International Economic Development Board Honors City of Guelph with Gold Award of Excellence


Guelph, Ont., September 21, 2022 — Last night at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) annual conference in Oklahoma City, the City of Guelph received a Gold Achievement Award for its wish book Guelph Shops Holiday Festival.

“Communities need our profession now more than ever,” says Nathan Ohle, President and CEO of IEDC. “This year’s winners exemplify the ingenuity, leadership and determination needed to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. The recipients of the IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards represent the best in economic development and demonstrate the level of leadership that our profession strives for every day.

The Guelph Shops Holiday Wish Book was the centerpiece of Guelph Shops’ 2021 Holiday campaign; an excellent opportunity to promote Guelph as a destination of choice for visitors and business during the holiday season. The inaugural edition featured over 40 local businesses from different shopping categories and was well received: over 56,000 people viewed the wish book, nearly 12,000 people read the print brochure online and 1 000 clicks were made on various commercial links.

The City worked with the Guelph Chamber of Commerce and local graphic designer Ellyn Lusis to produce the wish book and they look forward to releasing the 2022 edition later this fall. “The Guelph Shops Holiday Wish Book is the first of its kind in our community, and our strong partnership with the Guelph Chamber of Commerce has been key to its success,” says Christine Chapman, Director of Economic Development for the city. “Our diverse business community has also played a huge role in this success. your participation and commitment to Guelph makes it easier for us to attract tourists, visitors and buyers to our region. And a big thank you to IEDC for recognizing our efforts with this award. We are thrilled to see Guelph shops and our community continue to receive international attention.

“Working collaboratively with our community and ecosystem partners to promote local businesses is a central pillar of the work we do,” said Shakiba Shayani, President and CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. “At a time when economic recovery and business resilience were of the utmost importance, we were delighted to have featured a diverse and innovative set of businesses in the Guelph Shops wish book. Thank you to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce for helping fund this successful program.

About the International Economic Development Board

The International Council for Economic Development (ICED) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization serving economic developers. With over 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote the economic well-being and quality of life of their communities by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, local to international, IEDC members engage in the full range of economic development experiences. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a variety of settings, including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities, and various other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at

About economic development and tourism

Economic Development and Tourism includes the functions of economic development, tourism and the Guelph Junction Railway. Economic development facilitates doing business in Guelph by coordinating business relationships, supporting business growth, attracting new business, facilitating partnerships and promoting business. Tourism manages Guelph’s story for visitors and residents by fostering a community of well-connected stakeholders through engagement, facilitation and coordination. The team supports tourism businesses, destination development and visitor services. Guelph Junction Railway (GJR) is the City-owned railway that operates 38.6 kilometers of track from Campbellville to the Northeast Guelph Industrial Park, connecting Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway. GJR supports more than 20 companies in the transport of goods and many more indirectly through transshipment services.


For more information

Christine Chapman, Manager, Economic Development
Economic development and tourism
City of Guelph
519 822-1260 ext. 2823
[email protected]


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