Kalyna at this event to all major ag clusters who will be in attendance.
Dine Kalyna – Aug 6th was the return of Dine Kalyna to Vegreville along with 500 patrons, 6 chefs and 19 Kalyna Country producers. Working together they created 7 meat dishes, 4 vegetable, 4 desserts and 6 beverage suppliers. The evening was a smashing success and with a quick reorder form in each of the redesigned Dine Kalyna gift bags, patrons were able to reorder their tickets for next year, Aug 5th, 2010. That evening 24 sold and to date 20% more are already spoken for. This outstanding Agri-food event was a Travel Alberta Award Finalist. It is one of the premier rural food events in the province showcasing Ag – operators from 8 county regions. It is continuing bigger & better in 2010!
We would like to thank Tina Hunt for her excellent organizational skills which will be missed as she has moved to rejoin her husband in Calgary – good luck and many thanks.
Kalyna Country Greenhouse, Gardens & Gifts Tour – this new cluster of 13 farms/greenhouses successfully promoted together in magazines, newspapers, radio, and in store on for 2009. For 2010 we are hoping to have more partners join in an even bigger promotion.
Bounty in Beaver County – Aug 15 & 16… Sometimes we should really take a closer look out our own back doors. We discovered the bounty that Beaver County does hold with a host of farm based business, unique attractions and community building organizations. We initiated an Ag-cluster meetings forming a working Ag-tourism cluster and worked together to put on a “Country Soul Stroll” type of driving tour event in 2009.The weekend focused on participating businesses, community groups and attractions to bring folks out of the larger centers and introduce them back into the country. It was a grand success with a total attendance of 1200 names collected at all the different participants. The group was thrilled with the attendance and has decided on a date for next year Aug 14 & 15th.
Wild Rose Trail – July 26, 27 & 28, 2009 Driving Tour in County of Vemilion River had another success event with increased attendance and more participants, 16 in total. Reports back were that individuals’ sales were up and the added membership helped to round out the variety of businesses. The group is eager to get started planning next years’ event.
Country Soul Stroll – this was the 7th year for the regions premiere agri-touring event.
Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance - Kevin Kisilevich with Kalyna Country/Dine Kalyna has been nominated to be on this provincial marketing committee. We have been a participant in all 2009 meetings, and Kalyna Country/Dine Kalyna has put this region on the map as a major culinary tourism destination. This is partly why we have also been contacted by Northlands who is interested in a possible partnership with Kalyna Country/Dine Kalyna in some upcoming agricultural events.
Doors Open – was a success again this year in coordination with Lamont County. Even with the County of Lamont fires we quickly worked together and brought the Doors Open weekend of June 6 & 7th to life. An expansion of participants grew to include a number of local area business and ag-tourism operators which brought a total of 40 locations to visit over the weekend. We are pleased to report that attendance was comparable to previous years and with phone calls and request for more information in the office over the summer, we will definitely be continuing next year.
2010 Marketing Opportunities…
2010 KC Attractions & Adventures Map
This unique targeted marketing piece will feature a similar area map as in the Visitors Guide but greatly enlarged with points of interest. It will fold up like a Hwy map to fit in standard 4” brochure racks to be distributed at numerous targeted locations in cities around the region, as well as it will be used as a wall map at many locations. With a print run of 40,000, it is expected to last 2 or more years in circulation. Rates are reduced 50% in partnership with Travel Alberta. A limited number of ad spaces are available, and we are already 50% sold out. For more information contact Kevin@kalynacountry.com
2010 Summer Campaign
For 2010 look for a revised Summer Promotion in partnership with the Edmonton Journal and Travel Alberta, that will have a huge impact for regional tourism & event marketing.
2010 Marketing Plans & Campaigns
We are currently seeking input towards our 2010 marketing campaign, especially marketing that is costly, and /or time consuming like tradeshows and our major media buys. Some of our core marketing is in process, however we are looking to hear from anyone with new ideas, suggested improvements or strategies for continued effective marketing for our region. Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
It's time to renew for your 2010 Membership, Website & Visitor’s Guide advertising…
Very soon we will be in touch with you regarding updating your advertising info for the next year.
Receive Increased Exposure…
Because of the incredible demand for the Visitor’s Guide for 2010 we are looking at printing 5000 more copies for a total of 80,000 copies in total with more copies to be distributed primarily into the Edmonton region. Through testimonials numerous people this year called it the “bible” of travel to the region, and/or the best travel guide in Alberta. We are very pleased with the success of the publication and the great return on investment it provides to our operators. We are also pleased to announce that our Membership and ad rates for 2010 are virtually the same as last year.
Communities – If you are ready to renew now, we would be pleased to discuss on meet with you. Contact Kevin.
Business and Clubs - Renew now by October 21, Get a discount, Pay later…
Simply send us an email, a fax or a phone call, and you will receive our early bird discount- $20.00 off Visitor Guide advertising and we will invoice you. We would also be pleased to meet with you to assist with your advertising needs or questions. Contact Jolene, email@example.com for more details. (Note: Discount is only valid for businesses and non-profit groups, discount is not valid in combination with any other discounts or ads funded by Travel Alberta).
Travel Alberta Leveraged Funding available
If you are working with 3 or more partners in an advertising venture you may apply to receive up to 50% TDR leveraged funding towards your advertising. Example: you could apply for your ad to run in the 2010 Kalyna Visitor’s Guide.
Don’t delay. We encourage you to get in a draft proposal asap to secure possible funding, as a limited number of dollars are available. For complete details please contact Travel Alberta representative Brad.Maxwell@travelalberta.com
Kalyna Country Active in Economic Development
Kevin Kisilevich participates with both the REDA’s of Alberta HUB and BRAED. Currently BRAED is undertaking a new tourism development project which involves Kalyna Country, and Kevin is a member of the Alberta HUB Investment Attraction Committee, attending meetings/and or providing valuable assistance to Outlook market research who is conducting projects for Hub.
Hwy 16 Future Changes Information sessions: Areas of Kalyna Country will be affected by this long term development study that is currently underway in the eastern section of Hwy 16 from Hwy 36 to Blackfoot. The Gov’t of Alberta team is projecting traffic levels to rise, over the next 20 yrs, to those we currently see on Hwy 2 (Edm. - Calgary). The proposal, in short, is to eliminate all but 7 overpass/interchanges at Hwy 36, Innisfree, Minburn, Mannville, Vermilion, Sec. 893(I think) Kitscoty and Blackfoot. This study was requested by the County of Vermilion River to accommodate the massive growth rate expanding west out of Lloydminster. The old hwy beds will be re-developed in places to act as access roads along Hwy 16 along with new constructions. Check this website for more information: (should be ready mid- October) www.transportation.alberta.ca/609.htm
Who’s who at Kalyna Country marketing office:
Sheila Neil – administration and taking over the organizing of Kalyna projects from Tina Hunt
Darlene Wowdzia – bookkeeper and all financial reports
Jolene Kisilevich – Kalyna web/graphic designer and owner /operator of “The Marketer” who designs the Visitor Guide
Kevin Kisilevich – Marketing Manager and product development specialist
Eugene Dmytriw – Marketing Representative and membership renewals
Ray Sauer – President, Long Lake, Tourism Rep. Thorhild County
Edith Zawadiuk – Past-President, Two Hills, Friends of Ukrainian Village member
Wayne Taylor – 1st Vice President, Smoky Lake, Chamber of Commerce.
Peggy Nahirniak – 2nd Vice President, Holden, Village of Holden Rep.
Holly Cependa – Secretary/Treasurer, Innisfree, Beachside Bed & Breakfast
Ron Spragg – Director at Large, Andrew, Councillor – Village of Andrew
Shane Hanson – Director at Large, Iron River, Iron River Ranch Jetboat Safari
Charlene Fisher – Director at Large, Mannville, Village of Mannville
Jars Balan – Volunteer Curator/Writer, Edmonton, U of A./ Cdn. Instit. Of Ukrainian Studies
Please contact us if you are interested in being involved in a committee or as a Board member.
Moving on, Tina Hunt, former project coordinator, has joined her husband in Calgary after his 2008 transfer. We will miss her and her skills of organizing many of our Kalyna Country events. Best wishes to Tina and her future endeavors.
With Sadness we wish to pass along the news of the loss of a long time Kalyna Country resident, businessman, adventurer and historical interpreter Cameron Malcolm. “Cameron grew up on a farm at Ross Creek, outside Lamont. As a former historical interpreter at the Ukrainian Village and Ft. Edmonton Park, an award-winning tour guide with his company, Out ‘n About Tours, and an enthusiastic community advocate with the Old Strathcona Business Association, he shared his deep knowledge of Edmonton’s history and his passion for the Alberta landscape with thousands of strangers from around the world.” He will be missed by many.
Another sudden loss is owner/operator of the Ross Creek Market, Liz Shetterly, who passed at the end of July. We have learnt that Liz had many far reaching affects in peoples’ lives with her warm, understanding and accepting attitudes. She will be missed by many and forgotten by none.
Recently, another of our valued supporters and community leader, Thorhild County Reeve, Henry Zolkewski passed away. “His unselfish efforts to make the county a better place will be missed” by the residents.