Dauphin Economic Development appoints Carla (Steiner) Wolfenden to tourism and events coordinator position. I have long been a champion of seeing communities invest into their tourism future by hiring well-qualified people who bring energy, commitment, and a solid background into year-round positions. Our community economic development officers and tourism officers are part of the strategy and tactics that local municipalities in rural Canada need to leverage to build new business opportunities and think smartly about tourism as an economic driver.
By having a full-time tourism officer, events and new tourism businesses can be fostered, continuity in marketing maintained, and the brand further developed. But, most of all, tourism officers can use their salaries and time to leverage and attract new grants, funds, and stimulate the development of relevant new sustainable and environmentally responsible businesses, benefiting the community in the long term.
Dauphin has several anchor events, cultural attractions and is located next to a national park. By looking long-term at creating new tourism products and experiences with a tourism and events coordinator, I say …”That’s good. That’s smart. That’s good investment.” One of the critical things that rural communities like Dauphin can do is add tourism programming (also known as tourism products, experiences or packaging) on a year-round basis, to take place within facilities that are available within the community.
Programming generates revenues. That’s what local people and travelers pay to take part in a program. The Ukrainian Festival is a great example of cultural tourism that provides programming. However, there are many more opportunities to offer much smaller experiences year-round for different markets that will generate good yields without the high overhead of volunteer time and expenses of a festival. Small business tourism is diverse, and there is lots of room for some new, high quality tourism businesses within the northern gateway community to Riding Mountain National Park.
We would like to welcome Carla (Steiner) Wolfenden to Dauphin’s new position as Tourism and Events Coordinator. She holds a Recreation Studies degree from the University of Manitoba and has a variety of international and local experiences from which to draw, in her new position.
Originally following the outdoor recreation path as a student and with jobs in Riding Mountain National Park and with Manitoba Conservation, circumstances led her to a two-year stint as the Executive Director of Recreation Connections Manitoba. Her involvement as a volunteer with Team Canada Volleyball then led her to the sport world, where she worked for 6 years as the National Teams Coordinator.
Much of the last eight years was also spent in Europe, including Austria, Germany and Greece, where her husband played volleyball in their respective professional leagues. Having just finished a year of maternity leave, Carla now lives with her husband and son in Dauphin, and is happy to call it home again after so many years away. She is excited to be involved in what promises to be a bright future for both Dauphin and the Parkland region.