International Economic Development Council honours City of Guelph with Gold Award of Excellence

Guelph, Ont., September 21, 2022—Last night, at the annual International Economic Development Council (IEDC) annual conference in Oklahoma City, the City of Guelph was recognized with a Gold Award of Excellence for it’s Guelph Shops Holiday Wish Book.

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

The Guelph Shops Holiday Wish Book was the centrepiece of the 2021 Guelph Shops holiday campaign; a prime opportunity to promote Guelph as a top visitor and business destination during the holiday season. The inaugural edition showcased more than 40 local businesses from various shopping categories, and was well-received: more than 56,000 people were aware of the wish book, almost 12,000 people read the online print brochure, and there were 1,000 clicks on various business links.

The City collaborated with 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 was critical to its success,” says Christine Chapman, the City’s manager of Economic Development. “Our diverse business community also played a huge role in this success; your participation and commitment to Guelph makes it easier for us to attract tourists, visitors and shoppers to our area. And a big thanks goes to the IEDC for recognizing our efforts with this award. We’re excited to see Guelph Shops, and our community, continue to receive international attention.”

“Working collaboratively with our community and ecosystem partners to promote local business is a core pillar of the work we do” says Shakiba Shayani, President & CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. “At a time when economic recovery and business resiliency were of the utmost importance, we were thrilled to have showcased a diverse and innovative set of businesses in the Guelph Shops Wish Book. Thank you to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce for assisting with the funding of this successful program.”

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for 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, and local to international, IEDC’s members engage in the full range of economic development experiences. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in various settings, including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities, and a variety of 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 makes it easy to do business in Guelph through coordinating business connections, supporting business growth, attracting new businesses, facilitating partnerships, and business promotions. Tourism stewards the Guelph story for visitors and residents by fostering a well-connected stakeholder community 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 across 38.6 kilometres of track running from Campbellville to Guelph’s northeast industrial park, connecting with Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian National Railway. GJR supports more than 20 businesses with transportation of goods and many more indirectly through transloading services.


For more information

Christine Chapman, Manager, Economic Development
Economic Development and Tourism
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2823
[email protected]