Photo credit: Volunteer board members and employees from Community Futures regions across Alberta participate in a CED walking tour of downtown Grande Prairie
In September 2019, volunteers and staff from 27 Community Futures regions in Alberta came together in Grande Prairie, for the network’s annual symposium called, “Leading the Way”.
As an interactive feature during the event, Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region, led by Manager Holly Sorgen, organized a half-day walking tour of local Main Street businesses for attendees. Guests used specialized vouchers to dine at local restaurants and cafés, and shop at some of the businesses located in the downtown area.
Many of the small businesses had received funding and support from the local Community Futures program and shared their vision and experience with guests that dropped in.
Below, are some of the newly established, and Community Futures-supported, businesses that were featured on the “City Centre Food, Shops and Culture Tour”:
Bobbi Jo Matheson is a Cree Entrepreneur, business owner and experienced tattoo artist in Grande Prairie, Alberta, with a background in management. With the help of her family, she opened Cree8iv Ink Body Studio in 2015, a popular tattoo and piercing studio. Cree8iv Ink has also created Canada’s first provincially licensed tattoo training school. With this unprecedented program, Bobbi Jo, and her team of professionals, hope to help fellow artists transfer their abilities into long-term careers in this increasingly mainstream industry.
Patrick Chute and Shawn Herbert founded Broken Oak Distilling in the heart of the Peace Region in Northern Alberta. They have a mutual belief that through dedication to old school distilling practices and some innovative ingenuity, they could create spirits that reflect the community they call home. From hand-selecting the finest local grains, to putting the cork on the bottle, every detail is a testament to true northern spirit.