Yet that’s exactly what the Economic and Development Tourism Coordinator for the Village of Ashcroft did. Moreira and her team received an Economic Development Marketing Innovation Award from the BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA) last month for their work on the pocket guide.
“We wanted to produce a visitor’s guide for Ashcroft because we’ve never had one,” says Moreira. “There was a lot of work involved in this and it was a labor of love. It was wonderful to see him win an award, it was quite exciting.
In its statement announcing the pocket guide’s victory, the BCEDA noted that it gives awards to individuals and groups who have dedicated themselves to community economic development. This work is especially important as the province recovers from the pandemic, said BCEDA CEO Dale Wheeldon.
“As the economic recovery continues to be front and center, we couldn’t be prouder of the work being done by BC’s economic developers,” he notes. “This year, we received a number of nominations from communities and economic development professionals showcasing creativity and smart strategies that encourage economic recovery and resilience in their region.
The creation of the pocket guide was funded by a grant from the Northern Development Initiative Trust and involved several community members, says Moreira. Mayor Barbara Roden wrote most of the text, community members provided Moreira with photos, and Ashcroft’s CAO Yoginder Bhalla helped edit the 20-page guide.
Due to the pandemic, Moreira says she chose to include local businesses in the guide for free. It’s an arrangement that she says will likely change with future editions of the guide as things return to normal.
Moreira adds that she didn’t expect the guide to end up being as popular as it was. By the end of 2021, the first printing 5,000 copies were gone and Ashcroft was due to print another 6,000 copies for that summer.
Before the start of the summer tourist season, she plans to distribute them to South Cariboo visitor centres. She hopes this will encourage people to come and experience all that Ashcroft has to offer.
“We have a historical walk and an art walk with just over 100 different art installations,” says Moreira.
“We have a fabulous pool and our heritage park is full of history and a lovely place to picnic.”