A new economic marketing program for the Robson Valley Region went live last week, and representatives from the Regional District were in McBride and Valemount to unveil it.

The Robson Valley Region marketing program is designed to promote opportunities to live, work and invest in the Robson Valley area, from Valemount and McBride, all the way to Dome Creek and the communities in between.

The program includes a website with information about each community and videos profiling local entrepreneurs from the agricultural, forestry, and tourism sectors and some “lone eagles,” a term apparently coined by Paul Blais of Miller Dickson Blaise, one of the firms contracted to design the program. The term “lone eagle” refers to entrepreneurs who can run their business anywhere, often because it is online or information technology related, so they can live anywhere they have an internet connection.

The development of the program stems from the recommendations in the Canoe-Robson Valleys Economic Opportunities Plan, which highlighted opportunities best suited to the region, such as tourism, agriculture, forestry and recruiting independent business people, or “lone eagles.”

Also included in the program are window stickers, product tags and bags with the Robson Valley Region logo, designed by Concept Design of Prince George, and information cards, all of which are available for free to area businesses and organizations.

“People know about Mount Robson,” says Renee McClosky, spokesperson for the Fraser-Fort George district. She says it is known not only across North America, but in Europe and around the world, which is why it was chosen for the region name and the logo.

“It is about name awareness, keeping the brand front and centre,” said Mike Duran of Splash Media at the presentation at the Valemount Visitor Centre on April 30. Splash Media created the video presentations for the project. Duran says the program is designed to be expandable, and there is potential for more entrepreneurs to be profiled.

Terry McEachen, Manager of Development Services for the district, said the project has been a four-year journey. He said it started with an application to the federal Western Economic Diversification fund in 2009, which was essentially forgotten about until the district got a letter of approval in 2010. Since then, funding and support has come from the Ominica Beetle Action Coalition, Northern Development Initiative Trust and Tourism BC’s Community Tourism Opportunities program as well as the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and the Villages of Valemount and McBride.

“A lot of research and hard work has gone into developing this program,” said McBride Mayor Mike Frazier in a press release. “The program features actual residents of the Robson Valley Region and brings their stories to life to show the varied kinds of opportunities that are available here.”

“By joining with communities across the Robson Valley, our voices are louder and the opportunities to live, work and play here are great,” said Valemount Mayor Andru McCracken.

McClosky says they will be looking for a part time marketing coordinator for the program. More information is available online at www.discoverRVR.ca.

You can visit the website here: http://www.discoverrvr.ca/