Minister Vandal announces new PrairiesCan service location in Lethbridge and federal investments across southern Alberta
From: Prairies Economic Development Canada
Over $11.2 million for Lethbridge area organizations and communities announced at the newest PrairiesCan service location
January 19, 2023
Southern Alberta has extensive economic growth opportunities and is a key contributor to the province’s overall prosperity. Lethbridge and its surrounding communities have an abundance of skilled talent, natural resources, iconic tourism destinations and a rich Indigenous history.
Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, officially unveiled a new PrairiesCan service location in Lethbridge. This will bring PrairiesCan directly to the community recognizing the unique circumstances of southern Alberta. The new office is located in the Post, Lethbridge’s historic post office in the heart of downtown.
Communities throughout the Prairies have unique needs and priorities and the people who live there know how to best address them. That is why the Government of Canada is enhancing community economic development across the Prairies by opening seven new PrairiesCan regional offices, including in Lethbridge.
Local entrepreneurs, municipalities, community organizations and more can tap into these services now available in their community. PrairiesCan will continue to serve as an investor, convener and pathfinder supporting businesses, innovation, and communities to build a strong, competitive Prairie economy that benefits everyone.
As part of the launch, Minister Vandal also announced more than $11.2 million in PrairiesCan funding for 18 projects to support tourism, community economic development, and innovation across southern Alberta, supporting 230 jobs.
Examples of projects receiving support include:
- Lethbridge College is receiving over $2 million to establish an agriculture innovation centre for small- and medium-sized companies focused on agricultural technologies and agri-food products.
- The University of Lethbridge is receiving over $1.4 million to establish a centre of expertise to develop commercial applications for health management and monitoring, as well as $868,300 to establish a work integrated learning centre for Indigenous youth.
- Alberta Sugar Beet Growers in Taber is receiving over $242,000 to evaluate new market opportunities to grow Alberta’s sugar beet industry.
- Lethbridge & District Exhibition is receiving over $3.5 million to install and provide state-of-the art digitization of the Lethbridge Agri-Food and Trade Centre.
- The Galt Museum is receiving $75,000 to re-purpose an under-utilized space to create “Lethbridge Onscreen,” an outdoor audio/visual interpretive display to showcase local artwork and cultural exhibitions.
These projects have a wide range of impacts, from enhancing manufacturing and agri-food processing, to supporting hands-on learning for youth, and to creating accessible and modern public gathering spaces and will continue to build the region’s vibrant economy, creating jobs and opportunities for Alberta workers.
“Southern Alberta plays a large part in Alberta’s prosperity, which is why our government is making investments so the region can continue to build on its strengths while creating and attracting high quality jobs Canadian workers can depend on. Our new PrairiesCan service location in Lethbridge allows us to work with local partners and sharpen our focus on further strengthening the area’s economy. This is just one more example of our government is working in partnership with communities on the Prairies to create new pathways for economic growth and respond to local priorities.”
–The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan
“The Lethbridge region is a driving force in our economy, and our government is committed to making sure it continues to play a major role in our economic prosperity for years to come. We are proud to support these projects that build on the strengths of the region and further diversify Alberta’s economy to create more local jobs and opportunities for everyone.”
–The Honourable Brian Jean, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development, Government of Alberta
“As a City, we understand the value our regional partners bring to our local residents and to the rest of the country. The tagline of the Lethbridge community brand is “Brighter Together” which speaks to how much stronger we are when we collaborate across the region. I’m thrilled to see the immense financial investment and a permanent commitment from PrairiesCan to continue building on that regional strength and amplifying all Southern Alberta has to offer.”
–Blaine Hyggen, Mayor of the City of Lethbridge
“This investment in the University of Lethbridge will further propel southern Alberta’s economic prosperity and technological expertise. Expanding work-integrated learning opportunities for Indigenous youth will help them excel in their studies and future careers. Together, these two programs will help create a bright future for our community.”
–Dr. Mike Mahon, President and Vice-Chancellor
“We are exceptionally grateful for this investment by the Government of Canada solidifying its commitment to the agriculture economy in Southern Alberta. As we prepare to open our doors in Spring 2023, we do so knowing that we will welcome the world with state-of-the-art digital assets to match the industry leading innovations occurring throughout the region, further proving we are Canada’s Agriculture Destination”
–Mike Warkentin, Chief Executive Officer, Lethbridge & District Exhibition
“Sugar beets have a long history in helping shape Southern Alberta and we are grateful for this funding opportunity to look at ways in which sugar beets can continue to contribute to the growth and development of this province and country.”
–Dave Cailliau, Industry Development Chair of Alberta Sugar Beet Growers
“This investment from PrairiesCan will allow us to complete development of our new agriculture applied research and innovation centre and hire skilled personnel to operate our state-of-the-art agriculture research laboratory. We appreciate this commitment to agriculture research in southern Alberta as Lethbridge College’s researchers work to find innovative solutions that support industry and drive change in sustainable food production.”
–Dr. Brad Donaldson, Lethbridge College President and CEO
“PrairiesCan investment shall provide unique opportunities for art, heritage, culture and history to come together and reflect the diversity of the creative south-western Alberta sector for years to come. Enriching our community with new stories and building capacity for future story tellers to develop their craft and have a place to showcase their talents demonstrates the value of culture in Alberta.”
–Darrin J Martens, CEO/Executive Director, Galt Museum & Archives
- In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada provided funding for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) to transition into two new Regional Development Agencies – Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) – serving the Prairies, and Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan) – serving British Columbia.
- In August 2021, the Government of Canada officially launched Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) and announced plans to open seven new service locations across the Prairies: Lethbridge, Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie in Alberta; Regina and Prince Albert in Saskatchewan; and Brandon and Thompson in Manitoba.
- These seven new service locations are in addition to PrairiesCan headquarters in Edmonton, and existing offices in Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Ottawa, and including the expansion of our Calgary satellite office. These new offices will significantly extend our reach to better service our clients.
- This enhanced community-based approach addresses the specific circumstances and needs of these communities and their surrounding regions, and includes a range of local organizations from different sectors as active participants in economic development.
- The Lethbridge service location is at 704 4 Avenue South. This office space is located in the historic Lethbridge post office.
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
Prairies Economic Development Canada