A Gourmet Dining Experience featuring celebrity chefs, regional cuisine, a “local foods” store and more
After 2 years of dedication to developing and promoting ag-tourism across Northeast Central Alberta, Kalyna Country's success is now reaping big rewards for the region. Kalyna Country has been voted as a finalist in the Travel Alberta Alto Award Category of: Marketing Excellence (up to $5,000) for its “Dine Kalyna”-a Gourmet Dining Experience featuring 100% regional cuisine from local agrifood producers. This tasty event was a huge success.
Regional food events have been organized around the province for many years and are gaining in popularity. Dine Kalyna has taken the concept to a higher level – focusing on showcasing the producer and their local product. The event was held in conjunction with the Vegreville Country Fair and featured celebrity chefs using excellent products from farms across 7 counties in the region. Dishes such as Chipotle Honey-Braised Venison & ApriKat Wheat Ale stew, Braised Emince of Beef with Sundried Cranberries on a Herb Bouche, Red and Yellow Beet Crème Caramel with Raspberry Compote delighted the sold out crowd of 350.
“The event is definitely an annual one now,” says Kevin Kisilevich, marketing manager for Kalyna Country. “The idea just snowballed and proved to be a great Agri food culinary tourism experience. Holding Dine Kalyna in conjunction with the Vegreville Fair helped boost its attendance figures as well.”
The well-targeted marketing campaign used every means possible, within budgetary limitations, to get the message out about the tasty event including an ad in City Palette, a radio campaign, news releases, a promotional print piece and utilized the exceptional Kalyna Country Magazine and website. The goals of promoting local producers and their product and boosting attendance at the Vergreville Fair were all met. In addition to the 350 who attended Dine Kalyna from around Alberta, the Agricultural Society saw increased attendance at the Fair from 8, 244 in 2007 to 10,045 in 2008. Two of the producers are now supplying a major Edmonton hotel with their products.
“The advertising for this event created a massive buzz about Kalyna Country which not only benefited this event and its partners but the whole tourism region, and their are now numerous other communities who want us to help host an event of this kind” says Kisilevich. “We will continue to be the leader in agricultural tourism in this region and grow our events and sales for our local agricultural producers even more.”
Another Alto Award nomination for the region was given to the Northeast Alberta Trail Map. In addition to the success of "Dine Kalyna", Kalyna Country also played a major role in the development of the "Northeast Alberta Trail Map". This was a project coordinated through Alberta Trailnet and created with a collaboration of trail groups and the Alberta government. These award nominations cap off a great tourism season in Kalyna Country in 2008 with increases at visitor centres and some tourism operators stating up to 400% increases in business due to their marketing with Kalyna Country.
These Alto Award Nominations recognize organizations or individuals that have exhibited exceptional achievements in tourism marketing with new, breakthrough initiatives.