The innovative OKGo multimedia marketing campaign—a collaborative project launched in 2021 by Tourism Kelowna, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC), and Accelerate Okanagan—recently won four 2022 Marketing Canada Awards.
Thanks to the collaboration between the three partner organizations, along with participation from various industry and post-secondary organizations, OKGo is attracting industry events, talent, and business investment to the region, Canada's fastest-growing CMA, by telling the stories of the innovative businesses, entrepreneurs, and institutions driving growth in the Okanagan economy.
The annual Marketing Canada Awards were hosted on October 2 by the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC), the country’s national association of economic development professionals. OKGo took home awards in the following categories:
- Advertising Campaign: OKGo Campaign
- Single Publication - 5+ pages: OKGo Magazine Vol. 2
- Website: OK-Go.ca
- Cup Contender: OKGo Campaign
The multi-year campaign, which is produced by local creative firm, Crew Marketing Partners, includes targeted digital campaigns in major Canadian cities and the US Pacific Northwest and distribution through partner networks including Destination Canada, Trade and Invest BC, and Global Affairs Canada to audiences internationally. Central Okanagan residents, businesses, and organizations also act as ambassadors by sharing the OKGo stories through their local, national and international networks.
“The OKGo campaign has been very successful at positioning Kelowna and the Central Okanagan as an ideal place to host a business conference or convention so delegates and planners can enjoy our beautiful destination and take advantage of the incredible talent here,” said Lisanne Ballantyne, President & CEO of Tourism Kelowna. “By showcasing the incredible stories of our local businesses and entrepreneurs, we are able to attract new business opportunities. This campaign, and the organizations that have partnered on it, are generating recognition and results that are increasing year-round economic impact for local businesses and strengthening the quality of life for those who work and live here, too.”
Earlier this year, in conjunction with OKGO, Tourism Kelowna, along with partners from Accelerate Okanagan and the COEDC hosted an intimate dinner in Montreal for members of the city's business community.
“The engaging multimedia stories shared through OKGo are sparking connection, excitement and sharing the value proposition of the region,” said Krista Mallory, COEDC Manager. “While each partner organization has a unique mandate and individual goals, OKGo tells a cohesive regional story that can be shared and leveraged through each partner’s networks and stakeholders, increasing the impact of our messaging.”
“With our digital strategy focused on awareness, the Accelerate Okanagan team is excited about the traction the OK-Go.ca website has generated, especially since its launch took place during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Accelerate Okanagan CEO Brea Lake. “The development of the website has enhanced collaboration efforts among all regional partners as it aligns our individual strategic plans and priorities, all of which are jointly aimed at displaying our region’s value proposition.”
About Tourism Kelowna
As the lead destination marketing organization (DMO) for the Central Okanagan, Tourism Kelowna works on behalf of over 400 local businesses and the larger tourism and hospitality community to generate overnight visitor demand that economically benefits Kelowna and its surrounding areas. Meetings, conferences, and event tourism play a major role in Tourism Kelowna’s four-season development strategy, helping to round-out hotel occupancies and local spending during traditionally slower tourism months.
About the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission
The COEDC is a service of the Regional District of Central Okanagan with a mandate to work in partnership with regional stakeholders to facilitate and encourage the development of a healthy and sustainable economy by supporting existing businesses and encouraging new investment within the Regional District of Central Okanagan. The region includes the communities of Lake Country, Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, West Kelowna, Peachland, and the East and West Electoral Areas. To find out more, visit: investkelowna.com
About Accelerate Okanagan
Accelerate Okanagan (AO) is a not-for-profit organization that gives entrepreneurs the mentorship, connections, and community they need to build technology-driven ventures. At Accelerate Okanagan we work with everyone from students to well-established companies. Aspiring entrepreneurs, startups, job seekers, career-changers, companies looking to expand and grow, and companies with proven track records come to Accelerate Okanagan to learn and foster their success. Our programs are designed to meet the ever-changing needs of our community. To find out more, visit: accelerateokanagan.com or okgntech.com.
About the Economic Developers Association of Canada
The Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) is Canada’s national association of economic development professionals, representing every province and territory across Canada with nearly 1,000 members. The Association’s mission is to enhance the professional competence of economic development professionals and ensure placement of qualified people in the field of economic development, to advance economic development as a distinct, recognized, and self-governing profession and to contribute to Canada’s well-being.
The Association recognizes that marketing a community is an integral part of the economic development profession, therefore provides The Marketing Canada Awards competition as an opportunity to exchange and review promotional and marketing material produced by municipalities across the country. This awards program is open to those organizations that undertake to promote and market Canadian provinces, territories, regions, cities, towns and areas with a view to improving the economic well-being of Canadians.